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Webcomic / Heroes of Inkopolis

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Heroes of Inkopolis is a Web Comic by TamarinFrog detailing the story of two Inklings named "Orange" and "Blue" as they go through Octo Valley in a story based on the single-player campaign of Splatoon.

TamarinFrog's art accounts searching-for-bananaflies and Cafe Cardamari expands on this universe, adding Blue and Orange's teams, relatives, and several other teams they know. The six-issue Cafe Cardamari Tales series follows four main teams (Vitamin INK, Splat Jam, Petal Splash, Toxink) and their canonical shenanigans. This series ended with "Final Match! Splat Jam vs Toxink!" in 2019.

Shortly before the final Cafe Cadamari Tales comic, TamarinFrog announced that the characters would be transplanted into an original fantasy universe. The project, Bottled Up, began release in 2019. Its tumblr is here, and the first issue can be found here.

Tropes associated with the original comic:

  • Art Evolution: The Inklings, especially Blue and Orange, appear to grow older over the course of the story. This is especially noticeable in a scene that was adapted from one of the artist's earlier standalone pieces; namely, "Squids vs. Octos" and "Squids vs. Octos the Comic". Explained by the artist herself:
    tamarinfrog: When I started this comic, there were no decided ages for these characters. I figured I'd draw them closer to the in-game style. But as time went on and these characters solidified more, I knew they were older than the in-game inklings so I started drawing them older here too.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Orange saves Blue from an Octoling with a dramatic entrance.
  • Combination Attack: "Charge-&-Roll", a technique demonstrated by Callie and Marie, where Callie is launched by Marie using a Charger while Callie is holding on the barrel in squid form, enabling her to get into Roller range quickly and/or get to otherwise unreachable locations - it's basically a Fastball Special but using a Charger instead of throwing. Blue and Orange practice the technique, initially having trouble with Blue being unable to change forms in midair, only for them to master it during the battle with DJ Octavio.
  • Composite Character: The comic's version of DJ Octavio is mainly based off of his more serious EU and JP personality, but slips into his US version's ham-fisted insults whenever he gets ticked.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Orange schools Blue hard during their first meeting in a Turf War. Later, Agents One and Two utterly dominate one of the Great Octoweapons.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Tetrox can be traced back all the way to the first comic, where she pins down Blue and is splatted by Orange.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Blue considers his real name, Whinter, to be this. It doesn't help that a lot of puns can be made out of it.
  • Force and Finesse: Playing off the common stereotypes of the Roller and Charger-type weapons in Splatoon, Blue tends to be far more rash and impulsive, attacking his enemies head-on with his Hero Roller. In contrast, Orange prefers to stay back and snipe using her Hero Charger. There's a time and a place for both styles. The pair eventually learn to work together to build on each other's strengths, even mastering the "Charge-&-Roll" technique which allows Orange to launch Blue into optimal roller range quickly from a distance.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot : Played straight with Blue and Orange. The former uses a roller, an in-universe melee weapon, while the later has a long-ranged charger as her main weapon.
  • Oh, Crap!: Blue has his moment when he's facing two Octolings that are far more experienced than him while his spawn point just ran out of power, heavily implying that he won't come back if he's splatted again.
  • The Reveal: On top of the reveals made in the original game, a comic-exclusive one is presented in the form of Orange and Blue's real names, Clementine and Whinter.
  • Shipper on Deck: Callie and Marie seem to be elated over Blue and Orange getting together. Especially Callie.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Blue and Orange initially have issues working together due to their different battling philosophies.
  • Tsundere: Orange gives off this vibe during her interactions with Blue. There's a lot of bantering between them, due to their divergent battling techniques...and skills.

Tropes associated with Tamarinfrog's Splatoon comics in general:

  • Adapted Out: The events of Splatoon 2 aren't happening here, at least not to the main cast. Tamarinfrog does draw Splatfest pictures for 2 though, and incorporates some of the fashion from that game into the world of the webcomic.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Sorrel with Cyanthia, Kirsikka towards Sorrel.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The last comic ends with all four teams walking off together, with the narration mentioning that they'll all go on to have many more misadventures in the future.
  • Art Evolution: Most characters looked about the same and more like the regular 14-year old Inklings from the promotional material, with minimal differences to balance it out. As the world grew and the characters'personalities became more fleshed out, with Tamarinfrog settling into her normal style for the series, everyone looks more proportional and variable.
  • Berserk Button: Arnick's is not being picked as an Agent in the Squidbeak Splatoon. Jonquil knowingly presses it during Petal Splash's comic.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: With the Splat Bomb incident and its aftermath, both Belladonna and Marian are presented as this:
    • For Marian's side: Belladonna failed to control her temper, punched Clementine and inadvertently hospitalized her, got herself banned from Turf War for a year, and naively expected things to continue as usual. This left Marian with little choice but to kick her off the team.
    • For Belladonna's side: Marian failed to confront Belladonna's temper issues, fostered a bitter rivalry with Clementine, and not only kicked her out after the incident, but completely cut all ties with Belladonna as well, despite being friends since childhood and lovers. Belladonna understandably felt betrayed and began plotting revenge on Marian as a result.
  • Canon Immigrant: Some of the characters in the universe (such as Angelo's girlfriend Orca) belong to other artists.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: All of the teams and characters have their own distinct look to them, and even characters with the same hairstyle will always have some other physical characteristic to set them apart. It gets even more variable when adding Splatoon 2's then-new hairstyles and Art Evolution starts settling in.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: All of the characters have a natural hair color, but when meeting up with team members or fighting Turf Wars, usually they'll match up with their team colors while having their natural color at the tips. For the main group, we have Vitamin Ink (orange), Splat Jam (blue), Petal Splash (green), and Toxink (purple).
  • Dating Catwoman:
    • Arnick Stilton, the straight-laced admirer of the Squidbeak Splatoon, and Tetrox Gorgonzola, the devious Octoling. The fact that they live together in the same apartment along with being on the same team doesn't help either.
    • Blue and Orange's relationship seems to be this to Marian, the captain of Splat Jam and Orange's self-proclaimed rival.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Happens with Angelo to Team Vitamin INK, as he finally tells them about his Inkling/Octoling mixed heritage with the help of Orca.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: At the very least, three of the four main teams' leaders used to go to school together as children.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: How Clementine got her back scar. She was hit from the blast of one of Belladona's Splat Bombs outside of Turf War premises, so what would normally be something she can shrug off is a permanent injury now.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Played with; while Tanrine has "adopted" a salmonoid smallfry (whom she's named Chip), said smallfry is less than enthused with his new lot in life.
  • Foreshadowing: When Valdelma splats Angelo with her Inkzooka, his teeth are sharp and numerous in a manner similar to Octolings, hinting at his heritage.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Arnick Samuel Stilton. Much to Tetrox's amusement.
  • Good Bad Girl: Daisy Valencay of Team Petal Splash, a good person who nonetheless is very lustful.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Sorrel never seems to be able to earn Cyanthia's affection.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Blue and Orange during Splatfests — they're always on opposing teams.
  • Interspecies Romance: Tetrox and Arnick for main characters, and Angelo's parents Pomelo and Tarina serve as this, being Octoling/Inkling relationships. Angelo and his girlfriend are also this, because he's mixed.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Clementine and Jonquil were particularly nasty to Belladona when they were all kids, mocking her for her accent and how "unfresh" she seemed.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: "Octoling Evaluation" ends with Belladona exclaiming that her team's "final match" is coming up soon. Cafe Cardamari Tales' final comic came out not long afterwards.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Tanrine and Angelo have this relationship. They're always looking out for each other, and she was the first immediate person to accept Angelo for his secrets.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • In regards to Orange's real name: A Clementine is almost identical in shape to an orange.
    • Blue's name, Whinter, plays on the color's cold imagery.
    • Angelo's name is meant to be a symbolic fusion of his parents' inspirational names (Tangerine+Pomelo), because of his mixed species status.
  • Moment Killer: Chip the Smallfry, everyone!
  • Multinational Team: All of the teams featured have inklings with heritage from all kinds of places.
  • Not a Morning Person: Much to the chagrin of Tetrox, the Inklings at Booyah Base. This is backed up by one of the game's Sunken Scrolls.
  • Official Couple: Clementine/Whinter, Cosmo/Taloupe, Angelo/Orca, Logan/Tanrine, and Arnick/Tetrox. Jonquil/Daisy will happen in the future, and we see their daughter Lissandra in a couple of bonus pictures.
  • Puppy Love: Between Logan and Tanrine. They both harbor secret crushes for one another, but are too shy to tell the other one about it. At least Logan knows after Angelo slips up and tells him.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Generally averted where some characters are concerned. Jonquil, for example, has a noticeable lisp due to his Brazilian accent.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Whinter eventually calls out Belladonna for refusing to let go of old grudges.
  • Retcon: A few in terms of design. Cosmo got a design overhaul after Splatoon 2 showed off different haircuts for the Inklings.
  • Sealed with a Kiss: The final issue ends with Blue and Orange sharing a kiss before they head off with the other groups.
  • Take That!: Potshots at Splatoon 2 are frequent, as the author disliked the changed gameplay mechanics, particularly the nerfed Rollers, and doesn't care for the story, hat aesthetics, or new characters much... at least until Octo Expansion was released, but by then the story had passed the point where a Splatoon 2 comic series would clash with the rest of the lore.
  • Theme Naming: All the team members have names that are themed depending on their team — for example, Team Splat Jam's names are based on berries and Vitamin Ink's are based on citrus fruits.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: "Rain Check" has Taloupe and Cosmo start their relationship under such circumstances.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "The 11th tentacle."
  • UST: Between Daisy and Jonquil. Jonquil does have a crush on Daisy, as we learn in a bonus comic, while Daisy is attracted to Jonquil.
  • The Worf Effect: To build up just how tough Team Toxink is, they get in a few of these:
    • Zigzagged in their match against Team Petal Splash. While they ultimately lost, they were fighting a 3v4 turf war note  and holding their own. Said loss also influences their decision to look for a new teammate.
      • And after they find their new recruit, they get a good showing of their skills by destroying team Vitamin Ink in their match.