The phantom of the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami looms large over the landscape of Japanese cinema, with numerous prominent hits and visionaries drawing influence from the catastrophe. In the same vein as Nobuhiko Obayashi’s trilogy of films molded by the dual calamities of 3.11 and World War II, and creators like Hideaki Anno incorporating it as a foundation for Shin Godzilla, the recent blockbuster movies by esteemed anime director Makoto Shinkai are inextricably tied to the profound impact the disaster had on him. Shinkai acknowledged 3.11 as a muse for Your Name, while Weathering With You similarly delves into the theme via weather-inflicted disaster imagery.
Suzume Netflix release date
Suzume is still in theaters, which means it will take a month or two to get released on Netflix or any other streaming service. As per our estimations, Suzume will release on Netflix in late May 2023.
Suzume is arguably the most unambiguous film delving into the subject that evidently captivates its creators, presenting a commentary on the indomitable human spirit that arises to aid another in times of tragedy, even if the execution falls somewhat short.
Suzume release date
Suzume was released on November 11, 2022, in Japan and then globally. The story of the anime had the perfect blend that got millions hooked. As of writing this, Suzume has grossed for over $256 million worldwide, beating Jujutsu Kaisen0. Only time will tell if Suzume can beat Your Name, Spirited Away, and Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train.
The anime movie has received positive reviews from viewers and scored 7.7/10 on IMDb. Suzume has been nominated for several awards and won Outstanding Achievement in Music at Japan Academy Film Prize.
What to Expect from Suzume
Clocking in at two hours, the film dives headfirst into its whirlwind road trip across Japan. Even before the opening credits, high school student Suzume encounters the enigmatic Sota, who is on a quest to seal a mystical portal in a forsaken city to avert disaster-inducing earthquakes. Suzume joins him on this mission but inadvertently unleashes a keystone meant to stave off larger catastrophes.
It’s at this point that a chatty feline transforms Sota into an ambulatory chair, propelling Suzume and her new furniture companion on a cross-country odyssey to seal the portals and apprehend the mischievous cat. Their race to avert national calamity takes them from the southern reaches of Kyushu to Tokyo and beyond as Suzume’s unique connection to the quest unfolds. However, the film neglects to build an emotional connection between the two protagonists, rendering the evolving romance somewhat unconvincing.
Your perception of the film’s brisk pacing and the rapid introduction of characters and locales will likely dictate your overall enjoyment. Suzume is haunted by her mother’s death, which binds her to the parallel universe behind the doors. Unfortunately, we’re given little time to comprehend the lasting effect of this loss. Similarly, while Sota’s chair form elicits chuckles, his motivations remain enigmatic for much of the film, making it difficult to empathize with his dire situation.
This poses a challenge, as the film’s heart lies in a story about the perseverance and unity of the human spirit in the face of disaster. The 3.11 quake robbed Suzume of her mother, and the vivid reimagining of the Fukushima disaster scenes underscores the doors’ symbolic role in bringing strangers together amidst the turmoil. But if the characters meant to embody this spirit remains aloof, can the climactic surge of collective resolve truly resonate?
The beautiful animation of Suzume
Suzume boasts the fluid, intricate animation that fans, including myself, have come to cherish from the preeminent name in anime today. The masterful blend of CG and traditional animation for Sota’s chair form is genuinely remarkable.
However, for a director whose oeuvre has consistently placed human connection at the forefront to create some of the most poignant and emotionally charged tales of romance and human bonds within Japanese animation, Suzume feels like a rare stumble.
Perhaps, after a third attempt at grappling with the nation’s sorrow surrounding 3.11, it’s time to reconstruct something even more extraordinary.