Makoto Shinkai, who gained fame for creating movies like Your Name, intended to adopt a novel approach to narrative and delve into the theme of sisterhood in his latest work.
However, the producers managed to persuade him to modify the storyline to cater to a broader audience.
They argued that it was not yet the right time for Japan to have a story featuring two female protagonists.
According to Shinkai, the LGBTQ+ aspect would be appropriate for Suzume’s character and would work regardless of the character’s gender identity.
He further emphasized that the narrative was focused on a person’s ability to overcome obstacles rather than the gender binary.
“I wanted to pivot to a more sisterhood type of romantic story, but I had to change that because my producer said, ‘You may be tired of these romantic stories, but your audience loves it,’” the director told Looper.
He also said “In order to not make it too much of a romance, I decided to make her primary interest a chair,” he said.
The officially announced story of Suzume no Tojimari is described as:
Suzume is a 17-year-old, who lives in a quiet town in Kyushu. One day, she meets a traveling young man who is looking for a “door.” Suzume decides to follow him and discovers an old door in the ruins in the mountains. As if drawn by something, Suzume reaches out for the door… What follows is Suzume’s liberation and growth as she closes the “doors” that cause misfortune in abandoned places around Japan.