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Spirited Away, The “Spiritual” review.

Directed & Written by: Hayao Miyazaki

A small girl trapped inside a world of spirits and spiritual diversity, Hayao Miyazaki stop being so good.

Spirited Away ( (千と千尋の神隠し Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) is a 2001 animation indulged in fantasy-adventure that can only be produced by the illustrious minds of the Japanese animation industry (just being real people…). What started as a girl moving to another home ends in a nightmare-ish situation filled with ghosts, monsters and an old hag off a witch caused by a simple detour by a father who seriously needs to get a GPS. Chichiro (voiced by Rumi Hiiragi) is forced to surpass her fear and find a way to return to the human world and save her parents.A movie that captivated me when i was young and still does when I re-watched it.

The so-called "Japanese Walt Disney".

As a movie brought to us by the man who gave us My Neighbor Totoro and the nationally praised Princess Mononoke, it was already deemed watch-worthy before it even hit theater. So when the first scene rolled and million of viewer had their eyes glued to the colorful animation full of expectation and excitement,  It was decided…A movie that lives up to its hype has a richer viewing experience. Yes Hayao Miyazaki did it again, at the age of 60 he was still able to prove us that his craftsmanship hasn’t rusted. The diversity of spirit and magical creatures where not only interesting on their own but also a great asset on their own as Chichiro tries to find her way true beings she never thought existed (I think some of them actually eat humans…who knows?). But i wouldn’t praise a man for the collective work of a well oiled animation team now would I? Bringing us to the story of this film. The story of a young innocent yet faint-hearted girl who just happened to have a father that took a turn estranged from the main road and could not control his curiosity as he ended in-front of an old building which eventually lead him to an abandoned town which was surprisingly filled with a king’s meal, which he and his wife ate….let me just momentarily interrupt this review by asking you: who does that?Eating food that’s just lying there? Well they shouldn’t of had that’s for sure. Luckily Chichiro was too gullible t do so saving her from a curse that launched this small adventure driven by curiosity to a child’s nightmare driven by the bizarre and colorful. A once weak and courage-less girl is forced to face reality and pull herself out of a bad dream with the help of a young spirit boy who supposedly met her before named Haku and a few other people she meets and sadly also an old greedy witch named Yubaba (lit Bath crone), the owner of the hot baths that has the power to keep her  and human by making her sign a work contract which changes her name from “Chichiro” to “Sen” (hence the Japanese title) a name that almost made me forgot her real name throughout the movie. A great concept by using the power of names.

That’s how Yubaba controls you. By stealing your name. So hold on to that card. Keep it hidden. And while you’re here, you must call yourself “Sen.”


The metamorphosis from the faint-hearted and slightly annoying (in my opinion) Chichiro to the Strong and responsible Sen is well animated and well portrayed. Going as far to confront spirits that legitimately freaked me out earning the respect of the spirits,Customers and workers alike. Towards the end of the movie you’ll realize that Chichiro wouldn’t be able to do half what “Sen” was able to. The determination to free herself and her parents above all surprised me, mainly because as the story unfolded it was cast aside temporarily as she grew accustomed to her entourage willing to help her new-found friends. A kind of ‘anime-cliché’ tough, but I was fine with it.


I was blinded by the diversity in elements and thoughtful planing that went into this HAND DRAWN animation. Hayao Miyazaki emerged as my favorite animation director/Writer bringing with him all that is good in animation. I couldn’t help but draw forth my inner-child (corny I know) and let him enjoy it twice as much as I did. It would be foolish to pass on this animation. After watching 2 hour of this I almost forgot I watched 2 hours of that. Now you’ll excuse me,  Hayao Miyazaki’s filmography is waiting for me.


3 comments on “Spirited Away, The “Spiritual” review.

  1. GoodbyeNavi
    February 22, 2012

    I like the emphasis on hand drawn. It seems that hand drawn animation is becoming a dying art unless I’m missing out on some things. I really prefer hand drawn because that takes a lot of talent and hard work for scenes to come out beautifully. Spirited Away is a beautiful anime which I have seen several times. Miyazaki is a genius.

    • Osaru-yo
      February 22, 2012

      I really appreciate the comment
      And you’ll be surprise how many animations are hand drawn in japan. The roots of animation may have faded in western culture but most anime people adore are still hand dawn, so are most films. Of course the final render is on the computer but you can’t blame them for it now can you?
      Anyway thank you and stay tuned for more ^^


  2. Pingback: Princess Mononoke, the cursed review. « OsaruFLIX

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