Makoto Shinkai’s latest anime film Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari) made history at the 73rd Berlin Internation Film Festival as the first Japanese animation nomination to be selected for the “Competition” section in 21 years. Suzume is the first film since the iconic Spirited Away film to be selected for the competition group and will be screening during the festival between February 16 and February 26—the first international screening of the movie. A key visual for the celebration was also revealed, which you can check out below (POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING).
The sci-fi adventure film was released in theaters across Japan on November 11 making it Director Makoto Shinkai’s 13th film and his third in the past six years. Since its release, the film has gone on to be one of the greatest Japanese box office successes in anime history. The film is now the 10th highest-grossing anime film of all time in Japan alone and also the 25th highest-grossing film entirely. Not only that, but the film had the strongest opening weekend out of all of Shinkai’s films, including Weathering With You and Your Name, earning $9.9 million opening weekend at the Japan Box office.
To put into perspective the movie’s success, Weathering With You ended up earning $193 million at the worldwide box office. Meanwhile, Suzume has already grossed $97.6 million at the Japan Box office alone and outsold Weathering With You tickets by over 14%.
Crunchyroll announced the following dates for international releases
- April 12 in France and Malta
- April 13 in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and New Zealand
- April 14 in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Gibraltar, Ireland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and United States
- Additional 2023 dates to be announced for additional Latin America and EMEA territories
Suzume Anime Film Cast
- Hokuto Matsumura as Souta Munakata
- Nanoka Hara as Suzume Iwato
- Eri Fukatsu as Tamaki Iwato
- Kana Hanazawa as Tsubame Iwato
- Kana Hanazawa as Camellia Iwato
- Shota Sometani as Minoru Okabe
- Sairi Ito as Rumi Ninomiya
- Kotone Hanase as Chika Amabe
- Matsumoto Koshiro IX as Youro Munakata
- Matsumoto Hakuou II as Hitsujirou Munakata
- Ryunosuke Kamiki as Tomoya Serizawa
- Ann Yamane as Daijin
- Aimi as Miki
Suzume Anime Film Staff
Shinkai will be directing the film and writing the screenplay while Masayoshi Tanaka handles the character designs. Takumi Tanji is listed as the art director for the film and Kenichi Tsuchiya as the animation director. If those names working alongside Shinkai sound familiar then that’s a good thing. Tanaka, Tanji, and Tsuchiya have all worked with Shinkai on his previous movies including Your Name and Weathering With You in the same roles. And why is that particularly a good thing? Well, keep reading.
Makoto Shinkai Films
Shinkai has grown a reputation over the years as one of the most, if not the most, critically acclaimed anime film director of modern times. He’s a 6x award-winning director (13x nominated) that directed hit movies such as Your Name, Weathering With You, and Voices of a Distant Star, all of which are award-winners.
In 2003, Shinkai won the award for Best Director at the 8th AMD Awards for Voices of a Distant Star. Then 14 years later, Shinkai became nominated as a director for nine separate awards for his film Your Name, of which he took home four awards that include the Arigato Award at the 2016 Tokyo International Film Festival, Best Director at the 2016 Nikkan Sports Film Awards, Best Director at the 2017 Tokyo Anime Award Festival, and also Best Animation Director at the 2017 Japan Movie Critics Awards.
This is not even counting the 17 awards the film Your Name itself won between 2016 and 2018. Your Name went on to be the third highest-grossing anime film of all time raking in a whopping $380 million at the worldwide box office, falling just short of Spirited Away’s $395 million. But it’s worth mentioning that the movie actually surpassed Spirited Away until Spirited Away was officially released in China back in 2019 moving the worldwide earnings back above Your Name).
Shinkai would also go on to win Best Director for Weathering With You at the 2020 Tokyo Anime Award Festival, which was also nominated for both the Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production and Outstanding Achievement for Writing in an Animated Feature Production categories at the 2020 Annie Awards. Weathering With You didn’t win as many accolades as Your Name, but winning seven awards in of itself is no small feat. Not to mention, the film ended up becoming the 7th highest-grossing anime film of all-time earning over $193 million, which was just recently surpassed by the hit movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0.
So not only has Shinkai taken how four directorial awards and over 20 separate awards for his films, but he also created two top 10 highest-grossing anime films ever made. And if that doesn’t get you excited for Suzume no Tojimari, then I don’t know what will, especially knowing he has the same team around him as his previous two films mentioned above.
Suzume no Tojimari Synopsis
Doors of Disaster open across Japan, bringing misfortune. 17-year-old Suzume lives in a quiet town in the Kyushu region in Japan. The story begins when she meets a young man on a journey to discover all the doors. She follows him and finds an old door at an abandoned building in the mountains. As if drawn by something, she reaches out… This is the start of her journey across Japan to lock up the doors that bring disasters. Makoto Shinkai’s modern adventure and story about a girl’s freedom and growth sets off.
Stay tuned for more news on the Suzume anime film and its future international release dates!