Every so often, when done right, I enjoy a good over-analysis. But when the endeavor of an in-depth look at the subject matter also uses factual elements and the real sources for the creativity that ensued, then I'm really interested.
How many of us haven't wondered what on EARTH is going on in Nintendo's Super Mario franchise? I mean, really. Raccoon suits that make you fly? Piranha plants? Mushroom people? Coin boxes? Giant pipes and Starmen? Menacing turtles? All revolving around a Japanese company's mascot who is an Italian plumber? It's downright wacky.
Well, fortunately, the folks at IGN have cleared most of it up for us. They provide the answers to where/what it comes from... to quite satisfactory results. You can't argue with facts and logic (most of the time.)
One that they didn't cover, which I happen to know the backstory on is the origins of Bowser, the Koopa King. A dragon-turle guy? Yeah, sure whatever. But it does make 'sense.' In Japanese folklore there is a creature called a Kappa. Kappa>Koopa, hmm, given the spellings are translations between languages that looks about right. But it's locked in when one considers that Kappa is a half-man half-turtle beastie that lurks in the waters... and water flows through, yes, pipes. Kappa is also notoriously mischievous and ravages women, both traits of Bowser.
Go on and find out the "truth" behind the crazy for much of the rest of Mario in
Making Sense of Super Mario Bros.