Before I begin this review, I want to share this little story with you. Near the beginning of this film, a couple came in and sat right next to me. After two to three minutes, the guy (who was sitting next to me) asked me what film this was. I answered him and then he asked “Is this not Super Mario?” I, again, answered him and both he and his partner left. All of this happened during a chase between Suzume, the cat, and the living three legged chair. So, I really want to know what was going through their heads during that scene.
Anyway, Suzume! I walked into this film with some great expectations. The expectations were nothing because I also knew nothing about it. Seriously, before I sat down and watched this (which, fun fact, was my first ever anime film I saw in a cinema), the only things I knew was that it was made by Makoto Shinkai (the director of Your Name, which you will go watch now or else), it had something to with magical portal doors and something about a chair. Honestly, I’m glad it happened this way. I think it’s refreshing to walk into something completely blind because you don’t really know what to expect (which is tough nowadays).
Anyway, onto the positives. Just like his other work, the visuals are beautiful. Seriously, every frame could be a painting, it’s that gorgeous. They really are giving Ghibli a run for their money. Also, just like the previous films, the music is great. Not as good as Your Name, but definitely still a banger and half. And the narrative was pretty decent, all things considered. Though, I will say I do think of three previous films in this sort of trilogy (Garden of Words, Your Name and Weathering with You), I do think it’s second weakest out of the lot, just ahead of Garden of Words.
As for the negatives, I’ve got a couple of notes. Firstly, I think the third act is kinda… eh. It’s not, per se, but I do think it’s the act of the movie that feels most lacklustre. The other real negative of note is the love story… Yeah, I didn’t really like it. Some might say it has something to do with Suzume being 17 and Souta being 21/22 (the internet seems torn on the semantics), but I think the issue is that I just don’t see them as anything more than friends. Your Name and Weathering with You at least took time to develop their main ships and neither of those films had one half of the couple become a broken chair. Hell, Your Name doesn’t have its characters technically meet face-to-face until near the end of the film and I still ship them more than whatever this film tries to do. In short, I just don’t think they have the time for a developed relationship and in the end they just end up feeling like nothing more than good ole pals.
While I do have my critiques of this film, I still enjoyed it. Definitely not to the extent of Weathering with You and certainly not to the extent of Your Name, but still a good film. And certainly better than Garden of Words. Seriously, that was beautiful and detailed as hell, but what the fridge was the plot? Anyway, Suzume. Good film. 8/10.