Spirited Away Overview and Getting to Know No-Face More
Spirited Away is one of the most mesmerising works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The animated film was released in Japan on July 20, 2001. It instantly captured the hearts of Japanese that it became the most successful film in the history of Japanese cinema grossing over $289 million worldwide. It even superseded Titanic, which was at that time the highest grossing film in Japanese history.
With the superb writing and directing, the movie won Academy Award for Best Animated Feature – a first hand drawn and non-English animated film to win such award. In 2016, Spirited Away was voted as the 14th best film of the 21st century. In 2017, Spirited Away was named the 2nd best film of the 21st century by the New York Times.
It was John Lasseter, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer, who convinced Disney to buy the distribution rights to the movie. It was eventually released in the US on March 28, 2003. With its English adaptation, Spirited Away became a worldwide blockbuster.
The story overview
The Ogino family is traveling to their new home when the father, Akio, takes a wrong turn. They unknowingly entered a magical word. Chihiro, their 10-year-old daughter explored a nearby bathhouse and meets Haku, a 16-year-old boy. Haku warned Chihiro to return across the river before the sunset. However, it was too late to cross trapping them in the spirit world.
Haku, who can transform into a dragon, helped Chihiro find a job in the bathhouse. There she meets Yubaba, a greedy and strict witch. Yubaba gives a contract and renames her Sen. Yubaba can actually control her employees by changing their names. With this, the journey of Sen begins. She becomes a self-sufficient and brave girl determined to free herself and her parents. She is notable for being selfless, kind and respectable. These qualities allowed others to help and love her – including No-Face.
The story ended when Sen is forced to identify her parents from a group of pigs to break their curse. Sen said that none of the pigs are her parents and then suddenly the contract combusts. She is given her real name back. Chihiro then crossed the riverbed to her restored parents. They quietly walked back to their car.
Introduction to No Face
There are many characters in the movie but perhaps the most notable is No-Face. No-Face is a sad and enigmatic spirit. He is also known as Kaonashi or “faceless”. He is notable because he also faced a significant change throughout the film. He is shown to be capable of reacting to emotions. On top of that, he is known to ingest other individuals to gain their physical and personality traits.
No Face first appeared in a semi-transparent state but his organs are visible. His figure resembles a long black tube. It is unknown if he has a body but it was shown that he can develop arms and legs. He has this ominous and expressionless mask. He started to follow Chihiro after developing an interest in her sincerity. He can adapt to his environment through learning by example.