The manga, Splatoon, 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. The Inklings engage in “turf wars,” in which the team that covers surface areas with the most paint wins the competition.
As Splatoon, Vol. 8 (Chapters 28 to 31) opens, Team Blue and the Octolings learn that the voice they named “Phone” is an “A.I. construct” that calls itself “Tartar.” It was built long ago by the now extinct human race. Now, Tartar wants to use its “Nils cannon” to cover the world in sludge in a bid to destroy the evolved sea life that currently dominates the planet. Can Team Blue and their new friends, the Octolings, stop Tartar?
Next, the Inklings are off to “Wahoo World” for a turf war that involves wearing costumes, but can our heroes win when their costumes get in the way? Finally, it is time for “Splatfest,” in which the players divide into two teams. It's team “Funny Man” versus team “Straight Man.”
[This volume includes a bonus story, “Splattershot Jr.” and “Inking Almanac.”]
THE LOWDOWN: I continue to read the Splatoon manga because my VIZ Media rep sends copies of this graphic novel series to me. I read them, although this series is not something I would usually read, nor is it aimed at my reading demographic group.
Splatoon Graphic Novel Volume 8 is one of the wackier entries in this series, although it is not one of the best. The opening chapter is a reminder that the narrative takes place sometime in a future in which humans have been replaced by beings evolved from various forms of sea life.
Tetsuichiro Miyaki's translation and Jason A. Hurley's English adaptation captures creator Sankichi Hinodeya's zany, high-speed storytelling. John Hunt's lettering also gives the series a unique “voice” and “soundtrack,” so to speak. Splatoon continues to be a good graphic novel for elementary school children who can read comic books and graphic novels.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Young readers and fans of Splatoon may want to try the Splatoon graphic novels.