From the imminent launch of Super Nintendo World to several Lego crossovers, Super Mario's 35th anniversary year has certainly been a busy one. But the latest release might be the most exciting yet for die-hard fans of the moustachioed Italian plumber – and the strangest for everyone else.
Nintendo has teamed up with North American publisher publisher Viz Media to release the first ever English language edition of Super Mario manga, which has been regularly printed in Japan since the 1990s. (Check out our guide to how to draw manga if you fancy creating your own masterpiece).
Super Mario Manga Mania is now available!Learn more: https://t.co/9Ge5LupAjH pic.twitter.com/hcjmrcBO36December 8, 2020
Compiled from over 50 volumes, Viz Media's (opens in new tab) English edition, Super Mario Manga Mania features over 160 pages of original art by Yukio Sawada (who has illustrated the series since it first began). The release is a treasure trove for English-speaking Mario fans, giving them their first official glimpse of over 30 years worth of material previously only available in Japanese.
And based on what we've seen of Super Mario Manga Mania, it's a pretty wild ride. Previews shared by Gizmodo (opens in new tab) (below) reveal a universe even more surreal than the Mushroom Kingdom of the Mario games. In just two screenshots, we're treated to the sight of Mario applying makeup to a fish, as well as a rather meta Dr. Mario from the future bringing news of the series' 50th anniversary. It almost makes Mario Odyssey look like a gritty, naturalistic drama.
And fans who've already got their hands on Super Mario Manga Mania have shared some even more bizarre excerpts. It seems Yukio Sawada has quite the penchent for exploring Mario characters', er, bodily functions. In fact, as one tweet reveals, hundreds of mentioned of "poop" and "fart" have actually been pruned for the English edition. (We're still trying to decide if that's a shame or not.)
From the official Mario manga, Sushi from Paper Mario pissing on Mario's face pic.twitter.com/jGL117zwopDecember 11, 2020
Yukio Sawada informs us that, in the first 52 volumes of Super Mario-kun, "poop" appeared 119 times and "fart" appeared 77 times. He also apologizes that, in the localized version of Super Mario Manga Mania, "you probably won't come across too many poops and farts." 🥺 pic.twitter.com/G4dVvPvP8VDecember 12, 2020
Wait till you get to the Wario's Woods manga where he sacrifices baby Luigi to satan! pic.twitter.com/hC2C9ycRQhJuly 31, 2020
Super Mario Manga Mania is available to order now directly from Viz Media, or from Amazon (opens in new tab). And if you're looking for a slightly more traditional (but no less fun) Super Mario fix, these pre-christmas Nintendo Switch deals are pretty unbeatable.