‘Suzume’ Originally a Lesbian Love Story, Director Makoto Shinkai Reveals

Suzume image by Crunchyroll

Acclaimed director Makoto Shinkai, best known for his commercially successful anime films ‘Your Name’ and ‘Weathering With You’, revealed that ‘Suzume no Tojimari’ (often shortened to just ‘Suzume’) originally had a girl-and-girl love story and not a boy-meets-girl one.

Unfortunately, it’s a loss for the queer community because the producers encouraged him to change it so it could cater to a wider audience. 

In an interview with Looper, Shinkai said that he wanted to explore the story of Suzume with a girl because he already grew “a little bit tired of telling the very traditional romance story.” He added that he had done this trope so many times, especially in ‘Your Name’. However, when the producers talked to him, they said that he “may be tired of these romantic stories” but the audience loves it, and so he had to make appropriate changes.

To avoid making the film too much of the romance he had grown tired of, Shinkai said, “I decided to make her primary interest a chair.”

In the same interview, he clarified that ‘Suzume’ was less of an LGBTQ+ commentary and more of “a human overcoming something.” He said that while the original story would still work “had [Suzume] been a boy or had she been non-binary,” he felt that a lesbian plotline fits for Suzume’s story.

‘Suzume no Tojimary’ is a 2022 Japanese animated fantasy adventure film about a 17-year-old high school girl named Suzume who meets a mysterious boy looking for a magical door. However, these doors spread chaos. With him, they look for these mysterious doors to prevent a disaster that could bring disaster to Japan.

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