Jugem Jugem Jugem Paipo

I’ve mentioned before that the original Japanese name for the Super Mario enemy Lakitu was Jugem, but I didn’t realize the significance to it. Apparently it comes from a traditional Japanese folk tale, in which parents give their baby an incredibly long name. I remember hearing a variation on the story called Tikki-Tikki-Tembo that’s set in China instead of Japan, and the joke of a character having an absurdly long name has shown up in plenty of other places as well. The name in the original story begins with Jugemu, literally meaning “limitless life.” As far as I know, the meaning has no relation to the turtle on the cloud, who can be killed. Granted, it’s somewhat difficult since he’s in the air, but still. Another part of the long name, Unraimatsu, means “where clouds originally come.” That seems better suited to a guy who lives on a cloud. The original name for the Spiny Eggs was Paipo, also part of the name, and apparently referring to a mythical Chinese kingdom. The hatched Spinies were simply known as Togezo, which basically just means “spiky.” I’m not entirely sure why they’re Spinies instead of Spikies in English, but I guess it fits with the common name of the spiny anteater.

By the way, the instruction manual referred to Spiny as “Lakitu’s pet,” and I seem to recall originally thinking that Spiny was the name of the cloud. Or maybe I thought Lakitu was the name of the cloud; I don’t remember for sure. Regardless, if Lakitu has a bunch of eggs up there, where’s the Spiny that’s laying them? And as Legends of Localization points out, “Lakitu” sounds even more foreign than “Jugem.” Does that name mean anything, or was it just something that popped into a translator’s head?

This was also the manual that referred to magma bubbles as Podoboos, when they were Baburu (simply meaning “bubbles”) in Japanese. I guess I can sort of see how someone trying and failing to transcribe the letters could have changed “Baburu” to “Podoboo,” but it’s still pretty bizarre. In an episode of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Bowser pronounces the cloud rider’s name “la-KEE-too,” which is pretty much how I always said it.

This cartoon had the two of them launching a satellite that could control the weather, something the Lakitu in The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach was also capable of doing. Makes sense for someone who lives on a cloud, but I don’t think any Lakitus in the actual games had this power until the Thunder Lakitu in Yoshi’s Island. The anime has Mario grabbing and flying part of Lakitu’s cloud until it disappears, something he’d be able to do in Super Mario World and later games.

Source: Zero Mayhem
The comic story “Cloud Burst” had Luigi joining Lakitu on a cloud, which was named Fluffy and considerably bigger than it appears in the games.

Luigi escapes by pulling a hatch, which also releases all of the treasure the turtle had stolen, including Bowser’s and the Princess’ crowns.

Source: Broken Teapot
Every Mario Kart game has had a Lakitu as the referee, but I just found out the other day at a display in Target that you can race as one in Mario Kart 8.

I have to suspect a Lakitu in a land-based vehicle would feel rather confined, but maybe there are some outliers who are afraid of heights.

Source: Colonel Majora

This entry was posted in Cartoons, Comics, Mario, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Television, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Jugem Jugem Jugem Paipo

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