Anime could help us predict what will happen in the Mario movie

Bowser stands menacingly surrounded by fire.

Oh, are you talking to me, Mario?
picture: Lighting/Nintendo/KidPng/Kotaku

Hey, was anything revealed yesterday? i’m joking, yeah the first official trailer for the Super Mario Bros. Movie, Naturally. While half the internet is losing its collective sanity over Chris Pratt’s vocal performance, another, more sophisticated subset of the interwebs have begun to theorize that the upcoming film looks a lot like an Isekai. But what does that mean?

Even if you’ve never heard the word isekai before, you’ve probably seen these types of stories before. Hollywood movies like space jam, Back to the Futureand even the 1993 Super Mario Bros. Film are all isekai if you really think about it. So let’s break down what an isekai is and why people online including the MF’in Washington Postthink the new Super Mario Bros. Trailer places the film in this genre.


An isekai, literally translated as “other world” or “other world,” is a storytelling genre typically found in anime Sword Art Online and Re: Zero. The usual The structure of an Isekai story revolves around the main character, in this case Mario, who is suddenly teleported to a new world. Upon arrival in the new world, which is customary In a fantasy setting, the main character is pushed to become a hero who, led by a loyal crew of allies i.e. Toad, must purge the world of its imposing and evil overseer: enter Jack Bowser.

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From the opening moments of the trailer, we see that Bowser is not to be trifled with. Heck, they might as well name the movie Super Mario Bros: Bowser’s Fury Roadbecause this man… uh, turtle dragon… looked almost unbeatable, even immortal. His badass villain performance was packed with the ingredients that make an isekai villain. They have an entourage of evil minions, pun not intended, in Bowser’s Legion of Koopas, and a comically evil lair built in his own image. After crushing the Ice Kingdom’s army of penguins, Bowser completes his role as the Isekai villain by acquiring an almighty weapon super starand begged practically everyone to dethrone him.

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Obviously, that person will be Mario, because that’s not just what Isekai heroes do, it’s what Mario has been doing since the 1985 video game Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System first took him to the Mushroom Kingdom. But Mario won’t be able to defeat Bowser alone, and that’s where the Isekai hero’s party comes in. At some point along the journey, an Isekai hero gains more allies with their own special abilities. Thanks to the foresight of Shigeru Miyamoto’s Hollywood Cast AnnouncementWe know those allies will likely be Charlie Day’s Luigi, who we saw running for his life at the back of the trailer, and Anya Taylor-Joy’s Princess Peach. Hopefully Peach isn’t too busy getting kidnapped in the movie and manages to wriggle out of another castle with a girl boss to kick ass along with Mario Bowser.

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How Seth Rogen’s Donkey Kong will fit into all of this remains to be seen. Sure, he was the villain of Mario’s first game, but he’s mostly been presented as a good guy ever since Donkey Kong country fallen almost 30 years ago. It seems things could go either way, although my money’s on him teaming up with Mario before it’s all said and done.

While all the evidence points to the Super Mario Bros. Since the film is an isekai, there is still an elephant in the room in the form of a car: how exactly is Mario teleported to the mushroom kingdom? A Twitter account posits, since we hear Chris Pratt’s normal Minnesotan accent, that Pratt himself is somehow turned into Mario, a la jumanji Rules, and now let’s follow his adventures in the Mushroom Kingdom in the movie. Typically for an isekai, the process of being teleported into the fantasy world comes with the price of being wrapped around the bumper of a moving vehicle, usually a white truck. To keep things in line with the lore of the Mario Universe, I think it would be fitting for Pratt to become the title character after a hit-and-run accident in one of those real lives Mario Kart trips. It’s the right thing.

That Super Mario Bros. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on April 7th. Anime could help us predict what will happen in the Mario movie

Curtis Crabtree

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