Makoto Shinkai (your name., Weathering With You) revealed the title heroine’s visual, a still, and the November 11 opening for his first new film in three years, Suzume no Tojimari (literally, Suzume’s Door-Locking), on Saturday.
The tagline on the visual reads, “I’ll see you later.”
The film’s still shows Suzume from behind, walking to what appears to be a small former hot springs town. “A ryokan-style inn lies derelict and abandoned, the rooms overrun with curling ivy, signs pitted and rusted…” The teaser video for the film will debut on the TOHO Movie channel on Youtube on Sunday, April 10 at 8:00 pm (7:00 am EDT).
“We must think about how to close the many doors we left open,” says Shinkai as he continues work on the film. “I’ve bestowed that responsibility upon Suzume as she travels across Japan closing various doors. It is my sincere hope that this film leaves its audiences with big smiles and excitement as they walk out of the theater.”
Shinkai describes Suzume no Tojimari as a modern adventure story, an action film, and a road movie. The story follows Suzume, a 17-year-old girl from a quiet Kyūshū town who meets a young man looking for a door. They find a door within ruins in the mountain, and Suzume opens it. Soon, more doors begin to open around Japan, bringing disasters from the other side. The film depicts Suzume’s liberation and growth, as she closes the doors that are causing disaster.
The morning sky
Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky— Drawn in by this mysterious door, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.
Shinkai stated that three important points about the film are that it is a road movie around Japan, a story about “closing doors” rather than opening them, and a reason to visit the movie theater. He elaborated that closing doors can refer to tying loose ends or finishing something.
Shinkai is directing the film and writing the screenplay. He is also credited with the original story. Masayoshi Tanaka (your name., Weathering With You) is designating the characters. Kenichi Tsuchiya (your name., Garden of Words) is the animation director. Takumi Tanji (Children Who Chase Lost Voices) is the art director. CoMix Wave Films and Story Inc. are producing the movie. TOHO is distributing the film.
The staff planned out the project from January to March of 2020, developed the script from April to August of that year, and drafted the storyboards from September 2020 to December 2021. The actual animation production began in April 20221 and is continuing up to now.
Shinkai’s most recent film, Weathering With Youopened in Japan in July 2019. The film became the #7 highest-earning domestic film of all time in Japan (now #8 after Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train), and was the highest-grossing film in Japan in 2019.
Shinkai’s your name. film opened in Japan in August 2016, and has become the fifth highest-grossing film of all time in Japan, the third highest-grossing Japanese film, and the third highest-grossing anime film.
Shinkai’s other works include 5 Centimeters Per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, She and Her Cat, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, The Garden of Wordsand Children Who Chase Lost Voices.
Sources: Press release, Suzume no Tojimari film’s website, Mantan Web