SUZUME*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens years earlier, where a young Suzume Iwato (Bennet Hetrick) is wandering alone through a field, calling out for her mother. As she begins to cry, the figure of a woman comes closer to Suzume, smiling at her. An older Suzume (Nichole Sakura) wakes up as she was dreaming this.
In the present, Suzume is a teenager living with her aunt Tamaki (Jennifer Sun Bell) in Kyushu. She starts walking to school when she runs into a young man, Sota Munakata (Josh Keaton). He asks Suzume if she knows of any ruins in the area, and she directs him to an abandoned onsen resort in the area.
When Suzume gets to school and sees her friend Aya (Abby Trott), she cannot get Sota out of her head, as she feels that she has met him once before. Suzume runs toward the onsen and finds a door in the middle of the area. When she opens it, a starry field called the Ever-After appears, but Suzume cannot enter it and simply walks through the doorway. She then finds a little cat statue, which starts to unfreeze before turning into a regular cat that runs away.
Suzume returns to school, but the area experiences a light earthquake. Moments later, a swirling vortex forms that only Suzume can see. She runs back to the onsen, where she sees Sota struggling to close the doorway. Suzume runs to help him, and he uses a key to seal the entity, called “The Worm”, back into the door, causing its essence to burst into rainfall.
Suzume brings Sota back to her house since he is injured. He explains to Suzume that he is known as a closer, and he has to keep the Worm sealed away before it can attack the Earth. The cat from before (Lena Josephine Marano) shows up at Suzume’s window, looking gaunt and sickly. She feeds it some fish, and the cat speaks to Suzume, telling her that he likes her. The cat looks at Sota and tells him he’s in the way before turning him into a three-legged chair Suzume keeps in her room. The cat runs away, and Sota begins to run after him, which forces Suzume to chase them both down.
Suzume and Sota chase the cat onto a boat, but he hops onto the next passing ferry heading to Ehime. Others take notice of the strange running chair in the streets. Suzume looks through social media and sees that many others have spotted the cat, and they have collectively named the cat “Daijin.” Sota explains that Daijin was the keystone needed to keep the Worm sealed away, and Suzume removing it caused the Worm to start coming out.
On their way, Suzume and Sota see a girl, Chika Amabe (Rosalie Chiang), who is delivering oranges, but they fall off her motorcycle and start rolling down the hill. Suzume and Sota use a tarp to catch the oranges, for which Chika is thankful. Soon, the two see the Worm starting to appear from another doorway in Shikoku, so Chika gives them a ride toward it. The doorway is in an abandoned school. Sota tells Suzume that, in order to close the door, she needs to feel the spirits of those that used to inhabit the area. Suzume does so and feels their memories, which allows them to close the door.
Suzume and Sota part ways from Chika as they find Daijin and try to follow him again. Suzume gets picked up by a woman named Rumi (Amanda C. Miller) and her two children as they start making their way to Kobe. Rumi lets Suzume stay with them briefly while she also helps around the bar that Rumi owns. The kids play with Sota, thinking he is some kind of intelligent robot doll that moves and talks. While Suzume is helping at the bar with Rumi’s friend and coworker, Miki (Mela Lee), she and Sota spot Daijin and run after him.
The two chase Daijin to an abandoned amusement park, where another doorway has been opened, and the Worm is coming out. When they attempt to close the doorway, the lights in the park go on and attract attention from the nearby citizens. The Ferris wheel where the doorway is starts to turn on, making it harder for Suzume to close it. Sota chases Daijin and knocks him down, demanding he turn him back into a human, but Daijin tells him that there is something he hasn’t figured out yet. Suzume seals the doorway. On the way down from the top of the Ferris wheel, Sota finds her. They return to Rumi’s place for a while before departing from her as well.
Suzume later brings Sota to his apartment in Tokyo, where he explains the history of the Worm and its legend. Its name is Namazu, and if released from the Tokyo gate, it could cause great devastation. He also explains the Ever-After, where souls go after they die. Soon, a young man, Tomoya Serizawa (Joe Zieja), knocks at the door. He mentions that Sota missed his doctors exam (that’s what he’s studying to be), and he also owes Serizawa some money.
The pair spot Daijin again and see that the Tokyo gate has been opened. The Worm is closer and closer to being fully released and falling onto Tokyo. Daijin reveals he made it so that Sota would become the new keystone so that he can be with Suzume. Sota accepts his fate, and he becomes a keystone in Suzume’s hands. She sets him down onto the Worm, re-sealing it through the gate but losing Sota in the process. Suzume yells at Daijin to go away, which hurts his feelings.
Suzume visits Sota’s grandfather Hitsujiro (Cam Clarke) in the hospital after Sota had mentioned him. She explains how she knows Sota, and Hitsujiro mentions how he knows about the Worm and the gates as well. He tells her that the fact that she can see the Worm and the doorways means she was in the Ever-After before as a child. After seeing that Suzume has come to care deeply for Sota, Hitsujiro tells her there is a way for humans to enter the Ever-After, which would be the same location where Suzume first entered, and she can save Sota that way.
As Suzume starts to leave, she is found by Tamaki, who has been frantically searching for her the last few days. They are also found by Serizawa, and the two join him to go find Sota. While on their way, they go to a rest stop, and Suzume and Tamaki get into an argument where Tamaki says she didn’t want to adopt Suzume as her own despite being her sister’s kid. Suzume realizes Tamaki is possessed by Sadaijin, the other keystone that appears as a larger black cat compared to Daijin.
Tamaki brings Suzume to her old home in a town that was destroyed by a tsunami, which is how Suzume’s mother died. There, they find the doorway that allows Suzume to enter the Ever-After with Daijin and Sadaijin. The Worm is trying to break free through the gate, so Sadaijin turns into a more powerful beast form to fight it. Suzume finds Sota, still frozen as a chair. Daijin accepts his fate and returns to being a keystone so that Sota can return to his human form, but he first asks Suzume to place him back with her own hands. She does so, and the Worm is sealed back in its place.
Soon after, Suzume looks out and sees herself as a child from when she first entered the Ever-After. While she is sad at losing her mom, the older Suzume assures her younger self she will have a bright future ahead of her and that she will find real love with Sota. She gives her the chair that Sota had become, which was made by her mother when she was a child. Suzume and Sota then leave the Ever-After, sealing it for good.
Sota leaves Suzume to continue his job as a closer, but he promises to see her again. Suzume reunites with Tamaki, and Suzume later introduces her to Rumi and Miki, before later finding Chika again. Suzume also continues her studies. Later, she runs into Sota on the same road they first met, and she is happy to see him again.
A teenager named Suzume Iwato meets a young man, Sota Munakata. After Suzume accidentally releases a keystone, which turns into a cat called Daijin, a powerful entity called the Worm (Namazu) starts trying to make its way out of multiple doorways that only the two of them can close. Daijin turns Sota into a chair because he wants Suzume for himself, so the two go across Japan to find the cat and seal the doorways, while also making new friends along the way.
Suzume starts to develop feelings for Sota, but when they try to close the Tokyo gate, Daijin reveals he made it so that Sota would be the new keystone in his place. Sota accepts his fate so that the Worm can be re-sealed, but Suzume learns from Sota's grandfather that she can enter the Ever-After where Sota is trapped to save him, since she entered the Ever-After herself as a kid.
With help from her aunt Tamaki, plus Daijin and the other keystone Sadaijin, Suzume locates the entrance to the Ever-After. Daijin returns to his position as the keystone to allow Sota to become human again, and the Worm is re-sealed for good. Before leaving, Suzume sees her younger self as she was looking for her deceased mother in the Ever-After, and she promises her child self that she will have a bright future ahead of her.