On September 12, 2001, just one day after the 9/11 attacks, Roy A. Tucker, an astronomer working at an observatory in Tucson, Arizona, discovered a new small asteroid, 55222, which would go down in history under the name Makoto Shinkai. At that time, the acclaimed Shinkai was a director who was gaining recognition thanks to his short film She and Her Cat. Little did he imagine that twenty years later having the name of an asteroid would be the least of his accolades.
It is inevitable to fall in love with the style of Makoto Shinkai, an anime director who in 2016 rose to international fame thanks to Your Name, which is currently the third highest grossing Japanese film in history worldwide, only behind Spirited Away and Demon Slayer: The Movie. As a curiosity, in the top ten there are two other Shinkai works: Weathering With You and Suzume.
Spoiler Alert: Spoilers for Suzume follow. You have been warned.
Precisely the latter has been a capital work for Shinkai because all eyes were on him and what he would do after being called “the new Miyazaki”. And he did not disappoint: the film is carefully detailed and absolutely stunning. So much so that it even has a moment in which the most observant can already smell the ending, when its protagonist passes by the Lycoris radiata, more commonly known as Spider Lily.
It is a flower that especially grows in Japan, China, Korea and Nepal, and is normally depicted as a symbol of death, or, in other words, as a way to guide souls to the afterlife. No one imagined that the choice of simple flowers could give so much depth to a work, especially knowing everything that happens afterwards, right?