Home Channels Anime Director Mamoru Hosoda Talks About “Mirai”

Director Mamoru Hosoda Talks About “Mirai”


Mirai, acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film, opens in select UK and Ireland cinemas from the 2nd November (read our review here).

Ahead of the release, Fetch Publicity have provided us with an interview they conducted with Hosoda in which he discusses the film and his influences.

How does it feel knowing that Mirai has premiered worldwide at prestigious events like the Cannes Film Festival, and this month’s BFI London Film Festival?

I feel really honoured, totally. I’ve always believed in the possibilities of animation, so I’m really glad that this change has sort of happened. I never expected this. I never thought I’d go to Cannes or London, with my film coming to the BFI London Film Festival.

I think filmmakers have changed, but the audience has also changed over the years. Animation was a genre before, but now animated films are in the mainstream where people talk about them like standard, normal movies. I just think it’s a great step forward for for us, and also for film culture.

Was it a challenge to have the film’s focal point be a young child, who have more difficulty expressing themselves than teens or adults? 

I would have thought so when I didn’t have my own kids. I think children have bare souls; as a grown-up I wear layers and layers of social skills, but kids are more primitive. I can actually see the genuine human condition when I’m looking at my own children growing up. So, no it wasn’t difficult, because I was actually seeing it in my own eyes.

In Mirai, Kun has encounters with family both past and future. What inspired the film’s time-traveling element? 

It’s a little bit like A Christmas Carol, but don’t get me wrong, it’s not my influence. Actually, quite a few people told me that, but obviously, the character in A Christmas Carol is an old man.

I think this film deals with the meaning of life, so you have to look at it from a bigger context, so you are one dot in the long, grand scheme of things. So in order for Kun to accept his sister, he had to look at himself and his sister in a bigger scale. So, I think I needed a big “trick” if you like, like Dickens’ book. Again I emphasise that’s not the influence, but that’s the whole point of it – for the audience to know his way of thinking.

Since The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [2006], you’ve released a new film every 3 years. How do you balance creating unique stories with a consistent production schedule? 

Once I come up with an idea; I really want to have it done as quickly as possible. With some movies, they say 5 years, or they take 10 years of planning and production. Okay, that’s great, but then the story is 10 years old, right? So it might not go with the times. I think 3 years is the minimum.

You have to plan with so many people involved in the production, and also, you have to think about the quality. So if you think about a time-quality balance, 3 years is the ideal time for me. I want it quicker, but it’s not going to happen.

Would you say there’s a particular work or artist, anime or otherwise, who has inspired you and your work?

How long have you got and how many do you want? Because there’s so many artists, painters, filmmakers, animators and non-animators. Yeah… it’s hard to choose!

I like film directors like, most recently, Clint Eastwood; he’s made some really good movies. Alfonso Cuarón, and [Akira] Kurosawa – I could watch his movies again and again. [Animator] Glen Keane of Disney; he did Beast from Beauty and the Beast, and Tarzan! Hopefully I’ll see him later this month; I’m really, really excited about it!

Mirai will play in selected cinemas across the UK and Ireland subtitled on 2ndNovember and English dubbed on 4th November. For available screenings and to book tickets, visit the official website.