Game creator Masahiro Sakurai, the man behind Kirby and Smash Bros., might be an industry legend, but that doesn’t mean he’s happy with being meme fodder.
During the most recent Harada’s Bar episode, Tekken designer Katsuhiro Harada cleared the air about the “Never ask me for anything ever again” meme that features the veteran game creator.
While Harada actually wore a “Don’t ask me for shit” t-shirt, spawning a meme of his own, Sakurai never actually said this quote.
“Like internet memes, this phrase is often on your pictures,” Harada said, pointing out that initially everyone got the joke, but the context was lost and now the quote is treated the same as Harada’s t-shirt.
On Sakurai’s Twitter profile, it states that he doesn’t take questions. “If you make the bio sound really strong, I guess it could be interpreted like that,” Sakurai said, adding that he hasn’t actually said that.
“I feel like…,” Sakurai continued, “I want them to stop using my face or my icon to say what they want to say — even if it’s a joke.”
“You shouldn’t use other people’s power for your own principles,” he added.
Harada noted that his own likeness has often been used online as grist for the meme mill, but conceded that it could be his own doing, because he plays along. Sakurai, however, really didn’t seem thrilled with the idea of people putting words in his mouth, even as a gag.
In some ways, the the Sakurai meme is akin to the “Anime was a mistake” meme, which features a quote misattributed to Hayao Miyazaki that many now think is real. Over time, the jokey quality of meme quotes can be lost, and those words might become etched in stone as fact, which can be frustrating if it’s your face attached to something you’ve never said.
You can watch part one of the interview below:
Sakurai and Harada will continue their chat in a future episode.