Creator of Your Name Makoto Shinkai has revealed his newest anime movie. Its Japanese title is Suzume no Tojimari, which translates to Suzume’s Door-Locking, or Suzume Locks Up. It his is first film since 2019’s Weathering With You (a.k.a. Tenki no Ko).
The announcement event also included a reveal of the film’s key visual, which shows a dilapidated door standing in the middle of a partially submerged ruin.
During the reveal event, Shinkai described Suzume no Tojimari as a modern, adventure-style road movie around Japan. The story begins with a teenager from rural Kyushu named Suzume, who meets a boy seeking out a certain door. Together, they find it in some mountain ruins, and upon opening the door, Suzume realizes that she set off some kind of phenomenon. Other mysterious doors are opening throughout the country, bringing disasters from the other side. Suzume must travel around Japan to close the doors and end the calamity.
Promotional copy on film’s website suggests that the movie will involve “unseen landscapes, greetings and farewells, as well as surprises and crises.” The story of how Suzume moves forward will “shine a ray of light on the journey of living alongside anxiety and discomfort.” During the press conference Shinkai stated that the reference to “closing doors rather than opening them” can also be seen as finding closure or resolution, or a tying of loose ends.
Makoto Shinkai will direct the film and provide the screenplay. Several of his veteran collaborators are also involved in the production. Masayoshi Tanaka will handle character designs. He previously provided the designs for Your Name and Weathering with You. Kenichi Tsuchiya, who worked on Your Name and The Garden of Words, is serving as animation director. Takumi Tanji, from Children Who Chase Lost Voices, is the art director.
Suzume no Tojimari is in production and will release in Japan in 2022.