Date: 2018 October 23 20:50
Posted by Joe
Acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda's latest movie Mirai hits UK screens on Friday 2nd November 2018 (subtitled) and Sunday 4th November 2018 for the dubbed version. The good folks at Anime Limited are distributing it in the UK and had even set up an exhibition dedicated to the director's work in London. If you want to catch the movie then find screening near you by visiting miraifilm.co.uk.
Before you do you'll want to know is it any good?! There's a lot of anticipation around this movie we feel this marks a turning point in Hosoda's work, so read on for our review of the anime film.
Mirai is the latest movie from acclaimed director Mamouru Hosoda, the director behind many hugely popular hits such as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Child and The Boy and the Beast. The film marks a departure from his normal works, having recently become a father the director decided to create a story around a four year old boy called Kun. I'd describe this as a slice of life story with a very Hosoda like twist.
Kun is a typical 4 year old he loves trains and being the centre of attention as the only child in his family. However he's in for a shock as the arrival of a new baby sister upsets the status quo, he now has to share his time and family's attention with little sister Mirai.
With first born children the arrival of a second and the disruption it causes the first is often called being dethroned. They are no longer the little prince / princess, the world no longer revolves around them. This is captured perfectly in Mirai. While being angry at losing all the attention Kun then encounters Mirai but from the future, she's teenage and needs Kun's help. A series of similar time travelling adventures then ensue. Each with a slightly different feel or purpose, some of them funny, some of them scary, but all of them are sentimental and heart warming. These are trials and adventures of a 4 year old, so Kun isn't in mortal danger and the fate of the world is never at stake.
The film is very well observed there's ton of attention to detail, the way small children sleep has been captured along with little mannerisms and behaviours. The Dad in the movie is an architect and drives a Volvo (that's even a stereotype in Japan?!), the furniture is all clearly modelled on a real working house too. All of these details help create a realistic world.
As you'd expect from a Mamouru Hosoda film the animation quality is divine. There's also nods to his past films, a tip of the hat to Wolf Children, Summer Wars and the Boy and the Beast are all there, plus a tip of the hat Totoro too.
While watching this movie I'd be happily absorbed just watching the domestic adventures of the family, it's so well observed and animated, the time travelling adventures felt like a bonus feature to the story from Hosoda. The pacing is good it doesn't drag on. The story has an autobiographic feel to it too, I wonder how much of Hosoda's own family life he's included? I'd be curious to know if his off spring have the ability to travel time?!
It's refreshing to find a story for the whole family told mainly from the perspective of a four year old. It's the kind of film the whole family can enjoy, although some scenes might be a bit too scary for smaller children, if your children are scared easily, I'd wait until they're a little bit older (although it's not really that scary, I do know a few children who would find it too scary, the kind that find Peter Rabbit a bit too scary).
The movie really does capture little family moments and stories about what makes a family and how like it or not your family history makes you who you are. A lot of people have said that it invites you back to remember a time being four years old, but I think parents will view this movie differently and that's part of the joy. Depending on how old you are and where you are in life you'll make different observations about this film. This'll certainly add to the rewatch value as you revisit this movie again, you're bound to notice something different about it. If you're new to Mamouru Hosoda's work this is a great introduction. If you're already familiar with any of his other films then you already know what to expect and don't really need a review to go and tell you to watch it.
We highly recommend you catch Mirai on the big screen while you can. It's such an enjoyable movie and I feel it's a turning point in Hosoda's output. It's not an epic adventure, but one that's understated and beautifully told . It truly is enchanting. It is an instant classic.
Mirai hits UK screens on Friday 2nd November 2018 (subtitled) and Sunday 4th November 2018 for the dubbed version. To find screening near you visit miraifilm.co.uk.