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After being extremely curious about it for a while now, I finally got the chance to go see Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film, Mirai, and, well, there is quite a bit to say, so let me break it down a bit.
Much of grip with the film mainly centers around Kun, so I’ll start with him. The story of Mirai follows a family who, until now, had only been three: Mom, Dad, and Kun. After bringing home a newborn baby, Kun starts to notice that all the attention that once went to him now has to go to his new baby sister Mirai, and he does not like this at all. Kun takes out his anger on everyone, hitting Mirai with his to train, calling his mom a hag, and ignoring his dad altogether. Kun continually causes problems for his parents and also tells them that he does not like Mirai. Eventually, Kun gets visited by Mirai from the future, who tells him that he should be nicer to her.
To put it frankly, Kun is annoying. Now, I know that it is not exactly groundbreaking to say that a little kid is annoying, but the point still remains. It seems like the only way that Kun could express anger was screaming at every point possible. Now, I know that this was likely the intention, and was done to make Kun seem immature, but I wish they could have leaned on at least one or two other ways of making him seem immature.
Mamoru Hosoda and Time Travel
Another thing I wanted to point out was that Mamoru Hosoda’s use of time travel as a storytelling mechanic is absolutely fantastic. One of the things that makes Kun somewhat tolerable throughout the film is that each time he gets to meet a new member of his family, he grows and understands just a little bit more. A great example of this comes from the middle of the film, where he dreams about meeting his great-grandfather, and from his great-grandfather learns how to ride both a horse and a motorcycle. This inspires Kun to learn how to ride his bike.
It is also not the first time Mamoru Hosoda has told a great story using time travel. The Girl Who Lept Through Time, which Hosoda directed in 2006, also uses time travel to tell a great story, specifically a story about a young girl who finds herself with the ability to travel through time. Hosoda’s use of time travels gives his film a kind of excitement that elevates both the story and the animation in kind.
Looking towards the Future
Mamoru Hosoda’s films have always focused more on the importance of family, and in Mirai he does that in a clever way. As Kun’s father mentions in the film, Mirai’s name literally means “Future,” and most of the movie centers around Mirai. Not to give to much away, but at one point towards the end of the movie, Kun has to save Mirai. In this way, he is saving both Mirai, but also what her name represents, i.e the future. It is a neat way to tie in the main thematic element and Mirai herself together.
Have any of you seen Mirai yet? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!