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Nintendo has released a Super Mario Maker 2 Reiwa trailer to help ring in the new Japanese era. The video not only celebrates the new era, but also goes over the series’ history through three Japanese eras.
The Kyoto based company released the video via their Instagram account. It shows three styles of Super Mario Maker 2 stages, each representing specific Japanese era.
The first segment shows a stage with the kanji for “Shōwa” representing the reign of the Shōwa emperor, done in the style of the original Super Mario Bros. Nintendo released this now-legendary game at the tail end of the Showa era in 1987, hence its use.
The next stage represents the “Heisei” era, again with the kanji for it. It’s done in the style of Super Mario World, which was the first Super Mario to release in Japan during the Heisei era.
The last segment is a stage with the kanji for the new “Reiwa” era. The stage uses Super Mario 3D World’s, a break from the previous two as this was released during the Heisei era. That said, Nintendo has yet to release a Super Mario game in the Reiwa era – Super Mario Maker 2 will actually be the first.
Japan defines its eras by the reigns of its emperors. The current Reiwa era started on May 1, 2019, after the Heisei emperor Akihito abdicated due to his advancing age. Succeeding him is his son Naruhito, who will only take on the name Reiwa after his reign ends.
The changing of eras marks an important cultural landmark for Japan, celebrated by its people. Many studios mark this changing of the eras with major changes in their franchises. Nintendo hasn’t really done this with Super Mario Bros. However, the company and the franchise are both iconic parts of the nations popular culture.
In a way, the video doesn’t just show Nintendo celebrating an important cultural landmark. It also demonstrates some of the things creators can do in Super Mario Maker 2.