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Suzume No Tojimari Has Fans Buzzing About A Potential Makoto Shinkai Cinematic Universe

"Suzume no Tojimaru" is looking to make a big splash in the anime market this winter. The upcoming film from Makoto Shinkai is going to be a pretty big deal if the writer-director's previous films are anything to go by. Fans of other creative efforts from the filmmaker like "Your Name." and "Weathering With You" will already know that a new release from Shinkai is a very big deal in Japan.

"Suzume no Tojimaru" follows Suzume (Nanoka Hara), a young girl who opens a mysterious door in the mountains of Japan and unwittingly causes a national disturbance. As other doors begin opening across the country in response and causing mayhem, Suzume must journey to find them all and close them in order to undo her mistake.

As mentioned above, two of the filmmaker's previous films have made a pretty significant impact on audiences, but some fans are postulating that there could be even more connections between "Suzume no Tojimaru" and Shinkai's other works.

Fans think the film might be connected to previous Shinkai films

On the r/anime subreddit, a popular speculative thread for "Suzume no Tojimaru" has been gathering replies from fans for months, and some of them seem to think that the new movie could be connected with "Your Name." and "Weathering With You" in more ways than you might expect. In fact, many replies have indicated the theory that the latest work from Makoto Shinkai is setting up a cinematic universe for his characters.

"I [have] seen someone say they thought she looked like the child of Taki and Mitsuha, and honestly, that's what I'm feeling too," said u/Feisty-Site-6261 in the top comment. Taki and Mitsuha are the protagonists of "Your Name." and they also had a cameo in "Weathering With You," meaning if they appear in "Suzume no Tojimaru," that will connect all three of Shinkai's latest films.

"Yes, she is their daughter, and nobody can convince me otherwise," said u/shokosan, linking to pictures that back up their supposition. u/JamesChung was also quick to jump on board, "The Makoto Cinematic Universe. a.k.a the MCU," they joked. If it does turn out that "Suzume no Tomijaru" is connected to Shinkai's previous movies, it could easily open up the possibility for even more expansions on the creator's characters in future films.

Other anime and manga have pulled this trick

It's not at all unprecedented for anime to share the same universe, as fans of "Dragon Ball" or "Naruto" will no doubt be able to tell you. However, as the succession of those franchises have had more direct sequel series and movies tying them together, this notion for "Suzume no Tojimaru" would be more akin to what "Fire Force" has done by connecting itself with another work by manga creator Atsushi Ohkubo, "Soul Eater" (via Sports Keeda).

What makes this example stand out is that "Fire Force" had never been explicitly connected to "Soul Eater" until the end of the series. Though both shows had the same iconic smiling moon, that could easily be explained as a fun easter egg for fans rather than an indication of a full-on shared universe.

Since Makoto Shinkai has already connected "Weathering With You" and "Your Name," it seems like the writer-director could easily pull off the same trick in "Suzume no Tojimaru." Either way, fans will have to wait for the November 11 release date of the film to find out.