Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-08-05 12:46 JST)
Nintendo recently sent their summer greeting email to Nintendo account holders in Japan. And as usual, the email includes an image of Mario. This time having some summer fun with his nipples on display for all to see.
Nintendo’s internationally beloved mascot Mario is a mammal, so it’s of course natural that he has nipples adorned to his chest. Mario may be an international superstar, but it shows he’s no different than you or me.
Mario’s nipples first began drawing attention towards the end of 2017. In Super Mario Odyssey, there is an available costume in the game called Boxer Shorts which swap Mario’s signature overalls for a comfy pair of undergarments. In this costume, Mario doesn’t wear clothing above the waist which led to his chest and lightly colored nipples being put under the spotlight by players around the world. Mario has nipples. And at that moment, we all knew it.
When Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was released in November of 2019, Mario’s nipples were there.
But the winds changed in 2020. In Nintendo’s summer greeting to players, a 3D rendering of Mario enjoying a vacation was unveiled. Despite Mario being nude from the waist up, there were no nipples depicted in the image. While it can’t be denied that they were possibly hidden under his chin, it felt like a stretch. Our humble website was left with no choice but to report that Mario’s nipples had disappeared (related article, in Japanese).
Moreover, Nintendo once again sent a summer greeting email to Nintendo account holders in 2021, showing an image of Mario enjoying a vacation. However, Mario’s back was turned to the frame in what looked like a clever attempt to not show Mario’s nipples to the public. In this instance, we had to report that Nintendo appeared to be deliberately hiding Mario’s nipples (related article).
This brings us to 2022, where Nintendo has once again sent out a summer greeting email. One might assume that Mario’s nipples wouldn’t be depicted, but that’s not the case this year. Mario’s nipples are on full display as he carries a surfboard and looks to be enjoying his vacation. The two black dots on his chest make it clear that the nipple embargo placed on Mario has been lifted.
Up to this point, illustrations have depicted Mario’s nipples as little black dots, and this latest image follows in those same footsteps. While not flashy, it’s consistent with previous illustrations and a proper return to form. As if to exemplify the long and storied histories of Nintendo and Mario, these nipples have a legacy and bring a sense of stability to the Mario universe.
At a glance, they may look like simple 2D nipples. But they have a tradition to protect. They can’t stand by meekly without making their presence known. We can see a shadow dropping from Mario’s chin in the image, and if they wanted to, they could have stretched it down just a bit more to hide Mario’s nipples. But there was no hiding them or obscuring the facts with shadows or vague depictions.
The image also has a sort of rough texture to it which Nintendo could have used to make deciphering if Mario’s nipples were visible are not more difficult. We can see that Nintendo didn’t resort to such tactics.
When it comes to Mario’s nipples, there are likely differing opinions. Some people may even think Mario shouldn’t have nipples. But Nintendo had the courage to show Mario’s chest for all that it is with modesty and detail. Mario is no different than you or me, and that’s been made clear to all of us once again. Let us not uncouthly concern ourselves with what Mario’s nipples may look like next year, and instead let us quietly enjoy Mario happily displaying his nipples in the now.
Fans with a Japanese Nintendo account can download the image themselves through August 31 by heading over to the My Nintendo store.