Melancholy, mystery, and…mobile sentient furniture?

Makoto Shinkai is an incredibly consistent director. Not only has he crafted a distinct visual and thematic style, since 2013 he’s kept to a steady schedule of releasing a new anime theatrical feature every three years.

The pacing is just a bit off for the upcoming Suzume no Tojimari, though. Whereas Your Name and Weathering with You were summer releases, Suzume no Tojimari isn’t coming out until autumn. Maybe in recognition that fans’ internal clocks are telling them that summer 2022 is supposed to be time for some new Shinkai animation to watch, a new, extended trailer for Suzume no Tojimari has just been released, though it’s one filled with so much artistry and mystery that it’s hard to say it’s going to make the wait for the film any easier.

Accompanied by the haunting main theme song for the movie, which features the sounds of locks being turned en masse (Suzume no Tojimari mean’s “Suzume’s Door-Locking,” after all), the beginning of the trailer gives us our first good look at the male lead, a long-haired drifter who protagonist Suzume passes by on her bicycle, triggering a dramatic vision of a key releasing a flood of magical energy.

The video has English subtitles, but the lyric translations don’t see, to be finalized, since they’re pretty rough grammatically (this isn’t a first for a pre-release-form Shinkai anime). The references to meetings, meaningful tears, and voices fighting to not be drowned out by the wind culminates in “It may be foolish, it may be ugly, but on the other side of what’s right…” before transitioning to the very first line of spoken dialogue that’s been presented for the film, as Suzume opens a door that leads to a completely different place than where she’s standing and says “I wandered to a place with a sky where it felt like all of time had melted together.”

The trailer also gives us our first glimpse at a few previously unseen characters, such as a short-haired woman who Suzume seems to be on friendly terms with and, most prominently, a sentient child’s-size wooden chair with three legs. There’s also a scene that makes sure the audience can appreciate an intricately tied cord Suzume wears around her neck, which feels like a deliberate callback to similar imagery from Your Name, and the waterlogged locales, evocative of the ending of Weathering with You, further make it seem like Suzume no Tojimari is going to become the third film set in the world shared by Shinkai’s two most-recently released anime.

In terms of technical animation aspects, Shinkai’s rise to bona fide superstardom means he’s pretty much the only non-Studio Ghibli anime director able to create anime films with no sort of limits placed on his resources. The trailer is filled with not only gorgeous character animation and brilliant colors, but several scenes with dramatic moving cameras perspectives, a luxury lavish enough it might make other animators grind their teeth in jealousy if the visuals weren’t so jaw-dropping.

Suzume no Tojimari opens in Japanese theaters on November 11.

Source, images: YouTube/東宝MOVIEチャンネル
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