We already know RADWIMPS and Makoto Shinkai are an amazing combination, and they will be teaming up in the director’s upcoming anime film Suzume (Suzume no Tojimari) as well, and they will be in charge of the music score along with the composer Kazuma Jinnouchi. RADWIMPS previously provided the soundtracks for Your Name. and Weathering With You. The female vocalist behind the theme song “Suzume” which can be heard in the previously released trailer, has been revealed to be the TikTok sensation Toaka. You can watch the trailer below:
Regarding the partnership with Kazuma Jinnouchi on Makoto Shinkai’s Suzume, Yojiro Noda (RADWIMPS) said, “A partnership with someone of Kazuma’s caliber, having worked on both films and video games, has given me an experience I cannot describe in words. It has broadened my horizons. The process of developing a sound that can coexist with RADWIMPS’ amazing mood and energy was simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking for me, but ultimately I believe we’ve stuck the landing on one of the answers of how that might sound.”
Their comments regarding the film:
I first received the offer back in Spring of 2020, right as Japan and the rest of the world was about to enter two years of uncertainty and restriction. Reading the screenplay gave me the opportunity to expand my imagination and think about what I can do with the medium of music.
Kazuma and I met recently at London’s Abbey Road Studios to record the orchestra. A partnership with someone of Kazuma’s caliber, having worked on both films and video games, has given me an experience I cannot describe in words. It has broadened my horizons. It would be an honor to work with him again, and I am personally excited to see how the film’s score turns out.
For our female vocalist, we auditioned several talented singers, but it was the moment Toaka began to sing the opening ‘Lah la la la la la lah la~’ of the theme song ‘Suzume’ when I knew we had our star. She was the only choice for the part. I felt a connection between Toaka’s voice and this music that no one could sever. It was a pleasure to capture her vocals that only she can produce at this age and this moment in time.Yojiro Noda (RADWIMPS)
The films ‘Your Name.’ and ‘Weathering With You’ both had a strong affinity between Director Shinkai and RADWIMPS that was clear to me, so when I was first offered the opportunity to score their upcoming film, ‘Suzume,’ I was frankly a bit confused and surprised.
When I met Director Shinkai and Producer Genki Kawamura for the first time, it became apparent to me that my role was to take the ‘Shinkai world’ and convey that experience through music. The process of developing a sound that can coexist with RADWIMPS’ amazing mood and energy was simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking for me, but ultimately I believe we’ve stuck the landing on one of the answers of how that might sound.
When looking at the project objectively, had the two of us composed our melodies in our own vacuums, then the overall theme would grow weaker. It was necessary to have a ‘musical theme’ for both the scenes Yojiro and I composed. I had the opportunity to arrange some of Yojiro’s music, which is when I felt the visuals and melodies naturally carry us to our thematic destination.
This bouncing of ideas and open-minded environment was vital to defining the ‘color’ of the project, opening up all kinds of possibilities.
Finally, I want to give credit to the several amazing and talented members of the musical team, who worked on many famous pictures of their own. It is their efforts in the recording and mixing booths that have elevated ‘Suzume’s’ soundtrack. I hope everyone has the chance to experience this in movie theaters.Kazuma Jinnouchi
I couldn’t believe it when they first told me I would be singing the main theme song for the film. Emotions of shock and anxiety overcame me instantly, and I spent the next few days with my mind completely blank.
At the audition, it was my first time ever recording anything. I was so nervous my voice was trembling – I remember my voice being very breathy. But, when I received the accompaniment for the theme song ‘Suzume’ I thought about how I would want to express this song, and the vision became clear.
When it came time to finally record the theme, I let that vision guide me and tried to fully express myself in a way that both the sounds and words would resonate. I feel I left nothing on the table and could be myself.
As the trailer was revealed and I heard my voice coming through the speakers, I had goosebumps like never before. I’m ecstatic to be part of RADWIMPS’ intricate melody and Director Shinkai’s beautiful world that will touch audiences’ hearts.Toaka
Almost as soon as I finished the first draft of ‘Suzume’s’ screenplay, I shared it with Yojiro without a second thought. I knew the musical demands of ‘Suzume’ would be quite different from the previous two films, giving the audience an striking musical experience. RADWIMPS was one of the few musical talents that I could count on to help me make that discovery.
Throughout the two-year production process of the film, I was fortunate to meet Toaka’s unparalleled voice and Kazuma’s movie scoring experience, which greatly affected the film’s sounds elevating it to another level.
I am confident we have achieved something worthy of calling a ‘theatrical music experience’ and hope that everyone gets the chance to experience the film in theaters.Makoto Shinkai
The official synopsis for the Suzume anime film:
17-year-old Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu 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 gates to prevent further disaster.
The morning sky
Within that realm, it was as though all time had melted together in the sky— Guided by these mysterious doors, Suzume’s journey to close doors is about to begin.
- Director / Screenplay / Story: Makoto Shinkai
- Character Design: Masayoshi Tanaka
- Animation Director: Kenichi Tsuchiya
- Art Director: Takumi Tanji
- Production Company: CoMix Wave Films Inc.
- Producing Company: STORY inc.
Source: Press release, Official YouTube
© 2022 “Suzume” Film Partners