Charming and quirky, Mirai no mirai is one of Mamoru Hosoda’s weirdest films (and he’s no stranger to weird premises). Supernatural elements are always at the very core of his films, and Mirai no Mirai is no exception, with time travel being a big plot point. There is quite a bit of randomness and yelling from our toddler protagonist in this film, but it remains very enjoyable and presents quite a unique message that I think is one really worth exploring – even if it was delivered a bit clumsily.
Mirai no Mirai follows a little boy called Kun through his journey in accepting his new baby sister, Mirai. The feelings of jealousy that Kun experiences is immediately evident and surely one that all parents can recognize. Some of us may even remember experiencing this jealousy ourselves. He is often irrationally irritated at his sister and lashes out at her, as he is unable to fully understand his feelings of insecurity. The little boy is also unable to fully appreciate how his resentment towards Mirai could affect her and their relationship.
At the centre of their home and the film is this big, beautiful, magical tree that is a visual metaphor for their familial relationships (a literal family tree, if you will). The tree allows various members of Kun’s family to reach him and impart with him wisdom that teach him the importance of these relationships.
As Kun interacts with his family through various periods of their lives, he sees the trickle-effect their experiences have on his life, both directly and indirectly. How seemingly normal events in their lives shaped them as people, and continue to impact the way they interact with Kun.
Mirai is the only person from his family who visits him from the future. Initially, she appears to come to put back the Hinamatsuri dolls to appease a superstition that not doing so would result in her late marriage. This would seem like something that isn’t that big of a deal – it’s just a superstition, after all.
In actuality, she comes to warn him that his actions and feelings towards her have consequences – be it intentional or not. Their lives are intrinsically entangled to one another, just like branches on a tree. As Mirai puts it when flying through time with Kun, “Small things like that added up to make us what we are now”.
We are who we are because of the people that have come before us who have laid the foundation for our lives.
We play the same role for those who join us along the way, whether we realise it or not. So Mirai no Mirai asks of its protagonist – and you – will you choose to be a positive influence in the lives of your loved ones? Because you will surely leave your mark on their lives, but the nature of that legacy is up to you.
2 thoughts on “Mirai no Mirai | The Inseparable Connections of Family”
Wow, I really didn’t know what this movie was about, it sounds so cool! I love the idea that it’s a literal tree that allows the family to interact with their family tree. I’m totally going to have to watch this!
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It really is quite a unique film!
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