‘Suzume’ Review- A Work Of Cinematic Art

Suzume is a 2022 supernatural anime film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It was produced by CoMix Wave Films and distributed by Toho with Sony Pictures Releasing giving it an international release.

Suzume Iwato (Nichole Sakura) is a high school student who lives with her Aunt Tamaki (Jennifer Sun Bell) after the death of her mother years ago. On the way to school, she runs into Sato (Josh Keaton) who inquires about some local ruins. After pointing him in that direction, she goes to school, but then pursues him. Finding a strange door in the middle of the ruins, she removes a stone that turns into a cat and flees. She then opens the door and a strange force emerges, causing an earthquake. Sato arrives and seals the door with a magic key. He explains that the force is a “worm” that comes from the Ever After, where the spirits reside. Before they can get further along, the cat (Lena Josephine Marano) curses Sato, merging him with a chair crafted by Suzume’s mother before vanishing. The two pursue the cat, now called Daijin, closing doors as they go and making new friends even as the worms grow more fierce.

Like all of Shinkai’s works, this one is a work of art with the animation. Though it is done in his unique style, the brilliant animators of CoMix Wave Films put their best foot forward. I would put it up against anything Disney or DreamWorks has done in the last ten years and can point how the superiority of this cinematic experience.

There were several references to Hayao Miyazaki and his work at Studio Ghibli. You can certainly see that in the design of the cats and a few references were made to his film works as well. Miyazaki is a brilliant animator and storyteller and the movie does a good job of paying homage to his works.

The plot was truly a quest to follow. I will admit, some of the “rules of magic” were a bit confusing to me, but it did not deter the story itself. We see how Sato follows a path set before him and that he wants to also live a normal life. We see Suzume slowly fall in love with him and how she desires to help him out of his predicament. Their journey shows you the sunny side of life and reminds you that even as a dark cloud hovers over you, there is hope. It was a wonderful adventure and one that anyone can relate to.

Its themes of loss, gain, betrayal, restoration, darkness, and light are tremendous and, I rarely say this, it is a triumph.

Bottom line, Suzume is a cinematic work of art that is beautifully told and brilliantly executed. I cannot praise it enough and I highly recommend it.

PARENTAL CONCERNS: Some violence, Frightening images

FAVORITE QUOTE: Who are you?

Check out the trailer below:

This article is based on the English dub from Crunchyroll.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reviews of Jujutsu Kaisen 0 and KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! Legend of Crimson. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.

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