REVIEW: Miyazaki's Spirited Away

Another anticipating movie of Miyazaki and the wait was not in vain. The young, simple and innocent Chihiro followed her fearless parent through an abandon ancient town gate with fascination on its antique culture. Without clue, they were suddenly trapped in a mythical world filled with ancient spirit creatures as those written in legends.
Compare to other Miyazaki’s movies, the intro was somewhat too casual. However, these casual steps allow Miyazaki to slowly introduce to the audiences, especially western culture, the understanding of Japan’s spirit and ghost legends. As the movie progresses, it built to a point of organized chaos.

Despite that you know what the story is based on, you will never know what is going to happen next. Every details introduced at given time was explored further later in the story. Scenes are so well crafted. Every occurring of events was connected with each other. The characters were well structured. Funny and comically looking yet possessing human alike characteristic.

In this movie, Miyazaki also made the audiences visualize the world’s layout. For example, you see Chihiro travel back and fore through her dorm to the bridge entrance. As the result, the audience had the sense of the layout of the building and a clear sense of the existence of the world.

The use of clues and symbolism made this movie unique compare to traditional anime. For example, the use of spackle light from the earring pearls and diamonds as the head and hand moves gave the sense of existence and value. Later, the audiences discover the true purpose of the usage of effect. I find this idea very smart in that it’s concise yet powerful.

The scene that made the most impact to me was “the train ride’. Instead of making it a quick scene, Miyazaki made it to be a moment of reflection. The setting of the lone train ride allowed the main character Chihiro and the audience time to reflect the situation in a sudden interrupted chaos. I find the representation of ghost as passage to be very fitting and interesting. Despite of the differences in context, the symbolism was perfect. It is all those little details that made this movies so fulfilling to watch.

Spirited Away is one of those movies that, once it starts, you wish it will never end. It is truly a master piece.
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Anime Mojo