Feb 12, 2019
We’re welcoming back Philly Film Fan, aka Keith Lyons, with a review for a film nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Golden Globes and the Oscars this year. It’s another Japanese animation film, one of our favorite genres, and for a few other reviews, check out “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” (Episode #212), “Flavours of Youth” (Episode #224), “Fist of the North Star” (Episode #243), and the impressive Godzilla animated trilogy (Episodes #340, #341, and #377). And if you have any suggestions, let us know at onemoviepunch.com or reach out over social media.
Take it away, Keith!
Hi, Philly Film Fan here with another review for One Movie Punch. You can follow me on Twitter at PhillyFilmFan, where I participate in the #365Movies challenge. That’s P-H-I-L-L-Y-F-I-L-M-F-A-N.
Today’s movie is “Mirai”, written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. “Mirai” is nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature and it is the first Japanese film produced outside of the famed Studio Ghibli to earn that distinction.
“Mirai” opens with a four-year-old boy, Kun (Moka Kamishiraishi), eagerly awaiting the arrival of his little sister, Mirai (Kaede Hondo). But Kun quickly learns that a new baby requires constant care, and that means that his parents have a lot less time for him. Jealous of his baby sister, Kun begins acting out. First he takes his aggression out on his mother (Kumiko Aso), then his father (Gen Hoshino), and finally Mirai, even going so far as threatening to bash her head with one of his toy trains.
Kun’s behavior becomes a crisis point for the family and puts even more pressure on his parents already-strained relationship. Unable to deal with a newborn baby and their new problem child, Kun’s parents exile him to the yard. That’s when things start to get weird. A mysterious stranger appears before Kun and introduces himself as “The Prince of the House”. Well, make that former “Prince of the House”. There was a time when this mysterious stranger was doted on hand and foot by Kun’s parents but all that came to an end once Kun was born. We quickly realize that the “Prince of the House” is actually the family dog, Yukko, whose human form is voiced by Mitsuo Yoshihara.
But a talking dog is only the beginning. Soon Kun will be visited by a teenage version of his baby sister (Haru Kuroki). This future version of Mirai will enlist Kun and Yukko on a quest that will eventually take Kun on a poignant journey through their family history. Although there are fantasy elements to this film, at its core it is a story about Kun’s struggle to accept Mirai into his life. Mamoru Hosoda was inspired to make this film by the difficulties his own son had after his second child was born. By drawing on his personal experiences, Hosoda is able to create fully-rendered characters with a depth you don’t usually see in animated films.
“Mirai” presents naturalistic, three-dimensional characters in a beautifully rendered, classic 2-D animation style. Fans of character-driven anime with a sentimental tone like “When Marnie Was There”, “In This Corner of the World”, “Your Name.”, “Miss Hokusai”, or “The Red Turtle” should definitely check it out. An English dub, featuring John Cho, Rebecca Hall, and Daniel Dae Kim, is also available. But if you’re watching dubbed anime, you’re living your life wrong.
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (Certified Fresh)
Metacritic: 81 (Must See)
One Movie Punch: 7.5/10
“Mirai” (2018) is rated PG and is currently playing at a limited number of special screenings across the US. A DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming releases are expected in the next few months but no dates have been announced yet.
This jawn was brought to you by Philly Film Fan. For more movie reviews, follow me on Twitter at PhillyFilmFan where I’m participating in the #365Movies challenge. That’s P-H-I-L-L-Y-F-I-L-M-F-A-N.