Ink Theory

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Ink Theory

Artwork from Splatoon 2. From left to right: Maya, Oonie, Yoko, Karen, Zuzu, and Kitamura.
Species Yoko & Zuzu: Inkling
Karen: Nautilus
Oonie & Kitamura: Sea urchin
Maya: Sea anemone
Hair color
Eye color
Relations Yoko: Unnamed younger sister
Oonie: Unnamed parents
Maximum HP
Members (Non-virtual)
Trumpet: Atsuki Yumoto (湯本篤希)
Piano: Ai Kuwabara (桑原 あい)
Drums: MIZUKI (植田瑞季)
Other forms
This classically trained, all-female 6-piece band creates jazz and samba-inspired battle music. They owe their unique sound to a blend of academic music theory and modern sensibilities. Ink Theory's eclectic approach makes them quite popular with young Inklings and middle-aged Inklings alike.

Ink Theory is an all-female six-piece jazz band. The band has a history of classical training, with the members learning music since their childhood long before making their debut. Their songs were added in Version 2.0.0 of Splatoon 2.


Fictional Band Song Name Audio
Ink Theory
Broken Coral
Riptide Rupture



Main article: Yoko

Yoko is the band's trumpet player and frontwoman, though she sometimes feels overshadowed by the other members' personalities. She is an Inkling with a mutation that allows her tentacles to have multiple colors, but it rarely proves useful. She is described as often getting nervous before large productions. She also has a weakness to atmospheric pressure; on rainy days she is said to have a dead face and while she struggles in sunny weather as well, she is a hard worker and always gives a solid performance. She has a sister in high school.[1]

In Splatoon 3, Yoko is a member of a new band called Yoko & the Gold Bazookas.


Karen, the band's pianist, is a nautilus who graduated at the top of her class from a famous musical university. She has participated in overseas competitions and has won many awards, as well as offering emotional support to the band. She provides the band with a crisp atmosphere, and looks self-assured, though she worries that she is not loved by fans. She formed Ink Theory after being amazed by Hightide Era's music,[1] specifically by Taka, who was a senior at the same school.[2]


Zuzu, the kazoo player, is an Inkling who graduated from a famous music academy. She is closer to the public than the other members of the band, and is renowned for her beauty, often being considered the "flower" of the band. As a result of this, she gets a lot of attention, often being pulled in front of cameras. Fans address her with the Japanese honorific "-sama", which is used to address those one considers to be on a higher rank than oneself. She is a large spender but has never struggled much financially.[1]


Main article: Oonie

Oonie, the band's bassist, is a sea urchin, specifically Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus. She grew up in a strict household with parents who are famous musicians. For a short while, she favored bands with a different musical style from her parents, but lately, she has been observing classical music in a new light. She is romantically inexperienced, often falling for self-degrading people.[1]

In Splatoon 3, Oonie is a member of a new band called Yoko & the Gold Bazookas.


Maya is the band's percussionist. She is a sea anemone who joined Ink Theory after graduating from a music academy. While her professor recommended she become a music instructor herself, she decided she would rather get experience creating her own music first. She mainly plays with Ink Theory but occasionally freelances percussion for other bands.[1]


Main article: Kitamura

Kitamura is the band's drummer and a sea urchin, specifically Mesocentrotus nudus. She acts as the band's mascot. She has a high singing voice and regularly follows new fads. She lives alone but pays close attention to her curfew.[1]

In Splatoon 3, Kitamura is a member of a new band called Yoko & the Gold Bazookas.




  • According to a Splatoon 2 anniversary Famitsu interview with the developers, in-universe, Ink Theory was inspired by Hightide Era.[3] This connection can be seen in the outfits worn by both bands: Hightide Era wears mainly black with red neckties, and Ink Theory wears mainly black with gold ties.
  • Strangely, in the Valentine's Day artwork, Yoko's hat appears to have actual Japanese kanji, rather than wording in the Inkling language. Specifically, it reads "可憐," which translates to "pretty", while coincidentally also being pronounced "Karen".
  • In-universe, they have a rivalry with the Bottom Feeders, since both bands debuted simultaneously and utilize classical instruments, but have conflicting styles.
    • Their rivalry fueled a performance of the ages when Ink Theory participated in a battle of the bands where they faced off against Bottom Feeders at a popular venue situated in Inkadia called ZAPP square.[4] The venue's name is a parody of the Zepp brand of music venues in Japan.
  • Ink Theory's name on the album art has what looks like a bass clef in the left, connected 8th notes in the middle, and a piano dynamic in the end.
  • An Ink Theory album can be seen in the background of Naut Couture, alongside a Hightide Era album.


  • Ink Theory's name seems to come from jazz theory or music theory.
  • Zuzu's name comes from the instrument she plays, the kazoo.
  • Oonie's name is a phonetic rendering of the Japanese word for urchin, "ウニ".
  • Karen's name is from "可憐", meaning "pretty". The name is also from the Danish-originated name "Karen". The word "可憐" is also used in the Japanese name for Broken Coral, as well as part of Ink Theory's Japanese name, カレントリップ.
  • Kitamura's name comes from "キタムラサキウニ" kitamurasakiuni, the Japanese name for Mesocentrotus nudus, a species of sea urchin.

Names in other languages

Ink Theory
Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese カレントリップ Current Rip
China Chinese 流裂
liú liè
Current Rip
South Korea Korean 커런트립
Current Rip

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ヨーコ Yōko

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese カレン Karen. Possibly a play on the band's Japanese name, karento rippu

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese ビビ Bibi

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese あーちん
A rendering of the English word "urchin", Oonie's taxonomic class.

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese マヤヤ Mayaya

Language Name Meaning
Japan Japanese きたむら Kitamura. From kitamurasakiuni (Mesocentrotus nudus)