Makoto Shinkai has created a name for himself in the anime industry, capturing the hearts of audiences around the world with his breathtaking animated films. Among his most notable works are Your Name and Weathering With You, which have garnered widespread popularity and critical acclaim, cementing his reputation as one of the most talented directors in the genre. Shinkai has done it once again with his latest masterpiece, Suzume (aka Suzume No Tojimari). He delivers a tearjerking, breathtaking, and absolutely riveting experience that will leave you on the edge of your seat.
The story centers around Suzume (Nanoka Hara), a 17-year-old high school girl who lives with her aunt in the south of Japan. She’s the embodiment of sweetness and kindness, but beneath her shy demeanor lies a deep-seated trauma that threatens to consume her. Little does she know her life is about to take a drastic turn as she encounters a mysterious man named Souta (Hokuto Matsumura) on her way to school. Intrigued by Souta’s mission to find a peculiar nearby door, Suzume becomes fascinated with this mysterious man. But she accidentally unlocks a dangerous force that could potentially wreak havoc and destroy the country of Japan.
Souta is unable to intervene in time, as Suzume has opened the portal to the mystical land of Never After causing multiple doors to pop up throughout Japan, unleashing the unbridled power of the otherworldly realm into the world. Only a Closer like Souta can lock away the supernatural worm-like being with the assistance of a keystone, however, this plan comes to a halt when Souta is magically transformed into a three-legged chair, (yep a chair). Once Suzume and Souta meet Daijin, the physical manifestation of the keystone who takes the form of a talking cat voiced by Ann Yamane, Suzume realizes the gravity of the situation and takes it upon herself to lead Souta on a chase across the country to close all the opened portals, break the spell that caused the disaster, and put a stop to Daijin’s actions.
Japanese anime has long been acclaimed for its stunning artistry, with a style that blends the intricate details of comic books and the grandeur of cinema. In his latest masterpiece, Shinkai has raised the bar even higher, crafting a visual feast that leaves viewers awestruck with every frame. The artistry effortlessly captures the eye, drawing the audience into a world of breathtaking beauty. The painterly style flows with a natural grace, showcasing a richness and vibrancy of color that is truly cinematic in its grandeur. Moreover, the world-building is expertly woven into the visuals, creating a seamless experience that feels both real and magical. Each element of the film comes together to create a living, breathing world that enchants and captivates, inviting viewers to lose themselves right into the screen.
Besides the gorgeous visuals, Shinkai pulls no punches as Suzume transforms from cute to quirky to explosively intense, captivating audiences with her arresting battles. The sheer power and energy she brings to the screen is palpable, with fiery whirlwinds that she can conjure up and control. This animation team continues to amaze with their skillful artistry, with even seemingly mundane actions as simple as closing doors and turning keys giving such an epic explosion of excitement, leaving the viewer marveling at the incredible attention to detail.
Suzume is not your typical coming-of-age tale, as it eschews the usual teenage preoccupations such as school and boys. Rather, Suzume finds herself with a monumental task at hand – the prevention of destruction in Japan. Throughout her thrilling escapades, Suzume grapples with her deepest fears and traumas, which have long plagued her existence. Along the way, viewers are treated to a delightful blend of lighthearted humor, cringe-worthy moments, and a touch of romance. One aspect of the film that cannot be overlooked is its captivating soundscape. The music is simply breathtaking and amplifies the grandeur of the movie to new heights. The score is both exhilarating and entertaining, infusing the film with an added layer of epicness that leaves audiences mesmerized.
Suzume is a captivating adventure that enchants the screen with its magical essence. From start to finish, viewers are transported into a world of wonder and intrigue, fully engrossed in the enthralling narrative. The film is a mesmerizing experience that leaves audiences yearning for more, reluctant for it to come to an end. In short, Suzume is an enchanting and unforgettable journey. Simply a must-watch.
Suzume will be released in U.S. theaters on April 14, 2023 courtesy of Crunchyroll.
Suzume is a captivating adventure that enchants the screen with its magical essence.
It all started when I was a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons like the Spider-Man: Animated Series and Batman. Since then I’ve been hooked to the world of pop culture. Huge movie lover from French New Wave, to the latest blockbusters, I love them all. Huge Star Wars and Marvel geek. When I’m free from typing away at my computer, you can usually catch me watching a good flick or reading the next best comic. Come geek out with me on Twitter @somedudecody.