At the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo a press conference was held to announce the new movie by Makoto Shinkai. The new movie is called “Suzume no Tojimari“, which translates to “Suzume’s Door-Locking“. The anime movie is set to open in Japan in the fall of 2022.
The director, screenwriter, and original story creator, Makoto Shinkai describes the movie as action-oriented film, set in modern day times. The main character is 17 year old Suzume who comes from a quiet Kyushu town. Suzume meets a young man who is 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.
Makoto Shinkai noted three important points about the film: It is a road movie that takes place all over Japan, a story about “closing doors” as opposed to “opening doors”, and a reason to visit the movie theaters.
After fans saw the movies “Your Name” and “Weathering With You“, Shinkai would get requests for his next movie to showcase their town. So Shinkai tried to think of a way to show different parts of Japan in one movie. A move he admits to being indulgent, making this a very audacious film.
Unlike opening doors, Shinkai explained that closing doors could refer to identifying individual opportunities that we lost and finding proper closure in order to move forward. Starting something can be easier than ending something.
Makoto Shinkai wanted to create a film that would bring people to the movie theater. Streaming has become the norm and easy to enjoy on your own time. But there is something special about being a dark room with a big screen, the feeling of being so immersed in a story through the visuals and sounds.
Mone Kamishiraishi, who voice Mitsuha in “Your Name“, and Nana Mori, who voiced Hina in “Weathering With You“, were also guest speakers at the press conference. Both of them explained having already seen the storyboards for the film and gave their impressions of the story and what they took from the messaging of the film and what it meant to them.
Makoto Shinkai’s other anime films include 5 Centimeters Per Second, Voices of a Distant Star, She and Her Cat, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, The Garden of Words, and Children Who Chase Lost Voices.