Posted by psgels on 8 July 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews



Gin-Iro no Kami no Agito almost made me lose faith in original anime movies. I decided to check out Spirited Away, just in case (yeah, I know. Late). And thank goodness it showed that you can have incredibly bad movies, and incredibly good movies. Spirited Away definately belongs in the latter category.

What we have here is a beautiful piece of art, in which a young girl, along with her parents, ends up carelessly in another world. In this world, humans are extremely rare. Every citizen is some kind of animal and the humans that do arrive get turned into animals by the ruler of the world. The girl(Chihiro)’s parents get turned to pigs this way and she barely manages to escape this fate herself because of a boy she runs into (Haku). To be able to survive in that world, the only chance the girl has is to work for the ruler, in a very popular bathing resort.

The element which turns this movie into an astonishing one is definately the character development. The fact remains that Chihiro remains a little girl. She’s extremely scared, and this anime portrays this magnificently. Then, as the anime progresses, you’ll see that she’s an amazing person. She has to do the most terrible jobs. She is a clutz, but she puts hard work into it. Because of that, she managed to grow tremendously. The real highlight of the show lies in the middle of the movie, in which Chihiro showed that she isn’t afraid to do the most terrible jobs.

After these scenes, the movie decides to develop Chihiro’s and Haku’s relationship. While not as totally incredible as the previous scenes, the second half of the movie remains enjoyable. It’s so brilliantly written. The ending, even though rather cheesy, manages to be portrayed in a really enjoyable way.

The art also is top notch, but what really excels is the animation. At countless of times, this movie’s animation can even make Gin-Iro no Kami no Agito drool. The scenes really looked stunning at these moments. This effect only gets strenghtened by an amazing soundtrack included.

Overall, if you have yet to see this movie: Watch it! The first half is absolutely stunning, while the anime concludes with a very nice second half. It’s definately a must see.

7 Responses

  1. Hung says:

    I just watched this movie recently too. It’s pretty cool how it combines the old school looking characters and 3D that isn’t that bad. It’d be even better if the Chihiro was cuter though. Think Kamichu…

  2. yukiusagi says:

    Miyazaki wanted Chihiro to be plain. In fact, I think she may have ended up cuter than he intended. I believe he was trying to get away from the idealized (idol-like) heroines that appear everywhere, including his own works.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Never seen Kamichu, is it any good?

    I like that the main character looked so plain. It’s a bit different from the usual main characters. She does stand out as well, as she’s one of the few humans in that world.

  4. Matte says:

    I still smile whenever I think of this movie. It left me with an incredible happy feeling when I watched it.

  5. Firechick says:

    My animation class watched this movie recently. I’ll admit that I liked it, but not to a very high degree. But I did, however, feel touched by the scene where Chihiro and Haku are falling into the ocean as Haku remembers his name. It’s not my favorite movie ever (Ringing Bell and Dog of Flanders claim that spot, no contest), but I did like it to a small degree. I don’t hate it, but it didn’t leave a big impression on me (except for the artwork and that scene I mentioned).

  6. Topaz says:

    Great movie, very cute, and I love how bizarre the world is too. It is the only movie that ever succeeded in scaring me as a kid, and even in high school it still creeps me out a bit now too. Despite that (or maybe because of that), I still love this movie.

  7. Steph says:

    This movie totally moved me the first time I watched it. :) Great animation and story, nothing more I can say. Although I wish Miyazaki could make a sequel for this. It’s gonna be exciting definitely. One of my faves together with other Studio Ghibli’s works (e.g Howl’s Moving Castle, From Up On Poppy Hill, Princess Mononoke, The Secret World Of Arriety,…) I still enjoy watching those movies over and over again. :)

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  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:42 AM)
    Even Anno admitted that Evangelion’s success was heavily reliant on Yoshiyuki Sadamoto’s unique and attractive character design. It was familiar but still original. Rei and Asuka’s designs as well as the plug suits and the look of ye Evas had a huge impact in the industry and inspired a whole slew of future animators. You could’ve done the same exact series with a cruder art style and it wouldn’t have been nearly as good.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 04:19 AM)
    @Aidan: art-style is integral to the overall quality of a product, that’s why it irks me so much when Type-Moonies endlessly praise Nasu and underappreciate Takeuchi as if he didn’t contribute all that much to Fate’s success.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 02:38 AM)
    @Bam, it’s a rough style admittedly. But mate I played Umineko with the original artwork. It’s hard to find anything worse than that…expect Higurashi’s artwork…(shivers)
    Ryukishi, great writer but not an artist.
  • Bam
    (Friday, May 22. 2015 12:24 AM)
    You guys made me want to go see Fury Road in IMAX now.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: you know I tried looking into Muv Luv since it’s supposedly a seminal LN, but that character design is horrendous. The story sounds interesting but there’s such a divide between that and the art style that there’s no way I can get into it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 02:04 PM)
    Another Muv luv spinoff gets an anime adaption. Sure, lets adapt everything except the work that made it famous in the first place.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 04:10 AM)
    Muthafuckas cancelled the Constantine tv adapatation…
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:45 AM)
    Come to think of it, Tsugumi’s personality at odds with her monster design. I’m getting reminded of that mech from zone of the enders dolores that had the personality of a young girl .
  • Emma
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Aidan: The bear will be explained as it was done so recently enough in the manga, Ochiai remains however a very dull villain.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, May 21. 2015 03:27 AM)
    You know when grabbing screenshots Sidonia really does look better when you look at it in still images. I really do think that if they just gave the models more natural movement then it would look metric tons better.

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