When four-year-old Kun meets his new baby sister, his world is turned upside down. Named Mirai (meaning "future"), the baby quickly wins the hearts of Kun's entire family. As his mother returns to work, and his father struggles to run the household, Kun becomes increasingly jealous of baby Mirai... until one day he storms off into the garden, where he encounters strange guests from the past and future—including his sister Mirai, as a teenager. Together, Kun and teenage Mirai go on a journey through time and space, uncovering their family's incredible story. But why did Mirai come from the future?
Mirai, also known as Mirai no Mirai, is an animated film directed by Mamoru Hosoda. He has directed other notably well-received anime films such as Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Mirai is about a boy named Kun who unexpectedly goes back in time on different occasions to meet his relatives from different eras. This film makes a wholesome and heartwarming statement -- that family shapes who we are and are the primary reason why we exist and we should be thankful and loving towards our family members, even in the toughest of times. This film shows
that family is an integral part of what makes a certain individual’s personality and that family is an important part of society. We can learn how to behave and how to grow up through socialisation. Hosoda accurately portrayed a misbehaving young boy and the struggles of raising up multiple children. This film is beautiful in the way that it teaches Kun to grow up and not to misbehave through experiencing his relatives’ past and future. This fantasy element was so gorgeous to look at on the screen and it was a pleasure to absorb the positive joy it emits.
The animation by Studio Chizu is familiar and meets the standards that they have demonstrated in the past. The character designs of some of the characters resemble characters from previous films Hosoda has directed which creates a familiar yet inviting environment for this fantasy-adventure film. I absolutely admired the opening shot where it's an animated shot of an angled top-down view of households and the surrounding roads. The streets and the houses were very well animated and were quite captivating.
The soundtrack is quite good. I liked the opening theme, "Mirai no Theme" by Tatsuro Yamashita, and the ending theme, "Uta no Kisha" by Tatsuro Yamashita. Both the opening and ending theme fit the anime quite well and set the mood for this feel-good anime. The voice acting is superb, especially by Moka Kamishiraishi who voices Kun. Kamishiraishi absolutely nails the voice acting of a young boy who is upset that his parents are not giving him as much attention since they had their second child, Mirai.
Character development was done well as the film explores the family tree through time-travelling. The film gives each character a moment to shine and give a sense of purpose to progress the plot and send out the overall message of the film. This film is great for all ages, but it has a very important message that might help kids get through life -- the message being that life can be hard at times and sometimes you aren’t always the centre of attention, but continue loving your family as they are very important and an integral part of shaping your personality and how you will grow up to be in the future. Having close relationships with your family members is important and you must always keep them close, by your side so they can help you and assist you in many ways throughout your life. You can’t do things alone!
This is the first film that made me tear up out of overwhelming happiness. It just made me so happy. Other films have made me cry because they are sad in nature but this one was a tear-jerker because of the joy that it put on the screen and the fantastic plot-device of seeing the adventure through Kun's point of view.
I enjoyed this film and this film had a clean and concise ending, unlike some of Hosoda's other works. The start may have been slightly convoluted, but it explains itself and resolves everything in the end to a satisfying conclusion.
I watched this at the Sydney Film Festival (SFF) on the 17th of June at The State Theatre which was the second screening of the movie at the SFF and I highly recommend that you go check this film out when it gets released in your area.
This movie is very experimental in a lot of ways, and I appreciate that. Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it the best work by Hosoda? No. But it is a very cute movie, surprisingly deep, with phenomenal artwork and cinematography.
The soundtrack is rreminiscient of Ookami Kodomo Ame to Yuki, and each song is gorgeous.
I think the title and trailers were misleading, because they focused on Kun's younger sister, Mirai, visiting him from the future. This does happen, but it's a small part of the plot. The true title should be "Annoying Child Repeatedly Stumbles into his Courtyard and is Greeted
by Fantastical Events that Help Him Become a Better, More Responsible Child." It's a bit long, but it's more accurate.
We follow a four-year-old boy called Kun-chan, and he likes two things: trains and screaming at the top of his lungs. I'm serious, this kid is a NIGHTMARE. I can't think of another movie where the protagonist is this young (excluding Rugrats), mostly because nobody wants to follow a screaming pile of tantrums. And that is exactly what he is. By the middle of the movie, I legitimately hated this child.
Further, everyone around him is extremely nice. Even the BABY is better than he is. The BABY. The father stays at home, taking care of the children, while the mother returns to work and puts food on the table. This is a refreshing 21st century portrayal of a family, especially in Japan where they still kind of have a 1950's mindset of women in the workforce. We spend a good amount of time following the father as he struggles and learns how to do housework and properly hold a baby. Thus, Kun-chan does not get the attention he once got before and proceeds to throw vicious tantrums.
What this means is that the protagonist is the antagonist. The only real problems are caused by Kun-chan. As stated in the new title, when his tantrums climax, he stumbles into the house's courtyard and finds himself in a fantastical world, confronting one of his family members in an altered state. This includes his dog and, yes, his little sister as a middle-schooler from the future. These events have a dreamlike approach to logic and conversation, which falls in line with the idea that these are Kun-chan's fantasies. Why is the dog a human? Because Kun-chan sees it as such. Why is nobody worried about a 2-year-old walking around by himself? Because Kun-chan is the center of the fantasy, and thus his existence, in whatever state, is normal. Each event helps him in some way, and his tantrums die down afterward until the next thing happens. I can't really say that this is a coming-of-age story because the kid stays a kid, but he manages to connect with his family in a new way. Kun-chan is the deepest, most developed 4-year-old I've ever seen.
All in all, the stakes are low and nobody dies (spoilers?), so this movie doesn't conjure the feels that most Hosoda movies do. This is not a drama so much as a dramedy, with about an even split on both drama and comedy. Still, this is a very cute and refreshing story that deserves appreciation.
This is where the movie truly shines. I saw the "camera" used in a way I've never seen before. Animation allows for really cool things like that. The weirdly diagonal house allows for really cool linear transitions to different events within the house. Again, this is the same director as Ookami Kodomo Ame to Yuki, where he told the story of two siblings growing up in school by shifting the camera back and forth in a completely inventive way. The animations are clean, smooth, and lifelike. CGI is used in a non-obtusive way that allows sweeping shots behind a motorcycle. The backdrops are gorgeous, and they make use of them. The sky-shots at the end made the "camera" movement so realistic that I was legitimately terrified of falling, inside the theater...
Go watch. Enjoy the story. Pay attention to the animations and transitions. Be happy. I"m out.
In the planning stage of Mirai no Mirai, significant consideration was put into the designing of the house in which the majority of the movie is set. In fact, director Mamoru Hosoda employed a real architect, Makoto Tanijiri, to design the Oota house. The house is a series of four levels, not quite stories as it were, connected by a series of steps on one side of the house. It's a peculiar layout, as noted in a throwaway comment made by the grandmother at the beginning, designed in-universe by the architect father. A sloped tracking shot near the beginning of the movie, similar to Wolf
Children's famed lateral tracking shot, moves between each level to show how they are attached. The first level is a den, mainly inhabited by the four-year-old son, Kun, and his train sets and toys. The next level up is a lawn-type outdoor area, followed by the kitchen and living area, then finally the bedrooms. Tanijiri planned the house so that a "child will be able to see the bottom room clearly from the garden, but an adult will only be able to see what's right in front of them." The effect? "The child's view will change as he grows up.”
What seems like a small detail of the movie is in fact the most important, as it sets up the entire thematic structure. In contrast to Hosoda's previous grand cinematic declarations on family and life, underlying the superficial coming-of-age story of Mirai is a focused meditation on the architecture of time. Of course, true to his nature, Hosoda interprets time and space as relative to our family histories. For Hosoda, time does not move laterally, rather it flows back and forth through the levels of the family tree, just as the aforementioned tracking shot shifts repeatedly between the levels of the house. Each generation experiences time on their own distinct level, yet the time of their ancestors and descendants are always within reach.
In Mirai, this platitudinous reading of time isn't a reading at all; it's the extraordinary reality of the movie. The expanse of the narrative finds Kun, in the garden of the house, drifting through time to meet anachronistic versions of family members he currently knows. The first instance of time-travelling antics (though not the first scene of garden fantasies) delivers Hosoda's vision the best. Kun, frustrated with his parents doting on the newly born Mirai, runs into the future, middle school-aged version of his sister, along with their anthropomorphic dog. The scene is filled with Marx Brothers-styled hijinks and light exploration into the logistics of Mirai's time traveling. But the scientific implications are quickly abandoned because time travel isn't really the point. Kun goes on to meet the past versions of his parents, and then their parents, learning a lesson or two from each encounter, and these subsequent scenes are more mired in heart tugging magical realism than heart pounding sci-fi. Some may find the episodic structure to be off-putting, but given the design of the house, a matching series of seemingly contained yet faintly connected stories appears to be more than appropriate.
The clincher is that pretty much the entirety of the movie, time traveling and all, takes place inside the Oota house, in the garden, in the present. And this seems to be Hosoda's insinuation: the past and the future are united in the present via the family tree, a statement he articulates in the wonderfully directed climax in which present-day Kun and future Mirai witness landmark events from their relatives' pasts, including a deeply touching famed race mentioned by the grandparents earlier in the movie.
At certain points, Mirai no Mirai offers glimpses of Hosoda at his compulsive, unrestrained worst. Pregnancy fetish and furry scenes can be checked off the "obligatory Hosoda-isms" checklist within the first act, and his penchant for exploring enclosed dimensions, seen in his earlier works, returns in full masturbatory force during the worst scene in the movie, the lead-up to the climax. Animated mostly in (decent) CGI, it's visually incongruous with the rest of the movie's style and thematically divorced as it has little to do with the nature of time or family. It's full of those (POV travelling?) shots he employed so daintily in Wolf Children, but instead of snowy knolls and forests, it's ugly, repetitive train tunnels. It also lingers for far too long, almost ruining the climax. But these pockmarks are minimal and eclipsed by moments of Hosoda at his most honed, absolute best.
Mamoru Hosoda giving us a visually accurate depiction of both sibling bonds and the stressful yet typical things families ALL grow through...
Mirai no Mirai through basic means tells of a 4 or 5 year old boy by the name of Kun-chan and the trials and tribulations when his "love" is taken away by the arrival of his younger sister Mirai and thus we see his journey of not only both his looking at his family members backstories but also learning about the world one step at a time..........with MANY screaming along the way.
Ok, LA might as well get LA's gripes done and away first before
carrying on and to LA's persoanl bias would be that quite easily the most annoying thing to this movie is Kun himself, he's nothing but a selfish brat and SCREAMS ALOT, but to this defense LA will say well what did you expect from a child no less than 5 years old, OF COURSE he doesn't know any better but better yet he learns from his mistakes through the movie. Mamoru Hosoda always had a way of storytelling but Mirai was somewhat episodic in nature compared to Hosoda's other outings done mostly in vignettes of Kun's life with his imagination going wild for that supernatural element into the mix giving us both into the mind of 5 year old but also translating that into real life in many respects and him learning from what his imagination takes him to learn a lesson about life as well as his family members. The next gripe really was that things weren't explained to us in detail however considering this movie's narrative is entirely on Kun a 5 year old, LA thinks this gives itself a good leeway, yeah things DOESN'T make sense to a 5 year old be it if things doesn't goes his way or he's in the wrong or right, things are confusing and "doesn't make sense" in a 5 year old mind. Finally is the ending was abrupt to say the least and sure it gave Kun character development as not only a family member but a sibling but let's just say the transitioning was a tad rushed and it's probably the only flaw LA can't exactly defend.
Yeah, the thing is Mirai though LA has flaws to nitpick this movie about, LA can give alot of defense for alot of the flaws in the process and that is kinda because even if the movie is episodic in nature, Kun is a bratty annoying kid or "things doesn't make sense", Mamoru Hosoda has a way of making things VERY relatable and realistic even if the movie in itself can veer into the imaginary.
The episodic format and how it's structured in vignettes of Kun's life well this is Kun's story first and foremost and him diving into his family members to how they become who they they are now in many cases under related catalyst plots for Kun's next thing learn about, be it Kun's mother, father, the family dog (no seriously), his Great Grandpa, Mirai or Kun's moral compass of what his family means to him, it's KUN's narrative focus all the way. The episodic style may be "basic" but it's effective to say the least and with Mamoru Hosoda's expertise with the theme of family, it just it makes it that much more effective.
The animation done by Studio Chizu..well it's expected all things considered, from how fantastical Kun's imagination looks to Mamoru's typical character designs being an obvious mark of his. With Kun's imagination being rampant in this movie well it's expected the visuals to not only be beautiful but what with the anime's setting being limiting to Kun's house and Kun's vast imagination well it's homely to say the least getting used to Kun's house as well as Kun's cognitive imagination and how he view things and it's brilliantly animated by Chizu.
Voice acting well, as much as LA really didn't like Kun's consistent screaming and crying with Moka Kamishiraishi but nonetheless was a convincing 5 year old voice. Future Mirai voiced by Haru Kuroki to Kun's mother and father voiced by Kumiko Asou and Gen Hoshino were great as expected giving us the head strong mother type to the more struggling transitioning stay at home dad. Really as annoying Kun is, LA will praise Moka for doing a convincingly annoying 5 year old voice with a GREAT voice cast backing it up.
Mirai on the surface has ALOT of flaws to itself, from the likes of "not making sense" (be it in Kun's real life or in his imagination), annoying main protagonist to how watered down the plot structure it is compared Mamoru Hosoda's previous ventures and how abrupt the ending is but with all that LA will say it has strengths but strengths hidden in plain sight. Mirai first and foremost pretty much details what's like in the mind and perspective of a 5 year old and in comes the flaws right in the offset but the strengths of showing not only sibling bonds but family bonds which Mamoru Hosoda is extremely good at executing and telling a story VERY well. Yes Mirai as a whole as problems but as a sum of it's parts as episodic of a movie Mirai really is, tells us a MUCH deeper story of family and Mirai pulls it off, flaws and all.
Is this Mamoru's best work?, from LA's perspective no, LA sees Wolf's Children as that but LA imagines that Mamoru Hosoda wasn't trying to make another movie to top it but to tell a story of a 5 year old, see his perspective on the world he sees and learns about his family and what it means to him and Mamoru does just that.