Makoto Shinkai’s most mature work to date

suzume continues Makoto Shinkai’s tradition of telling a heartfelt story that touches on love, sorrow, and the relationship between humans and nature. Shinkai has established himself as the master of anime thanks to his reputation for creating visually stunning films that explore complex themes and emotions. For those familiar with the director’s previous works, suzume will feel familiar in many ways as the film explores themes that it has already addressed in works such as 5 centimeters per second, The Garden of WordsAnd your name. However, suzume also delves deeper into some darker aspects of human experience, such as the loss of a parent. The result is Shinkai’s most mature work to date.

Presented as the first Japanese anime feature film in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival in two decades, suzume is a coming-of-age story that follows the 17-year-old protagonist Suzume (voiced by Nanoka Hara) as she journeys through various locations across Japan. Suzume’s life takes an unexpected turn after meeting the mysterious Sōta (Hokuto Matsumura), who reveals he is a Closer, one of the people tasked with closing some doors before launching a powerful worm into our world leave that causes earthquakes.

When Sōta is unexpectedly transformed into a three-legged chair, Suzume takes it upon herself to close these portals and prevent further damage. Suzume’s adventure takes her through several disaster-ridden locations across Japan, where she meets new people and faces many challenges. The further Suzume travels from home, the more she learns about herself and her past.

Once again, the environmental message is prominent in Shinkai’s work. The protagonist’s adventures take place in places that have been abandoned or destroyed by natural disasters, a theme that resonated particularly strongly in Japan after the March 2011 earthquake. Shinkai emphasizes the need to save these places from lack of care and preserve them for future generations.

The author’s use of light and color in his films has always been a defining feature of his work suzume is no exception. The film’s depictions of nature, with vivid colors and subtle lighting, are a visual treat for the eyes.

Suzume’s journey eventually takes her to the afterlife, a mystical world where past, present and future converge and merge until they become one. The Ever-After introduces the theme of the grieving process as Suzume struggles to come to terms with her mother’s death. The film addresses the journey to acceptance with sensitivity and grace, a reminder that love can help us find our way through difficult times.

In total, suzume is a film that delivers on the promise of Shinkai’s earlier works while exploring new themes and emotions. In addition to its emotional soundtrack, the unique visuals, relatable characters, and masterful storytelling make the film stand out suzume a standout entry in Shinkai’s impressive filmography and a must-see for anime fans. suzume‘s ability to balance heartbreaking moments with a sense of hope is a testament to Shinkai’s talent. The film will hit theaters in the US on April 14th.

RESULT: 9/10

As explained in ComingSoon’s grading guidelines, a score of 9 equates to Excellent. Makoto Shinkai’s most mature work to date

Olly Dawes

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