Mai Mai Miracle was first released in 2009. It is based on Nobuko Takagi‘s novelisation of her auto biography, produced by studio Madhouse (A Letter To Momo, Wolf Children) and directed by Sunao Katabuchi (In This Corner of the World, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail).
“Look, that’s my house over there. Doesn’t it look like a ship? Sailing away on a sea of wheat.”
Shinko is a happy-go-lucky little girl, who lives in Yamaguchi Prefecture with her family in 1950’s Japan. Her Grandfather is a retired history teacher who tells her of the past, when the area was known as the Province of Suo and was home to the area’s capital, Kokuga.
She has a cowlick, which she calls her Mai Mai and imagines that she can use it to look into the past and see the way of life as it was one thousand years before. She sees a young girl, a princess, Nagiko, arriving at the port on a boat and imagines the kind of life she may have had.
One day at school a new girl arrives,a big event in this small rural community. Her name is Kiiko and her father is a doctor working at the local factory. She is very shy and quiet initially, still recovering from the death of her mother and doesn’t really want to interact with anyone.
Shinko is persuasive however and soon the two are firm friends, with Shinko teaching Kiiko how to imagine the past and the pair getting up to all sorts of escapades, including getting drunk on liqueur chocolates and building a dam and creating their own pond. Together they will learn to face whatever life brings their way.
Mai Mai Miracle is a lovely film, very enjoyable to watch and ultimately uplifting despite its occasionally dark subject matter. It’s a timeless tale of friendship, loss and imagination, which puts a big smile on your face. A lovely way to spend an afternoon and well worth adding to your collection.
Mai Mai Miracle is available to buy now on Dual Format DVD and Blu-ray.