When you got a good thing, you might as well keep it going, and that’s exactly what director Makoto Shinkai is doing with his next anime film, Suzume. The latest news on the feature has Shinkai teaming up once again with RADWIMPS—who previously worked on the music for 2016’s Your Name. and 2019’s Weathering With You—along with Seattle-based Hollywood film composer Kazuma Jinnouchi (Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045, Ultraman).
— 映画『すずめの戸締まり』公式 (@suzume_tojimari) September 19, 2022
The vocalist behind the theme song, “Suzume,” has also been revealed as TikTok sensation Toaka.
Here’s what Yojiro Noda of RADWIMPS had to say about the collaboration with Kazuma Jinnouchi:
“A partnership with someone of Kazuma’s caliber, having worked on both films and video games, has given me an experience I cannot describe in words. It has broadened my horizons.”
Kazuma Jinnouchi—who pulled many ideas for the action sequences from his experience in Hollywood, echoed those sentiments:
“The process of developing a sound that can coexist with RADWIMPS’ amazing mood and energy was simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking for me, but ultimately I believe we’ve stuck the landing on one of the answers of how that might sound.”
Toaka apparently “grabbed the hearts” of Shinkai and RADWIMPS. Yojiro Noda had the following to say about the performer:
“I felt a connection between Toaka’s voice and this music that no one could sever.” Toaka added, “I’m ecstatic to be part of RADWIMPS’ intricate melody and Director Shinkai’s beautiful world that will touch audiences’ hearts.”
Toaka’s own comments:
“I couldn’t believe it when they first told me I would be singing the main theme song for the film. Emotions of shock and anxiety overcame me instantly, and I spent the next few days with my mind completely blank.
“At the audition, it was my first time ever recording anything. I was so nervous my voice was trembling – I remember my voice being very breathy. But, when I received the accompaniment for the theme song ‘Suzume’ I thought about how I would want to express this song, and the vision became clear.
“When it came time to finally record the theme, I let that vision guide me and tried to fully express myself in a way that both the sounds and words would resonate. I feel I left nothing on the table and could be myself.
“As the trailer was revealed and I heard my voice coming through the speakers, I had goosebumps like never before. I’m ecstatic to be part of RADWIMPS’ intricate melody and Director Shinkai’s beautiful world that will touch audiences’ hearts.”
And, finally Shinkai himself on the newly-revealed performers:
“Almost as soon as I finished the first draft of ‘Suzume’s’ screenplay, I shared it with Yojiro without a second thought. I knew the musical demands of ‘Suzume’ would be quite different from the previous two films, giving the audience an striking musical experience. RADWIMPS was one of the few musical talents that I could count on to help me make that discovery.
“Throughout the two-year production process of the film, I was fortunate to meet Toaka’s unparalleled voice and Kazuma’s movie scoring experience, which greatly affected the film’s sounds elevating it to another level.
“I am confident we have achieved something worthy of calling a ‘theatrical music experience’ and hope that everyone gets the chance to experience the film in theaters.”
Makoto Shinkai’s next anime film, Suzume, is set to open in Japan on November 11, and Crunchyroll is teaming up with Sony Pictures and Wild Bunch International to bring the feature to global audiences outside of Asia in early 2023.
The film is described as such:
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.
Source: Press release