We never really expected to write about anything like this, but Automaton Media has reported on a rather unusual fan-made Kirby card game. That seems relatively harmless on its own — despite the fact that it's a card game featuring Kirby, a pretty huge Nintendo property, that was being sold on the Japanese marketplace BOOTH — but when we tell you there's a micro bikini-clad Chef Kawasaki, you might raise an eyebrow.
Chef Kawasaki’s Microbikini Karuta is based on 'karuta', a type of Japanese playing card that was introduced to the country by Portuguese traders back in the 1600s. There are two types of karuta — Uta-Garuta, the former working with a much larger deck with the latter aimed more at children. Nintendo itself used to sell these kinds of cards as far back as 1890. Tofuga has a pretty excellent summary of just what karuta cards are if you're curious about the details.
So how does Chef Kawasaki, the popular Kirby character who made his debut in Kirby Super Star, fit into all of this? And in a micro bikini, of all things? Apparently, it's a bit of a meme. Kawasaki only wears an apron, usually, so fans' imagination must've run wild thinking of what this big chef actually wears to keep himself warm. And, apparently, it's a micro bikini.
You can check out what the card game looks like over on the game's official Twitter page, but it's exactly as you might expect... In the meantime, here's what Kawasaki officially looks like:
The first pack went on sale just a few days ago in Japan, both physically and digitally. But as of today, 28th September, the game is no longer available to buy. The makers of the card game revealed that the game had been withdrawn from storefronts, with @KWSKkaruta also stating that it would be stopping distribution.
It's likely that HAL Laboratory — who make most of the Kirby games nowadays — requested that the game be removed. Nintendo (and by extension, its partner companies and studios) are notoriously strict on how its brands can be used, but even so, you can't create something using one of the company's IPs and sell it without Nintendo's permission.
Never mind, then! Though we'd love to see Nintendo make even more physical card games itself, perhaps with Kawasaki in his apron instead.