Nintendo sent out a summer greeting card via email to those with a Japanese Nintendo Account on August 7. The artwork included in the email shows Mario fully clothed from head to toe, which has caught the attention of some users. It turns out that Mario does at times wear his full ensemble in summer.
In recent years, it has become custom for Nintendo to send out a summer greeting featuring an image of Mario to users with a Japanese Nintendo account. Images showing Mario free of his stuffy overalls and enjoying the summer sun on his skin with a sense of liberation have become a familiar sight. Not only are these images refreshing to look at, but they also come in a variety of different resolutions, letting you use them as a wallpaper for your phone or PC. It’s quite a nice little bonus.
But when was it that Nintendo started sending out pictures of a half-naked Mario under the guise of summer greeting cards? Based on what I (the original author of this article) could confirm, it seems that Nintendo began sending these emails sometime in the mid-2010s. One of the most distinctive images is from the 2016 mail. It features Mario relaxing under a beach umbrella with his chest—and nipples—on full display. Yoshi and Toad are also shown playing on the beach. In 2017, the summer greeting card was based on Splatoon 2, while the 2018 image has Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad all wearing Happi (a traditional Japanese style of coat worn during festivals). While you can see the characters’ legs in this image, it’s nothing suggestive. From this point on, however, it appears that Mario’s desire to show off his body begins to grow.
The 2019 summer greeting card has a 3D CG image of Mario chowing down on a big slice of watermelon. He’s wearing shorts, so you can see his legs and feet. It looks like he did indeed want to show off some skin. In 2020, Nintendo released a CG image of Mario relaxing on a beach chair, though this time he was without nipples. The image that was sent out in 2021 shows Mario surfing on a wave, but he has his back showing in what seems like an attempt to hide his nipples. Then almost as if he was hitting back at critics, the 2022 summer greeting card shows Mario’s nipples on full display. This image was a great delight to all those who like to spend their time staring intently at his nipples, including me.
The 2023 summer greeting has now arrived, but there’s nary a swimsuit in sight. Mario is donning his signature overalls and wearing a straw hat while riding along on a yellow Yoshi. Each year our site has had the pleasure of conducting a thorough investigation into whether Mario has nipples or not, but when he’s fully clothed like this, we can’t so much as hazard a guess. It feels like we’ve been cheated.
If there’s one saving grace, it’s that Mario is facing side-on. When viewed from the side we can see that he is wearing overalls, but we can’t know for sure whether he’s wearing something that covers his chest. There’s still a possibility—however slight—that Mario is wearing some lewd shirt that fully exposes his chest. Realistically, of course, there’s nothing to back up such a wild theory, a fact that crushes any remaining hope. Even the scenery of the image—a mountainous region—makes it clear that this summer, there is no room for an inquiry into the existence of Mario’s nipples (or lack thereof).
Looking back on it, the last time that Mario did not wear a swimsuit in the summer greeting card was 2019—four years ago. While this is a clear change, there have been times when Mario wasn’t shown wearing swimsuits in the past, and some summer greeting cards didn’t feature him at all. If anything, it seems like Nintendo’s fixation on having Mario show off skin was more of a recent trend. Rather than a sudden change in direction, they may have just gotten back to how things were to begin with—showing off different characters in diverse settings. Of course, there’s no way that Nintendo is even aware of the users and media that like to raise a fuss over Mario’s nipples. That’s actually quite a relief, to be honest.
Mario is one of the most popular IPs in the world, and the recent Mario film was a major hit. There’s even more Mario on the way later this year with the remake of Super Mario RPG set to be released in November. In the original, Mario was quite mischievous, and we got many opportunities to see a cute side of him that made you want to protect him. Hopefully the remake will allow us to experience this all over again with its new shiny graphics. Let’s give Mario our continued support this year—even if he’s fully clothed.
Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-08-07 14:47 JST)