If you traveled to Tokyo, and especially to Akihabara over the past few years, you may have seen interesting scenes that may have brought back Mario Kart memories.
It’s probably hard to miss groups of people riding go-karts on the public street, dressed in costumes reproducing popular Nintendo characters.
Below you can see a picture I snapped during a recent trip to the Japanese capital.
Yes. That’s exactly what you think it is, and the name “MariCar” makes it all the more evident. On Japanese, it sounds exactly like “Marika,” which is the abbreviated nickname Nintendo fans give to Mario Kart series.
A while ago, Nintendo won a lawsuit against the company providing the Mario Kart imitation tours, forcing it to stop providing Nintendo costumes to participating tourists. On the other hand, the Switch’s manufacturer wasn’t able to stop MariCar from trademarking its name and continuing its activities.
Recently, MariCar posted on its official website (via soranews24) the new livery of the karts that have started popping up around Tokyo and other Japanese cities in which the company has opened branches.
While the whimsical costumes worn by riders aren’t related to Nintendo and Mario Kart anymore, the karts themselves state that fact very evidently, over basically every usable surface, both in Japanese and English.
As you can see below, the Karts hilariously display the “Unrelated to Nintendo” sticker all over the place.
The funny thing about this is that before the lawsuit, there was no explicit mention of “Nintendo” anywhere on the karts and on their promotion, and now it’s basically impossible to ignore. It’s so explicitly “unrelated” that it feels totally related.
While this might be conservatively seen as an attempt to comply with Nintendo’s demands, it certainly feels like a cheeky (and rather effective) way to get back at the console manufacturer’s hyperactive law department.
If you’re more interested in the video game version of Mario Kart, you can check out our review of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.