Fans of Makoto Shinkai’s work who buy Happy Meals in Japan have an extra reason to be happy. Starting this Friday, November 4, the toy in the Happy Meal set will be a new picture book written by Makoto Shinkai himself!
The picture book is a tie-in to his upcoming movie, Suzume no Tojimari (translated as Suzume’s Door-Locking), which will hit Japanese theaters November 11. (It will release in America sometime in 2023 as Suzume.) The picture book is a self-contained story, so you don’t have to watch the movie to understand it. It was illustrated by Senbon Umishima and includes an offering of stickers.
McDonald’s Japan has put out an ad for the new Happy Meal, complete with actor Ryunosuke Kamiki, who will voice Tomoya Serizawa in Suzume and who previously had the role of Taki in Shinkai’s movie your name.
Crunchyroll gave this description for Suzume:
“On the other side of the door, was time in its entirety—
“Suzume no Tojimari’ is a coming-of-age story for the 17-year-old protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation.
Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu (located in southwestern Japan) when she encounters a young man who tells her, ‘I’m looking for a door.’ What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.
—The stars, then sunset, and the morning sky.
Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky…
Never-before-seen scenery, encounters and farewells… A myriad of challenges await her on her journey. Despite all the obstacles in her way, Suzume’s adventure shines a ray of hope upon our own struggles against the toughest roads of anxiety and constraints that make up everyday life. This story of closing doors that connect our past to the present and future will leave a lasting impression upon all of our hearts.
Drawn in by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey is about to begin.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.