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Makoto Shinkai's new film 'Suzume' mourns Japan's deserted towns

'Your Name' anime director tries to find somewhere for country to 'go next'

Suzume, a 17-year-old high school girl, meets a young man named Sota, looking for "Doors of Disaster" across Japan to shut and lock them.   © Suzume no Tojimari Production Committee

TOKYO -- Anime director Makoto Shinkai's latest work tells the story of Japan's struggle to find "a place to go next" through the adventures of a girl who closes "Doors of Disaster." His new film, "Suzume no Tojimari" ("Suzume Locking Up the Door"), premiered on Nov. 11.

Shinkai became one of Japan's leading anime directors with his 2016 blockbuster "Kimi no Na wa" ("Your Name") and his 2019 film "Tenki no ko" ("Weathering with You"). He came up with the idea for his new film while traveling across Japan to give talks about his previous works. "There are more deserted sites," he said of his experience in a recent interview with Nikkei.

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