All right. That’s absolutely fine. I’ll probably form a more completepicture in my head of what these must be like as I continue to listen.
I’ve caught up to Episode 18, and I have a coupleof things to say regarding codenames: The pattern I’ve seen is that Stern’s codenames tend to be very indirect. Either the word is passingly mentioned somewhere, or it’s very tongue-in-cheek. Hence, I don’t think Codename: Toys will actually be about a toyline or a franchise based on a toyline. If anything, it’d likely be closer to something like Aerosmith, a reference to their “Toys in the Attic” album or song.
I do have more detailed guesses on what Codename: Shark could be though. They’re all wild guesses, and I don’t think any of them have that strong a chance, but here’s what I came up with.
There is occasional mention of a “raw shark” with in the “Tales of the Black Freighter” story-within-a-story. Some readers theorize that these mentions are analogous to the character Rorschach due to their similar pronunciations and obstacle-based nature of both the shark within “Tales” and of Rorschach. “Tales of the Black Freighter” was omitted entirely from the Zack Snyder movie; if it is Watchmen, it is possible the codename was chosen to reinforce that it’s based on the comics, not the movie. The Watchmen comics was first published in 1986, making this year its 30th anniversary.
Something on The Discovery Channel, possibly MythBusters
The Discovery Channel has an annual Shark Week; it is possible Stern will release something based on a show on the Discovery Channel to coincide with Shark Week. MythBusteris the obvious choice, as the series is ending in 2016. However, there may still be some friction between Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman and pinball overall due to the collapse of Skit-B. Other possibilities are the survivor-type shows, Survivormanand Man vs. Wild, both of which involve dealing with and keeing away hostile wildlife, like sharks. The Discovery Channel has also set up the Sharkopedia for this year’s Shark Week.
There is a character in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXaL named Shark. Well, that’s his nickname anyway. He is a supporting character in that series and one of the primary duelists. Naturally, he uses a deck full of shark-related monsters. Going earlier, in the original series, one of Yugi’s earlier opponents was a fisherman named Mako, who is not only named after a shark, but has a few shark-based monsters too.
As of the time I’m writing this, Pokémon OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire are the most recent major releases of the series. It’s a remake of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire versions. How it relates to the codename is that Sharpedo, a Pokémon themed simultaneously on a great white shark, a mola-mola, and, of course, a torpedo, is the signature Pokémon used by agents of Team Aqua, who are the villanous team in AlphaSapphire and an allied team in OmegaRuby. Due to their importance to the organization, the remakes gave Sharpedo a Mega Evolution. (Team Magma’s signature Pokémon, Camerupt, was given one too.)
A major adversary in Naruto is Kisame Hoshigaki, an S-class fugitive from the Village Hidden in the Mist. Not only does he have a shark-like appearance, it’s in his name (“same” is the Japanese word for “shark”), and his sword, Sharkskin, can drain chakra (life force) out of anyone it touches except the user. Naruto had just ended in 2015, and there are presently a series of theatrical releases in Japan (with limited releases in the United States) serving as an epilogue.
This is the biggest longshot of all due to the immense popularity in Japan but relative obscurity in North America, and as a result, the licensing fees I’d bet would be astronomical and not worth it to most American companies. However, the odds are not zero, so I’m putting this out there. One Piece is a pirate-themed anime and manga (comic book) that sells ridiculously well (it recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records under best-selling comic book series written by one author at 320 million copies sold), so this is something that could potentially be very lucrative, especially if Stern wants to sell to Japan. One of the races in this series is fishmen, humanoids with human-level intelligence and have features of sea creatures. Naturally, there are a few shark-related ones. Jinbe is based on a whale shark and is an ambassador of Fishman Island to the World Government. Hody Jones, the leader of a terrorist cell, is based on a great white shark. Jones has two shark fishmen working under him: Dosun (hammerhead shark) and Daruma (cookie cutter shark). In an alliance with Jones is Vander Decken IX, based on a Japanese bullhead shark. Shirley, a fortune teller who predicted the destruction of Fishman Island, is based on a shortfin mako shark. And then there’s Megalo, a non-fishman shark who’s Princess Shirahoshi’s pet.