Japanese animator and director Makoto Shinkai had been a name in the animation space for decades thanks to works like She and Her Cat and Voices of a Distant Star. But it was 2016’s Your Name, and 2019’s Weathering With You, that helped turn international viewers onto his filmography. His next movie Suzume no Tojimari (or roughly “Suzume Locking Up the Doors” in English) is due out later this year for Japanese theatres, and it looks every bit as gorgeous as his previous two films.
The film stars a teenage girl named Suzume, whose ordinary life in the quiet town of Kyushu is suddenly upended when she comes across a single door standing upright in the ruins of an abandoned hot spring. Curiosity piqued, she opens the door, leading to similar doors popping up all over Japan and hurting anyone who tries to open them. With the help of a young man who was already looking for one of these doors, it falls to Suzume to close these portals.
In an statement provided to Gizmodo, Shinkai said that the film’s story would be one about closure, and that hopefully viewers would leave the film thinking about “how to close the many doors we left open. I’ve bestowed that responsibility upon Suzume as she travels across Japan closing various doors.” Along with the trailer, the film received a key visual featuring Suzume holding a chair and standing in front of the mysterious door, with the tagline that roughly translates to “I’ll see you later.” You can check that below.
Like with his previous films, Shinkai is writing and directing Suzume, though animating duties for the film go to Kenichi Tsuchiya, who previously directed the animation for Weathering and Your Name. This film also reunites Shinkai with the art director for his last two films, Takumi Tanji. What remains to be seen if the Japanese rock band Radwimps will return to handle the music for Suzune, after first collaborating with Shinkai on the scores for Your Name and Weathering.
Suzume no Tojimari will release in theatres on November 11 in Japan, with no current time frame given for a western release.