I was an unsuspecting victim. I thought my Friday would turn out just like the other days, boring and uneventful. Right after I had my lunch, I turned on the TV to find the channel tuned in to Disney Channel. What I saw first was a boy–who looked too beautiful he can pass as a female–trying to run after a rather ordinary looking girl. I don’t know why but I decided to watch a little more to see if the animated program would be a nice change to my already dreary afternoon. And then I ended up watching the whole thing, which was actually a movie. Now here I am creating a blog post about it because the movie was so remarkably beautiful, it was worth writing home about.
The movie is about a young girl named Chihiro (also named Zen) who was ‘spirited away’–meaning trapped–into the spirit world. She and her parents were on their way to the new town they’ll be relocating to but they decided to stop over some ancient relic of some sorts. Things got blurry after that as the girl found her parents turned into pigs and she realized she was in a different world where humans were turned into animals. There were a bunch of other nasty looking creatures as well but I digress so anyway, that’s when the beautiful boy, Haku, came in. He helped Chihiro escape the spirit world and along the way, genuine friendships were formed, lost souls found their place, kindred spirits met and families were reunited.
To be honest, the plot is very simple but that only made it more special. Sometimes, the ordinary appeals more to us in ways we can’t explain. I love the innocence of the story where everything is portrayed in a pure, unadulterated way. Bad is bad, good is good. I truly enjoyed watching Chihiro journey into the spirit world and see her grow wiser. At first, she seemed too timid and she was such a cry baby. She was only there to save her parents but she didn’t expect to meet so many wonderful beings that eventually became her dear friends. Together, they battled it out against evil and came out victorious. I’d like to point out that as much as Chihiro was painted as the hero of the story, it is important to note that as she may be leading the pack, she is nothing without them. Simply put, Chihiro wouldn’t come out a better person in the end without the help from her friends.
The movie concluded on a happy note but I found myself feeling quite sad. The reason is–spoiler ahead! (or not)–because Chihiro and Haku had to part in the end. I know it was inevitable but can you blame me? My heart is fragile and I just can’t stand good byes. Anyway, this movie is really fantastic and how I hope everyone gets to watch it because the movie is somehow therapeutic, in my opinion. By the end of it, you’ll be feeling cleansed and conscientious. On a side note, I was surprised to find out that this movie was released in 2001! That’s like 13 years ago. I was really shocked! Quite frankly, Spirited Away swept me away! Pun intended!
Spirited Away (2001)
“Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi” (original title)
In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures.
Here are screen caps:
The Beautiful Boy aka Haku
The Courageous Girl aka Chihiro
The Whole Gang
Chihiro and Haku
“Now, go. And don’t look back.”
“We’ll meet again, I promise.”