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Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume Anime Film Puts Spotlight on Characters

Makoto Shinkai’s next anime film, Suzumeis set to open in Japan on November 11, and Crunchyroll is teaming up with Sony Pictures and Wild Bunch International to bring the feature to global audiences outside of Asia in early 2023. Ahead of that, a new update on the official website is here to highlight some of the film’s characters.

First up, our protagonist:

A 17-year-old high school student who lives with her aunt in a quiet town in Kyushu. She often has strange dreams, where she roams the grassy plains among vast ruins as far as the eye can see.

Other character spotlights include:

A young man who travels across Japan searching for open doors that bring catastrophe upon its surroundings. He encounters Suzume while headed for a certain ruin containing a door.

A mysterious white cat that speaks and suddenly appears before Suzume. It often shows up wherever doors open, and ruffles Suzume’s feathers.

A children’s chair that Suzume used when younger. It’s missing a leg. After a certain ‘incident,’ it comes to life, roaming about on its 3 legs.

Shinkai announced the movie on December 15, 2021, with the film scheduled to release in Japan on November 11, 2022. Shinkai will direct and lead the screenplay for the film, with Masayoshi Tanaka returning as Character Designer, Kenichi Tsuchiya as Animation Director, Takumi Tanji as Art Director , with animation production at CoMix Wave Films.

Suzume is Shinkai’s 13th directory work, following weathering with you‘s release in 2019, where the movie won “Animation of the Year” at the 43rd Japan Academy Film Awards. Shinkai won “Director of the Year” for his 2016 movie, YourName., at the 40th Japan Academy Film Awards, alongside its success as the third highest-grossing Japanese film worldwide. Shinkai’s earlier works also include The Garden of Words, Children Who Chase Lost Voices and 5 Centimeters per Second.

The film is described as such:

On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—

Suzume no Tojimari” is a coming-of-age story for the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation.

Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by her power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.

—The stars, then sunset, and the morning sky.

Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky…

Never-before-seen scenery, encounters and farewells… A myriad of challenges await her on her journey. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Ella Suzume’s adventure shines a ray of hope upon our own struggles against the toughest roads of anxiety and constraints that make up everyday life. This story of closing doors that connect our past to the present and future will leave a lasting impression upon all of our hearts.

Drawn in by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.

Source: Press release


Joseph Luster is the Games and Web editor at Otaku USA Magazine and the Editor-in-Chief of Sci Fi Magazine. You can read his comics at subhumanzoids. Follow him on Twitter @Moldilox.

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