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"Spirited Away", actually a horror movie ...

"Spirited Away", actually a horror movie!

Feb 14, 2021

Nov 17, 2019 22:00

Actually a horror movie! An in-depth explanation of the introduction to "Spirited Away".

I'm Toshio Okada.

Today we bring you the highlights from the Toshio Okada seminar "13 Mysteries of Reading 'Spirited Away' [Part 1]" delivered on 11/03/2019.


The first of the 14 mysteries of "Spirited Away" is "The Mystery of the Mysterious World".

This explanation is basically based on the official Ghibli Blu-ray.

When you start playing the DVD, at the very beginning, at 0 minutes and 0 seconds, you will see a Ghibli logo on the screen with an illustration of Totoro.

This will be shown for 10 seconds, then the screen will go black, and after this 3 seconds of blackness, the flower and card will be shown on screen.

It's a card and a bouquet of flowers that says, "Chihiro, take care and I'll see you again, Risa".

And there's a girl with an unmotivated face looking at it with a sloppy posture.

This is how you know that this girl is the main character, Chihiro.

The story takes place in modern Japan. "Chihiro Ogino, a ten-year-old girl, and her parents are moving to a new town by car," is the beginning of the story.


Now, let's talk about "Where are Chihiro and her family running at this time? "In the movie, you see this sign.

(Showing the panel)

[Image] National highway sign © 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM

It says "Route 21" and "Nakaoka.

I don't know if the name "Nakaoka" actually exists, but I've been told, "This might be Kofu (Yamanashi Pref.)?".

If you turn left on Route 20, you will go toward Kofu.

This kind of research has been done in great detail on the blog "SUDARE's Room".

  • SUDARE's room


For example, "Isn't this first location near Route 20, around this nameplate?" And. There is also a sign for a facility in this area that looks very similar to the "Green Hill" sign shown in the movie.

[Image] Signboard of Green Hill

It was around this work that people started wondering, "Where is the model?" So, Ghibli has been making various efforts to make it impossible to identify the locations.

However, SUDARE has been able to identify quite a few places even in such a situation.

(Showing the panel)

[Image] Cycle Farm © 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM

For example, there is a store called "Cycle Farm", which is the same store you saw through the mirror of the car in the anime screen.

[Image] Tonkatsu Minoya © 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM

Also, he found the exact same place as the "Tonkatsu Minoya" restaurant that is shown for a moment.

Or the same dry cleaning store that appeared in the anime. In this way, they identified the location quite well.

I guess they probably recreated the scenery from various places around Hachioji. As you can see from the above, in "Spirited Away", I tried to depict the real scenery as it is.

This is what Hayao Miyazaki said later on when he was working on Ponyo, "I got tired of this kind of thing".

Well, it's selfish, isn't it? When he made "Spirited Away," he told the art staff to show the real scenery in its entirety, but later when he made "Ponyo," he said, "I don't want to do that anymore!", "There's no point in doing that, it's no good!" I heard that the art staff was really at mercy of his whim.

The Audi driven by Chihiro's father passes through such a place and turns right at a fork toward a new town called "Tochinoki (Aesculus turbinata)".

This is where the title comes in. "Spirited Away".

When the camera goes up, you can see the roofs of the residential area. Actually they wanted to go up this hill to the New Town area.

It took us 1 minute and 40 seconds to get to this point.

In fact, "Spirited Away" is a very fast paced film, because it takes only 1 minute and 40 seconds to get to this point while showing various pictures.

In spite of the high tempo, there is not much happening in the first 40 minutes.


1 minute 53 seconds. On the way, her father's car enters the approach, passing old cedar trees and a fallen torii gate.

(Show panel.)

[Image] Old tree and torii gate © 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM

The camera kept panning down from the top to the bottom. Can you see that the trunk of this cedar tree is broken in the middle? The upper part of the tree has broken branches, and only leaves are barely growing.

When the camera goes all the way down, you can see that the paved road has been cut off here, and it has become a normal unpaved mountain road.

[Image] Broken Torii Gate © 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM

And there is a leaning torii gate standing beside an old tree.

This torii gate is also called "Broken Torii" in the storyboard. It probably stood on the road that led to this place in the past. It has been removed and is now standing on a tree on the side of the road, which is quite a cruel thing to do.

In the old days, this place where the asphalt road disappeared and became a mountain road was a Shinto shrine, the domain of the gods.

This is the huge cedar tree that was the symbol of the area. It looks like a very old tree. But now, it was dying and decaying.

However, the Audi with the three of them, not knowing anything about it, entered this sacred land in 4-wheel drive mode.

At this point, "Is this the right way? and the father puts the engine in neutral and looks around.

Then, Chihiro notices this strange thing.

(Showing the panel)

[Image] Root of a cedar tree © 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM

This is the root of a cedar tree. At the bottom of the torii gate, there are many small houses made of stone.

These small houses are the houses of the gods. They are stone shrines. There are so many of them thrown away. I would like you to pay attention to the messy way they are placed.

Here's a close-up photo.

(Showing the panel)

[Image] Stone Shrine © 2001 Studio Ghibli/NDDTM

If you take a close-up, you can see that this stone shrine has obviously been discarded and collected.

Probably, these stone shrines used to be lined up along this approach and worshipped all the time. They have been removed and left at the root of the cedar, along with the torii gate.

Probably one of the carpenters who built this place put them all together at the root of the cedar, which used to be the sacred tree, so that the shrine would not be haunted.

If you look closely, you can see that some of the roofs of these stone shrines have come off, but you can also see small dishes inside.

Probably, this was the bowl for offering alcohol or something. Can you see that there is only one red-colored bowl among these? Well, it looks a little scary, doesn't it? This red color is so red that it catches your attention on the movie screen and makes you a little nervous.

As you can see from what I've said so far, this movie "Spirited Away" is actually a horror movie.

Basically, it's a horror movie, and the fantasy elements in the second half of the movie are incredibly fun to make, and after entering the horror scene, Chihiro works under the name of Sen, so we don't notice that, but the whole first 30 minutes before meeting Yubaba is made as a horror movie.

The description of this area, "It's actually a sacred area, but the torii gates and such have been removed, and the god's house has been abandoned. Without thinking about it, they drive a four-wheel drive car into the middle of it. "This is similar to a Hollywood horror movie where a family moves into a cursed Indian land without knowing anything about it."

Chihiro has changed schools, and at this time, she is halfway between the two before transferring. The stone shrine has been torn down and the place to live is missing, and she is in the same state as the gods, so she is able to enter the mysterious world of the shrine.

As is standard in such horror stories, you have to have some kind of connection to get in. In that sense, both the gods and this family are in the same state of being "without a home," halfway between the two.

I'll explain this part next week, but these parents are also in the process of moving out, but they are actually in a state of family crisis, a family crisis. All three of them are somehow in a state of separation so that they can enter this world smoothly.

This family crisis is very difficult to see, so I will explain it in detail next week.


(Witten by Toshio Okada)

<Original JP site: https://note.com/otaking/n/n474759924abe>

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