While most anime have a muscle-bound hunk or an aloof loner as a protagonist’s romantic partner, the new film from the director of international box-office hit Your Name goes a slightly different route. Suzume, the film’s leading lady, romances a wooden chair. This isn’t an Onion article, that’s the for-realsies premise of the film.
The film is Suzume, or Suzume no Tojimari (Suzume Locking Up the Doors). Produced by anime studio CoMix Wave Films, it follows a 17-year-old girl from Kyushu named Suzume who, after a chance encounter with a mysterious man, must close magical doors across Japan that contain world-ending catastrophes behind their thresholds. Where does the deeply romantic chair-kissing/sitting come in, you ask? Well, you see, the swoonworthy Squat, Yellow, and Timber there is actually a dude named Souta who, after crossing paths with a cat who’s spreading the strange crisis, is transformed into a chair. Naturally, somewhere down the line of saving the world, the two kiss.
Read More: Makoto Shinkai’s New Movie Revealed
We got our first look at Suzume back in April. In a statement provided to io9, the film’s director, Makoto Shinkai, revealed that the central theme of Suzume, which, again, is a film about a girl who has to go around closing doors, is closure. In case that metaphor flew over your head, Shinkai drove the point home by sharing that he hopes viewers walk away from Suzume thinking about “how to close the many doors we left open.”
“I’ve bestowed that responsibility upon Suzume as she travels across Japan closing various doors,” Shinkai told io9.
While this movie’s premise sounds equally simplistic and ambitious, it goes without saying that its director has had a pretty great track record. Your Name, whose plot revolves around a love story where a city boy and a country girl body-swap with one another, garnered a slew of accolades including the best film award from Crunchyroll’s 2018 Anime Awards. Although our review for his most recent work, Belle, a reimagining of Beauty and The Beast, said that the film left a lot to be desired with its commentary on being terminally online, it noted that Belle was nonetheless an “audiovisual marvel.” This is thanks in part to the work of Swedish composer and songwriter Ludvig Forssell, and should come as no surprise given Forssel’s work on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Suzume is looking to maintain Shinkai’s streak of having great music in his films as well. Its soundtrack is being worked on collaboratively by Kazuma Jinnouchi, the composer behind Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045, and the famous TikTok vocalist Toaka.
Suzume is set to release in Japanese movie theaters on November 11, and will arrive in U.S. theaters sometime in early 2023.