REVIEW: Mirai

Thank you NetGalley and YenPress for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.


I love Japanese stories. I find there’s just something that’s always different about Japanese lit that tugs at my heartstrings no matter the book. Having loved all the recently translated light novels I’ve been reading, I was so excited to have been approved for Mirai by Mamoru Hasoda, especially given that I’m such a huge fan of his films.

Mirari is the story of a little boy, Kun, who is livid to find he isn’t receiving as much attention or affection from his parents now that he has a baby sister. However, Kun is then visited by a future version of his sister as well as other versions of all of the people around him in an adventure of love, family, and learning.

Now, this story was presented as an anime film first and then later adapted into the light novel as presented with this book. Much like your name. or even manga adaptations such as Wolf Children (also a film by Hasoda) or the Boruto series, it’s not uncommon to have the books come after the film/series is released. It doesn’t always work, and despite enjoying the story, I do feel like Mirai is an example of one better seen rather than read.

It felt a little jumbled in places and I am honestly not sure if that is due to parts of the story being lost in translation between the original Japanese and this English edition, or if it just is simply how the story is paced. It was still very cute and an interesting look into modern family living in Japan, but I think it would have had more emotional value in the form of a manga rather than a novel.

 

REVIEW: your name.

I have always had a sweet spot for anime and manga, and that love has grown to enjoy the light novels that often turn into some of my favourite series (or vice versa). your name is no exception.

The Story

Taki and Mitsuha’s stories are interwoven in a dreamlike sense that is a little confusing at first, but quickly becomes the only way this story could be told without visuals. The two switch places when they sleep, slowly falling in love with each other in a way that is heartbreakingly sweet and sincere.

At the end of the book, it is a happy story that still brings tears to my eyes and an ache in my heart.

The Characters

The two main characters are Mitsuha and Taki.

Mitsuha is a traditional girl who longs for a more modern life in Tokyo, a city far more grand and exciting than the tiny village of Itomori where she currently resides. During a beautiful meteor shower, she wishes to be reincarnated as a rich, handsome boy in Tokyo.

She get’s her wish and that’s where we meet Taki, a rich, handsome boy in Tokyo. We first meet him the first time he and Mitsuha switch bodies, when everything is still confusing. He comes off as a bit of a pervert in the beginning, but as the story progresses, we come to see he has a sensitive side he expresses through art – drawing landscapes and architectural pieces. Sure, he can still be a bit of a egotist but he learns to grow from Mitsuha and her family, which makes him a wonderful character that even I started to fall in love with.

Conclusion: ★★★★★

I don’t have issues with this story at all. The beginning is a little confusing, but the flow of the story builds in a way that truly draws you in so that when it finally has a firm grasp of your heart, it’s too late to back out. your name. is as gut-wrenching a story as the majority of my favourite Japanese stories are and I recommend it to anyone who wants a book that will make them laugh and cry at the same time. Learn to love despite the odds and read Shinkai Makoto’s novel. The best part is, once you’re finished, Shinkai directed the movie!


32856011Author: Makoto Shinkai (translated by Taylor Engel)
Published: May 23rd 2017
Pages: 184
Publisher: Yen On
ISBN: 9780316471862

Synopsis: Mitsuha, a high school girl living in a rural town deep in the mountains, has a dream that she is a boy living an unfamiliar life in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo, dreams that he is a girl living in the mountains. As they realize they are changing places, their encounter sets the cogs of fate into motion. The light novel is written by director Makoto Shinkai of the animated film Your Name.