Is Suzume No Tojimari A Sequel To Weathering With You?

    So, if you asked me what piece of work has touched me most in the past decade? The answer would easily be Kimi No Nawa, a movie by famed director Makoto Shinkai. And, in hindsight, it’s easy to say why it ranks so high. It’s a gorgeous art piece that explores relationships and loss through nature in tandem with absolutely outstanding musical scores. That is on brand for most Shinkai features, however. Weathering With You was also very beautifully written and explored similar themes. And it seems like Suzume No Tojimari might not be any different.

    While Suzume No Tojimari is not a direct sequel to Weathering With You, Shinkai-sama might be creating a sort of cinematic universe where the two are connected. Because they share the same director, the similarities aren’t too farfetched. Both movies look too beautiful to be true, with gorgeous use of sweeping sceneries and a focus on the beauty of nature gone array. Both movies also feature female protagonists with some sort of otherworldly factor binding them to the plot. Though likely the two aren’t related in any continuation, there is similar magic to both.

    But that’s just the beauty of movies made by Makoto Shinkai, who is known across the Animesphere as one of the greatest animation directors in the world. The way he utilizes nature and spirituality to signify bonds between characters is a signature of his brand. It isn’t so much the inherent beauty of his animation, but more so what he offers in the metaphors. Watching Makoto Shinkai movies is like watching fluid art, with comfort only rivaled by something from, say, Studio Ghibli.

    It’s why I’m so excited about Suzume No Tojimari. It’s been a hot minute since we got a new Shinkai feature, the last being Weathering With You. And with the astronomical success of Kimi No Nawa, he’s only proved himself further as an extremely evocative storyteller. But most importantly, his stories are emotional, with a recurrent joke being that the two characters are almost always separated by an open ending. However, that streak was broken with Weathering With You. So, can we expect the same from Suzume No Tojimari? Let’s discuss.

    Weathering With You: How Humanity Is Changing With The Planet.

    Tenki No Ko Weathering With You

    It’s no surprise that Makoto Shinkai is a realist. His stories are somewhat based on real-life issues that affect our society and address them in a way where they build off of the consciousness of the youth going through them. We saw this with Kimi No Nawa, which stood as a metaphor for disasters such as the paranoia of earthquakes that plagued Japanese youth after the 2011 Earthquakes.

    And the same holds for Weathering With You, which tells the story of Hodaka Morishima and Hina Amano, two lost teenagers who come across each other in Tokyo. They realize that Hina is a ‘sunshine girl’, someone with the ability to pray away rain and storms. Together, the two start a business where they are hired to clear the skies for special occasions such as weddings and such. But unbeknownst to them, every prayer comes at a cost, one where Hina is slowly fading away.

    When the events of the movie lead to the submersion of Tokyo under constant rain, it was clear the story was loosely about climate change and its impact on humanity.

    Suzume No Tojimari: Closing The Doors On Traumatic Events?

    Suzume No Tojimari

    Makoto Shinkai has already stated that Suzume No Tojimari will be a sort of coming-of-age story for its female protagonist. The plot will follow Suzume Iwato, a high schooler from Kyushu, and her fateful meeting with a stranger in search of a mysterious door.

    The two partner up and end up finding the specific door in an abandoned house, high up in the mountains. Once she goes through it, of course, she is dumbfounded to find herself in a bizarre new dimension. But her intrusion ends up causing a chain of natural disasters across Japan, with doors appearing spontaneously everywhere. And it’s up to her to make things right.

    The fate of millions being on the shoulders of a 17-year-old girl in a looming apocalypse is pretty heavy, all things considered. But it is supposed to be a ‘pilgrimage of maturity’. The movie was made during the height of the pandemic and is being released in the aftermath. Our world has certainly changed since so, will it tackle the issues we faced then?

    An MSCU In the Making?

    Makoto Shinkai Movies

    With the last three movies, it is clear that Makoto Shinkai is setting up a universe where his movies take place in the same reality and involve humanity and nature. We saw it with the cameos of the two protagonists from Kimi No Nawa in Weathering With You, and likely we’ll see it again with Suzume No Tojimari.

    However, to what extent and outcome, we can’t be sure. But the idea of a Makoto Shinkai Cinematic Universe is certainly promising, if a little daunting in scope.

    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi is a writer, licensed dentist and certified Uchiha fangirl. When she isn't doing root canals or listing down anime waifus, you can find her screeching about her favorite JRPGs across social media.

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