5 Fucked Up Things That Happen In Kirby Manga Mania

5 Fucked Up Things That Happen In Kirby Manga Mania
The cover of Kirby Manga Mania vol. 1 offers few hints to the mayhem contained within. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media)

With Kirby and the Forgotten Land coming out later this week, I decided to do some reading up on Nintendo’s pink puffball by checking out a wacky collection of his manga aptly titled Kirby Manga Mania. Going into this venture I expected to be overwhelmed by Kirby in all his babble-talking glory, but found something far darker: Kirby is actually a menace to Dream Land.

Kirby Manga Mania is Viz Media’s “best-of” compilation of a Kirby gag manga Hirokazu Hikawa created for CoroCoroComics back in 1994. The comics follow Kirby and crew in a collection of one shots, which ended in 2006. Although this manga is considered non-canon amongst Kirby fans, I’d argue that Kirby lore benefits from this wacky thing’s existence.

I’d already been made aware of Kirby being an omnipotent elder god of some sort through lore videos, but nothing could prepare me for the zany shit confined within this manga’s pages, which ranges from hilarious to shockingly outlandish. While making my way through the first volume, I was surprised to see Kirby’s antagonistic dynamic with King Dedede gradually shift from a SpongeBob-and-Squidward playfulness to Kirby going full wildcard like Charlie in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Anyway, here are the most fucked-up things I’ve encountered so far in Kirby Manga Mania.

Kirby Talks

He speaks. Frequently. Unceasingly. He won't shut up. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)He speaks. Frequently. Unceasingly. He won’t shut up. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)

Kirby Manga Mania doesn’t waste any time shattering any preconceived notions we may harbour about Nintendo’s pink mascot. We find our titular rotund boi sleeping in the clouds before waking up to the smell of food from King Dedede’s picnic down below. Kirby reacts with his new manga catchphrase, “pee-poh,” before descending upon the masses and making a break for their food.

“Yay, let me join too!” he shouts.

Huh? Did Kirby just display a command over the English language? Hikawa you madlad, what have you done?

Regardless of how limiting it would make crafting short stories around him, you might expect a Kirby manga to maintain the character’s propensity for baby talk, which has been a staple of his characterization throughout the games. The revelation that the pink puff can not only speak, but regularly partakes in conversation takes a lot of getting used to. I’m haunted by all these words he should have never spoken, but the speech is just the first of several unsettling choices Hikawa makes.

Kirby Gets Drunk

Go home Kirby, you're drunk.  (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)Go home Kirby, you’re drunk. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)

Yep. “Kirby, The Loopy Picnic Crasher” is the first chapter in Kirby Manga Mania, and not only does it ease you with the bluntness of a mallet into the reality that Kirby is gonna talk throughout this manga, it also boldly sets the tone for the rest of the series by having him get “loopy.” What is getting loopy? Well, it’s basically the editor’s way of getting around writing that Kirby gets shitfaced in a manga that prominently displays Nintendo’s copyright on its cover.

“Was it really ok for me to draw Kirby loopy?!” Hikawa writes in an author’s note. “I was definitely fearless back then.”

Here’s how Kirby ends up getting white girl wasted. King Dedede doesn’t take kindly to Kirby crashing his picnic, leading him to shoo away Kirby by chucking whatever item is closest at Kirby’s malleable dome. Unfortunately, that happens to be a bottle of “loopy juice.” Kirby guzzles down the alcoholic beverage and immediately becomes a belligerent drunk.

What’s a drunk Kirby do? He threatens to eat Dedede, sings karaoke poorly, gets existential, repeats the phrase “Lemme tell you about life” (he never actually tells Dedede about life), and performs a “trick” by eating the picnic goers and performing 10 copy ability attacks on the King.

Ultimately Kirby passes out in the grass. Yet the horrors don’t end there. Kirby’s body begins to wriggle. Nope, he’s not throwing up. It turns out the 10 people he’d eaten are still alive, and are crawling their way out of his mouth.

Kirby later wakes up, forgetting what transpired, but that image of innocent people crawling out of Kirby’s mouth is permanently seared into my brain.

Kirby Steals An Election and Consequentially Puts Dream Land In Debt

Is this your king? (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)Is this your king? (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)

In the chapter “Everybody Wanted To Be The King of Dream Island?!” the citizens of Dream Land decide they’re tired of King Dedede and hold an election for a new king, with Kirby as one of the four candidates.

While Kirby’s campaign promises don’t go beyond him yelling that he’s going to be king of the world, how he inevitably gets there is some “stop the steal” type shenanigans. Kirby systematically takes out his competition by burning them alive and crushing them after transforming into a boulder. When the votes are about to get tallied, Kirby inhales the people who are in camp Dedede, winning the election and becoming king.

His reign, however, is short lived, and leaves Dream Land’s economy in shambles.

After remodeling the castle in his image, building toy stores, and a slew of restaurants, the kingdom is one billion dollars in debt. When his citizens ask what he plans on doing to get the economy back on track, Kirby responds by eating the bill, literally, and abandoning his crown to let Dedede solve his mess.

Kirby Face/Offs King Dedede

It's like looking in a mirror only…not. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)It’s like looking in a mirror only…not. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)

I’ve gotten a newfound appreciation for Dedede putting up with Kirby’s shenanigans at this point in the manga. But even duck royalty has a breaking point. In “Body Double Kapar, Protect King Dedede!,” Dedede decides he needs to hire a body double to keep himself safe from Kirby’s nonsense. Since no other character within Dream Land resembles Dedede’s distinctive visage, Hikawa ended up drawing frequent Kirby video game enemy Kapar in a shoddy Dedede disguise.

Although Kirby is none the wiser to Dedede’s body double, somehow Dedede ends up being injured by Kirby whenever he thinks it’s safe to switch back out of his disguise. These injuries include having a tennis racket pierce his forehead and Kirby singeing his tongue in a vain attempt to cook a raw potato in his mouth. When Dedede wants to call it quits with Kapar, Kapar refuses. Then the craziest shit happens: Wielding his hair like a buzzsaw, Kapar slices off Dedede’s face and wears it over his own, just like Nic Cage did in John Woo’s iconic, 1997 cheesefest Face/Off.

Although Kirby quickly susses out Kapar’s ruse, the chaotic pink elder-god decides he wants to switch places with Dedede too, and chases him with a broom while wearing his face. While Kirby Face/Offing King Dedede is undoubtedly one of the most horrific bits of body horror this cutesy manga contains, it’s still second banana to the last entry on this list.

We See The Inside of Kirby’s Mouth

You really don't wanna go in there. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)You really don’t wanna go in there. (Image: Hirokazu Hikawa / Viz Media / Kotaku)

In “King Dedede, Magically Turned Into A Toy!,” Dedede gets turned into a toy after denying a powerful wizard shelter in his castle during a blizzard. While his citizens laugh at his predicament, they quickly grow bored with him and move on with their lives. With no one left to turn to, Dedede winds up at Kirby’s doorstep, ironically asking for shelter himself. Kirby accepts, admitting he’s always wanted a Dedede toy, and does a good job taking care of the dejected monarch.

Dedede begins to warm up to Kirby after he graciously shares his dinner and bed. But it wouldn’t be Kirby Manga Mania if something didn’t go wrong.

Instead of tossing and turning in his sleep, it turns out Kirby fights. In fact, he kicks Dedede so hard that he breaks his neck. Luckily he’s a toy, so his neck just springs out. Dedede tries one last time to rest, but is again awakened by Kirby mumbling in his sleep. Turning over to investigate, he finds himself with a direct view down Kirby’s gullet, prompting him to recoil in fear.

Now, how to describe this. The inside of Kirby’s mouth is like a plasma globe. Even though the manga is black and white, Hikawa does a masterful job at drawing the sharp contrast between Kirby’s cutesy sleeping self and menacingly crackle of kinetic energy collapsing onto itself inside the little doughboy.

To make matters more frightful, the sleeping Kirby begins singing “A TOY DEDEDE! DEDEDE THE DEDEDE TOY’’ with distorted lettering and music notes floating above his head. Kirby’s Mouthful Mode in the new Forgotten Lands might have served as a mainstream audience’s introduction to how nightmarish Kirby’s anatomy can be, but the void of Kirby’s mouth looking back into your soul is true torment.

Needless to say, the first volume of Kirby Manga Mania has forever changed how I’ll view Nintendo’s cutest mascot. It’s a really fun read, but you should know going in, if you thought those Kirby feet memes were weird, well, this manga could really blow your mind. Consider yourself warned!

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