Some months ago Topple commented on one of my posts to recommend the collection 角川つばさ文庫 (collection “Tsubasa” of the publisher Kadokawa). I have been on the lookout for a book of this collection since then and finally spotted one in a bookshop the other day: 『未来のミライ』by 細田守 (ほそだ・まもる).
First of all, let’s talk about the collection because I am sure it will interest all Japanese learners!
Tsubame is a collection for children/young readers of the famous publisher Kadokawa. The books have a light green cover and a slightly bigger size than standard books. I don’t know if it is true for all the books in the collection, but mine has some illustrations inside.
The books are classified by levels indicated by one, two or three leaves on the cover. 『未来のミライ』has three leaves which means: “小学上級から”. No matter the level, all books come with full furigana, which is, of course, the best part of this series.
They are also classified into 6 genres:
- A オリジナル
- B ベストセラー
- C ノベライズ
- D ノンフィクション
- E 海外の名作
- F 日本の名作
『未来のミライ』is classified as C, so I guess that it is a novelisation of Mamoru HOSODA’s anime of the same name. I think that Hosoda wrote the novel version himself. You can also buy the novel version in the standard Kadokawa collection, without furigana. If you are interested in buying the Tsubasa collection, don’t forget to look for the green cover!
You certainly have heard or seen pictures of the film by director Mamoru HOSODA. Hosoda also directed famous anime films like Wolf Children or The Boy and the Beast (both available in the Tsubasa collection). I haven’t seen 『未来のミライ』yet, it was released in Japan this Summer, and I think that it will be released later in the year in Europe and the United States.
The story is about a 4-year-old boy who has to deal with a newly born sister and two busy parents who are too occupied to answer his caprice anymore. Then, supernatural and fantasy-like elements appear, and our young protagonist meets his little sister Mirai, coming from the future. This is the trailer:
To be honest, I chose this book because it was the only one available in this collection, but I don’t feel particularly drawn to the film, and the story does not appeal to me.
As a result, I have some difficulty getting into the story, I find it to be too childish, even for children. After all, the protagonist is a 4-year-old boy… I can perceive that the story is nice for a film, but I tend to have higher expectations when I have a book in hand. While it might be entertaining and funny in an anime, I don’t like having to go through a lot of clichés when reading (for example the father having a hard time managing domestic tasks when the mother goes back to work after the birth of the baby.)
I think that I have been unlucky in my choice (which was not really a choice) of the book. I am sure that other stories would have been more suitable for me. If you are interested in the collection, have a look at their website, they have a lot of titles.
I will be able to tell you more about this particular book in my review when I finish it. For now, I can say that reading with furigana is extremely enjoyable. It is easier to look up words, you can read aloud without frustration or even use it to study. While the story does not interest me much, reading in Japanese is always a pleasure, so I am quite pleased with this book, and I have to thank once more Topple to have recommended the collection to me!