IMDb > Bright Future (2003)
Akarui mirai
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Bright Future (2003) More at IMDbPro »Akarui mirai (original title)

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Kiyoshi Kurosawa (writer)
View company contact information for Bright Future on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 December 2003 (France) See more »
Two young guys work in a plant that manufactures oshibori (those moist hand-towels found in some Japanese restaurants)... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Time past, life wasted See more (20 total) »


  (in credits order)
Jô Odagiri ... Yûji Nimura

Tadanobu Asano ... Mamoru Arita

Tatsuya Fuji ... Shin'ichirô Arita
Takashi Sasano ... Mr. Fujiwara
Marumi Shiraishi ... Mrs. Fujiwara
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hanawa ... Ken Takagi
Hideyuki Kasahara ... Shin

Ryô Kase ... Fuyuki Arita
Miyako Kawahara
Chiaki Kominami ... Kaori Fujiwara

Ken'ichi Matsuyama ... Jun
Yoshiyuki Morishita ... Mori
Sayuri Oyamada ... Miho Nimura
Ryô ... Lawyer
Sakichi Satô ... Manager of Recycle Shop
Tetsu Sawaki ... Kei
Kiichi Sonobe
Yûji (as Yuji Nagai)

Directed by
Kiyoshi Kurosawa 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kiyoshi Kurosawa  writer

Produced by
Takashi Asai .... producer
Itaru Fujimoto .... associate producer
Sadayuki Iwase .... co-producer
Harumi Noshita .... co-producer
Masafumi Odawara .... executive producer
Nobuhiko Sakô .... executive producer
Kenji Takahara .... executive producer
Original Music by
Shigeomi Hasumi  (as Pacific 231)
Takemasa Miyake  (as Pacific 231)
Cinematography by
Takahide Shibanushi 
Film Editing by
Kiyoshi Kurosawa 
Production Design by
Yasuaki Harada 
Art Direction by
James David Goldmark 
Costume Design by
Michiko Kitamura 
Makeup Department
Sôichi Umezawa .... special makeup effects artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tomohiro Kubo .... assistant director
Sound Department
Hiromichi Kori .... sound
Masatoshi Saito .... sound effects editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Koichi Kuroda .... still photographer
Other crew
Linda Hoaglund .... subtitler: English

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Akarui mirai" - Japan (original title)
See more »
France:92 min (Cannes Film Festival) | Japan:115 min | USA:92 min | South Korea:115 min (DVD version) | UK:88 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The large group of jellyfish in the Tokyo River was filmed in an aquarium and digitally added to the film.See more »
Mamoru Arita:Nimura, here's the plan.
[thumb toward the breast piece]
Mamoru Arita:When I do this, it means "Wait".
[thumb and the index finger toward the outside piece]
Mamoru Arita:And this means "Go ahead".
See more »
MiraiSee more »


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13 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Time past, life wasted, 13 December 2004
Author: Lawrence ( from Astoria, NY

Bright Future, another recent dark film from the great Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, focuses on working class folks whose future is anything but bright. The irony of the title is pounded home in scene after scene. Yuji and Mamoru, friends in their 20s who work at the same boring job in the same dull warehouse, are both frustrated with their lives. But there is a big difference.

While Mamoru looks around carefully and gives Yuji knowing glances, and tells Yuji when to Wait and when to Go Ahead (capital letters used on purpose), Yuji is content to live in his dreams in which, he says in a voice-over, he sees himself as having a bright future. Mamoru has a pet poisonous jellyfish, which he bequeaths to Yuji when something terrible happens and Mamoru lands in prison.

Their boss, a man of 55, is just as frustrated with his boring existence as his two workers, and Mamoru's father is, as well, a man who labors at a thankless job that keeps him confined to a small space; he fixes broken appliances in a salvage shop.

When the jellyfish escapes from Yuji, he panics, then relaxes when he realizes that it is, in essence, following him wherever he goes. Kurosawa always fuses fantasy with reality in his films and this one is no exception. Although an obvious symbol for escape from a humdrum existence, the jellyfish turns out to be something more than that as well. This is brought home later in the film when we see a flotilla of the things moving out to sea in the Tokyo canal...

KK, as I like to call him--to distinguish him from Akira Kurosawa--makes films like no one else today. It's easy and at the same time intriguing to read into his films more than what we see and chances are that the added meanings we find are right. I think we know this because his films resonate long after leaving the theater; the layers of meaning we find in them continue to make themselves apparent without much effort at all.

Bright Future is a film about significantly more than people who spend their time, their lives in futile activity. It's about whether or not we think about how to live our lives, about whether we value the time that we have, or how we value it, if we do at all. It's about how we try to move beyond what we have and how that usually fails. It's a sad film but one that upon reflection makes us think that maybe there is, after all, a chance for a bright future. Or maybe not.

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