|First appearance||Super Mario Sunshine (2002)|
|Voiced by||Dolores Rogers (2002-2007)
Caety Sagoian (2007-present)
Bowser Jr. (Japanese: クッパＪｒ Hepburn: Kuppa Junia ), or sometimes simply Jr., is a video game character who appears in Nintendo's Mario franchise as a recurring villain. As his name implies, he is the son of the series' main antagonist, Bowser. Since his debut in Super Mario Sunshine, Jr. has become a recurrent character in the Mario series, and has been made playable in several spin-offs, such as Mario Superstar Baseball and Mario Strikers Charged. He wants to do nothing more than his father's will (kidnap Princess Peach and defeat Mario).
Design and characteristics
Bowser Jr. is a yellow-skinned Koopa similar to his father with the same yellow and tan skin complexion, as well as a light green head and a tuft of red hair. He has one small tooth in his mouth and a large snout, as well as small circular eyes that are black in color. His shell is lined with a green encasing with small white spikes. By contrast, Junior typically wears a white bib (garment)that's decorated with drawn-on fangs and worn like a mask (however it is absent in Mario Strikers Charged, and he wore a blue bandanna with Mario's mustache in Super Mario Sunshine). Bowser Jr. also has two metal wristbands, while Bowser wears four that are all spiked.
Like his father, Bowser Jr. can breathe fire and is physically powerful in spite of his small frame. His exact size varies from game to game; though in general he gradually gets taller, from being the smallest in Super Mario Sunshine to being larger than Peach in Super Mario Galaxy. According to Mario Kart Wii, Bowser Jr. inherited his father's bad attitude, evident in his motto ("Grin and bear it. When that don't work, grin and crush it."). He is also bratty and spoiled yet revealed to be lonely.
Although "Baby Bowser", the infant version of Bowser whose design bears a strong resemblance to Bowser Jr., had previously appeared in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's Story, Jr. himself first appeared in Super Mario Sunshine, where he disrupted Mario's vacation with Princess Peach by painting the island of Isle Delfino with goop and then kidnapping her by framing Mario, after his father Bowser tricked him into thinking that Peach was his mother which he had to protect. Eventually he found out that Peach was not really his mother, but still wanted to get revenge on Mario. Bowser Jr. later appeared in New Super Mario Bros., in a role similar to Boom Boom from Super Mario Bros. 3, as the boss of every tower, the midpoint in each of the game's worlds. Jr. appears in Super Mario Galaxy, aiding his father in battle, as well as having three worlds of his own. Alongside the Koopalings, Bowser Jr. re-appeared in New Super Mario Bros. sequel, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, appearing on an airship. He also appears in Super Mario Galaxy 2, in the same way as in the original Galaxy. Bowser Jr. also appears in New Super Mario Bros. U alongside his dad and the Koopalings.
Bowser Jr. is a staple character in the various Mario spin-off games. Bowser Jr. appears in both Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and Mario Kart Wii and also appears in the Mario sports games. He also appears as a mini-boss in Mario Party 9 and is also the host of his very own space, where challenges two players to play a minigame with him. He also appears in Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games as a member of Team Mario, as well as in its sequel, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Bowser Jr. made his RPG debut in Paper Mario: Sticker Star as one of the bosses. He also appeared in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team as a special boss in the Battle Ring.
ScrewAttack noted the absence of Bowser Jr. as one of the disappointing aspects of Super Mario 3D Land. They also cited the Bowser boss battle for New Super Mario Bros. the tenth best Bowser battle ever, because "Bowser Jr. has to help his dad fight Mario"; and thus "he can't do it himself and is basically helpless without his son." They also complained about his design, stating that "This kid is just a pure moron. He think's Peach is his mother." Bowser Jr. ranked sixth on GameDaily's list of the top 10 Nintendo characters that deserve their own games list. They also listed him as the 18th best Mario enemy, calling him a "chip off the ol' block" from Bowser. In a satirical article written by Kotaku writer Chi Lee, Bowser Jr. was compared to North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, and compared the relationship of North Korea and South Korea with the fictional Mushroom Kingdom and Koopa Kingdom. Kotaku also listed Bowser as one of the worst fathers in video gaming, due to allowing Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings to run around with pirate ships and "zappy wands". GameSpy complained that Bowser Jr. was a "dopey successor" to the Koopalings which they liked more, and said that they have "far more charm" when compared to Bowser Jr. 1UP.com listed Fawful as a character they'd want more in the Mario Kart series than Bowser Jr. and Waluigi, saying "Unfortunately, rather than exploring the true depth of the series and offering characters like Mario & Luigi's Fawful, we get Bowser Jr. and Waluigi. Yeah, great." Australia's Official Nintendo Magazine listed Bowser Jr. as one of the characters they want in Super Smash Bros. 4, as he would be a "fantastic inclusion".
- Super Mario Galaxy staff roll
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- Nintendo EAD. Super Mario Sunshine. (Nintendo). Nintendo Gamecube. Level/area: Isle Delfino. (6-19-2002) Bowser Jr.: Leave my Mama alone, you bad man! I won't let you take Mama Peach away! / Peach: Mama? Mama Peach? I'm your... Mama? / Bowser Jr.: Yeah, Papa told me all about it. He told me my Mama got kidnapped by a bad man named Mario... / Peach: So, you're Bowser's son... / Bowser Jr.: So I came here to rescue her!
- Nintendo EAD. Super Mario Sunshine. (Nintendo). Nintendo Gamecube. Level/area: Isle Delfino. (6-19-2002) Bowser Jr.:I know, she's not really my Mama.
- Nintendo EAD. Super Mario Sunshine. (Nintendo). Nintendo Gamecube. Level/area: Isle Delfino. (6-19-2002) Bowser Jr.:Someday, when I'm bigger, I wanna fight that Mario again!
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- Nintendo EAD. Mario Kart: Double Dash!!. (Nintendo). Nintendo Gamecube. Level/area: N/A. (2003) "He may be smaller than his dad, but Bowser Jr. is just as mean and just as destructive. When he hurls Bowser's shell, he can cause some serious pain."
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