Suzume Article – Spectacular Shinkai
Written by Zoe Crombie
Anime has had an interesting journey since it first gained any level of Western popularity in the 1980s through video releases of modern classics like Akira and Ghost in the Shell. What was once considered a niche interest for any fan beyond Japan has now become a global phenomenon and an enormous economic force in its own right, capable of generating both huge amounts of revenue as well as critical success. This explosion of the industry has also lead to an increasing amount of diversity in the genre – whether you’re wanting all-out action, disturbing horror, or outlandish comedy, there’s likely to be an anime out there that suits you.
But nowhere is anime’s mainstream appeal clearer than in the films of auteur animator Makoto Shinkai, creator of modern classics like Your Name, Weathering With You, and now Suzume, one of the biggest anime blockbusters of recent years. Like all his most popular movies, Suzume is an epic romance that elevates teen infatuation to apocalyptic levels, this time focusing on the one girl who has the power to stop Japan from succumbing to disaster. Though parts of the story seem outlandish, in particular the chair-boyfriend of the trailer – if you know, you know – Shinkai’s strength lies in taking even the most absurd circumstances seriously, a virtue that’s missing from most of the nudging and winking in modern Hollywood blockbusters.
If you’re looking to be swept off your feet by dazzling animated visuals and a story more than fit for Shinkai’s impressive pantheon of fantasy romances, Suzume is one of the biggest anime events of the year.
Suzume is showing from the 5th - 10th May.