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Tips for Buying EarthBound

April 17th, 2011 | MOTHER 1, Videos

There’s an anime called “Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko” which is full of pop culture stuff, and in the very first episode there are MOTHER references. Jump straight to 1:25, 3:33, and 4:00 to see them:

If you can’t tell what the references are, here’s the intro text to MOTHER 1/EarthBound Zero:

Pretty neat, it seems like more and more of these anime shows are referencing games in the MOTHER series. I’m guessing it’s because the kids who played the games back in the day are now all grown up and are the ones making these shows now.

Thanks to kenisu for noticing the references and getting the video!


Other Related Posts:


44 Comments to More MOTHER References in Anime

Miche said on Apr. 17, 2011

Interesting. Never heard of this anime, but it looks like she’s starting to tell him the backstory to the plot of MOTHER.

On a related note, in the game and anime series Umineko no Naku Koro ni, there are characters (cousins, not a couple) named George and Maria. Since I discovered MOTHER, I’ve speculated that Umineko’s George and Maria were named after the characters in MOTHER, although the characters having the same names could simply be a coincidence.

KiTA said on Apr. 17, 2011

For a little more backstory on the anime — basically, in Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, the young man (Makoto, on the right) has moved in with his supposedly single Aunt, only to find well, THAT (Erio, in the middle) sitting in the middle of the hallway, with no explanation whatsoever. His aunt completely ignores her and he’s too polite to outright ask, so he keeps trying to hint that he’d like to know what’s going on.

Therein lies the crux of the first half of the episode, basically — his aunt (Meme, on the right) keeps ignoring his rather blatant hints and switching to pop culture references (Dragonball, MOTHER, Crayon Shin-Chan, etc), or answering his technical question, but ignoring the context. “Your daughter? What?” “My child of the female gender.” “*facepalm*”

There’s just enough hints in the first episode that something’s going on in the town to keep a person interested, and the humor appears to be vaguely similar to MOTHER (I’m still trying to figure out the girl in a lobster suit on a bike in the intro video). Music’s great too. If anyone would like to get the full episode, the fansub team Kenisu and I got that from is Commie Subs:


Weekly series, should last 12 episodes.

LucasTizma said on Apr. 17, 2011

I…I…let you know? O.o I didn’t send you any tips or anything about this video or reference. D: I’ve never heard of it until now.

Are you sure you aren’t thinking of someone else? Although I’ll take the credit if nobody else claims it! 😛

LucasTizma said on Apr. 17, 2011

@KITA: Ah thanks for the extra info. I’ve been meaning to try out a new series. I wonder if Crunchyroll will be handling this series? In any case, I’ll check out the fansub site. Much <3 for kenisu. 🙂

Shayminguy7 said on Apr. 17, 2011

…Regardless of these strange events…

The Great Morgil said on Apr. 17, 2011

That was pretty funny. Is that a new Anime? I wonder if it’ll ever get dubbed? If it would, i hope that reference would remain intact. Though if Funimation would dub it, i’m sure Mato would make sure the reference gets through.

KiTA said on Apr. 17, 2011

If you don’t want to download the fansub directly, the show is available via streaming here:


The Great Morgil said on Apr. 17, 2011

Sorry, i don’t support fansubs. They put people like Mato out of work.

KiTA said on Apr. 17, 2011

@The Great Morgil: Understandable. If anyone picks it up, it will likely be NIS America (Nippon Ichi USA); they have been branching out from the Disgaea and SRPG stuff they do to anime, and tend to focus on the quirky ones. They’re a subtitle only shop, unfortunately, due to dubs basically destroying any profit anime makes in the US.

Poe said on Apr. 17, 2011

Is the one wrapped up in the mattress speaking a different dialect? It sounds weird.

The Great Morgil said on Apr. 17, 2011

I’ve never heard of a subtitle only shop. And what’s wrong with dubbing?

Miles Vialpando said on Apr. 17, 2011

That was interesting in more ways than one. Strange events indeed.

KiTA said on Apr. 17, 2011

@Poe: She’s speaking in perfect monotone, almost like what you’d get if you had a computer read Japanese to you.

@Morgil: The Sub/Dub debate has gone on as long as there’s been anime localizations. NIS America doesn’t do dubs cause dubbing is vastly more expensive than subbing, and they basically could have their existing staff do anime subbing without a major switchup.

Karadom said on Apr. 17, 2011

So THEY can have pop culture references but not Earthbound?

Leirin_ said on Apr. 17, 2011

Haha, how funny. I love how she seems dead serious about it.

Mato said on Apr. 17, 2011

LucasTizma: Oops, thanks for the correction. I got an email from both of you around the same time so I must’ve mixed up who sent what 😛

The Great Morgil: Thanks a ton, man. I really appreciate it 😀

LucasTizma said on Apr. 17, 2011

@The Great Morgil: I get why dubs exist, but I’ll never watch ’em. If it’s being spoken in English, chances are I won’t like it. But that’s why I’m psyched that FUNimation is starting to offer both official sub and dub versions for some of their anime on Hulu. Also, I purchase any series on DVD that has a subtitle track with the original Japanese audio track. I adore professional subs. 🙂

Also, Crunchyroll is an awesome service you pay monthly for, and they offer a ton of anime to stream, and a lot of current-running series over in Japan are picked up and subbed ASAP as each new episode is aired. Cool way to enjoy subs legit.

But the bottom line is that if there isn’t an official sub, then I will gladly enjoy a fansub, even going so far as to purchase a dubbed version on DVD or whatever but never opening it…to support the authors and localizers and al.

Rock said on Apr. 17, 2011

@Karadom: Everything in Japan is different. There, they don’t really care about pop culture references. You turn the TV on, and you see a lot of references and connections to other stuff, and nobody makes anything to stop it. They don’t mind.
However, things in America are a lot more complicated, and a game with so many pop culture references such as SNES Earthbound can’t be released just like that.
What I wonder is…. why the game can’t be released now, because of the legal issues, and got a release in 1995? Is legal stuff more strict now?

LucasTizma said on Apr. 17, 2011

@Rock: I think it still depends. Even in a lot of anime, especially ones that are culturally-driven, a lot of references are obscured or the names are changed (i.e., WacDonalds). It’s probably the big names or companies that might actually care that they don’t want to out-right copy. I honestly thing the “legal issues” with EarthBound are just an excuse. Yes, there are blatant instances here and there where things are copied from other people, but that’s everywhere! And it’s so subtle and low-key that I’m pretty sure nobody would give a crap if they re-released EarthBound in the US.

NoA is just scared of being burned by EarthBound again…although I would suggest it’s their own stupid fault for having such a crappy marketing campaign for the initial release.

JAMESGHOST said on Apr. 17, 2011

god I hate anime….some of it…least not ones like Pokemon and Dragon Ball….its sort of ok…

Meanie said on Apr. 17, 2011

And the otakus go wild!
I second that notion Jamesghost. Except all of it sucks. >:(

Labrynian Rebel said on Apr. 18, 2011

What the heck did I just watch O_O

Anonymoose said on Apr. 18, 2011

This was beyond absurd. PERIOD That’s how scarring that vid was.

The Great Morgil said on Apr. 18, 2011

LucasTizma said “Also, Crunchyroll is an awesome service you pay monthly for, and they offer a ton of anime to stream, and a lot of current-running series over in Japan are picked up and subbed ASAP as each new episode is aired. Cool way to enjoy subs legit.”

I disagree. I personally hate crunchyrole. First of all, their player seems real glitchy to me compared to youtube or hulu, but that may just be my computer. But mainly, my beef with them is that you have to PAY for all but the most basic features. You can’t even do a decent resolution without a paid account. Youtube and Hulu are free, so why should i have to pay them for the same thing i can see elsewhere.

LucasTizma said on Apr. 18, 2011

Because you can’t see most of the anime they offer anywhere else? Their player is pretty bad, but it’s being improved. And Hulu doesn’t let you watch anything in HD without a Hulu Plus account, which you pay for.

Not buying your argument. 🙂

Angryeyebrows17 said on Apr. 18, 2011

In reply to “The Great Morgil”:

You had said that you don’t support fansubs because they keep people like Mato out of work. If it wasn’t for the Naruto fansubs, I never would have known about that show. And I’m fairly sure that it was brought over here to the U.S. because the fansubs were so popular here. So that’s a good counter-point, I’d say.

Also, after watching the Naruto official translation on TV, I have to say that the fansubs were superior. I’m also partial to subtitles over dubbing. I always prefer the original speaker’s tongue.

Rock said on Apr. 18, 2011

@LucasTizma: True. But, for example, if Mother 2 had a reference to Macdonalds, and Earthbound had it changed to WacDonalds, NOA would still think it “sounds too much like MacDonalds”, and they would change it.

LucasTizma said on Apr. 19, 2011

@Rock: Eh, it’s hard to say. You’re probably right, but something like MacDonalds is so terribly iconic, that it would be a little more obvious what they’re knocking off as opposed to some of the Beatles stuff. After all, kids (mostly) are the ones playing these games. And some of the things that ARE ripped off in EarthBound are so extremely subtle that it’s barely noticeable.

My bottom line is that I doubt copyright infringement is REALLY why NoA is refusing to touch MOTHER/EarthBound in the US.

Poe said on Apr. 19, 2011

@Angryeyebrows17 – Any time someone ops to download free fansubs instead of buying the official DVD of any anime series, it hurts the professional anime business. The demand is there, everyone knows it, but if nobody pays for it, companies cannot afford to keep their translators and voice actors, and then… well, you know :/ No more localization company.

At the very least, if it’s a FUNimation anime, please buy it to support Mato.

Randomguardian said on Apr. 19, 2011

“Regardless of these strange events” indeed. I am 100% shure that if I watched the whole thing it wouldn’t be so flipping weird! Almost as weird as the first time I watched Elfen Lied. Almost…

rotschleim said on Apr. 19, 2011

“What do you mean, your daughter!?”
Spoken: Mai dootaa.
Subtitles: My child of the female gender.

I think that’s the first time I’ve laughed at word jokes in subtitles. Kudos to the group!

anonymous said on Apr. 20, 2011

Well…that was weird…but strangely interesting. Maybe I’ll end up watching that series eventually. But the random Mother references used as a distraction was quite funny. And I’m sure the weirdness would make a lot more sense if I watched the whole episode.

MoonSide said on Apr. 20, 2011

This show doesn’t look too bad and the Mother reference makes it cool. 🙂

Being an anime watcher for about ten years, I highly prefer subtitles because in many dubs they mispronounce names of characters.

FJ Link said on Apr. 24, 2011

I don’t know if someone has psoted this yet, but at the very first episode of “Ore No Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii ya Nai Desu Ka” (I think that was its name) is a clear reference: http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt288/francismeunier/number%20two/number%203/number%204/0be1a6c1.jpg

PK-Gaming said on Apr. 24, 2011

KiTA: Oh, that’s why she was called Meme. She loves memes. XD

Joshua Laudermilk said on May. 2, 2011

There’s a reference to Mother in Shin-chan season 2 episode 10, ‘How to Bury a Smack-Addict’.

KiTA said on May. 20, 2011

Er, there appears to be a Mr. Saturn plushie in Episode 6 of this — the girl in the roll of blankets (Erio) has it in her room, and it’s discovered by another girl not in the above clip, who hugs it mercilessly.

When kenisu comes over tomorrow for Movie night, I’ll have him confirm, we’ll make another clip, etc etc.

Jackie said on Jun. 25, 2011

In the Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) manga, first book, there’s a part where Ciel receives a video game that says “Mouse3”. Which is supposed to look exactly like the original Mother 3 boxart.

gg said on Jun. 28, 2011

@Meanie, DragonBall is awesome!!!!!!!!!!

RadicOmega said on Sep. 19, 2011

Notice how other things can make refrences to Earthbound But EarthBound can’t slightly use refrences! And speaking of Earthbound refrences, I was watching cartoonnetwork and this commercial that CN made was a big refrence to Earthbound (well sortof a big refrence)any ways the three VG freaks were in a mall drinking and eating. Than some guy burped and than said, “Master Belch!”

RadicOmega said on Nov. 20, 2011

@Rock well, I see what you are saying. But honestly it isn’t fare for Nintendo getting crapped at and others getting away with it. I can make a reference to earthbound and get away with it. But if nintendo makes a slight slight sliiiigghhhht rwfrence it’s a big deal. Does that not sound Bull? But I see what you mean

nmanma said on Feb. 13, 2012

The final episode of Denpa Onna wasn’t aired in the regular run last year and was released with the dvd/bluray edition a couple of weeks ago.

Had what I think is a reference to moonside in a really powerful scene, sent chills down my spine

Also I want to thank earthboundcentral/Mato for bringing that anime to my attention, I liked it quite a lot <3

KA Gamer said on Jul. 11, 2012

Video was taken down….
It seems like all videos that make it to EBCentral get taken down.


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