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Manga / Splatoon

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Splatoon is a Gag Series manga serialized in CoroCoro Comic, written and drawn by Sankichi Hinodeya, and based on the Nintendo video game franchise of the same name. While it does briefly adapt some of the various single-player campaigns, the manga puts the bulk of its attention on the main multiplayer modes.

The manga stars four Inklings named Goggles, Headphones, Specs and Bobble Hat. This quartet forms Blue Team, and each chapter follows their antics as they partake in various tournaments and slowly rise through the ranks of Turf War and (eventually) Ranked Battle, both in spite and because of their dysfunctional dynamic.

Beginning as a promotional one-shot released prior to the game's release in May 2015, the manga would continue later that December, before gaining a regular monthly schedule in February 2016. Viz Media would start localizing the manga in English in December 2017. The series also had a two-episode motion comic adaptation featuring the voices of Mikako Komatsu, Kondo Rena, and Haruka Shiraishi, which released in August 2017.


Splatoon contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Every boss from the first game except The Mighty Octostomp and Octavio.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The volume 10 bonus chapter is "Dear Senpai', an in-universe manga by Marina that focuses on the relationship between her and Pearl.
  • An Aesop: "The real winner is the team that has the most fun." Most of the rival teams lose due to not following this moral, and taking the matches very seriously.
  • Animated Adaptation: Sort of. In reality, it's just the manga coloured and voiced over.
  • Audience Surrogate: Goggles doesn't understand Turf Wars and has to have it explained in the promotional comic.
  • Decomposite Character: Both Goggles and Rider are Agent 3, though Rider is officially designated Agent 3.5. Meanwhile for the Octo Expansion Arc, Agent 8 gets split into the Octo Boy Hachi as Agent 8 and the Octo Girl Nana as Agent 7.
  • Demoted to Extra: Since the Octo Valley arc was cut down to 2 chapters, the Squid Sisters don't appear in it until the very end.
    • Hachi after the Octo Expansion arc.
  • Denser and Wackier: Though the games can be pretty tongue-in-cheek even during its more serious moments, the manga tends to take it to another level.
  • Dub Name Change: Bobble Hat's original Japanese name is Knit Cap. This mirrors her signature item being referred to as the "Bobble Hat" in the games' English localization, as opposed to the Japanese "Pom-Pom Knit".
    • Specs' original Japanese is Glasses, once again mirroring his item's name being Retro Specs in the English localization, versus the Japanese "Black-edge Retro Glasses."
  • Early Installment Character Design Difference: There were a number of clothing and weapon changes between the promotional one-shot manga and final serial.
    • Goggles' Purple Hi-Horse shoes were swapped in for the Hero Runner Replica and his Zink Layered shirt for the Armor Jacket Replica. His weapon set is also changed from the Splattershot setup used in the game's original E3 2014 demo to the Tentatek Splattershot one seen in the final release.
    • Headphones' White Tee became a B-Ball Jersey (Away) and her Pink Trainers became Red Work Boots. Her weapon set went from a Charger-class combination that didn't exist in the game to that of the Classic Squiffer.
    • Spec's Vintage Check Shirt became a Shirt and Tie, while his White Kicks became Plum Casuals.
    • Bobble Hat's Cream Hi-Tops became Purple Sea Slugs, while her custom Roller-class set was replaced with the standard Slosher.
  • Gender Flip: The "Hero Mode" chapters use Goggles and Rider as the agents, while the Octo Expansion story arc has Agent 8 be male. Promotional materials for both Splatoon games and the in-game canon for the second have the protagonist roles filled by females.
  • Idiot Hero:
    • While everyone is goofy to a degree, Goggles is more-so than most and isn't the brightest inkling.
    • Bobble Hat's constant happiness and obliviousness often causes her to be this way.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Rider has the look, with his leather jacket and boots, and he also has an aloof personality.
  • Keet: The currently unnamed pink inkling in the Splatoon 2 adaptation is excitable and cheerful boy who is also rather naive.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the games aren't exactly the darkest out there, all the horror undertones present in them are pretty much absent here.
  • Limited Wardrobe: The characters are named after their gear, but they don't change outfits in general.
  • Mythology Gag: The main squads of the 1 and 2 era, Blue Team and Green Team, are based on the inklings used in promotional pieces like the official game site. Goggles himself is based off of the goggle-wearing blue inkling on the 1 cover, while Gloves is based on the roller wielding green inkling on the 2 cover.
  • Naked People Are Funny: This is a reoccurring Running Gag. For example, the promotional manga starts with Goggles getting slapped by Headphones for forgetting his clothes when he transformed into a human. The manga itself also starts similarly.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Team Blue wasn't named until the serial manga.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Almost everyone other than previously established game characters are named after their gear. Might count as His Name Really Is "Barkeep"/They Call Him "Sword" if those are their real names.
  • Passing the Torch: After Emperor's defeat in the Square King Cup, he quits the team and passes leadership to his younger brother, Prince.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • In the games, players cannot battle those that are outside of their rank range. Usually players will battle only those in their rank, though matchmaking may allow one to battle players one level above/below them unless they are Rank S+ or X. The manga completely disregards this to have Blue Team made up of a C-, a C, a C+, and a B-, and allowing them to battle inklings who are S and S+.
    • In the games, unless it's a Splatfest or one has "Color Lock" enabled, Inklings change colours for every match. In the manga, characters are organized by colour and always stay that colour.
    • The first Hero Mode arc features both Goggles and Rider acting as Agent 3, even though only one inkling could act in their place during the first game. By the time of the Octo Expansion arc, this is dealt with by having Goggles be an "agent" (in the Secret Agent sense) with the rest of Blue Team, while Rider gets Agent 3's in-game appearance. The second Hero Mode arc does the same as the first, though with Gloves accompanying Goggles as Agent 4.
  • Running Gag:
    • Goggles frequently either loses his clothes or forgets to put on his clothes when he transforms from a squid to a kid.
    • Goggles' pulling down other characters' pants.
    • It's pretty common for characters to say "I'm fine!" only for somebody else to clap back with "You're not fine at all!"
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Specs is the resident smart guy and Only Sane Man, though he does have his silly moments.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Goggles points out that the whole conflict between Inklings and Octolings could be easily solved if they simply shared their zapfish with them, with Marie stating that they do have a decent excess of them.
  • Tournament Arc: The bulk of storylines are these, following the characters as they progress through various Turf War and Ranked Battle matches.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Rider doesn't look any older than the others but has a very deep voice in the motion comic. It contrasts with the other boys' more kiddie voices.


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