The Super Mario series is a partial American release of the oldest video game series in Japan, the Mushroom Kingdom Saga. Mario himself is considered a side character in Japan, where Princess Toadstool is the main character. Assumptions about American gender roles and racial superiority complexes led developers to assume a game series about a young Japanese woman would not be as popular in the United States as one about an Italian man, who was in the original saga merely the castle’s plumber.
In Japan, Mario and Luigi got their first game only after 19 previous entries into the series, all featuring the Princess. The saga in general takes the form of a post-apocalyptic RPG in which a fungal “Toxic Jungle” has taken over the world in the wake of a third world war. The princess, who generally flies around on a jet glider is tasked with preserving peace in her valley after the airship of a rival kingdom crashes nearby, revealing a biological weapon of mass destruction that survived the war. That kingdom had intended to eradicate the Toxic Jungle with the weapon, not realizing that the jungle was Earth’s mechanism for filtering out the toxins of the war. The Princess’s fight with, and death by these intruders founded the premise of the first six games. She was reincarnated for the seventh.
Another major difference in the American versions is the introduction of King Koopa to replace the less-than-subtle villain from the original series, President Truman. Named for the American president who dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the arch nemesis of the Princess was originally the resurrected corpse of the man responsible for the apocalypse, which in Japanese culture was all too real and not too far into the past. The popularity of the series was very much rooted in the allegory for post-war Japan under the allied occupation and subsequent socio-political reorganization of the region. The princess’s original enemies included veiled iconography of the war, including turtles (Tanks), Lakitu (Bombers), and Goombas, there named “Kuribo” (Literally chestnut people, a reference to the imposition of Christmas by occupation forces to eradicate the Shinto religion).
The second “Mario” game released in the United States abandoned the saga completely, keeping only four of its characters in graphic form only, and dismissing the Mushroom Kingdom itself in favor of a dream world based on assets from another game, Doki Doki Panic, which was originally an Arabian Nights themed series, hence the flying carpets, deserts and other middle eastern tropes. The third Mario game in the U.S. was a remake of the 43rd Japanese game, which also substituted diverse themes to conceal the vehemently and righteously anti-American sentiments of the true saga. As times changed and the Super Nintendo was released, Nintendo saw fit to allow a few more elements to slip through. The American obsession with sports was retained in the form of Football and Baseball themed villains in Super Mario World, and the presence of Yoshi himself as a starring character took center stage in Super Mario World 2.
Yoshi is best known in America as Mario’s trusty dinosaur steed. Few realize that Yoshi is the name and likeness of the Imperial Japanese Dragon, Yossy:
(Japanese Battle Flag, 1943)
Yossy was once the emblem of the nation-at-war and remained after 1945 an icon of dissent from American culture and interference. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island essentially reduced the white European to a baby on the back of the nationalist dragon, and proclaimed Japan “Yossy’s Island,” a vital and bold demonstration of native Japanese power over their own land despite the infantile encroachment of all things western. Recall that Bowser or KIng Koopa was originally a caricature of President Truman, here also reduced to an infant, or at the end a giant baby throwing a tantrum.
As of 2016, the Mario series has degenerated, or ascended depending on your political views, into a pure rally against the west. From the quadruple Bowser climb up a financial tower in Super Mario 3D World to the gold grubbing debacle of New Super Mario Bros 2 for 3Ds, capitalist society is under attack out in the open. The Upcoming 3DS adventure, “Super Mario 3D Land 2” looks to be an even more bold attack as it reintroduces the Arabian themes of Mario 2 to pit the western brothers against the middle east in an overt parable for American interference during the Iraq war and the fight with modern terrorist groups.
The original Japanese Mushroom Saga is now 278 games long, in contrast to the American 73. Most of these games will never be played in America. The depth of the metaphor is more complex than most audiences here will ever know and the effects of the series on Japanese culture remain to be seen- Is this the dawn of a new imperialism? Is this the self-aware criticism of a culture torn between two ideals? Will this artistic gaming movement become political? We at FIJMU cannot claim to know.
So Raw It’s Downright Filthy: A Raw Vegan Cookbook
Well Fed - Not An Animal Dead! A Source-book for Vegan Cooking, Gardening, and Living
Couple Liberator Stickers
Couple Compassion Co Stickers
Bold Native “Progress” Sticker
“Eat like you give a damn” Sticker
Bodylogix Shaker Bottle
Bee Free Honee
Louisville Vegan Jerky
Random other stuff I throw in just because…
The rules are pretty easy:
You follow “What Vegans Look Like”.
You reblog or like this post (or both).
You can reblog as often as you want. I WILL SHIP THIS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. I’ll draw the winner on November 19th so that gives you a month to enter. I’m sure in that time I’ll throw some more stuff in the package, because why not?
I believe in the A.L.F. I believe in freedom. I believe a cage is a cage and no one should be put in one. I would love to be let out of mine. But I’m not willing to sacrifice another living being to one in order to achieve that. So you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t recognize someone else’s right to do it just for a motherfucking hamburger
…you missed the whole fucking point. You’re distracted by the fire - who cares? You can’t commit violence against property. Isn’t that what your whole system is based on? Animals are property, so killing them isn’t violence. It’s processing, or it’s rendering, or confinement; anything to keep from calling it what it really is. Beef - not cow. Pork - not pig. Get it? Poultry - not chicken. Your whole system is a LIE.
Charlie Cranehill on animal liberation in Bold Native
I recently started watching Randy’s movie, Bold Native and it is a great movie to watch (please beware this is pretty graphic because it shows and talks about animal abuse). Randy’s character, Richard Cranehill, is really concerned about what his son, Charlie, is getting into and travels around to find him without the FBI knowing about it.
I absolutely love the scenes between Randy and the character iRock who is a crazy, funny one.
There’s one particularly line that Randy says which makes me laugh. Richard and IRock are looking for a woman named Nicole who knows Charlie. Here’s the lines between the characters:
“What would you do?”
“I’d tell her I got her number from a friend. I’m passing through town with a friend and I need a place to crash.”
“Yeah, say crash.”
“She’s gonna take one look at me and know I don’t crash!”
For some reason that scene makes me laugh everytime I watch it. Something about the chemistry between the characters is awesome.
There’s one particular scene (that I know a lot of you girls out there would love to watch) and I won’t spoil it for any of you who haven’t seen the movie yet but Randy is close to be completely naked in the scene. (But has a towel wrapped around his waist; there’s also a swimming scene near the beginning of the movie).
Even though this movie’s pretty graphic, it tells the truth about a lot of things and teaches a lesson.
Randy’s character is determined to protect his son from the FBI and do all that he can to keep him free. Richard Cranehill has definitely become one of my new favorite roles of Randy’s.
It was interesting but definitely lawed in places; it seemed that characters would abandon the narrative to talk about animal rights/the meat & dairy industry in a way that almost broke the fourth wall. Maybe this was a weakness in the script/acting/directing, or perhaps it was an intentional technique to reinforce the idea that although this events of the film were fictional, the horrendous treatment of animals was entirely true. I don’t know.
I generally prefer documentaries about movements to dramatisations of them, but this is probably more immediately accessible, and if someone watches this and decides to educate themselves about veganism or the entirely ludicrous Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, then that rules.
This was going to be a proper review, but whatever. Fuck you, go vegan.