Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Coming-of-Age
First Released: July 2018, 98-minute film
Summary: Kun is a four-year-old with his parents wrapped around his finger until his baby sister Mirai is born. Mirai, which means future, is the second-born in the family and immediately takes over all the parents attention. Kun’s play time and activities with his father have been replaced with watching Mirai get her diaper changed and being fed constantly. Mother returns to work leaving father to take care of the two children by himself during the day. Kun becomes increasingly jealous of the Mirai and begins to act out in various ways. Just when he thinks he can’t take anymore, Kun storms off to the garden and is greeted by mysterious guests of the past and future, including a teenage Mirai that knows everything about him. Kun goes on a journey through time and space, learning the history of his family.
Mirai is directed by Mamoru Hosoda, who you may know from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children, and The Boy and the Beast. The story is fairly simple, there is a beautiful blend of fantasy and reality that provides a nice recipe for entertainment. I enjoyed watching Kun’s struggle of being a kid and going from being an only child to becoming the first-born of two. The emotions are spot on with all the characters, from the parents to the children. It’s not entertaining to watch the parents struggle with taking care of two kids, but it is so true to life that it makes perfect sense why they made the film the way they did. It’s apparent that the writers have experienced the family struggle firsthand. On top of the difficult reality in the film, the fantastical elements are beautifully presented and animated. Some of scenes are so breathtaking that it makes you want to watch them over and over again, especially during certain scenes near the end.
You might enjoy this if: You are passionate about family history in all its forms. You will also enjoy this if you have children and want to watch something you can relate to.
You might not like it if: You are not ready for all the feels.
Note to the Viewer: Mamoru Hosoda was commissioned by Studio Ghibli to direct Howl’s Moving Castle but left during the early production stages.
Mirai Official Trailer