The Square King Ranked Battle Cup continues into the semifinals in the tenth volume of Sankichi Hinodeya’s Splatoon manga, where the participating teams will have to take on each other in Rainmaker matches.
This volume contains chapters thirty-six through to thirty-nine.
Team Blue’s next opponents in a game of Splat Zones are the Iromaki Rangers. Meanwhile, Team Gloves goes up against the superstrong X-Blood team! And waiting in the wings… the S4 is back! Plus, Marina herself draws a bonus manga for you!
This volume starts with the typical “goofy” matches you’d expect of Team Blue, although it seems that their opponents might just be able to match that level of silliness – though not entirely on purpose, it seems. The battle against the Iromaki Rangers isn’t exactly the main event of this volume, though – that would have to be the two semifinal matches.
The teams have been whittled down to just four, and sure enough one of them is still taking the games far too seriously. I feel like Sankichi Hinodeya might be trying to say something about competitive players with the X-Blood team, particularly when you consider some of the Inklings in the cup were the same way until Team Blue opened their eyes.
Perhaps something similar will happen with X-Blood, or perhaps their team leader, Vintage, just doesn’t do things like have fun at all. Whether he’s having fun or not, he certainly proves to be skilled.
The other semifinal match sees the return of the S4, and both them and their opponents changing up strategies. It’s nice to see a bit of variety every now and then, I suppose. X Rank may have superseded S Rank at this point, but Skull’s team shows us that they are still as capable as ever.
Those matches get pretty intense, which is quite something for what could be considered a comedy manga most of the time. Personally I don’t really play ranked in Splatoon, but I can imagine battles looking similar to what the manga shows us – minus the odd silly flourish here and there, of course.
Besides the continuation of the main story, we also have something rather intriguing: a manga written and illustrated by Marina. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover Marina’s appreciation for Pearl is made evident here – only adding further to what we already know about Marina and Pearl. It’s only a short thing, but it also might be one of the best things to come from this Splatoon manga.
A fun volume, although I suppose the X-Blood team would have no concept of that… but I do agree that playing games should be fun. Getting extremely serious about them just sounds exhausting to me. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Square King Ranked Battle Cup will conclude.