Ah, Makoto Shinkai, one of the relatively newer (and fewer) popular anime film directors, often compared to other big name anime directors that have nothing in common with because we don’t expect anyone to read behind this clickbait opener of an article, and his later work, Suzume, finally hitting theathers worldwide.
For the record, i do find Shinkai to be a very talented director, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that after Your Name he just pigeonholed himself into making the same type of movie over and over again, of which he’s seemingly self-aware because Suzume is a far more straightforward story…. that almost immediatly features a guy turning into a chair.
I knew of that before hand but the execution still threw me off, in a good way, as the story unfolds around a common 17 yo high school girl, the titular Suzume, and a young man named Souta, who end teaming up in preventing eartquakes by locking away mystical doors that appear in ruins , in a road movie-esque fashion.
All “obviously” inspired (even more than Shinkai’s previous movie) by the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, referred to simply by its date (3/11) due to its cultural lasting impact on Japan.
While there’s a lot to like as it’s usual with Shinkai works (characters, animation, mastery in handling emotional weight)… it also suffers from the fact the plot it’s structurally the same we’ve been before, twice, it has some pacing issues towards the end, and you better believe there’s a romance subplot, because.
I do find the ending more fitting the overall message and theme than in Weathering With You, and to be honest even with these flaws, it’s undeniably a good movie that once again demonstrates Shinkai didn’t fluke his way into “anime film royalty”.