Mario may be distinguished by many names, but Mario remains one of the most famous and instantly recognizable video game characters ever created. However, unlike Pac-Man, Kratos, or Solid Snake, Mario has a significant character: he is Italian.
Before history took a horrendous turn, Minoru Arakawa, the president of Nintendo, was apparently berated by Mario Segale, who was then owner of the warehouse which Nintendo was renting. Thats precisely where the inspiration to make Mario Italian came from. But, a quick look of the sprite even before the incident highlights how much inspiration from the "Western stereotype" of the time was already there. In Japan, Isao Takahatas 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother, which opens
It was when Super Mario Bros arrived in the United States that this conviction erupted. It is not an accident that the Super Mario Bros manual dubbed the very first enemies goombas, basically a minor modification of racial insult goombah. It comes from cumpa, a term used in Italian-American culture between friends and Mafia associates.
Mario okey dokey letsa make a pizza pie together during the audition, according to Californian actor Charles Martinet. The first official role of Martinet voicing the plumber was in the little known Interplay-developed minigame collection 1993 Mario''s Game Gallery, where he relies heavily on the accent. Imma go first! Mario announces before a match at checkers (which he calls as check-oo-rs).
In this moment in which firms seem to be extremely careful about representation, it''s easy to note how he has never been voiced or acted by an Italian. And no, Italian descent doesn''t count on you, Jersey. To be honest, im not sure why Nintendo seems so reluctant to finally speak to our dearest plumber his true Italian roots, rather than preferring him to be voiced by someone who, while looking the part, did not attempt an accent.
The friendship between Italy and Mario is quite fascinating, especially the first article that directly referred him to Super Mario, which in 1993 appeared in La Repubblica. It was a clumsy and dubious argument on how the plumber goes around killing everyone, and teaching children that violence is always the answer, and that there is always a bigger bully to kill out there. Fast forward a few years, Mario was chosen as the sponsor of a football team, Florences Fiorentina. A relationship that no
The truth is that Mario''s nationality isn''t much more than a joke. That''s why Nintendo isn''t attempting to embrace the true national identity of its most famous character. Then again, some people seemed to silence the issue with Mario, although he is not Italian.
Mario was established as a sort of anti-hero, which does seem to conform to our national identity. Perhaps his versatility to select pasta shapes is a bit too much, but we might consider it to his personal Italian dish admiration. Obviously, he is a little disgruntled individual, making a certain point. If they were looking for his old car, then it''s time to reign it in.
Nintendo has taken steps to avoid more problematic aspects of Italian culture and identity. However, let him do more than dream about fettuccini (which is actually spelled fettuccine, cmon). Let him have a nightmare about pasta Alfredo, which is not a typical Italian dish, or terrible non-espresso coffee. Even better, let him avoid Bowser by placing pineapple on pizza.
Personally, I would love to see Nintendo adopting a skillful form of fully accepting Mario''s authentic Italian side. Allow him to wear a tomato sauce stained white vest, regularly practice tax evasion, and be constantly mad at politicians. That''s the Mario we Italians - as a nation - deserve.