Videogames and Manga: Splatoon and Splatoon 2

In class today, we talked a little bit about graphic novels and how their stories can be represented and shared through multiple sources of media: TV shows, movies, literature, and even videogames. Many video games have been created from comics and graphic novels, a  notable example being any marvel comic turned into action packed games such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Marvel Strike Force, and even lego marvel super heroes. Although it isn’t common, there have even been videogames that have been adapted into comics or manga! An example of this exceptional media convergence is Splatoon and Splatoon 2.

video from Nintendo youtube

For those who don’t know, Splatoon is a third-person shooter game that centers around Inklings (and octolings in Splatoon 2) that can transform between humanoid and squid forms. The game has many modes, but the main point of the main mode “Turf War” is to “splat” your enemies by attacking them with ink-filled weapons, while also covering a majority of the map in your ink color. The team with the highest ink percentage wins. The game also includes a story mode involving your character, an agent recruited by a team of characters that will fight against DJ Octavio in order to safe Inkopolis. 

image from

This game became so popular that in 2016, two manga series (authored by Sankichi Hinodeya) based on the game were created and launched in Enterbrain’s Weekly Famitsu magazine. These books follow characters Goggles, Specs, Headphones, and Bobble hat as they compete in Turf wars, work together in salmon run sessions, and even win the Square King Cup. 

I personally think it’s really cool to see comics and videogames jump from media platform to media platform as it gains momentum in terms of popularity. Do you think that doing so affects the continuity or content of both the games and graphic novels? Our conversation in class today delved into problems that can surface if there becomes too many formats in which content expresses itself. For example, the storyline in the manga is a separate, more condensed version of what happens in the game. Because there are differences in the two medias, what becomes cannonical? I personally think that the video game holds more power over the manga, especially since it was created beforehand, but at the same time fans might appreciate the manga because it delves deeper into relationships and battle discourse.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

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