Following former prime minister’s Super Mario cosplay, says he wants to be like Nintendo star’s in-game “partner,” but doesn’t fully understand the relationship.

On Monday, a ceremony was held at the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo, where former prime minster Shinzo Abe was presented with the Olympic Order award for his role in the planning and preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. Though Abe resigned from active politics in August due to health reasons, he remains an advisor to the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee, and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach was on hand to bestow the honor upon Abe.

Also in attendance was Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee chairman Yoshiro Mori, who you might recall was the man who talked Abe into his memorable cosplay as Nintendo’s Super Mario at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. After the presentation of the award, Mori gave a speech acknowledging Abe’s contributions so far and expressing hope that they’ll continue to work well together, during which he doubled down on the Super Mario allusion, but in the process also stuck his foot in his mouth in the minds of some Mario fans. See if you can spot how:

“At the closing ceremony of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, former Prime Minster Abe dressed up as Super Mario and surprised the world. In the world of the Super Mario games, Mario had a dependable partner named Yoshi. My name is Yoshiro, which contains ‘Yoshi.’ I hope Abe Mario and Mori Yoshi will continue to help each other while working hard with the IOC and other involved parties to make the Tokyo Olympics a success.”

It’s a nice sentiment, but experienced gamers raised their eyebrows at the description of Mario and Yoshi’s relationship. See, the plumber and dinosaur don’t have what you’d call an equal partnership. Not only does Mario ride Yoshi like a beast of burden and possibly punch him in the back of the head, when playing Super Mario World, the game in which Yoshi makes his debut, Mario frequently…

…leaps off of Yoshi’s back to make difficult jumps, sacrificing his dino “pal” to death in bottomless pits so that he can continue on alone to victory and glory.

OK, so technically it’s gamers who’re the ones throwing Yoshi’s life away, but still, when Mario and Yoshi team up, in most fans’ minds Yoshi is the expendable part of the team, and online reactions to Mori’s comment have included:

“Get ready for the ‘Yoshi jump!’”
“Pretty easy to tell he doesn’t actually know much about the Mario games. Dropping Yoshi to his death is always an option to shorten your clear time or get a boost for your jump through the goal is always an option.”
“So does this mean Mori Yoshi is OK with being ridden hard and then thrown away by Abe Mario?”
“Wondering if he’d have been so enthusiastic about giving himself that nickname is he knew Yoshi gets used as a disposable stepping stone when Mario is coming up short on a jump.”

▼ “Abe Mario and Mori Yoshi working hard.”

One commenter even put together this simulation using Abe and Mori’s photos.

The reaction hasn’t been all snickering, though, as some commenters have just been enjoying the mental image of more Japanese politicians doing Nintendo cosplay.

“Will Mori dress up as Yoshi? Now I’m really looking forward to the Olympics.”
“I can see it now: Abe Mario, Mori Yoshi, [Tokyo Governor Yuriko] Koike Peach, and [current Prime Minister Yoshihide] Suga Luigi.”

Obviously, Mori’s intended message was that he wants to continue working with Abe towards a tough but rewarding goal, much like Mario’s many adventures which he’s completed in part thanks to Yoshi’s help. Hopefully for Mori Yoshi, though, he’ll still be around when the Games finally start.

Source: Daily via Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko, Twitter
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where yes, he’s now got the Super Mario World soundtrack stuck in his head.