Mamoru Hosoda’s films, often centred on family and friendships, have always found a way to put smiles on faces and leave audiences with a feel good feeling. His latest film, Mirai, is no different.
Mirai tells the tale of a spoilt young child, Kun, who struggles with the arrival of his new sibling, Mirai, and comes across a magical garden which sends him on various adventures, helping him deal with the changes in his family life.
The film is absolutely stunning, with visual animations that are appealing to the eye. The colours are vivid, making the film a pleasure to watch, especially on the big screen and the use of subtle effects during Kun’s adventures allowed a softer, more relaxed enjoyment of the film.
Narratively speaking, the overarching themes of family and acceptance were a delight, however much of the film’s story seemed a little haphazard at times. It seemed a little bizarre that travelling back in time to meet various relatives, is what would help Kun cope with having a new family member in his life, however, with such a feel good feeling to each adventure, it was difficult to focus on the fact that some instances didn’t make much sense. I suppose that’s the beauty of Hosoda’s films. They make little sense at times but overall this ultimately leads into a captivating story.
In many ways, Mirai felt similar in style and themes to Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro, without a magical cat bus or interesting creatures. The imagination was most definitely apparent though and the humour in the film was certainly on point as it had me laughing practically all the way through. Kun’s many antics and outbursts were also rather amusing (and may have reminded me of myself a little as the eldest child in my family).
Mirai may not be the most thrilling and exciting film story-wise, however, it was definitely engaging, fun and left you feeling a warm, fuzzy feeling on the inside, especially due to the interactions between characters in the film. After all the high-energy, adventurous and intense anime that I’d been watching, it was a nice change of pace watching a relaxing and enjoyable film like Mirai.
If you’re a Mamoru Hosoda fan and enjoy his style of films, you’ll enjoy this latest release. Mirai is now out in cinemas across Australia and New Zealand so be sure to check it out.