Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi ~10th Year Anniversary~

This year – 2011 – it’s exactly ten years since the masterpiece, that is Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi, were released in Japanese cinemas. This movie was my very first Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki movie and is actually maybe one of the main reasons I got into Japanese culture. It’s one of my all time favorite movie and I’ve watched it countless times. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always felt this Ghibli movie was different from the other Ghibli movies. It’s probably more the animation style that’s different. I’m especially thinking about the character designs. Normally Ghibli characters have somewhat larger eyes, don’t they? I also think the characters look more Japanese and are more detailed than usually. This movie is really beautifully animated and I love the traditional Japanese setting, which captivated me immensely back when I watched it for my first time.

I also find it fascinating that Miyazaki Hayao intended to make a movie for 10-year-old girls, which is normally uninteresting for an older audience, and then it got to reach so many different age groups. Fantastic! :O I like how the movie treats the theme of identity search and how lonely and lost you can feel in that process. I think Chihiro’s a great character, as she’s first a spoiled and lazy girl who has yet to discover her true identity, but then accomplishes through an array of obstacles and various tests throughout the story. We watch her discover both the good and bad traits in the people around her and then her own good qualities which show more and more as the story processes. I think all people can relate to the feeling of being lost when rooming through the dark in the search of your identity and that’s probably why it’s such a good story. Normally kid’s movies focus on things like adventure, magic and maybe your first love interest, when the most important thing for most people that age actually is to search for one’s identity, isn’t it? Miyazaki is good at understanding people like that :) That’s probably also one of the reasons I love this movies so much. Of course they have great animation, but for me the best thing is definitely the stories’ messages. I really think his movies are for people in all ages ^o^

Now back to Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (btw, love the meaning of the title: Sen and the Mysterious Disappearance of Chihiro. It has a nice poetic sound to it hasn’t it?) I need to tell you about my love of Haku xD (Sorry, he was my first anime crush…) I really liked his mysterious intro, where he appeared to recognize Chihiro (but Chihiro didn’t recognize him) and then went out of his way to protect her ♥ Best intro ever!! Really left a big impression on me. I also loved his big green eyes and that funny “prince-like” haircut of his’ :P His seiyuu (Irino Miyuu) voice was also perfect, love how he talks a more formal old-fashioned Japanese which they used to talk at the emperor’s castle :O So cool! And then of course I loved the fact that he was both a dragon, god and a witch’s apprentice ( totally multi-talented! xD ) and also the fact that he was such a gentle and kind person towards Chihiro. I hope they got to meet again, as Haku promised Chihiro they would in the last moment between them in the movie. But it’s nice how Miyazaki made that “open” ending, making it up to the audience’s imagination to decide what will happen afterwards – just genious \(^o^)/ yay

Right now I’m just really wishing for a Blu-ray release from Pony Canyon. They have released like 8 out of 15 Ghibli movies (if you only count their major projects), so it’s about time they release Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi >< It’s the movie’s anniversary and all :(  And then I just really want to have the movie in Blu-ray and watch some more extras (would be amazing!) *sigh* I guess I’ll have to wait some more years though ;( I just think this wonderful movie deserves it! xD

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8 responses

  1. I loved this movie! The first time I watch it was during Japanese class, it was also the reason why I got dragged into anime. (^^;) The music is so… I don’t know how to describe it but I love it.

    I feel like watching it again right now!

    • Haha really? xD It was also kind of my first anime ^o^ I really love it with all my heart ♥ You should definitely watch it again with the anniversary and all right? ;)

  2. I love this movie so much :D Its such a sweet movie :D I really need to get my hands on a dvd ;) My first Ghibli movie and reason number 2 for me getting into Japanese culture and Anime. My first movie was Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke). Its my favorite Studio Ghibli movie :3 I just love it so much, I have the dvd :3 Studio Ghibli makes the most amazing and visually stunning movies, I love most of them :D So looking forward to the next one (~^3^)~

    I remember when Spirited Away came to the cinema here, I so wanted to see it, but they only showed the Norwegian and the English dub TT-TT Stupid Norwegians, vi could need some culture!! Really annoying. And also later movies and new now only come in Norwegian dub. So stupid, its not just a kids movie!!! People tend to thing, oh animation, must be for kids!! Its not!!! This is a thing that irritates me quit bit. The fact that animation is kids movies and that we cannot see it in its original language. no wonder Norwegians are so bad in English (excluding me of course). I grow up with English cartoon network, and I’m so grateful for it. I feel sorry for kids today who don’t get to watch English cartoons, they will all have so much trouble in the future :/ Totally off topic now ^-^; hehe

    I still remember the first time I watched Mononoke Hime, it was so exciting and I enjoyed myself so much :D I want to watch it again :D I need a Studio Ghibli marathon :D I need to buy some new Ghibli movies as soon as I can shop online again :3 Need to support this amazing studio :D Cant wait to see what they will create in the future :D

    Will stop now with my ridiculous long post and off topic rants XD hehe

  3. I think Ghibli movies have opened a lot of people’s eyes for the world of Japanese anime, but also manga as well. They certainly have for me xD I’m really grateful for that. But of course it’s a shame that a lot of European countries only show the dubbed versions in the cinemas, so people will have to wait for the DVD versions to be able to watch the original dub (legally at least) :/
    Mononoke Hime is a true masterpiece and I think I will watch it soon as well, because I love this movie so much ^o^ I can always watch a Ghibli movie – it soothes my heart ♥

  4. Ghibli movies never get’s old :D Its amazing what they are able to produce :D I’m slowly collection all of them on dvd :3 Chance is big that I will get them again when they all have a BlueRay release ;) I really want to play the game Studio Ghibli has been working on, I cant remember the details now, but just google it and I’m sure you will find it if you are interested that is x) I will buy this one for sure :D I know someone that has a big Totoro plush D: I so want that one TT-TT

    Ah, I’m so in the mood to watch some Ghibli again :3 Perhaps I will watch Mononoke Hime, as it’s a long time since I watched it, and I don’t think I have watched the dvd yet :o
    Oh, perhaps I should give it a try and make Totoro in 3D!! Hmm, that is something to think about xP hehe

    • I would really like to own all the Ghibli movies in Blu-ray, but they are so slow to release them >o< It's driving me crazy xD
      I know about the Ghibli game called "Ni no Kuni" right? It looks pretty neat x) It's coming soon to the PS3 but so far it's only out on the Nintendo DS in Japan if I remember correctly ^^ I just hope it will be released in "the rest of the world" too =o=

      If you do make Totoro in 3D, please show it to me! ^o^

  5. So would I :D They should hurry up a bit :3
    Yeah, that’s what its called, it will be coming out for the PS3 next year :D If I remember correctly though ;) During spring I think even, cant remember XD I read it not to long ago and I’m so excited :D I’m so going to buy it and than I’m going to snatch my brothers PS3 XD hehe.

    I hope its gets out to the DS here. I just got myself a 3DS :D And the only reason I did get it was so I could play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time :3 One of my all time favorite games <3 And after I bought it I discovered that another of my favorite games is coming next year for the 3DS :D And that is Tales of the Abyss <3 + some older games are making a comeback for the DS as well :D Yay, I'm so happy that I bought it now :D It happened quit spontaneous ;) hehe

    If I make a Totoro I will show you ;) I think that would be a fun little project to do :D

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