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
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:26 AM)
    The Inca’s lack of cooperation with their neighboring tribes, as well as their own affiliates, shows a lack of tactical sophistication which when combined with lack of modern medicine and weaponry amidst a economic, political and environmental upheaval led to their defeat by the hands of the conquistadors.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:25 AM)
    @Bam Of course they’re part of it. They held weapons, so weapons were part of the war; no one argues that. But you are grossly overestimating their importance.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:20 AM)
    You can use all kinds of acrobats to argue invalidly that weapons don’t matter in a war, at the end of the day that is simply not true. There is no single factor for their defeat but a multitude of different aspects, and advance weapons were one of them.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:18 AM)
    @Vincent: “in a battle” and that’s your mistake right there. One battle does not determine the grand scale of the ethnic cleansing that took place in the region.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 01:00 AM)
    In a battle that was depicted in Spanish records as a Spanish cavalry charge defeating a massive invasion force of Incas, Archeologists uncovered the battlegrounds and forensic scientists found that most of the Inca soldiers were killed not with sharp weapons that the Spanish used, but rather with the blunt weapons of the Indians.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:57 AM)
    It’s been proven that the official Spanish records about their conquistadors are biased and don’t even mention the Indians that fought for them. For example, they depict the Spaniards as defeating a force of 1000 single handedly, which is factually false.
  • Vincent
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:57 AM)
    @Bam No, just because cities were destroyed by cannon fire doesn’t mean the weapons themselves mattered. The Spanish were only able to move their units and cannons around Incan cities because their Indian allies did most of the fighting.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:10 AM)
    Now on the topic of war in general, how often do you believe killing the leader of the enemy army complete destroys their organization/army moreso than it wouldn’t?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:08 AM)
    @Realist: I heard about a tactic where spiked wood was placed in the grass and coated with excrement to tear through the boot and cause infection.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Oct 25. 2014 12:02 AM)
    @Emma Which example are you thinking of?

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