Q&A: Colored Toads in New Super Mario Bros.

From time to time I’ll post questions that people send me here on the site to share for all. Here’s one I got today about what the Toad characters are called in the New Super Mario Bros. series:

I know that the Toads are called Kinos in Japan, and that Kinopio is the name of the character with red dots on his cap that we call “Toad”. But my question is, what are the Blue Toad and Yellow Toad from the New Super Mario Bros. games called in Japan? Are their names just “japanese color word + kino”, or do they do they have more personalized names like Kinopio and Kinojii (Toadsworth) do?

I specifically am looking for Blue Toad’s name because, as a Mario fan since the NES days, it really annoys me that they’re putting some random Blue Toad in the upcoming Super Mario 3D World instead of THE Toad, who was always one of my favorite characters growing up. They seem to be just calling him Toad, too, which annoys me even more. I know he’s not the same Toad and that Red Toad wasn’t some random character that Nintendo of America happened to give a name. On Nintendo’s E3 site there is a video of the game’s producer talking about the game at http://www.nintendo.co.jp/software_lineup/developer/ and he at about 1:50 he starts to talk about Toad…thing is, I can’t tell if he’s actually calling him “Kinopio” (which would confirm that Nintendo sees this as the same character) or “Kinochio”.

Quick side note: In case you haven’t seen it, I covered the topic of the “Kinopio” name here in my Super Mario Bros. localization comparison.

Anyway, I checked out the video and the guy definitely says “Kinopio”. I then looked around on the official Japanese website and found this:

So yep, they’re called “Blue Kinopio” and “Yellow Kinopio”. No special new names or anything, just a color naming scheme. Kind of reminds me of a family I know where every kid is named after a different type of gemstone 😛

Anyway, hopefully that answers that question!

If you have any questions like this about Japanese game stuff that you’ve always wanted to ask about, contact me and I’ll see what I can do!

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  1. People are speculating that the blue toad in the new game isn’t just a random toad, but the toad from Super Mario Bros. 2 (Super Mario USA). He is blue just like him, so they might be onto something.

    1. Matt Broussard

      I like that idea, James! Although for Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Advance he was colored red, just like in the artwork.

      1. That decision probably has more to do with design than anything else. Each 3D World character has a dominant color used for their art backdrops, the beams they turn into when the players regroup, and the like. Mario’s already got red as his main color (Cat Mario notwithstanding, but nobody else uses yellow anyway), so Toad had to get something else.

        They could have used red-spotted Toad even with blue as his main color, since his vest is blue, but eh.

        1. Matt Broussard

          Yeah, that’s what I would assume is their reasoning. Still doesn’t excuse them from not coming up with a proper name for this Toad, or using Toadette for that matter. 😛

  2. Not to be rude, but the person who asked that question is mistaken. “Kinopio” is the name of the species, as well as the name of the character. Several other Toad characters have pun-based names (Toadette/Kinopiko comes to mind, “Kinopio” + feminine -ko suffix), but the guy westerners know as “THE Toad” shares his name with his species, just as do Yoshi, Birdo and most Pokemon. The word “Kinopio” is not in any way exclusive to that character.

    Kamek falls into that group, too, incidentally, since that’s the generic term used in Japan for what we call “Magikoopas”. He gained a unique name in the US by virtue of his name simply not being localized in Yoshi’s Island. The character has turned up in several games since then, and I’ve heard that Japanese fans have nicknamed him “Fang” to differentiate him from his generic brethren. Can’t confirm that, though.

  3. Matt Broussard


    Hi, I’m the e-mailer of that question. I got the idea that the Toads as a species are called “Kinos” in Japan from Wikipedia (yeah, yeah I know):

    “While Toad is an individual, there is also an entire species of the same name based on him, called the Toads or Mushroom People (much like Yoshi and Birdo). However, in Japanese, the original species name was only Kino (キノ?), which means Toad (Kinopio) is a member of the toads (kinos).”

    Characters like Toadette and Toadsworth have Kino names, but as I understand it that’s just a play on “Kino” which is itself a play on “Kinoko”.

  4. If you look at the Super Famicom controller, it all makes sense.
    Mario and Luigi are red and green, obviously, and then the blue and yellow toads come from the remaining two buttons. On the disc art for NSMBW, they even have the four characters in the same order as the controller. Neat stuff!

    1. Nope. In the picture Tomato used for this article, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad are called “Ao Kinopio” and “Kiiro Kinopio”.

      1. Too bad “Kiinopio” and “Kinopiao” (or similar) both sound kind of awkward, those would be decent puns.

  5. I heard somewhere (forgot where) that their names are Bucken-Berry and Ala-Gold. Does anyone know if this is real or if it’s something that was made up?

    1. IIRC – those were US/English developer nicknames someone at NOA or NOE gave them.
      They’re the names I use – IMO, Yvan and Wolley sound silly. (Wolley in particular sounds like Wollyhops from Pikmin)


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