Spirited Away

12 Days of Anime 2020: Spirited Away

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Bruh! Sirius here!!

For the fifth day of 12 Days of Anime 2020, I am going to share my thoughts on the most popular Ghibli film of all time, Spirited Away.

Unlike the other films featured here on 12 Days of Anime 2020, I can still vividly remember the premise of Spirited Away. I got to watch this classic when I was in 4th- or 5th-grade years ago. The movie stuck with me because it was the first animated movie our teacher played for us, it was something new.

However, even though I could remember the premise, I admit, I forgot a lot of stuff about the movie. That is why I am very delighted to watch this movie again for the 12 Days of Anime 2020.

Stubborn, spoiled, and naïve, 10-year-old Chihiro Ogino is less than pleased when she and her parents discover an abandoned amusement park on the way to their new house. Cautiously venturing inside, she realizes that there is more to this place than meets the eye, as strange things begin to happen once dusk falls. Ghostly apparitions and food that turns her parents into pigs are just the start—Chihiro has unwittingly crossed over into the spirit world. Now trapped, she must summon the courage to live and work amongst spirits, with the help of the enigmatic Haku and the cast of unique characters she meets along the way.

Vivid and intriguing, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi tells the story of Chihiro’s journey through an unfamiliar world as she strives to save her parents and return home. (MAL)

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Damn, Spirited Away was as amazing as I remember.

Even after all of these years, this movie is still solid, from its story to its animation. I love every minute of it.

Spirited Away was a movie about a girl, who was spoiled and naive, was put in a dire situation where she needs to save her parents and tries to return home. I guess it was fate, but her family stumbled on a tunnel leading to the world of the spirits. In there, her parents made a grave mistake of eating food that is not theirs (hence, being cursed as pigs). When I was a kid, I really thought how incompetent they were as parents, but now, I see them as more close-minded and not careful. If you think about it, it’s their fault their daughter was in this mess in the first place. Lol.

In this movie, Chihiro, the main character, faced a lot of hardships. If you guys were able to follow, it was hinted already in the beginning how it is hard to start anew, especially when you are already accustomed and comfortable in the previous one. That was foreshadowing to what then happened to Chihiro all throughout the movie. For a spoiled and naive girl, she was forced to face a situation that is out of her comfort zone. However, she was able to adapt and competent enough to do her task. Though there were times she was clumsy, you can really see she does her best in every task given to her. But what really shines through all throughout the movie was her kind heart. She could have abandoned her parents, but she did not. She could have focused more on herself or do selfish acts, but she continues to always do the right thing.

And that is very admirable.

Even when I was young, I vividly remembered how in awe of her inner strength and strong conviction to do the right thing. From the way she treats the people and spirits, she was very consistent and it shows how kind she really was.

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Another thing that made me love this movie, is the fact that there is no definite antagonist. Just like yesterday’s Ghibli film feature, Princess Mononoke, the characters herein Spirited Away have their own reasons as to why they do what they do. They are not just two-dimensional, but we actually get to see different sides of them and understand where they came from. I especially love the duality of Zeniba. Believe me when I say I thought she’s going to be the antagonist, but it turns out she’s the kinder one? Like damn, I should stop assuming or predict anything in these Ghibli films and just let everything happen.

Now let’s proceed to Haku. Personally, I really really like him. From the start, even though he can’t remember why, he just felt like he knows Chihiro so he helped her. However, I did find it a bit fishy as to why he stole Zeniba’s artifact (ish). Did he deliberately do that to make a deal with Yubaba in the end? I’m not really sure, lol. But at least, everything ended well.

About his relations to Chihiro, wow, I really thought he used to be a human but just turned into a spirit. But it turns out he was a water spirit. I am not too keen on the idea that both of them “love” each other in a romantic way, they are too young for it. Lol. But I do see how much they care for each other, so maybe in the future I guess, but I think their feelings for each other is more of a friendly thing. Haku was the only one who helped her in the beginning, so I understand her desperation and concern upon seeing Haku hurt.

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But I have to admit that they both do look cute together.

Anyway, let’s proceed to the art and animation. Studio Ghibli again pulls through with amazing visuals. Spirited Away was a spectacle to watch. When I first watched this, the quality of the movie wasn’t that great, but now, seeing it on the widescreen TV in the highest quality, oh sweet heaven, IT’S SO DAMN GORGEOUS. From the background art to the character designs to the smooth animations, I literally had eyegasms watching it. OMG.

I really love how the character designs were done. For the spirits, they were drawn uniquely, representing well what kind of creature they were. I also love the designs of human beings as they are, in some ways, unique too. Like Chihiro, the animators could easily make her beautiful like any other female protagonist out there, but nope. She was drawn like any kid her age. That made her a lot more relatable to the targeted age group, and that is really smart.

I don’t think I have enough words to praise the amazing animation done by Studio Ghibli in this movie. It’s just…makes me speechless bruh.

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Overall, Spirited Away lives up to its name.

I’ll be honest, I hesitated to add this one here in 12 Days of Anime 2020, because first, I had seen this already, and 2nd, its impacts might not be the same as before and I don’t want to destroy my rose-colored outlook to the movie. But as you can see, it exceeded my expectations.

Watching Spirited Away was an experience I will never forget. Not only I learn more moral lessons here like the other Studio Ghibli films, but it also made me understand why this movie was really popular. It’s that good and I enjoyed every minute of my watching.

Another Ghibli film sitting comfortably on my top favorite anime movies of all time.

Oh, this post is getting a bit long, I will stop here.

This has been Will Sirius and thanks for reading!

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