Lettered Sequel

Suddenly Z

"Z is the final letter of the alphabet and thus the most prestigious."
Ichiro Mizuki, Mazinger Z theme singer.

Normally, to name Sequels you just simply add a number or some words, so the sequel of Foomovie will be titled Foomovie 2? Wrong, it's Foomovie Z!

This trope is a title naming convention for sequels, adaptations, or work expansions of a franchise in which they just add a letter or two to set up the name. Sometimes the titles will end in a rather cool sounding letter such as Z or X. (But not Y.) The letter sometimes stands for something meaningful and relevant to the plot, or just being thrown at random until the creator explains what it means.

This practice is commonly seen in Japanese works because they use different writing systems and apparently combining kanji or kana letters with an alphabet letter will bring X Makes Anything Cool into a new height. Alphabets are also pronounced in more literal way in Japanese, making it sounded more badass, such as Ekkusu (X) and Zetto (Z).

It should be noted that a title ending in roman numerals is not this trope. Nor is a title that just happens to end in a letter, such as Malcolm X and World War Z. It has to be the sequel or adaptation titles in which the work or franchise with the original title was released first.

In many video game titles, it commonly overlaps with Super Title 64 Advance for the titles that end in "DS", "U" or "X". Related to Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo, X Makes Anything Cool and Stopped Numbering Sequels, not to be confused with One-Letter Title. See also Y Not?.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The season sequels of the Dragon Ball anime series are titled Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. Z is also used in certain dubs to name the protagonists "the Z Fighters", but what Z means or why they'd need a group name for a loosely-affiliated group of friends and rivals is never explained within the show. GT stands for Grand Tour according to Word of God.
  • Powerpuff Girls Z, the anime adaptation of the western series The Powerpuff Girls, as opposed to the original's Chemical X, they use chemical Z.
  • Sonic X, the adaptation for popular video game series Sonic the Hedgehog from a story arc in Sonic Adventure with Chris Thorndyke.
  • A spinoff of School Rumble revolves around Harima in a series of alternate stories is titled School Rumble Z.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! manga adaptation has Yu-Gi-Oh! R, and the anime sequel goes by name Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
  • Sailor Moon has Sailor Moon R (the second season) and Sailor Moon S (the third season). The letters stand for "Romance" and "Super", respectively. In fact, "S" is actually pronounced "Super", as evidenced by the eyecatch and various printed materials.
  • The eleventh movie of One Piece, One Piece Film: Z. Named after the initial of the main antagonist, Zephyr.
  • Mazinger Z is an inversion, it is indeed a part of the whole Mazinger franchise, but actually it is the title of the original manga that started everything.
  • The direct sequel of Getter Robo, Getter Robo G.
  • Gundam franchise has Gundam ZZ as the sequel of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and there is also After War Gundam X.
  • The Slayers 4th season is called "Slayers Revolution". The 5th season (which is just part 2 of the fourth) is called "Slayers Evolution-R". The reason why the R was moved from the front of the word to the back is not explained.
  • Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san has the second season aired in 2013 under the name Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san Z.
  • The second season of Haiyore! Nyarko-san anime is called Haiyore! Nyarko-San W, as a reference to Kamen Rider Double.

    Film 

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • Idol group Momoiro Clover became Momoiro Clover Z after their lineup change because the sub-leader stepped down.
  • AKB48 has the sub-group for celebrating Natto Day named Natto Angels. In 2010, however, the group had been replaced entirely different members save for Miyazaki Miho, and changed the name into Natto Angels Z.
    • The entire 48 Family also spawned a handful of team units based on their original group such as Team A, Team K and Team B (for AKB48), Team N, Team M and Team BII (for NMB48). There is an one-shot joint unit from the family named Team Z.
  • After 6 years of hiatus the subgroup Petitmoni of Hello Project went active again with a new concept and name as Petitmoni V.
  • English-Irish pop group Liberty X originally went with the name Liberty after being formed from a TV talent show's runners-up. They changed it after received a legal challenge from another band with same name.

    Video Games 
  • The successor of Nintendo console Wii, Wii U. No one knows what U stands for, but the common interpretation is "You".
  • Warriors Orochi, pictured above, goes with a rather odd route: Warriors Orochi Z, Warriors Orochi 2, and then Warriors Orochi 3 (which is didn't exist in the japanese version because the second game is actually an updated port with a Word Sequel title).
  • Mega Man
  • Every Metal Slug ports and updated rerelease from their arcades, Metal Slug X, that actually is a PlayStation port of Metal Slug 2, and Metal Slug XX is a PSP version of Metal Slug 7.
  • Pokémon
    • The titles of the Generation 6 games depart from their previously themes on colors (Red and Blue, Black and White) and precious materials (Gold and Silver, Ruby and Sapphire, Diamond and Pearl), as they goes with Pokémon X and Y.
    • In-Universe, the name for the Mega Evolution also adds the letter from their game origin, such as Charizard can evolves into Mega Charizard X or Mega Charizard Y.
    • There is also Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, a sequel to Pokémon Colosseum.
  • Wangan Midnight was followed by Wangan Midnight R, which makes hidden cars available, and makes challenge even more difficult.
  • Maximum Tune 3 was followed by WMMT 3 DX, which added a few new cars, one new song, a new course, and 20 more stages (as if 80 wasn't enough!). And then WMMT 3 DX Plus, which adds yet another course, more cars and four new songs (two of which are remixes).
  • Super Robot Wars franchise:
  • Yaiba Ninja Gaiden Z is a zombie slashing spin-off from an originally spin-off game Ninja Gaiden.
  • Guilty Gear was given a follow-up in the form of Guilty Gear X. However, Word of God has eventually relegated GGX and GGXX and it's expansions to being a sideplot with the coming of Guilty Gear 2, almost 10 years after the first game. Guilty Gear 2 was then followed by Guilty Gear Xrd.
  • The vehicular combat spin-off of Jak and Daxter is titled Jak X, it follows the franchise's odd title names from Jak and Daxter, Jak II and Jak 3.
  • The fourth installment of Digimon World video game series is titled Digimon World X in Japan, but since its tie-in movie, Digimon X-Evolution, didn't see a release in US, the US version of the game changed the title into Digimon World 4.
  • In Japan, Super Smash Bros. is known as Great Melee Smash Brothers. The sequels, Melee and Brawl, are known respectively as Great Melee Smash Brothers DX and Great Melee Smash Brothers X (DX stands for Deluxe).
  • Metal Slug X is an enhanced version of Metal Slug 2. The series went back to Numbered Sequels until Metal Slug XX, an Xbox Live port of Metal Slug 7.
  • GITADORA started as Guitar Freaks and Drum Mania XG, which was a spinoff of the original series. This was followed by XG2 and XG3 before becoming GITADORA.

    Real Life 
  • Many Honda and Yamaha motorcycle lines love this, such as Honda Supra (manufactured in 1997) into Honda Supra X (manufactured in 1999), and also Supra XX for its manual version and Yamaha Jupiter (manufactured in 2001) into Yamaha Jupiter Z (in 2003).
  • The early lines of Mac computers:
    • The original Macintosh was replaced with (among others) the Macintosh XL and the Macintosh SE.
    • The Macintosh II spawned the Macintosh IIx, IIcx, IIci, IIfx, IIsi, IIvi, and IIvx. The letters didn't carry that much meaning.
  • Microsoft Windows
    • Microsoft has Windows ME, "ME" stands for Millennium Edition. it's the last of the MS-DOS based Windows 9N line, where the names were appended with the release year instead (1995 & 1998).
    • The next ones were the Windows NT line, where NT stands for Intel i860's codename, N10. but was simply expanded to "New Technology" for marketing purposes.
    • The last is Windows XP, XP there means "eXPerience" as in "User Experience", to highlight it's supposedly enhanced user experience.
  • Sony Xperia smartphone series have Xperia S, Xperia U, Xperia P, Xperia SL, Xperia T, Xperia TX, Xperia J, Xperia V, Xperia L, Xperia E, Xperia C, Xperia M, and the best among them, of course, Sony Xperia Z.