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Who Voices Sōta Munakata In Suzume No Tojimari?

Makoto Shinkai's seventh feature-length anime movie, the first since 2019's "Weathering with You," is almost upon us, much to the delight of the Japanese filmmaker's fans. "Suzume no Tojimari" tells the story of Suzume Iwato, a high schooler living in the Kyushu region, whose journey starts when she encounters a shabby-looking door in the middle of a run-down empty town. Curious, she decides to open it only to discover that destruction lurks on the other side. Suzume's epic adventure is really a "door-closing" mission that she undertakes to save her country from disaster.

But Suzume, portrayed by 19-year-old Nanoka Hara, is not alone in her journey. As the trailer shows, her life begins to change when she comes across a young man, Sōta Munakata, while riding her bike. "Hey, you." Munakata says, making Suzume stop in her tracks. "Is there a door nearby here?"

One of the many aspects we can take away from the trailer of "Suzume no Tojimari" is that the voice actors for Suzume and Sōta are really into their roles and their voices undeniably fit the characters. What some people may not know is that, like Hara, the actor who voices the young, raven-haired man is also making his anime voice-acting debut with Shinkai's upcoming film.

Enter idol Hokuto Matsumura

Hundreds of audition tapes were sent in for the main roles of "Suzume no Tojimari." But in the end, Makoto Shinkai ended up selecting Nanoka Hara from among "1,700 other applicants," and singer Hokuto Matsumura for the role of Sōta.

Matsumura is best known for being a member of the J-Pop idol group SixTONES, a band that was formed in 2015. He was born on June 18, 1995, making his zodiac sign Gemini. He also possesses a black belt in Karate (via MyDramaList). He has previously starred in some live-action films such as "Kids on the Slope," "Liar × Liar," and "xxxHolic."

Shinkai, who according to Anime News Network "personally reviewed Matsumura's audition," justified his choice by saying the idol and actor had an eloquent "inner richness" that he was looking for.

On September 6, a nearly half-an-hour promotional special titled "In Front of the Door" came out which featured Hara, Shinkai, and Matsumura all sitting down in front of a real-life replica of the movie's worn-out door and conversing about the process and their experience working on the project. The special included snippets of behind-the-scenes footage of the actors in the recording booth.

"Suzume no Tojimari" premieres in Japan on November 11, and will later be made available to Western audiences in early 2023.