Splatoon the manga is based on, Splatoon the third-person shooter video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Wii U. Released worldwide in May 2015, Splatoon centers around characters known as Inklings, beings that can transform between humanoid and squid forms. They hide or swim through colored ink sprayed on surfaces using guns, buckets, or brush-based weaponry.
VIZ Media is currently publishing the Splatoon manga produced by creator, Sankichi Hinodeya, in English as a series of graphic novels. Hinodeya's manga focuses on Team Blue, which is comprised of the Inklings: Goggles, Bobble Hat, Head Phones, and Specs.
As Splatoon, Vol. 5 (Chapters 16 to 19) opens, the semifinal rounds of the Square King Cup begin. First up is “Team Emperor” vs. “Team Yellow-Green,” and “Sturgeon Shipyard” is the setting for this match. Team Emperor is the defending four-time champion, and team leader, “the Emperor” (the character featured on this volume's front cover), has never had any part of his uniform stained by an opponent's ink. But “Rider,” Team Yellow-Green leader, plans to change that and more.
“Team Blue” vs. “Team Gloves” head to “The Reef” to battle it out in the second semifinal. Will our heroic Team Blue win, or will this match of “two ridiculous teams” turn into a disaster?
[This volume includes a bonus story, “Blue Group” and “Inking Almanac.”]
THE LOWDOWN: My VIZ Media press representative sends me copies of the Splatoon manga. My niece, a fan of the Splatoon game, is the beneficiary, but I enjoy the manga, although not as much as she does.
Splatoon Graphic Novel Volume 5 might be the best volume of the series, thus far, simply because the combatants seem either crazy or madcap. The semifinals matches that Hinodeya depicts are all-out, wacky half-battles, half-races to the end. I still think that this manga would look better printed in color and on a coated paper stock, but it is still good in black and white.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of Splatoon may want to try the Splatoon graphic novels.