If it's an OC for an already existing franchise (a Fan Character, like a Naruto OC) then I look at already existing names and make little changes to a name I like so that it sounds just different enough to not be too similar to the already existing names, but close enough to fit into the franchise.
And if it's an OC for an original story or something, then it usually depends. But I love using BehindTheName to get some ideas.
for hetalia, i just chose nice-sounding name and surname from lists as chinese people do that (i heard at least) and sinapore is 90% chinese so pff and for naruto, i decided to follow the canon and give my twins abstract names. mochiko means ground rice and kanten is a substitute for gelatine, frequently used to make Japanese confectionery and as their parents run a confectionery shop i guess it makes sense XD
also, most of naruto's names are written in katakana (sakura would be normally writen in usual hiragana as it's an actual surname/name), so i decided to give mochiko this alphabet so i can make puns c: but kanten stays in kanji as it's a certain object. also if you are looking for creative names with meanings, try to search up kun and on readings. kishi do that, for example kisame can be onisame or onikou, depending od reading c: + you can create neologisms (best example is zombie combo, shougi pieces + something : o )
I'm not too familiar with hetalia tbh, I just thought they were named after their country. X'D
I would say it makes sense, since mochi is used for Japanese confectionery (wagashi) and you said Kanten is too Not too famailar with katakana/hiragana/kanji, but I'll defiantly look up the up kun and on readings, as well as some neologisms!
I usually find kanji i want and then go on jisho.org's name dictionary and find one I like. Really useful in finding some more obscure (but still real) names. Occasionally I just use words from the regular dictionary for Nardo OCs since hey, the protagonist is named after a noodle so who's gonna stop me XD
I also sometimes directly name characters after historical/literary figures or myths.
- From comics (no joke, i did find some unusual names and then looking for the meaning) & games, and other character names - Japanese war ship (there are plenty of them and they have pretty names too! They're even in wikipedia. I actually know these from a japanese online game called "Kantai Collection") - Japanese swords (also got this from a game called "Touken Ranbu") - Japanese historical figures, folklore, legends, literature. - Shrines, and prefectures in japan (Like Izumo, Nara)
And the name sites all have the same names too, which makes it harder... I took a look at the website and liked it! Never came across a japanese dictionary with preset names, usually you have to already know them XD
Eeeeeh... I got most of my OC's names from a Name generator, because the majority of them were born to represent a real person (it was a project I had). When I stopped adding numbers to that project I searched for names on the BehindtheName website. Lately I figured that Naruto names are usually normal objects or specific famous names in japanese so... Idk how to search for names anymore XD
8D It's good to know I'm not alone. xD I'm just quite happy about not needing to name any oc for a long time XD I am still getting rid of a few and spare their names - so naming won't be a problem for a big while.