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Kirby is Just So Angry in America, and Nintendo Explains Why

by Ron Duwell | April 29, 2014April 29, 2014 7:30 pm PDT

Angry Kirby (3)

Years ago, before the dawning of the Internet, video game companies could get away with covering up a video game’s Japanese roots with ridiculous and trashy 80s fantasy inspired art sprawled across the box’s cover art.

However, even more so than the rage inducing Mega Man box art, one of the most ridiculous and hilarious video gaming controversies the Internet has blown wide open is exposing the difference in how Nintendo markets its adorable mascot, Kirby, in America and Japan. The Big N uses the exact same art to grace his covers but with one small but noticeable difference. Kirby is just so much angrier in America!

Kirby: Triple Deluxe director Shinya Kumazaki has explained to Gamespot that the design of angry eyebrows is just much more appealing to the American audience.

“For the Japanese versions we are, at [Kirby series developer] HAL, involved in everything throughout development, including the package design. The most powerful image of Kirby is that cute image, we think that’s the one that appeals to the widest audience,” he says about his homeland.

It is not HAL that makes the final call on the American box art, but rather, it is Nintendo of America’s “feedback and insight” from listening to the America’s frustrated youth that makes Kirby just so darn pissed off.

“What we have heard is that strong, tough Kirby that’s really battling hard is a more appealing sign of Kirby, so that’s what we feature in the US.”

It’s a hilarious controversy, because the angrier Kirby becomes, the angrier his fanbase becomes. Why can’t we all just be happy and friendly like Japan, you wonder? Well, Kirby: Triple Deluxe is one of the first games in which the two box arts completely align. However, that is because they use angry Kirby in Japan, not the lovable and adorable Kirby, meaning that the virus of angsty American youth is spreading overseas. Oh man…

Kirby: Triple Deluxe isn’t nearly as angry as its box art implies. It’s actually a very lighthearted and fun game available today for the Nintendo 3DS. I had a pretty good time with it, and I never once felt compelled to put a chair through my window.

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Ron Duwell

Ron has been living it up in Japan for the last decade, and he has no intention of leaving this technical wonderland any time soon. When he's not...


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