The official website for Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari or literally, Suzume’s Door-Locking), Makoto Shinkai‘s first new film in three years, announced on Tuesday that SixTONES idol group member Hokuto Matsumura (live-action Liar × Liar film’s Tōru, live-action xxxHOLiC film’s Shizuka Doumeki) is making his voice acting debut in the film. Matsumura plays Sōta Munakata, a young man who embarks on a journey with Suzume as the “Door-Closing Master.”
Shinkai personally reviewed Matsumura’s audition in the role of a youth “who ends up transforming into a chair.” Shinkai cited the eloquent “inner richness” of Matsumura’s voice for choosing the singer for the role.
A special “In Front Of The Door” will premiere on YouTube on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. EDT) to promote the film:
CoMix Wave Films describes the story:
On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—
17-year-old Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu 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 mesmerized 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 morning sky
Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky—
Drawn in by this mysterious door, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.
Shinkai stated that three important points about the film are that it is a road movie around Japan, a story about “closing doors” rather than opening them, and a reason to visit the movie theater. He elaborated that closing doors can refer to tying loose ends or finishing something.
Actress Nanoka Hara voices the heroine Suzume Iwato in the film. Hara vied for the role with over 1,700 other applicants in auditions, and this is her first voice-acting role in anime.
Shinkai (your name., Weathering With You) is directing the film and writing the screenplay. He is also credited with the original story. Masayoshi Tanaka (your name., Weathering With You) is designing the characters. Kenichi Tsuchiya (your name., Garden of Words) is the animation director. Takumi Tanji (Children Who Chase Lost Voices) is the art director. CoMix Wave Films and Story Inc. are producing the movie. TOHO is distributing the film.
Crunchyroll, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Wild Bunch International will release the film worldwide except in Asia in early 2023. Crunchyroll will handle North American distribution, while Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures Entertainment will handle distribution in Latin America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Africa, and portions of Europe. Crunchyroll, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Wild Bunch International will release the film in French- and German-speaking Europe.