Spirited Away – the Most Successful Movie in Japanese History

  • One magical animation created by Studio Ghibli is entitled “Spirited Away.” It tells about a typical Japanese family moving into a new neighborhood but unintentionally entering the spirits’ world. The film was released on July 20th, 2001, became one of the most successful films in Japanese movie history, and received a widespread critical acclaim.

    The Plot

    The story is about a family of three moving into their new home. Chihiro Ogino is the main protagonist of the story. She is a 10-year-old girl who has a non-adventurous nature. On the way, her father takes a wrong turn and unaware enters a magical world. Her father believes it to be an abandoned amusement park. They continue exploring the place and find a seemingly operational food stall. Chihiro’s parents get so attracted to the food that pretty soon they start devouring it. Chihiro soon realizes that the place they ventured into is a luxurious retreat for the spirits and a place for their revitalization.

    Chihiro comes upon a bridge and sees a young boy named Haku. He warns her to stay away from that place. Going back to find her parents, Chihiro finds them turned into pigs! Soon after, ghosts come out and she starts panicking. Haku calms her down and advises her to demand a job from the bathhouse’s boiler-man, Kamaji. He is a spider-like being who prepares requested treatments for the guest. This is the only way to save her parents and to prevent Yubaba from turning her into an animal.

    Yubaba is a cruel and tyrannical owner of the bathhouse. She renames Chihiro “Sen” once she gets hired. It is a way Yubaba controls the spirits of the world: once you forget your real name, you become trapped in the spirits’ world forever!

    In the end, Chihiro is able to save her parents by correctly guessing that none of the pigs shown to her are her parents. She is given back her real name and is taken by Haku to the entrance of the magical world. Chihiro is then reunited with her parents and they drive away from that place.

    Ghibli Studio Museum, Tokyo

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