Anime director Mamoru Hosoda returns to time travel for an examination of the brother/sister relationship, but with one big twist.

Back in the spring, Mamou Hosoda, director of critically acclaimed anime including Summer Wars, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Wolf Children, announced he was working on a new film, to be titled Mirai, for a 2018 release. It’s since had a slight name change, becoming Mirai no Mirai, or Mirai from the Future, and the first trailer has just been released.

Since 2009’s Summer Wars, family has been a constant theme in Hosoda’s films, something that’s continued up through his most recent completed film, The Boy and the Beast. That’s something that continues in Mirai from the Future, which focuses on the relationship between pampered tyke Kun

…and his little sister Mirai.

And no, we didn’t get the order of those pictures wrong. Mirai really does indeed appear older than big brother Kun, because she’s traveled back in time from the future.

▼ Which is only fitting, since mirai is the Japanese word for “future.”

The preview doesn’t give any hints about how or why Mirai ended up in the past, but it promises that the siblings’ meeting sets off “a mysterious adventure for the little big brother.”

▼ There will also be some anthropomorphic imagery because, after all, this is a Hosoda anime.

The movie’s official website is also light on details at the moment, but does have the following message from Hosoda himself:

“A detached house with a single garden. Through the lens of one ordinary family, I want to show the great cycle of life, how human lives weave together in a giant loop. By the smallest motif, I want to show the grandest theme. Using the form of entertainment, for a new family, I want to express new things. It might seem gentle and calm at first glance, but actually, that great ambition lies within this film.”

In addition to directing, Hosoda is also writing the script. Sharing duties as animation directors are Hiroyuki Aoyama, animation director for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, and Ayako Hata, who, along with Aoyama, served as an animation director on episodes of the Den-noh Coil TV series.

Hosoda’s return to time travel, a genre he had great success with in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, is definitely something for fans to get excited about, especially since flipping the relative ages of Kun and Mirai upsets the usual Japanese dynamic of seniors protecting their juniors and juniors deferentially respecting their seniors. Unfortunately, not having time-travel powers of our own, we still have about half a year of waiting until Mirai comes to Japanese theatres on July 20, 2018.

Sources: Comic Natalie via Jin, Mirai from the Future official website
Top image: Mirai from the Future official website
Insert images: YouTube/東宝MOVIEチャンネル

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