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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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.
  • ANIME CAMPUS
    (Saturday, Feb 28. 2015 07:27 PM)
    Durarara!!x2 Shou Episode 8 | Anime Campus
    Watch English Subbed, Subbed, Sub.

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