Mirai – [SPOILER FREE] Review
Updated: Jul 4, 2020
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to see Mamoru Hosoda’s – director of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), Summer Wars (2009) and Wolf Children (2012) – latest project: Mirai of the Future or simply Mirai.
The film is focused on a young boy named Kun whose parents have just returned home with his new baby sister: Mirai. Kun doesn’t like the changes that the arrival of Mirai brings so often lashes out at his parents and the new baby. Things begin to get strange when Kun stumbles across a magical gateway in his garden in which he meets different members of his family at different stages of their lives. This includes Mirai as a teenager who guides Kun throughout the different timelines enabling him to learn his role within his family tree as well as how to be the best older brother he can be to Mirai.
As with a lot of slice of life anime films and Hosoda’s previous work; Mirai gives its audience a sense of familiarity and sentiment. Although the film features a Japanese family who typically have different cultural traditions and lifestyles to western audiences, there is still a strong connection and relatability to be found within the film. I saw the film with my younger sister and we found we could both relate to Kun and Mirai’s relationship; despite being over 15 years older than the pair.
As always with this genre and medium, the world in which Studio Chizu have created is mesmerising. Every inch of the screen was filled with detail and texture that my eyes gladly absorbed. From inside one of Japan’s busiest train stations to a small rural village in the countryside; I felt transported between each frame into a world in which I felt familiar with, without ever stepping foot inside of Japan. Both baby Mirai and Kun are extremely adorable as demonstrated in the opening scene where Kun eagerly waits for his parents to return from the hospital by pressing his face up against the window, repeatedly wiping away the fog that his breathing has caused.
Lastly, I’d like to highlight the humour in this film, the quick-witted lines of Kun and Mirai’s parents along with the hilarious mishaps between the children make this film such a joy to watch. My favourite instance of this includes the scene where Kun sticks countless amounts of animal biscuits onto Mirai’s face as she sleeps (I have memories of doing similar things to my two younger sisters as a child). Mamoru Hosoda did an incredible job at creating true to life, loveable children in his film as well as enchanting worlds and heart swelling moments which really do make you rethink your relationship with your siblings and feel sentimental about your role within your family.
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