Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi 

International movie poster
My OWN summary, by the way!

en-year-old Chihiro and her parents decided to use a shortcut on the way to their new home. However, they took a wrong turn and stumbled upon an abandoned amusement park. 

Her parents insisted on exploring the park. They went separate ways when her parents decided to eat the food they found in an empty restaurant. Chihiro wandered alone and found a gorgeous bathhouse. Out of nowhere, a boy named Haku appeared and told her to leave before sun down or else, they would never. Chihiro listened and returned to her parents. To her shock, they have turned into pigs! Not knowing what to do, she ran and ran. 

Chihiro encountered Haku for the second time. He decided to help Chihiro in her predicament. He said that she must go the bathhouse and seek a job from the owner, the witch Yubaba. The witch agreed to give her job but stole her name and replaced it with Sen. 

The next day, Haku accompanied Sen to her parent’s pig pen. She promised them that she would turn them back into humans once she has found a cure. Haku told her that it was not good to stay for a long time and she must not come here alone. 

 When they’re out of the pen, Haku handed gave one of her belongings:  a letter. Sen knew it was hers but addressed to a different name: Chihiro. She realized that she has forgotten her name. Haku informed her that Yubaba controls her workers by stealing their name. She must never forget who she is otherwise; she might end up like him who cannot leave the spirit world.

Sen’s first customer was a stink spirit. It was revealed that it was the spirit of the polluted river. He rewarded the workers bathhouse with gold for cleaning him. He gave Sen a special gift; a magic dumpling that would turn her parents back into humans.

The next morning, Sen’s sleep was disturbed because she saw dozens of shikigamis attacking a dragon. She instantly knew that the dragon was Haku. He was defeated by the shikigamis. She rushed to aid the weakened and bleeding Haku. Suddenly, one of the shikigamis transformed into Zeniba, Yubaba’s identical twin sister. Zeniba turned Yubaba's baby son Boh into a mouse and created a decoy baby. Zeniba accused Haku of stealing a magical golden seal which belonged to her. If Haku does not return it, a deadly curse would befall on him.

Sen fed Haku a part of the magic dumpling in hope that it would heal him. He vomited up a seal that Zeniba was talking about and a black slug that Sen crushed. Haku fell asleep. Sen decided that she would leave and return the seal to Zeniba.

Before she left the bathhouse, she confronted the masked creature named No-Face. No-Face was monster who was able to enter the bathhouse because she let him. Now he wanted to repay her kindness by offering her gold but to his dismay, Sen refused. He became histerical and started throwing enormous masses of food towards her. To help him calm down, Sen fed him the rest of the magic dumpling. He began vomiting and angrily chased Sen out the bathhouse. As he vomited, he anger faded away and returned to his calm behavior.

No-Face and Boh tagged along with Sen on her way to Zeniba, Yubaba was furious at the damage caused by No-Face. She blamed Sen and ordered that her parents be slaughtered. Suddenly, Haku appeared and made her realize that her baby is missing. He proposed to return Boh in exchange for Yubaba freeing Sen and her parents.

Sen, No-Face, and Boh arrived at Zeniba's house. To their surprise, Zeniba was a nice and courteous unlike her twin who was her exact opposite.  Zeniba told Sen that she needs not to travel all the way here because her love for Haku broke the curse. Zeniba also revealed that the slug Sen crushed was how Yubaba controlled him. He was now free.

A knock came from the front door. Sen opened it and saw Haku in his dragon form. She thanked him for coming. He flied her and Boh back to the bathhouse, leaving No-Face with Zeniba. 

While on his back, Sen remembered the feeling of being underwater. She continued to prod into her memories and recalled something from her childhood. When she was little, she fell in the Kohaku River but was washed safely ashore. She realized that Haku was the spirit of the Kohaku River. 

Haku was more than happy when Sen told him his true name. He exclaimed that he can finally leave and be free. He thanked Sen for remembering and for being a great friend.

It was morning when they returned to the bathhouse. Yubaba was eagerly waiting to make the exchange. Boh returned to his mother and told her not to harm Sen.

Yubaba’s challenge for Sen was to figure out which among the 12 pigs were her parents. She looked at the pigs and tells that not one of them were her parents. Yubaba became furious when Sen was right. Her parents were already on the other side waiting for her. Sen waved goodbye to everyone from the bathhouse.

Chihiro was already far away from the bathhouse when Haku catched up with her. He gave her one last farewell. He made Chihiro promise not to look back until she was on the other side.

Chihiro parents scolded her for wandering off. They seemed to not have any memories of what happened. When the family returned to their car, it was full of dust as if they were gone for a very long time. Chihiro’s father asked if she was feeling a bit scared of moving to a new school and community but she replied that she was going to be fine and said she has been through worse.

Spirited Away is one of those movies that spark a “feeling” inside. 
Chihiro’s symbolizes a person coming of age who is about to venture into an unknown journey. Her transition from childhood to adulthood is seen throughout the expanse of the movie. She displays remarkable form of intellect and bravery like how the director, no one else but the great Hayao Miyazaki, wishes us to see. He wants the viewers to seek a moment in their lives where we truly feel alive and experience love. He also yearns for his audience to possess an open mind to see the environmental problems of our world. 
The pollution of the rivers is one of his indications.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
                                                                                                                                                  -Lao Tzu

I believe this is what Chihiro held onto in the midst of her troubles.
A story sown with the finest silk in the hands of expert who is considered a God in his field. Hayao Miyazaki impresses us all. I've lost the words to describe this masterpiece. It renders everyone speechless


Fan Art

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