Header Ads

Suzume no Tojimari: Makoto Shinkai's Next Feature Revealed

Anime auteur Makoto Shinkai has had quite the career. Starting off with a self-funded OAV he produced almost single-handedly he rose up to become one of the biggest animation filmmakers in Japan. And with the record-breaking success of Your Name in 2016, he exploded onto the world stage. 2019 follow up Weathering With You was another major hit, if not quite on the same scale. Shinkai has now revealed his next film, which is set to release in Japan next year.

The film was revealed at a Tokyo press conference this week. The Japanese title for the film is Suzume no Tojimari,  and there is no official English title for the film as yet. Suzume is the name of the film's protagonist, a 17-year-old girl who lives on Japan's Southwestern island Kyushu. Japan Today notes that tojimari translates as 'firmly shutting doors', making the title translate as  'Suzume's Door Shutting' or 'The Closing Up of Suzume'. The actual title the film is released under internationally could be something else entirely.

Doors appear to be involved somehow though, as the promotional art released for the announcement features a closed-door, apparently in the middle of nowhere. Shinkai describes the film as a road movie set in Japan's haikyo or abandoned structures.

The film's plot sounds very much in a similar vein to Shinkai's past works with a fantasy/ magical realist bent with a couple of teenagers at its centre. In this case, Suzume encounters a young man who has travelled to her town in search of a door. These doors have been mysteriously appearing all over Japan, bringing disaster and chaos through from somewhere unknown. The pair find such a door in a derelict building, and Suzume discovers she has the power to close these doors and sets off on a journey to save Japan from this mysterious phenomenon.

Shinkai describes the film as a road movie and an action/adventure movie. There has been no announcement of a romance between the two leads, but love stories have been a major component of almost every Shinkai production to date. It would be much more of a surprise (potentially a welcome one) if this time the love story was purely platonic.

Makoto Shinkai will write and direct the movie, which began production in April of 2020. Masayoshi Tanaka will be contributing character designs and Kenichi Tsuchiya will be animation director. Both played the same roles on Your Name and Weathering With You. Takumi Tanji will be Art Director, a position he also held on Your Name.

Suzume no Tojimari is scheduled to release in Japan in autumn 2022.