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Nintendo is changing the Japanese name of the Mario Movie’s Spike to avoid offence
The character has had a different name in Japan since he first appeared in 1985
Nintendo has announced that it will be changing the Japanese name of Spike, the foreman who appears in The Super Mario Bros Movie.
Spike first appeared as an enemy in Wrecking Crew, which was released in arcades in 1984 then came to the Famicom and NES in 1985.
After decades of inactivity, Spike returns in The Super Mario Bros movie, as the rival to Mario and Luigi when they’re working in Brooklyn.
Ever since the release of the game in the mid ’80s, however, Spike’s character was instead called ‘Blackie’ in Japan.
Nintendo’s Japanese Twitter account has now stated that the name has been changed, and while it hasn’t specified a reason it’s likely to be because the name could be used as a racist slur.
“The name of the character Blackie, who appears in the Family Computer software Wrecking Crew, will be changed to Spike, which is the same as the name in Europe and the United States,” Nintendo stated.
“In addition, the name in The Super Mario Bros Movie, released on April 28, is also Spike.”
The Super Mario Bros Movie has still not yet been released in Nintendo’s native Japan, where it will arrive on April 28.
The movie currently has a worldwide gross of over $716 million according to Box Office Mojo, and looks all but certain to pass the $1 billion milestone at some point.
Among professional critics, it currently has a 58% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. It appears to be doing notably better with movie-goers, however, with over 10,000 verified reviews on the site delivering a current average score of 96%.
VGC’s own Super Mario Bros Movie review called it the best video game film yet.
“The Super Mario Bros Movie may not take any major risks, but it’s a faithful adaptation of the games and will appeal to children and fans of the series alike,” our critic wrote.