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Lettered Sequel

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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 (Or both). 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.



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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. The protagonists are often referred to as "the Z Fighters", but what the 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.note  GT stands for Grand Tour according to the company.
  • Powerpuff Girls Z, the anime adaptation of the western series The Powerpuff Girls (1998), 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 (which in turn makes the subsequent season name, SuperS, fall into Department of Redundancy Department).
  • 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 Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ as the sequel of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, and there is also Mobile Fighter G Gundam and After War Gundam X. In a downplayed example, Victory and Wing sometimes get written as "V-Gundam" and "W-Gundam".
  • Saber Marionette J is followed up by Saber Marionette J Again, Saber Marionette J to X, Saber Marionette R and the manga-only Saber Marionette Z. The letters are the initials of the places where the main characters are located: J stands for Japaness which is based on Japan, R is for Romana which is based on Rome, X means Xian which is based on China, and Z is the oddball as it's the initial of a new starring character, Zero. The first series (J) is followed up directly by J Again and then J to X, whereas R and Z are distant sequels.
  • 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.
  • You Are Being Summoned, Azazel 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, while the OVA conclusion is tiled Haiyore! Nyarko-San F, with the F standing for "Final".
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun S and A Certain Scientific Railgun T are the followup seasons to the popular A Certain Scientific Railgun staring Mikoto Misaka, funnily enough its sister series A Certain Magical Index used the Roman Numerals for its second and third seasons.
  • Symphogear did this for each of its sequel seasons. Season 2 was called G, Season 3 was GX, Season 4 was AXZ, and Season 5 was XV. The exact reason for why the seasons were named this way is known only to the creators.
  • The second season of Himouto! Umaru-chan was called Himouto! Umaru-chan R.


    Live-Action TV 

  • 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. The U stands for "You", in analogy to Wii standing to "We".
  • 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
    • Mega Man X, the second series of the franchise, named after the future successor of original hero, X.
    • In its further distant sequel, Megaman ZX, ZX is pronounced as Zekkusu.
  • 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. For example, Charizard can evolve into Mega Charizard X or Mega Charizard Y.
    • There is also Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, a sequel to Pokémon Colosseum.
    • While not a sequel, In-Universe, Porygon evolves into Porygon2, which then evolves into Porygon-Z rather than "Porygon3."
  • 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).
    • Maximum Tune 5 has two region-specific versions with regional-exclusive features not available in each other. WMMT 5 DX addresses this issue by bringing back region-exclusive features from each other.
  • 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 its 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 the 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). Subsequent installments avert this trope in favor of Super Title 64 Advance (for Nintendo 3DS and for Nintendo Wii U, just like the international versions) and Word Sequel (Special, again like the international versions which use Ultimate) respectively.
  • Metal Slug X is an enhanced version of Metal Slug 2. The series went back to Numbered Sequels until Metal Slug XX, the PSP 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.
  • The sequel to Another Code: Two Memories was titled Another Code R: A Journey Into Lost Memories.
  • In Japan, the Monster Hunter expansions have letter G added to their original names, alluding to the inclusion of the Harder Than Hard G Rank difficulty. For example, the expanded version of Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) was identified as Monster Hunter 3 G; same for Monster Hunter 4 turning into Monster Hunter 4 G (in the international releases, Word Sequel is used instead; hence Unite for the expanded second-generation game and Ultimate for the expanded third and fourth generation games). Uniquely, the next installment is lettered from the get-go: Monster Hunter X (X standing for Cross), with the G Rank expansion being called Monster Hunter XX; the international releases once again resort to Word Sequel (Generations and Generations Ultimate respectively). From Monster Hunter: World onward, Word Sequel supersedes this trope worldwide for this series.
  • The thematic sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles is called Xenoblade Chronicles X (the X stands for Cross).
  • Though the Etrian Odyssey games are numbered with the Roman system (except Untold 2), the X in Etrian Odyssey X doesn't stand for 10 (it's the ninth game overall, and the sixth main one), but for Cross. In the West, the trope is replaced with Word Sequel (Etrian Odyssey Nexus).
  • A sequel to Super Bomberman (in name alone), the first Bomberman game since 2010 is named Super Bomberman R.
  • The Tenchu game exclusive for the Xbox 360 known as Tenchu: Senran was localized into Tenchu Z, apparently because it sounded cooler.
  • Castlevania: Rondo of Blood was originally released in Japan as Akumajō Dracula X: Chi no Rondo, being the first game set beyond Simon Belmont's timeline in the first two Castlevania games. The Super NES version, known as Castlevania: Dracula X in North America and Castlevania: Vampire's Kiss in Europe, became Akumajō Dracula XX (pronounced "double ecks" rather "ecks ecks").
  • Played with with Mortal Kombat X. It's the tenth mainline game in the series, but the X is always pronounced as the letter. It was also preceded by a title that wasn't numbered.

    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, wherein "Me" stands for Millennium Edition. It's the last of the MS-DOS based Windows 9x line of operating systems, where the names were appended with the release year instead (1995 and 1998 respectively).
    • The next ones were the Windows NT line, wherein NT stands for the Intel i860's codename, N10. It was later expanded to mean "New Technology" for marketing purposes.
    • The last is Windows XP, wherein "XP" is a shortening of the word "experience" so as to highlight it's enhanced (at least in comparison to the more business/company oriented Windows 9x line of operating systems) 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.