Sure Ghibli movies made rounds throughout the globe and especially in the west, even before Your Name. Spirited Away and Grave of Fireflies are stark examples of that. But only after Shinkai’s Your Name did things change. After Weathering With You’s success, today we must tackle the exciting and heated question – will we see segments of Shinkai works in return in Suzume no Tojimari?

The number of people who do not know Makoto Shinkai is scarce. But what is even more scarce is the number of people who do not know ‘Your Name. At the forefront of the leading feature-film segment of Japan’s anime production contains a hall of fame and in it shall be placed Makoto Shinkai’s works.

Suzume mentions Sota, glimpses of Makoto Shinkai Weathering With You
via Official YouTube trailer of Suzume (Anime Select YT)

Suzume no Tojimari will have a run time of about 120 minutes and is premiering on 11th November 2022. Radwimps who hit the Asian charts with works like “Is There Still Anything That Love Can’t Do” and Nandemonaiya after Weathering With You and Your Name will return to cover the ending song. The Animation production is done by CoMix Wave Films with TOHO also in the works. Crunchyroll and Sony Pictures will be distributing the film throughout the world.

Makoto Shinkai’s Legacy that paved way for Weathering With You

Weathering With You glimpse of Tokyo
Weathering With You’s Tokyo City via AnimeSelect YT

Suzume no Tojimari is Makoto Shinkai’s latest development. What is Christopher Nolan to the west, Makoto is to Japan? After varying successes with works such as The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Children Who Chase Lost Voices, Garden of Words, etc, Shinkai has lately become a pop-culture prop. His 5 Cm Per Second also became notoriously famous although it was always critically well-received. A majority of this can be accomplished by the accolades brought by Your Name, which more or less built a strong foundation.

  • Even when Weathering With You came out a majority of the hype was for fans wishing to relive the same feeling they had when witnessing Your Name for the first time.
  • The enigmatic appearance of Mitsuha and Taki Kun in Weathering With You bustled god knows how many cinema theatres across the globe.

Upon such legacy’s standing we dare ask again – can our former protagonists possibly return for a cameo in the new film?

Are there any similarities between the previous films of Shinkai in Suzume?

Itomori in Your Name by Makoto Shinkai
Itomori as shown in Your Name

There is plenty. But the primary question is more along the lines of “Can we hope to see the previous characters make a return as a cameo in the new film?” For instance, the most ravaging of theories have surfaced on the internet that says that Suzume is the child of Mitsuha and Taki. Well no. That seems to be nothing more like an exaggerated fantasy of lost individuals.

Could the premises overlap?

Your name real life location
via Japantravel.com

The premise of Suzume No Tojimari will be set in the Kyushu region of southwestern Japan and should feature the central metropolitan areas of Tokyo. In Your Name, Mitsuha’s hometown was in Itomori which was part of the Gifu Prefecture, while Taki was an inhabitant of Tokyo. Gifu and Kyushu regions are about 783 kilometers apart.

Mitsuha and Suzume’s hometowns are hundreds of miles apart

Distance between Gifu and Kyoshu
Distance between Gifu and Kyoshu, GMAPS
  • Now from this point alone, it seems unlikely that Mitsuha’s hometown and Suzume’s hometown in Itomori will collide. But if we follow the chronological timeline, from what we can derive in Weathering With You both Mitsuha and Taki are in fact in Tokyo.
  • This is also derived from the ending of Your Name where the couple collide for one last time in the seemingly beautiful junction staircase of Yotsuya Station. 

Similarities in locations of previous Shinkai films in Suzume no Tojimari?

Suzume meets Sota connection to Shinkai's Weathering With You and Your Name
Suzume meets Sota, via the official trailer 2 in Anime Select YT

In a few instances, it caught my attention that the places shown in the trailer of Suzume no Tojimari are quite similar to Your Name’s Itomori representations. For example, the downhill road in which Suzume meets Sota reminded me much of the downhill road in Your Name. I quickly took to google to see if it was the same place, but sadly it wasn’t.

A Merging point may be Tokyo

Tokyo in Your Name similar with Weathering With You and Your Name, Suzume no Tojimari
Tokyo as seen in Your name, via Ketho178 Youtube Channel
  • The centrality of Weathering With You storyline was set in Tokyo. Hodaka the male protagonist came running to Tokyo after running away from home where Hina lived.
  • The cameo point in Weathering With You came when we saw Hodaka interacting with a grown Taki (grown even more than when we last saw him at the ending of Your Name film). We also saw a grown Mitsuha working as a salesperson for a shop in LUMINE. Mitsuha helps Hodaka figure out whether the ring he’s chosen for Hina Amano is suitable.

But here’s a big catch. According to the plot summary and trailers so far, Suzume will unhinge some hidden disaster after interacting with the door she finds in the trailer. A series of disasters name Door of Disasters will open all throughout Japan with Tokyo being the central point. As such few questions arise – could we possibly see Hina and Hodaka or Mitsuha and Taki, or possibly both there?

Suzume no Tojimari
A city featured in Suzume no Tojimari trailer that’s likely Tokyo

It’s a yes and no kind of answer.

What does Makoto Shinkai have to say about Mitsuha and Taki cameos in the previous films?

Tokyo as shown in Your Name
Tokyo as shown in Your Name, via Crunchyroll
  • Makoto Shinkai made it clear in numerous press interviews that the cameo by Mitsuha and Taki was only an easter-egg-ish element.
  • This implies that Shinkai has no intention of letting the previous movie’s main characters take any helm once again and this makes logical sense. All of his works are standalone films.
  • The very fact that we got an easter-egg appearance was simply a cherry on top and not the cake itself.

What about cameos of characters from other works of Shinkai?

If Shinkai has the same mentality it kind of becomes more abrupt for him to continuously show the previous movie characters in his new work. At one point this becomes very predictable and it loses its magic, something similar to Marvel’s post-credit scenes.

Besides now that we are talking about possible cameos, why not mention the returns of previous characters from films such as “Children Who Chase Lost Voices” or “Garden of Words” or even 5cm Per Second? there’s just so much to make possible cameos appearances of.

The Door of Disasters may make the cameo possible

Suzume no Tojimari's door
Suzume no Tojimari’s door
  • The only way I see a cameo happening is given that the Door of Disasters appears in a certain region where any of the previous characters reside.
  • It could be possible that one of the doors of disaster opens in such a city where any of the potential cameo appearing character resides.

This or the entire premise has to be set in the future or at least in the future of Hina, Hodaka, Mitsuha, and Taki. These are the likeliest out of all other characters of this apparent ‘Shinkaiverse‘ to appear. This will make sense for Tokyo to be going all kamikaze. For a universe to be connected the events of one event have to be left behind in the successor. If the time chronology doesn’t match (if Suzume is set in the past) then a cameo is impossible.

Is Suzume the love child of Taki and Mitsuha?

Suzume tying her hair in Shinkai film Suzume
Suzume tying her hair in the official trailer

Fans have called out stark similarities between Mitsuha, Taki, and Suzume in the recent film trailer of Suzume no Tojimari.

  1. Firstly Suzume is seen wearing a red bow and a green shirt.
  2. The red bow resembles the one Mitsuha wore, and the green shirt resembles the one worn by Taki.

However, upon closer inspection, Mitsuha has a little orange tint in her bow whereas the one worn by Suzume is pure red. There is also a braid on Suzume’s wrist.

Only if Taki and Mitsuha ended up together in Your Name

Remembering Mitsuha and Weathering With You in Suzume no Tojimari
Mitsuha tying her hair via Crunchyroll
  • Yes, the designs are eerily similar, but her being the love child of Taki and Mitsuha is a shot in the dark.
  • It would easily require a gap of 20 years for a child to even be born and be a 17-year-old even if Mitsuha and Taki did end up together.

Besides Makoto Shinkai only commented at a conference in France that Mitsuha does end up with Taki. The novelization of Weathering With You also mentions a wedding though the who and when are left out for fans’ guessing and many guess it was of Taki and Mitsuha.

Conclusion 

The world of MCU has probably taken over the heads of people worldwide. Nowadays imagining a shared cinematic universe is more than just hype. It’s cool. But it is unlikely that Makoto Shinkai will in any way pester such an illusion into his actual future works. Although a cameo every now and then seems viable, for now, we can only await Makoto Shinkai’s tactics in the film’s release in November this year.


Also Read: Here’s how Naruto is celebrating its 20th Anniversary

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Rhytham is a Philosophy graduate who founded a state-level organization that promotes anime and Japanese culture in his home state of Assam India. The org is named Assam Senpai Society. He is also an ardent writer, poet, musician, vocalist, graphic designer, and photoshop artist. He has worked on multiple state and national level conventions. Other than anime, catch him watching western series that really have in themselves the solidity to catch his attention.