Charles Martinet, the voice actor who has brought Mario to life for 25 years, is quitting. Chances are you know iconic sayings like “Mamma Mia,” “Okey-dokey” and “It’s A-Me. But do we really know exactly what the character is saying, or have we misunderstood it all these years?
A video goes viral on TikTok and Instagram questioning the meaning of “It’s me,” better known as “It’s-a-me. Where for all these years I personally thought it was an English pronunciation, people now seem to think the character speaks Japanese. Is that really the case, or are we dealing with a good deal of larceny on this Tuesday?
Doubt about Charles Martinet’s iconic Mario phrase
Podcast coach and Content Creator TheBerardo recently went viral on TikTok. In the video, which has now been viewed over 7.5 million times, he talks to his co-host about an iconic phrase from Super Mario. Where for years we thought the character uttered “It’s me,” Tony (as his real name is) questions that statement.
“I just found out that Super Mario doesn’t actually say “It’s-a-me,” he lets his co-host know in the video. “Nintendo is based in Japan and “Itsumi” means outstanding or super in Japanese. So there is a good chance, according to TheBerardo, that Charles Martinet’s iconic Nintendo character actually shouts “Super Mario” instead of “I am Mario.
As you can imagine, a lot of fans of the jolly Italian plumber are completely confused. Especially considering there are now more than seven million people who have already seen this theory come up.
Ok, we heard this somewhere and don’t know if its true. Buuuuuuut… #supermario #mario #mariokart #n64 #nintendo #nintendo64 #dadsoftiktok #dadjokes
♬ original sound – TONY
But is it true?
There are now plenty of sources that have investigated the theory and show that the TikTok video need not be taken seriously. That has everything to do with the fact that the Italian accent makes it seem as if “er Itsumi” is said instead of “it’s me. And the fact that “Itsumi” doesn’t actually mean “super” at all in Japanese. Would I almost forget…
Itsumi is in fact a Japanese surname. The meaning of this name does indeed mean super, outstanding or great, but that’s really where the reference stops. In Japanese, people do not pronounce a person’s last name when they mean a word. Just like we Dutch don’t.
This, by the way, is reflected in the many Japanese people who speak of themselves online. One comment reads, “In the 41 years I have been going through life as a Japanese person, I have never heard anyone say ‘Isumi’ when they meant ‘super.'”
So while it would be pretty amazing if we had misunderstood all these years, we are clearly dealing with nonsense here.
The first time Mario
The first time we ever encountered Mario in the gaming landscape was not in his own game. In 1981, he appeared as a playable character in the game “Donkey Kong.
Charles Martinet quits after 25 years as Mario
Unfortunately, other news surrounding Super Mario is not fake. Charles Martinet is hanging up his plumber’s outfit after 25 years. On X, Nintendo let it be known that the man who has been portraying the character since the 1990s will take on another role within the company.
It will surprise few that Martinet will go through life as an ambassador for Nintendo from now on. That also explains why the character’s voice in the new game Super Mario Bros. Wonder seems to sound a bit different. To U.S. website The Verge, Nintendo has revealed that the voice is indeed no longer voiced by Martinet.
With iconic sayings like “Wahoo,” “Let’s-a-go!” and so “It’s-a-me,” we say goodbye to an icon. With a small tear running down our cheeks….