Suzume Review (Opens March 8)
Here’s my Suzume review from Warner Bros Pictures and SM Cinema directed by Makoto Shinkai who also did Weathering With You and Your Name.
This is another Makoto Shinkai project that I was eagerly waiting for since it was announced some time ago.
The plot follows young girl Suzume as she goes on an unlikely adventure to save Japan from calamities caused by otherworldly entity called a “worm”. She bonds with “Closer” Sota while also chasing this cat entity called Daijin. Together the two go all across Japan to close doors and undo what Daijin did to Sota but things aren’t what they seem.
This one is another one for the books. Simply put its great and easily gets into my top 5 Makoto Shinkai films. Seeing a Shinkai movie nowadays is sitting down and doing a checklist of a number of things but I say this in a good way. And for this film, its the same thing. Expect the following stuff – red ribbons, shorelines or lakes or flooded places, mountain tops, ruins, gods, calamities and a bit of crying.
Visuals and Animation
You will get your money’s worth here with the overall design and effects for the animated film especially when it comes to the colors and animation style for the film. Shinkai and his team did excellent work throughout the film whether its slow moments of exposition to shocking revelations. The film manages to capture whatever emotion PERFECTLY through the animation. Here’s an example; without spoiling, there’s a moment where Sota is doing the usual Evangelion-y self examination and usual moping and as he does, he’s slowly getting encased in ice. The colors, the actual look of our hero getting entombed and even the way it slowly covers him is well made from the colors to the shape and look.
Or there’s another moment where we get this bit of action anime and manga vibe complete with screaming and high impact movements.
Like what I said with my Dragon Ball Super Super Hero review, there’s no problem with adding 3D CGI to your anime as long as it makes it look better and this another good example. You see touches and hints of 3D in the film especially when it comes to landscapes and locales throughout the movie.
The scoring is excellent as always. Sound design is great and helped elevate whatever is happening in the story because of composer’s Kazuma Jinnouchi excellent take. I really did wish we got more Radwimps for this one. If there was one outstanding thing about Shinkai’s biggest hit, Your Name, it was that the band Radwimps brought the whole thing to another level with their music. I guess, I wish there were more actual songs here.
I also have to admit that I didn’t like how the “worm” looks like a giant dick but that is what a worm looks like anyway. I was taken aback by the cuteness of Daijin and Sadaijin and you’ll probably be thinking that you want a plushie of the character. I mean I know I did. Secondary and tertiary characters are also designed pretty well.
Honestly I was already resigned to the fact that I wouldn’t shed a tear for the film but viola, there it was. Obviously, no spoilers here but I can guarantee you that gut puncher is there.
There are a number of references to past Shinkai films including the red ribbon / lace made popular by Your Name aka Ruben.
Don’t forget to catch the film on SM Cinemas nationwide! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more anime news and updates.