Today in news I never thought I’d write, a 27 year-old man has been arrested in Tokushima after being found with 50 MDMA/ecstasy tablets in his possession. The majority of them were shaped like Mario’s long time rival/evil twin/occasional tennis doubles partner Wario.
Asahi reports that this is the third time this year that the man – named as Satoshi Kishimoto – has been caught with drugs. The last two times involved dried cannabis and LSD, neither of which were shaped like Nintendo characters, if you were wondering.
It’s not entirely clear what the reasoning behind making Wario the face of this MDMA was. Presumably whoever made them feared that using Mario himself would bring Nintendo over to them with a cease & desist a lot quicker, whereas Wario would have an easier time flying under the radar.
Kobe Customs told Asahi that the Wario design is becoming more prevalent, which is quite concerning. While the initial reaction to drugs shaped like Wario’s face might be one of bemusement, it is pretty insidious to make and sell Class A narcotics that look dangerously like a children’s breakfast cereal.
Trying to pass drugs off as seemingly innocent-looking candy isn’t a first, unfortunately. Over on Reddit, people have been discussing the Wario pills which seem to have been in circulation for a while.
Just last year, it was reported that police in Atlanta had discovered a stash of drugs that had been made to look like sweets in the shape of Hello Kitty, Homer Simpson, and Minions.
I’d imagine the idea behind shaping drugs into things that resemble something more innocent is less to try and appeal to kids and more as an attempt to fly under the radar, should whoever is in possession of them be searched. Clearly, this didn’t work in the case of Kishimoto.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.