It’s not your typical teenage romance: a girl falls in love with a three-legged chair, but then Suzume is far from your average movie.
Already a global box office smash, it is yet another dazzling and delightful animation from Japanese director Makoto Shinkai (Your Name).
Having lost her mother as a small child, a now 16-year-old Suzume (voiced by Nanoka Hara) was raised by her aunt. One day, cycling to school she bumps into a cute guy called Souta (Hokuto Matsumura) who tells her he’s looking for a door.
It turns out Souta is a ‘Closer’, someone charged with closing doors to another world, known as ‘The Ever After’. But when a ginormous, city-destroying worm with angry tentacles escapes from The Ever After, he and Suzume must team up to close the rift.
There’s a touch of Stranger Things to this rich and unusual (unless you’re already a Shinkai devotee) story, which mines the enduring collective trauma felt by the young following Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Shinkai’s genius is in his unique blend of profound melancholy, transcendent hope, authentic teenage feels and sublime visuals. There’s also an insanely cute kitten.
Suzume is an anime extraordinary enough to appeal to even non-anime fans.
Out April 14 in cinemas.
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