Makoto Shinkai, the acclaimed anime director behind such films as Your Name and Weathering With You, is returning this fall with a new movie about a young woman who falls in love with a chair. That’s essentially the elevator pitch for Suzume, but there’s a whole lot more going on in the new trailer for the upcoming film, which is slated to release in theaters in Japan this November.
Set in the quiet town of Kyushu, the coming-of-age film follows the story of a 17 year-old girl who finds herself thrust into a magical adventure when she crosses paths with Souta, a mysterious and brooding stranger searching for a mystical door to another world.
After confiding in Suzume that disaster will befall Japan if these are not closed, Souta is transformed into a sentient chair by a malevolent cat bent on plunging the world into chaos. In order to reverse the curse, Suzume and Souta must work together to track down the cat and close doors scattered across Japan along the way.
As outlandish as the premise might sound, the crux of the story feels very much in line with the rest of the director’s oeuvre. A persistent theme in one form or another across all of Shinkai’s films is the concept of missed connections, of people finding each other in spite of seemingly improbable circumstances, only for those connections to be stymied by equally improbable circumstances outside of their control. I’d say “being turned into a chair by an evil magical cat” falls squarely within the latter description.
Suzume is set to open in theaters in Japan on Nov. 11. The film is set to release in U.S. theaters sometime in early 2023.