The two 2023 movies doing best in Japan this year are The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Detective Conan: Kurogane no Submarine (translated as Detective Conan: Iron Submarine). In fact, they’ve basically tied in how much money they’ve earned, with each raking in about $95 million.
These movies have become the #13 highest-grossing animated movies in Japan, and that includes both anime and animation from other countries. If you compare them to all movies released in Japanese theaters, then they’re both at #20.
Detective Conan: Kurogane no Submarine is the 26th movie in the popular and massive franchise. The franchise is beloved in Japan, but when we’re talking about The Super Mario Bros., they have a much bigger global reach. In fact, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the most successful movie worldwide in 2023 so far.
Illumination gave this description for The Super Mario Bros. Movie:
From Nintendo and Illumination comes a new animated film based on the world of Super Mario Bros. Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic (collaborators on Teen Titans Go!, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies) from a screenplay by Matthew Fogel (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, Minions: The Rise of Gru), the film stars Chris Pratt as Mario, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, Charlie Day as Luigi, Jack Black as Bowser, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Fred Armisen as Cranky Kong, Kevin Michael Richardson as Kamek and Sebastian Maniscalco as Spike.
VIZ Media publishes the original Detective Conan manga (under the name Case Closed) and gave this description for the first volume:
Precocious high school student Jimmy Kudo uses his keen powers of observation and astute intuition to solve mysteries that have left law enforcement officials baffled. Hot on the trail of a suspect, Jimmy is accosted from behind and fed a strange chemical which physically transforms him into a grade schooler! Taking on the pseudonym Conan Edogawa, he attempts to track down the people who did this to him. But until he finds a cure for his bizarre condition, Jimmy continues to help the police solve their toughest cases.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.