Author Topic: Japanese Mario picture books  (Read 11721 times)

J.J. McCullough

  • Groin-grabbingly Awesome
« on: March 03, 2009, 05:36:47 PM »
J.J. here, former TMK mailbag contributor, longtime hanger-on.

So I moved to Japan a few months ago yadda yadda yadda you didn't ask for my life story.

Anyway, as a hardcore Mario fan I've obviously been keeping my eyes peeled for anything uniquely Mariotastic that this nation, whose loins birthed Mario in the first place, might be offering.

There is a lot of Mario stuff for sale, but much of it is mainstream and not terribly impressive. Little "capsule" style vending machines are very popular at toy stores here, and lots of them sell Mario key chains of various sorts, as well as Mario-themed DS screen cleaners, or Mario magnets, or other little cheap trinkets of that sort. You also often come across things like Mario pencil bags, Mario pencils, or Mario notebooks for school. Fancier toys are a bit rarer, but one does occasionally see a decent stuffed Yoshi, or Wario, or maybe a small Luigi action figure, or a weird board game. But compared to some of the other video game / cartoon franchises out there, Mario is comparatively unpopular when it comes the sort of intense, thousands-of-toys-of-every-character merchandising that Japan is known for.

Personally, I've been most vigorous in collecting Japanese player's guides. The official ones, produced by Nintendo. Here's my collection thus far:

Japanese player's guides are a tad different than ones in the states. Mainly they're a smaller and thicker. While ours back home tend to be magazine-sized, Japanese ones are about the size of a pocketbook. In terms of content, they're more or less the same. Maps and stuff. The newer ones tend to have rather sterile layouts, but the older ones sometimes have a bit more life, like this Super Mario World one, which contains a few silly little comics.

Yesterday at the used book store I finally stumbled upon something much cooler, however: Mario children's books! They're these thick, cardboard books produced for what I assume are very young kids. Each one has about 10 pages, telling a simple story interspliced with lots of games and mazes and things. There are apparently several different series' of these things, each based on a different game. What I like most about them is the art. While American-made Mario storybooks tend to have weird, Americanized illustrations, the drawings in these books are very authentic-looking, in the style of the art you'd see in instruction manuals and stuff like that. As someone who's always taken a great deal of inspiration from Mario art, these things are quite a find indeed.

For more images, check out my Flickr gallery here:
« Last Edit: March 03, 2009, 10:02:12 PM by Deezer »
"Gravity is not only a law, it's a good idea."

« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 05:50:41 PM »
Hey, its JJ. The only person with a green name. Anyways, to business. Almost all of those are old games, the only one that is new being the Shake It! guide. Where did you find these?


  • Paid by the word
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 06:12:41 PM »
Those last books are rather interesting. The picture of Princess Mario in a manual page on your Flickr is rather disturbing.


  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2009, 08:32:23 PM »
Is that an APE logo on the SMW guide? Is that why it looks like a Mother box? I want it.

"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

The Chef

  • Simon Cowell
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2009, 09:12:58 PM »
That little Mario comic in the player's guide looks like the Super Mario-Kun funnybooks cataloged on the main site. Same manga-ka behind it?

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2009, 09:26:35 PM »
I'm digging the Miyamoto drawing on the SMW guide.
That was a joke.

J.J. McCullough

  • Groin-grabbingly Awesome
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2009, 07:40:00 AM »
Up to a certain point, it seems to have been a tradition for Mario-related player's guides to feature a Miyamoto drawing. The most recent one I've seen with one is the SMW2 guide, which I own, but forgot to photograph.

Almost all have were purchased at various used book stores.
"Gravity is not only a law, it's a good idea."


  • Ridiculously relevant
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2009, 08:04:10 AM »
Coolness. Also, I think I missed something here... J.J. is an actual member and holds a position of power?
"Mario is your oyster." ~The Chef

« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2009, 06:00:19 PM »
Apparently so. He also comes with a cool name color!
Is that an APE logo on the SMW guide?
It appears so. JJ, since you appear to know how to read Japanese, what does the katakana in gold on the SMW guide mean?

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2009, 07:27:23 PM »
That's kanji. Also, you people need to read old mailbags.
That was a joke.


  • Ridiculously relevant
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2009, 07:34:41 PM »
I know he was a mailbag guy, and maybe it's just my computer but his name looks the same as everyone else's

I found this posted on GoNintendo and, sure enough, it's yours:

"Mario is your oyster." ~The Chef

« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2009, 07:38:02 PM »
Mario has never been a mole..

O_O They predicted the blue shell power up in New SMB by about 12 years!

Why is there a magnifying glass on that Dino Rhino? Is Mario microscopic on that Rhino or what?

So many questions..
Kinopio is the ultimate video game character! Who else can drive a kart, host parties, play tennis, give good advice and items, and is almost always happy??

The Chef

  • Simon Cowell
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2009, 07:42:10 PM »
They also seem to have predicted the part in M&L where Luigi wears a Peach disguise.

« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2009, 07:50:17 PM »
...and the part where Mario got eaten by a monty mole.
Gently push a piece of the tube containing the intersection along the fourth dimension, out of the original three dimensional space.
- WIkipedia page on the Klein bottle

N64 Chick

  • one ticked chick
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2009, 11:42:44 PM »
These look like they would be fun to read. Of course I don't know Japanese so it just looks like moonspeak to me. But still, neat pictures!
Fangirling over Luigi since 1999.