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 »
(92 articles)
User Reviews:
intriguing film, but what on earth is it about? 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 Saitô .... 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 »
Shin'ichirô Arita:[embracing Yuji] I forgive you. I forgive all of you for everything.See more »
MiraiSee more »


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21 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
intriguing film, but what on earth is it about?, 24 April 2005
Author: Roland E. Zwick ( from United States

I can see the maddeningly inscrutable "Bright Future" serving as the subject for some poor film school student's dissertation in a course entitled "The Use of Enigma and Symbolism in Post-Modernist Cinema" or (if you prefer the vernacular) "What the Heck Was That Film All About Anyway?" For I am absolutely convinced that one could spend a full semester - at the very least - trying to fathom the various levels of meaning in this film and never come up with a thoroughly satisfactory answer at the end of that search. And here I've always thought Ingmar Bergman movies were a challenge!

Shot through with heavy doses of allegory and Magic Realism, "Bright Future" tells the story of a sullen, moody young man named Yuji, who works at a dull factory job with his close buddy, Mamoru. The latter owns a deadly Red Jellyfish that he keeps in a little tank at home. One day, he gives the jellyfish as a present to Yuji, telling him that he has decided to quit the job and move on to bigger and better things. But instead of doing that, Mamoru murders the boss and the boss' wife, with little or no explanation given as to motive. Mamoru is immediately arrested and charged with first degree murder. Meanwhile, in a fit of despair, Yuji turns over the tank, only to have the jellyfish slide through the cracks of the floor and somehow land in the Tokyo water system, where it miraculously proliferates to the point where the area is literally inundated with freshwater killer jellyfish. While all this is going on, Yuji begins to develop a close but tentative bond with Mamoru's father, who was pretty much estranged from his son before the murder. As Yuji gets more and more obsessed with finding the elusive jellyfish, he seems, paradoxically, to be coming to a greater sense of reality. Well, there's the "plot" in a nutshell; now it's your turn to try to figure it all out.

If none of this makes any sense to you, don't feel bad because it doesn't make any sense to me either. The best I can make of it is that Yuji is intended to represent the younger generation in modern day Japan - disconnected, rudderless, utterly lacking in motivation, purpose and goals, and prone to act out of ill-defined impulse rather than rationality and logic. And somehow, by committing the murder that Yuji is actually intending to do (though here again, we are given no preparation or motive to explain WHY he would do so), Mamoru sacrifices himself so that Yuji can be saved from his own spiritual ennui and set on the path towards a meaningful life, primarily by caring for this jellyfish, which is itself a symbol of tenacity and beauty.

Or perhaps not….

Despite the fact that the film will probably have you pulling your hair out in bewilderment and frustration, "Bright Future," for all its self-conscious pretentiousness, is actually a fairly intriguing film just on the level of its visuals and the relationships it develops among the various characters. It's very well directed and very well acted, and if you can get beyond the symbol-gazing, you may actually find yourself mesmerized by the experience.

And I will be expecting those dissertations on my desk bright and early tomorrow morning.

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