Spirited Away – 11 years since epiphany by animation

I hesitate to call myself a ‘hardcore anime fan’ ever since seeing spirited away [in class] for the first time just two days ago. How the heck did I miss such an epic title when much what I have been watching as of late has been anime ?

With great movies, come great artwork. [ lame correlation, I know ] image taken from http://classiccartoon.org

Hayao Miyazaki brought his sheer brilliance into life in the form of the animated movie Spirited Away. It has eleven years since the movie’s release and it is universally agreed that this movie is a keystone in Japanese animation- in terms of achievement and reception.

The plot basically follows a rather stuck-up 10 year old girl ( a’shojo’, meaning young girl in japanese) named Chihiro – and later renamed ‘Sen’ – on a house-moving trip with her parents when halfway in the journey, her parents notice what seemed to be an abandoned theme park. As usual, there is always this slight moment of folly or moral decadence that spirals our heroes into an inevitable cluster of problems. From there onwards, they unknowingly entered a realm beyond human recognition and one that defied the rules of physics. One can probably imagine the randomness of things going on in this ‘spiritual world’, but envisioned like no other by Miyazaki-sensei.

Personally, the plot did not seem as brilliant as what it displayed itself to be in the beginning, but I have realized that the plot really shines in the ‘ulterior’ department. This movie begs for itself to be interpreted subliminally and thoroughly, through the dialogues of the seemingly out-of-place characters and creatures. Sure, viewers unfamiliar to Asian-style of animation and stories will surely feel awkward when seeing it for the first time. Nevertheless, It is a journey of whipping Chiriro’s sullen attitude into what an ideal human should behave and think like, through the turn of events and interactions in the movie. For the keen-eyed, multitudes of references to the modern society, traditions and ways of life were also made in the movie. It was a thrilling tale-cum-civics-class nicely packaged into an anime movie.

On the technical side of things, Studio Ghibli ensured that Miyazaki’s motion picture was as smooth and audible as possible. The animation was thorough, hardly lazy, with unique art style to boot – and this was when favourites like Pokemon and Digimon were airing its first few seasons.  The voice acting was crisp [ at least, for the Japanese one] and the localization of various versions crumbled the language barrier in view of this great piece of art.

Miyazaki combined the elements that defined a successful animated movie and the highest-grossing Japanese film in history was what he got. Even international audiences hailed to this movie, shoving away all prejudices, should there be any in judgement.

Now, excuse me while I watch the rest of his masterpieces and from there onwards can I truly call myself a ‘hardcore anime fan’. Not overrating him or anything, but just needed to say all that out of respect for the great man.





~ by keerakun on May 24, 2012.

2 Responses to “Spirited Away – 11 years since epiphany by animation”

  1. Reblogged this on bagnochokoreto.

  2. Reblogged this on SemiQuaverQueen and commented:
    Couldn’t agree more. I love this movie from the first time I watched it ( 6 years ago). Since then I’ve watched it numerous times and I never lose interest.

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