Makoto Shinkai has consistently blown away anime fans, creating stories that are both visually and emotionally satisfying to experience. His newest film Suzume is no exception to this trend, elevating the best qualities of his films to even greater heights, while presenting a narrative that feels particularly unique in the process.

Within its opening minutes, Suzume draws you into a crucial conflict. High school girl Suzume Iwato encounters Sota Munakata, a “Closer” who travels across Japan to stop earthquakes caused by a supernatural worm. When Sota is fused into a chair by a mysterious cat called Daijin, Suzume goes on a journey with Sota to prevent Japan’s destruction.

Suzume is a big departure from Makoto Shinkai’s usual story structure. The film is more direct with its supernatural elements and it establishes its conflict much earlier in its run. That said, this allows Suzume to have a much stronger identity. Rather than dedicating a portion of the film to solely building their relationship, Suzume and Sota gradually grow closer through their actions in the face of crisis. It makes both leads have a more genuine bond, one that has romantic elements like previous Shinkai films but isn’t relegated to only having that quality. Both Suzume and Sota have found a deeper sense of belonging by traveling together, and you’re invested in seeing their relationship continue to flourish.

Natural disasters are a common trend in Shinkai’s recent films, with the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami being a major influence on his work. Suzume takes a more direct approach to this idea, as Suzume and Sota travel to areas across Japan that have been abandoned from previous disasters. The film explores how these destructive events affect our lives and the hardship that persists with their survivors.

What ties these ideas together is Suzume herself. Having lost her mother and hometown at a young age, Suzume has a deep understanding of the impact that tragedy can have. By working to prevent Japan’s destruction, Suzume is confronting her trauma and searching for closure. Suzume’s thematic connections to the story make her journey have a greater emotional weight, while also allowing her character to develop meaningfully alongside the central conflict.

From a production standpoint, Suzume is a spectacle for both the eyes and ears. CoMix Wave Films has once again produced a visually beautiful film that will blow away viewers from start to finish. Suzume and Sota travel to a wide variety of areas throughout the story, depicting dense cities alongside vast country landscapes. The sense of scale feels far greater than Shinkai’s previous films, showcasing not only the beauty of Japan but also why this beauty needs to be protected. Praise also has to be given to the amazing musical score from Radwimps and Kazuma Jinnouchi, which will entrance viewers with a mix of gentle and tension-building instrumental pieces that enhance the film experience. The main theme sung by Toaka is equally fantastic and will leave you emotional even on multiple listens.

Suzume is an amazing film that refines the themes present in Makoto Shinkai’s previous works while also carving out its own identity. Beyond being a beautiful experience, the film establishes a compelling relationship between its two leads and provides an emotionally grounded narrative within its greater supernatural conflict. This is one movie that you shouldn’t miss out on.

9.0 10



Suzume is an amazing film that refines the themes present in Makoto Shinkai’s previous works while also carving out its own identity.


About The Author Varun Gupta

Varun Gupta is a BI Engineer that works in the entertainment industry. Throughout his entire life, Varun has had an immense love of animation and comics. An obsessive manga collector, he spends his free time attempting to read through his massive backlog of series, hoping to one day finish them all. Will he succeed in his perilous quest? Probably not, but at least he’s having fun doing it!

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