Suzume No Tojimari: Adventure to Lock the Mysterious Door


Indonesian anime lovers most certainly have already been waiting for March 8, 2023. The latest movie, which was directed by Makoto Shinkai, named Suzume No Tojimari, was released in Indonesia four months after it was released in Japan and became the 9th highest anime grossing in Japan, surpassing Jujutsu Kaisen 0 (2021). Huge viewer expectations are attached to this Suzume no Tojimari movie since some of Makoto Shinkai's previous films had successfully caught audiences' attention. Some of his popular movies are 5 Centimeters per Second, The Garden of Words, Weathering with You, and even Your Name, which also won many awards for Best Animated Feature in 2016, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and the 71st Mainichi Film Awards. Thus, it is natural for them to have big expectations.

Suzume no Tojimari is about the journey of a 17-year-old high school girl named Suzume and Souta, a "closer” who must find and lock all doors that connect their world to other dimensions dispersed throughout various regions of Japan. Not only to lock the doors that could bring catastrophes, but Suzume is also looking for a "doorkeeper" cat named Daijin to break the curse he gave to Souta. During her journey, she meets many people, such as Chika Amabe, Miki and her son, and Serizawa, who help her by providing a place to stay and willingly giving her a ride to the mysterious opened door.

As usual with Makoto's earlier works, the artwork and visuals are really stunning. Such as the panoramic beauty of Kyushu Island, the magical world of ever-after, the magnificent atmosphere of the sky when the 'Giant Worm' starts to come out of the door, and the depiction of various locations such as Kobe and Tokyo that Suzume visited. The soundtrack, once more performed by RADWIMPS, has the power to shiver the audience.

While this movie has supernatural fantasy components, just like the two prior movies (Weathering with You and Your Name), Suzume No Tojimari offers something fresh that is more complicated, related to real-world situations, yet still packs a mild blow. Suzume's suffering as a tsunami victim is also explored in the plot, along with teenage romance and natural calamities. The representation of each scene shows how Suzume's trauma is portrayed, like this one scene when she was crossing out a passage in her diary to erase the moment her mother suddenly disappeared. The impact of natural disaster victims also makes Suzume appear indifferent to death. Each time she closes the mysterious door, she is also affected by the feelings of those who were alive before and after the disaster. When the door scene is locked, it illustrates that, inevitably, she must heal her trauma.

The argument between Suzume and her aunt is also highly realistic to day-to-day living since it highlights how tough it is to care for your niece when you are single and how several sacrifices must be made.

Behind the successful Suzume No Tojimari film, unfortunately, there are still flaws, such as the awkward romance tone. This is due to the fact that falling in love at first sight and doing anything for your partner is illogical. Suzume's mother's character has to be expanded upon as she is a significant component of her trauma. Some people appear to be disinterested as a result of Makoto Shinkai's recipe becoming stale. It starts with meeting a stranger-falling in love-natural disaster-saving your lover-happy ending. The soundtrack performed by RADWIMPS also seems bland and is not included in the anime scene, so it feels like something is lacking.

Despite all of that, this movie is actually quite good and worth watching because, as said before, Makoto Shinkai added new stuff about trauma, identity, and the meaning of life that is packaged with a road movie concept, so it seems more relaxing and makes the audience not get bored.

Writer: Alfina Nurzaima

Editor: Marsha Almira