The Nintendo Mangaverse is WILD

Eric Halliday
Eric Halliday /
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Now here’s one that really surprised me. Splatoon is a remarkably popular Nintendo title, especially amongst kids, but it’s also really lacking in a story. In the game, squid/kid hybrids (appropriately known as Squidkids) enter arenas with ink guns and try to cover as much of the stadium as possible before time runs out. The winner is the team whose color covers the most area.

Even with the story mode and its bosses, you’d think there isn’t really space here for a story. But, my kids really got into the game and found out there was a manga so I got them the first 15 volumes, and let me say, “yikes.”

For this, I’m just going to reference the first issue so I don’t spoil much. But trust me, the primary difference is clear.

For the most part, the story is what you expect. The primary focus is on the character on the cover there named “Goggles”. If you’re ever curious as to why so many people in the Splatoon multiplayer have named themselves that, this is why. He’s a plucky young dude with an obsession with pickled plums and a big need to help his team to victory.

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While the battles make sense if you’ve played the gam, there are a lot of changes here. And I’m not even just talking about coordination, something I’ve never seen a team possess in Splatoon.

See, Goggles has two things that don’t really get addressed in the game. One, he loves pickled plums. It extends to not just food, but shenanigans as he will sometimes throw them at people.

But two — and this is a weird one — he seems to thrive off nudity. Goggles randomly strips his clothing off more often than a hyper toddler. Randomly, without warning, regardless of whether it makes sense or not.

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No one in the book is happy with it but he constantly does it. No one in the book wants to get naked either so it’s not like a weird Inkling trait. Goggles does not seem to understand this though because if there’s one thing he loves more than pickled plums, it’s pantsing people.

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The dude will straight up go up to any character in the story and just expose them to the world, most often in incredibly public moments. Normally I’m pretty annoyed when things from the books don’t make it into the game, but given the average age of Splatoon players, I’m actually pretty happy this hasn’t made it over.

Next up, we’re going to go into one of the most surprising changes of all, Kirby. Check the next page for the biggest difference in the whole Mangaverse.