The latest anime feature film from acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai (Your Name, Weathering With You) is coming to cinemas in 2023 – but not from who you might expect. Last week, Crunchyroll announced that they will be releasing Suzume no Tojimari (lit. Suzume’s Door-Locking) in cinemas worldwide excluding Asia, in co-operation with their parent company Sony Pictures, as well as distributor Wild Bunch International. When approached by Anime UK News for clarification, Crunchyroll confirmed that their rights to the film include the UK and Ireland.
As part of a collaborative effort, Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures will be distributing Suzume no Tojimari in parts of Europe, alongside Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Central America, the Middle East, and Africa. Crunchyroll themselves will distribute the film in North America, with Wild Bunch International handling the title in French and German speaking territories.
Makoto Shinkai is writing and directing Suzume no Tojimari at CoMix Wave Films, reuniting with long time collaborators such as character designer Masayoshi Tanaka (Anohana), Animation Director Kenichi Tsuchiya (Garden of Words), and Art Director Takumi Tanji (Your Name).
Crunchyroll describes the story of Suzume no Tojimari as:
On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—
“Suzume no Tojimari” is a coming-of-age story for the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation.
Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.
—The stars, then sunset, and the morning sky.
Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky…
Never-before-seen scenery, encounters and farewells… A myriad of challenges await her on her journey. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Suzume’s adventure shines a ray of hope upon our own struggles against the toughest roads of anxiety and constraints that make up everyday life. This story of closing doors that connect our past to the present and future will leave a lasting impression upon all of our hearts.
Drawn in by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.
This marks the first Makoto Shinkai film to not be released in the United Kingdom by Anime Limited since The Garden of Words in 2014, which was followed by his smash-hits Your Name and Weathering With You in 2016 and 2019, respectively. Since then, Anime Limited had acquired and released Makoto Shinkai’s extended filmography, some of which had been previously released by other distributors, such as 5 Centimeters per Second.
Source: Crunchyroll PR (Credit to Anime News Network for the title literal translation).