Tanooki Suit

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Tanooki Suit
A Tanooki-like suit.

First Appearance

Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

Latest Appearance

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition (2017)

Effect on Player

Turns Mario / Luigi into Tanooki Mario / Kitsune Luigi.
Tanooki Map SMB3.png

The Tanooki Suit is a fairly uncommon item found in Super Mario Bros. 3 and its subsequent remakes. It transforms Mario or Luigi into Tanooki Mario or Tanooki Luigi, respectively. The suit grants the same abilities as the Super Leaf, with the added ability of turning into a statue when the player holds down on the +Control Pad and presses B Button at the same time. The statue ability can be used offensively if the player transforms in midair and drops on enemies. Such a tactic can defeat some normally unbeatable foes. Also, within some e-Reader levels, such as A Sky-High Adventure, the Tanooki Suit is revealed to be able to reveal certain blocks and break some others when in statue form. It can first be found in World 4. The Tanooki Suit can be combined with the P-Wing. According to Shigeru Miyamoto in the Super Mario Bros. 3 entry of the 25th Anniversary Super Mario History Booklet, he was aware that most players outside Japan would be overall confused with the Tanooki Suit and the transformation, but he left it in anyways because it was cool and he was too excited to remove it.[1]

While Tanooki Mario returns in Super Mario 3D Land, the Tanooki Suit doesn't. [2] Instead, Mario must obtain a Super Leaf to transform into Tanooki Mario. The form is also slightly redesigned, as its ears are on the front of the hood, facing forward (rather than on the sides facing outward), and Mario's cap brim was added. Also, Luigi's version of the form is now kitsune-themed and called Kitsune Luigi. Tanooki Mario is only able to whip enemies with his tail and scuttle to jump farther. Statue Mario also reappears, but only after Mario or Luigi ground pounds after grabbing a Statue Leaf, which is only in the Special Worlds. If the player loses five lives on an uncompleted course (only in the first eight worlds), the Invincibility Leaf will be introduced, turning Mario into White Tanooki Mario, which adds invincibility that only lasts the entire level, though the player cannot receive 1-Ups.

In the ending and Special Worlds of Super Mario 3D Land, Toads use the Super Leaves to become Tanooki Toads, wearing scarves, and in the last letter of the game, Peach was shown wearing a Tanooki Suit for the first time. Presumably, she ended up gaining it completely by accident, due to her and the Toads' (themselves in Tanooki Suits) surprise at her new Tanooki-style dress.

Top: Mario wearing the Tanooki Suit. Bottom: the Tanooki Suit's statue ability.

In Super Mario 3D World, the normal and White Tanooki forms return again, working as they did in its handheld predecessor. Tanooki Mario's ears and belly are lighter-colored, Toad lacks a scarf, and Peach's suit is darker-colored and has puffy shorts and darker legs, instead of its 3D Land design. Rosalina's Tanooki Suit is the same as Peach's, though with darker arms and shorter gloves. Peach retains her hover in Tanooki form, and can use the form's glide afterwards.

Tanooki suits are named after tanukis, Japanese creatures who, according to mythology, can use leaves to shape-shift and cause chaos.

The Tanooki Suit was prominently featured in a Nintendo Comics System story titled "Tanooki Suits Me"; according to this story, the suit was one of many magical suits made by a tailor named Tanooki whose trademark was to sew a tail on the back of each one. It is revealed in this comic that Mario turns into a statue by pressing a button on the front of the suit, and changes back by wishing to return to human form.


Main article: List of Mario-related controversies#Animal cruelty

After the release of Super Mario 3D Land, PETA made a website and game to promote their anti-fur campaign ("Mario Kills Tanooki") with regard to the live skinning of raccoon dogs or tanukis. The site implied that Super Mario 3D Land was promoting the use of animal furs as clothing. This resulted in strong backlash from Nintendo and their fans. A spokesperson from PETA later claimed their allegations were "tongue-in-cheek" and "a fun way to call attention to a serious issue, that raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur." This campaign received a lot of negative comments.

PETA even went so far as to create their own Mario-based browser game entitled "Super Tanooki Skin 2D". The game stars the character of Tanooki, a skinless animal who is chasing Mario to get his skin back. The game has the player dodge obstacles in order to catch up to the famous plumber, who is flying ahead of Tanooki, wearing his skin which is dripping with blood. When the player wins the game, a message pops up that reads, "!@#$ you Mario! The skin belongs to an animal!"

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese タヌキスーツ
Tanuki sūtsu
Tanooki Suit
Spanish Traje de Mapache Tanooki Suit
French Costume de Tanuki Tanuki Costume
German Waschbärenkostüm Raccoon Costume
Italian Abito Tanooki Tanooki dress



  1. ^ Super Mario History Booklet, page 13.
    Shigeru Miyamoto: The Tanooki Suit turns into a statue! Even though I knew it wouldn't make sense to some non-Japanese players...I was so excited about it that I left it in.
  2. ^ http://www.1up.com/news/super-mario-3ds-combines-galaxy-mario-64-e3