Suzume no Tojimari, the upcoming movie from Makoto Shinkai revealed that Japanese actress Nanoka Hara will be playing the role of Suzume Iwato, the protagonist of the story. She was chosen by Shinkai himself from a pool of over 1,700 auditionees and this will be her first anime role.
Nanoka Hara is an 18 year old Japanese actress affiliated with Tristone Entertainment agency. She is known for playing the lead role in the movie Harahara Nanoka and young Muto Mitsuko in Why Don’t You Play in Hell. She also appeared in the TV series Night Doctor where she played Kokomi Fukawazawa.
YouTube channel TOHO MOVIE uploaded a video of Nanoka’s reaction when she was told she would voice Suzume:
Shinkai previously cast rookie voice actors in anime to play the main characters for his recent films such as Nana Mori (Hina Amano) and Kotaro Daigo (Hodaka Morishima) in Weathering in You and Mone Kamishiraishi (Mitsuha Miyamizu) in Your Name.
The movie Suzume no Tojimari is an original work by Makoto Shinkai, who is both directing and writing the screenplay. Masayoshi Tanaka is doing character designs, with Takumi Tanji as the art director. CoMix Wave Films is animating the movie and it appears to be another fantasy story, similar to Shinkai’s previous works such as Your Name and Weathering With You. A teaser trailer and key visual were previously revealed.
The official website describes the plot of the movie as:
Doors of Disaster open across Japan, bringing misfortune. 17-year-old Suzume lives in a quiet town in the Kyushu region in Japan. The story begins when she meets a young man on a journey to discover all the doors. She follows him and finds an old door at an abandoned building in the mountains. As if drawn by something, she reaches out… This is the start of her journey across Japan to lock up the doors that bring disasters. Makoto Shinkai’s modern adventure and story about a girl’s freedom and growth sets off.