Cole Cameron 23’
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Suzume, director Makoto Shinkai’s latest film. Shinkai is best known for movies such as 5 Centimeter Per Second, Weathering With You, and the blockbuster hit, Your Name.
Suzume was brought to theaters across America by licensor Crunchyroll for a limited time for a week starting April 14th. After watching the film in theaters, I can say it is well worth my time.
Suzume is a magical story about closing doors to past memories and abandoned places in order to seal away an ancient power that seeks to destroy the Earth. After accidentally opening the seal, high school girl Suzume crosses paths with ‘Closer’ Souta Munakata and travels across Japan in order to free Souta of his curse and Japan from the ancient evil.
The story was engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. The only real negative that I can say is that it felt a little too similar to Shinkai’s previous works. But that’s just nitpicking. It was a thought provoking story that balanced themes of both letting go of and remembering the past with a heart pounding and emotional conclusion and had plenty of humor mixed in.
The film looks absolutely stunning, and I expect no less from animation studio CoMix Wave Films. It was an impressive movie to look at from beginning to end. You can tell that they never cut corners with regards to the animation. Every character looks unique and every location looks grounded in the world they inhabit.
The soundtrack was breathtaking. The film’s titular moments had the most exciting, most emotional music I have heard in anime. I absolutely loved the inclusion of older Japanese pop songs towards the end of the film. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Makoto Shinkai film without Radwimps being in charge of the main theme. Their single featuring Toaka, appropriately titled “Suzume,” is a hauntingly beautiful song that sent me chills as it played when the credits rolled.
I loved Suzume. It was a fantastic film in all respects. As a fan of the director, I am more than satisfied with his latest masterpiece and I look forward to seeing what Shinkai does next.