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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:51 AM)
    Fury, like blackhawk down, weren’t really of note, they were just action movies, never poor, never great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:49 AM)
    Theres an old French documentary, it might be from the 50s or a bit later than that which dealt with the holocaust.
    Shoah is another long loooong doc about WWII.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:46 AM)
    Haven’t heard of men behind the sun.
    And I actually didn’t want to watch inglorious basterds because I was certain it was gonna treat a serious subject unseriously.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:45 AM)
    @;(: I had to watch boy in the striped pajamas twice to really appreciate it.
    Pianist is more my thing because its bleaker and in general I’m quite the fan of Polanski’s films.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:43 AM)
    @Emma: actually I found boy in the striped pajamas to be underwhelming in comperasion to how holocaust stories are. And the pianist is a great movie. But when you think about it, the guy kind of avoided a much worse fate by hiding and never being found.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:42 AM)
    I still need to see all quiet on the western front.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:41 AM)
    *goofy
    Men behind the sun shows the torture of the Chinese under the Japanese, its on the wrong side of exploitation cinema.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:39 AM)
    Some war movies go the goo route like inglorious basterds and the black book.
    Unfortunately there are also films such as men behind the sun.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:37 AM)
    @Emma:
    Yes, it is controversial there.
    Both the attacks they received and especially dealt seem to be a taboo subject there. I think they omitt most of what they did in China from their history classes in highschool.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Aug 29. 2015 03:37 AM)
    @;(: The bombing scene in Gen is still a pretty powerful thing. I believe theres something biographical in grave of the fireflies…

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