The Mario Tanooki Suit Controversy…

 – – It’s best not to look to the long-running Super Mario Bros. video game series for biological authenticity, or you may stomp on a turtle’s head and anticipate seeing a coin materialize out of its behind.  I confess to having played Mario Bros. in my day, and I also confess to liking the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and agreeing with many of their positions.  There are times, though, when PETA can become a bit, err, overdone.

The point of being over the top may have been reached in PETA’s opposition to the Tanooki suit as worn by the character of heroic plumber Mario in Super Mario 3D Land.  Now an actual tanuki is an animal native to Japan that looks like a raccoon but is more closely related to a dog, and by wearing a “Tanooki” suit, PETA feels that Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur.  While at points in the video game Mario dons a raccoon-ish looking “Tanooki” suit that enables him to float in the air and swat bad guys with his tail, he is never shown slaughtering an animal to get the suit; rather, Mario acquires the suit magically from hovering squares in the air. 

In protest irregardless, PETA has created its own game called “Super Tanooki Skin 2D” in which a skinless Tanooki chases a sinister-looking Mario who is in a fur suit dripping with blood and adorned with a raccoon-like head.

Nintendo’s response to PETA’s claims has been that Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games, with such things having included a frog, a penguin, a balloon, and even a metallic version of himself.  The whimsical transformations are intended  to give Mario different abilities and to make the games fun to play, with no statement intended beyond the games themselves…

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2 Comments on “The Mario Tanooki Suit Controversy…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    “Born on a mountain top called Fuji-yama.
    With his brother, he became a plumber.
    Used to have their own show on TV.
    Saturday mornings on NBC.”

    “Mariooooooo…and Luigi.
    King of the Koopa-busters.”

    (sung to the old “Davy Crockett” theme song.)


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