Magical adventure road movie looks to a continuation of the story of the world of Your Name and Weathering with You.

Makoto Shinkai is known for his unabashed emotional storytelling and glimmering visual style, but the anime director also deserves credit for his consistency. Starting with The Garden of Words in 2013, Shinkai has released a new anime film every three years, with his biggest hit so far, Your Name coming in 2016 and Weathering with You, also a gigantic critical and commercial success, in 2019.

So with it now being 2022, we’re due for a new Shinkai movie before the year is done, and sure enough, here comes the teaser trailer for Suzume no Tojimari.

First announced back in December, Suzume no Tojimari doesn’t yet have an official English title. The “Suzume” part, though, is the name of the 17-year-old schoolgirl seen in the trailer, while tojimari means to close and lock-up a door, hence all the imagery of doors, locks, and keys in the video.

Shinkai describes the film as “A modern-day adventure story,” and also “an action movie” and “a road movie,” as the plot takes Suzume from her home in a rural part of Japan’s southwestern island of Kyushu on a journey to “close doors” in haikyo, or modern ruin, sites around Japan.

The trailer ticks off several boxes on the Shinkai signature style list, including high-contrast color design with an emphasis on blues and purples, a pensive atmosphere, and a girl with mysterious powers that appear tied to the fate of the world.

Adding extra intrigue for fans who have already seen Your Name and Weathering with You (mild spoilers for both films ahead), the trailer also seems to imply that Suzume no Tojimari takes place in the same world as Shinkai’s last two anime. Characters from Your Name appear in Weathering with You, and the chain of events in Weathering with You leave much of Japan submerged underwater. The flooded homes and hotels Suzume can be seen walking through in the trailer feel like a pretty obvious allusion to Weathering with You’s conclusion, and with Shinkai saying that Suzume’s “door-closing” serves as an allegory for tying up loose ends, it’s possible that making peace with major upheavals and moving on with life will be a central theme in Suzume no Tojimari.

Character designs by the returning Masayoshi Tanaka, who served as designer for Your Name and Weathering with You as well, also make all three films feel like one connected Makoto Shinkai cinematic universe. In addition, Suzume no Tojimari is being far more upfront about its supernatural elements than Your Name or Weathering with You were in their initial teaser trailers, which would also make sense if it’s taking place in a world where the existence of earth-shaking magical phenomena is something that’s already been established. The video’s accompanying music also has an openly mystical feel to it (although there’s still a chance that frequent soundtrack contributor J-rock band Radwimps will be showing up in later previews).

Suzume no Tojimari is scheduled for release in Japanese theaters on November 11.

Images: YouTube/東宝MOVIEチャンネル
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