As the Super Mario Bros. movie finally opens in Japan, its Japanese dub is debuting overseas on the same day.

Hollywood movies often don’t open in Japan until weeks, or sometimes even months, after their release in other parts of the world. That’s once again the case with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which came out in the U.S. on April 5 but won’t appear in Japan, the home country for its video-game source material, until April 28.

However, even if North American fans of Nintendo’s mascot have already seen his animated big screen debut, there’s an interesting reason for them to head to the theater on April 28 too, with the surprise announcement that special Japanese-language screenings of the movie will be taking place in the U.S. and Canada starting that day.

The announcement came on Tuesday via the movie’s official English-language Twitter account, listing three theaters in the Los Angeles area (AMC’s Burbank 16, Del Amo 18, and Orange 30 locations), two in San Francisco (AMC’s Mercado 20 and Metreon 16), and one each in New York (AMC Empire 25), Seattle (Cinemark Lincoln Square), Honolulu (Consolidate Theaters Ward), Vancouver (SilverCity Riverport), and Toronto (Yonge-Douglas Cineplex).

Japanese-dialogue trailer for The Super Mario Bros. Movie

While screening of anime movies with Japanese spoken dialogue at theaters outside Japan have become more common in recent years, the Super Mario Bros. Movie is in kind of a unique position linguistically. While the movie is based on Nintendo’s made-in-Japan video game franchise, its script was written, and the original character dialogue recoded, in English. As such, the Japanese-language screenings appear to be more of a tip of the cap to Mario’s country of origin, and less an effort to preserve the film in its original artistic form.

The primary Japanese cast consists of:
Mamoru Miyano (Death Note’s Light Yagami) as Mario
Tasuku Hatanaka (My Hero Academia’s Denki Kaminari) as Luigi
Arisa Shida as Peach
Kenta Miyake (My Hero Academia’s All Might) as Bowser
Tomokazu Seki (Escaflowne’s Van) as Toad
Koji Takeda as Donkey Kong

With the announcement coming just three days before the Japanese-language screenings start, there’s been some online grumbling from those who’ve noticed listings that designate them as being “Japanese spoken with no subtitles,” with at least one commenter exasperatingly wondering if they’re supposed to learn Japanese in half a week.

However, there are English-subtitled screenings as well, such as this one at the AMC Orange 30.

Meanwhile, the AMC Del Amo 18 has both subtitled and non-subtitled Japanese-dialogue screenings.

So when buying your tickets, you’ll want to check the fine print, but honestly a little extra reading doesn’t seem all that unreasonable to ask of those in the mood to watch a movie with subtitles.

Source: Twitter/@supermariomovie
Top image: Twitter/@supermariomovie
Insert images: AMC (1, 2)
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he wonders what happened to his Virtual Fighter rival from the Del Amo arcade.