Makoto Shinkai Casts Nanoka Hara to Play the Lead Role of Suzume Iwato in Upcoming Film “Suzume no Tojimari”

July 5, 2022

TOKYO, JAPAN. - July 5, 2022  - Director Makoto Shinkai casts up-and-coming fresh talent Nanoka Hara to play the lead role in his upcoming film, “Suzume no Tojimari,” out of over 1,700 auditions. Since the key visual was revealed in April along with the four keywords, “Traveling Young Man,” “White Cat,” “Small Chair,” and “The Key to Doors,” the film has gained considerable interest from press around the world. The upcoming film follows his previous two blockbusters, “Your Name.” (2016) and “Weathering with You” (2019), which garnered unprecedented international acclaim.

When told the news that she was cast, Nanoka burst into tears saying, “I’m going to do my best!”

“It feels like I’m dreaming. My heart is still racing. When I was in the 7th grade, I saw one of Makoto Shinkai’s films for the first time, and it moved me so much. I never imagined I would be on the other side, delivering that same emotion to audiences. Something big is about to happen and everything looks so bright and shiny.

“Suzume no Tojimari is a story that reminds us of the importance of human connection and warmth, something which feels like it’s been lost in recent years. After leaving the movie theater, the entire world should look renewed and vibrant. It’s a wonderful film that will make people want to cherish those around them and themselves even more.

“Because I’m such a huge Makoto Shinkai fan, the pressure is massive. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to work with the director and the other cast and crew members to deliver Suzume Iwato’s joy, anger, tears, and excitement while overcoming the challenges that lay before us and growing together.”

Likewise, Makoto Shinkai stated, “The connection between her own emotions and voice was the strongest out of everyone’s. I think that’s what makes Nanoka Hara such an amazing talent. I am confident that Nanoka’s performance will be a breath of fresh air that clears the skies to reveal the dazzling, radiant sun. I cannot wait to see her bring the character to life.”

Nanoka plays the role of 17-year-old Suzume Iwato, who lives with her aunt, and has strange dreams, where she roams the grassy plains among vast ruins as far as the eye can see. Now, she must travel across the various disaster-stricken regions of Japan and close the “doors” causing the calamity.

“Suzume no Tojimari” is a modern adventure depicting Suzume’s growth and liberation.


Theatrical Release (Japan)11/11/2022 (Fri)
TitleSuzume no Tojimari (working title)
Director / Screenplay / StoryMakoto Shinkai
Character DesignMasayoshi Tanaka
Animation DirectorKenichi Tsuchiya
Art DirectorTakumi Tanji
Production CompanyCoMix Wave Films Inc.
Producing CompanySTORY inc.
Copyright©2022 “Suzume no Tojimari” Production Committee


One of the most celebrated animation directors of our generation: Makoto Shinkai.

The beautiful stories about adolescent boys and girls he tells through music and the stunning worlds he creates are in a class of their own, transcending cultures, borders, and generations, praised around the world.

The mega-hit “Your Name.” followed by “Weathering with You” showed the world what Japanese animation is capable of achieving. His latest film, “Suzume no Tojimari,” is a coming-of-age story for the protagonist, Suzume, set in various disaster-stricken locations across Japan, where she must close the doors causing devastation. 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.


CoMix Wave Films began in creative contracting and currently engages in animated movie production, distribution and package sales as well as overseas sales. The company staffs each position with a small number of highly skilled people, hoping to create works that both fully display its creators' abilities and stand the test of time – its mission: to work with imaginative artists and deliver heartfelt works to the world.


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