Spirited Away – Tamara’s Never Seen

Here are Tamara’s thoughts on the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away.

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14 comments

  1. San is about 12, yes. Haku is the spirit of a river that was paved over for development so logically he’s WAY older.

  2. With fava beans and chianti?

  3. Spirited Away is definitely anime, it was made by Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki. I recommend checking out Princess Mononoke next.

  4. Technically, the term “anime” is just the Japanese term for animation. Generally speaking, if it’s from Japan and is in an animated production, then it is anime.

    Now, there are certain common genera and tropes associated with the regional medium, but a particular work doesn’t necessarily need to fit neatly into those genera to be considered anime.

  5. The stars are an old Japanese sugar candy called konpeito. With this knowledge you, too, can devour the stars.

  6. lilith_ascennding

    Yep, it’s anime! Studio Ghibli, to be exact. Miyazaki is like the gateway anime for people, and either this film or My Neighbor Totoro end up being people’s gateway Ghibli movie. “Happy Face Ghost” is named “Noh Face” by the way. His face is supposed to be based off of Noh masks from a type of Japanese theater (I believe). Also, the reason why there are a bunch of little animals and what not running around the bath house is because in the Japanese religion of Shinto, practioners believe that every living thing possesses a spirit, or kami. So, animals also have souls and some animals are considered more sacred than others. These include foxes, raccoon dogs (or tanuki), and deer. Anyways, as a HUGE anime geek, there are so many titles I could just rattle off now but I’m going to just limit myself to a few directors for now that I would highly, HIGHLY recommend.

    Hayao Miyazaki-Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle.

    Mamoru Hosoda- Summer Wars, Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast

    Satoshi Kon- Perfect Blue, Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers. I would also recommend his TV series, Paranoia Agent, which is only 13 episodes long and has a very good English dub. Ask Rob Walker about it, I know it’s one of his favorites.

    Happy Viewing!

    • Captain Chaotica

      Heheh. My gateway Ghibli movie was Kiki’s Delivery Service and my gateway anime in general (not counting many very anime-esque DiC productions from the ’80s) was Sailor Moon. 🙂 But yeah. Cool to learn about the whys of one of the weirdnesses of the film, too…see, _that_ kind of thing is why I prefer anime that is…actually anime, as in, made in Japan. For the _cultural_ differences. Part of the attraction of watching a foreign cartoon is, after all, the foreignness.
      (Also quite often the imitations have this grating trying-too-hard fanfic feel.)

      And as many others here have said…oh, dear. Honey. Have YOU got the wrong impression of anime! (No idea why I said that last bit like a stereotypical sitcom Jewish mother. :P) That’s the problem, see, is a lot of people get the impression that anime is just one style of thing, and they’re like “Oh, I hate anime.” or “OMG I LOVE ANIME!” But all it really means is…Japanese cartoons. And it covers EVERY SUBJECT UNDER THE SUN. With every theme, every type of character, every genre and every level of spiciness vs. okay-for-kidsness along the way.
      People don’t like _or_ hate “anime”. They like or dislike _the specific examples they’ve encountered_. I call myself a casual otaku, but that’s strictly off of having seen the likes of Sailor Moon, Ranma 1/2, Cowboy Bebop (OF COURSE), Urusei Yatsura, Inuyasha (yes I’m a Rumiko Takahashi fan), Space Battleship Yamato and Puchi Puri Yuushi, but there are _so many more_. And that’s series only–not counting movies.

      Anyway. Next anime movie I’d reccommend you watch? Kiki’s Delivery Service! It’s another Ghibli film, it’s _adorable_, the town in it is so pretty and I want to live there, it takes place in the ’40s (or an alternate history that _looks_ like that, anyway) with zeppelins, and there’s a very snarky talking cat.
      And you, Tamara, you yourself, HAVE ALREADY _PLAYED_ KIKI IN A SKIT!! In the Hocus Pocus review–remember the “Here’s a _real_ witch to deal with you!” and then you come in with a broomstick and red bow and cigarette and all that and kick ass? Yes! That’s who that is–she’s from another Miyazaki film!

      So by all means, see the real Kiki–and learn just _who_ the hell you were playing…kind of…the grown-up version of. 😛

  7. This is considered an anime but I’d just like to point out that anime is a pretty broad term. It includes a lot of really good movies like this and Princess Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro, but it also has a lot, A LOT, of cheap raunchy commercial stuff. Just like American movies cover a huge amount of ground, so does anime. So I’m glad that you enjoyed this, but just like how you can’t just pick up any random American made movie and expect it to be better than the last, anime is the same way. I hope that you choose to watch more anime and best of luck to you!

  8. Is it “anime”…yes.

    A common mistake people say is “I like” or “I don’t like” Anime, but that’s like saying you like or don’t like cartoons. This is not just a genre, it’s a whole category of entertainment with lots of good, lots of mediocre, and lots of terrible works.

    The only answer to the question is that everybody will like SOME anime just as everybody likes SOME western animation.

    • Also wanted to add: Those shows your brother watched are really geared mainly to boys. Yu-Gi-Oh and Digimon are mainly for kids, while Naruto is geared to more of a teen/adult crowd and can occasionally get very dark and violent.

    • The way I explain it, anime isn’t a genre, any more than “movie” or “TV show” or “book” are genera. It’s a medium. The difference between medium and genre is that a medium is the way in which a story is told, and a genre is the kind of story.

  9. Yes! Finally one that I’ve seen. I absolutely adored this movie as a kid. 😍 It’s the only ghost movie that I like. This review made me so friggin’ happy.

  10. I was lucky enough to catch the initial screening of this at Tiff when it first came out in North America, and Miyazaki himself was there. Obviously I did’t get to talk to him, but it was pretty cool being in the same room with such a legendary figure in animation.

  11. Love this film

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