The Beginnings of Spirited Away
Spirited Away is a Japanese film animation created by Ghibli Studios and directed by the famous Hayao Miyazaki. If you don’t know who Miyazaki is, then here’s a brief recap. He was born during WWII, his father was a director of Miyazaki Airplane, a company that made airplanes for the Japanese air force. Seeing these airplanes flying, inspired him to add forms of flight in almost every film he’s directed: The Wind Rises, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle, and many more.
A very well-known and respected director, he’s pretty famous in Japan with his stance on hand-drawn animation, co-founding Studio Ghibi with his friend Isao Takahata, and is a major feminist. He’s noted to have many female protagonists in his films and is proud of it. In his interview about Spirited Away, he said this:
Spanning a career in animation, he has set the bar up for many studios and animations when Spirited Away won many awards in Japan and won an Academy Award in the United States in 2003 for Spirited Away, one of the highest awards for an animated film. His long love of animation, directing, and producing his works made him famous all over the world. He’s also well-known for his realism in his movies, observing carefully in how his characters interact with their environment.
Disney and Studio Ghibli teamed up together to bring Miyazaki’s film to American audiences. Studio Ghibli gave Disney one conditions in order for many of their movies localized to North America. There had to be no cuts to the original movie and Disney agreed to their rule. Soon, after many movies later Spirited Away came out in September 20, 2002 for the North American release.
For parents everywhere, this is the movie for you and your family. It teaches life lessons to your children about having to rely on others and sometimes on yourself when things go wrong. Family is one of the main themes of this movie as the main character’s motivation is trying to save her parents from being eaten when they turn into pigs through an enchantment placed on them by the antagonist. It brings children to the for front of the movie, giving them a chance to improve themselves and grow as people. Chihiro is a very likeable character in that she struggles and goes through so much heartbreak in trying to save her parents as the heroine of the story. Seeing how hard she works to save her parents, you can’t help but root for her when you first see this movie with your family.
This movie follows a sullen, spoiled ten-year-old girl as she grows slowly as a mature young girl. She is lost in a fantasy world where she has to fend for herself without the help of her parents and has to trust in herself in order to survive. She’s a normal girl who cries, whines, and gets frustrated when things don’t go her way. She is also very immature in that she doesn’t work for what she wants in the beginning of the movie. As Chihiro goes as a person who works hard, emphasizes with others, and learns how to choose her own path rather than follow others.
When the movie begins, her parents and Chihiro are moving to their new home. As any child would, she gets upset about the move and cries about missing her friends back home. Her parents are semi-understandable and reassure her that she’ll like her new home. Chihiro however thinks very differently. She misses her friends and family back at home and going to a new place means that she’ll have to start all over again. Parents can easily emphasize with her.
Soon, the family gets lost trying to find their way into their new home and are stopped by a tunnel leading out to nowhere. As her parents are eager to explore, Chihiro is adamant against it and tells them to stay in the car. Her parents aren’t so worried about it and say that they’ll be back soon enough. Chihiro ends up following them in the end are lost in the spirit world.
Soon, nothing is all it seems. There is no one anywhere and when they reach a village in the middle of nowhere, there are no people around. Then the family reaches a restaurant serving food out in the open and her parents begin to eat. Chihiro, worried for her parents, refuses to eat the food unknowingly saving herself from being attached to the spirit world. She’s anxious to get back home and worries constantly about her predicament. It’s normal for her to worry about this. Her parents see nothing wrong with eating food laid out in the open while Chihiro doesn’t want anything to happen to herself and her family.
Beginning to feel anxious about going back home, she explores the village and comes upon an abandoned bathhouse where she finds one person there: a boy named Haku. A right-hand man of the bathhouse leader, he’s shocked that a human has passed through the gates of the Spirit realm.
He tells her to flee the village before anyone finds her and tries to distract them from finding about her and her family.
Frightened, she runs to her parents only to see that they’ve been changed into pigs! Horrified and scared Chihiro tries to run to the edge of the village, only to see that it’s already turned into a sea where many spirits are gathering far and wide to come the bathhouse to cleanse themselves.
In despair, she tries hiding herself near a wall, but Haku manages to find her. He tells her that she has to eat something in the Spirit World and when she refuses, Chihiro’s hand goes right through Haku’s face.
When they reach the bathhouse, Haku tells her to hold her breath so that the spirits won’t see or smell her when she walks past them. Chihiro doesn’t question it and tries her best to hold her breath when they cross that bridge towards the bathhouse, but fails and Haku is forced to use his powers to protect her.
He tells her that she’ll have to take the stairs all the way down the boiler room and find Kamaji, the person who controls all of the water in the bathhouse to help her. Chihiro reluctantly agrees and slowly makes her way down the stairs to the boiler room.
She finds Kamaji, a spider-like creature who has multiple arms and cute soot balls as workers to help him control the flames of the boiling water for the bathhouse. He’s a grumpy spirit who wants nothing to do with anyone and yells at his workers for not doing their job right. I mean, really, how can you yell at these cuties?
Chihiro is asked to leave immediately knowing that she’s human and if anyone in the bathhouse finds out about her he’s done for. Unfortunately for Kamaji, due to Chihiro’s stubbornness, she refuses to leave.
Soon, a worker comes in to complain about Kamaji’s work and discover’s Chihiro’s hiding spot. She is shocked at Kamaji’s lie about Chihiro being his distant relative, but begrudgingly takes care of the little girl under Kamaji’s threat towards her. She introduces herself as Lin and offers to help Chihiro adjust to being a worker here in the bathhouse.
This begins Chihiro’s adventure into becoming a mature young lady. Chihiro learns how to clean floors, baths, and how to work together as a team. She also learns that she has to believe in herself in order to survive in this realm.
Chihiro’s Personal Growth
Soon, she is summoned to the headmistress of the bathhouse who steals her name to keep her here in the spirit realm. Chihiro is now called Sen, meaning one thousand in Japanese Kanji. Haku warns her that if she forgets her real name, she’ll never go back home and she’ll never save her parents. This worry plagues her throughout the movie as evident when Lin brings her to her room to pick out clothes that fit her. The way she hugs the clothes so close to her is so heart wrenching. She’s a lost child who figured out that she’s going to have to survive on her own if she’s going to make it. Miyazaki’s painstakingly
The headmistress named Yubaba is a stern, elderly witch who cares nothing but her son (who appears later in the movie) and the money earned through the bathhouse. She’s the main antagonist who guards her earnings with her life. She was the one who bewitched the food to turn the eater into pigs and steals people’s names as a way of caging them in the bathhouse for good. Her character is so easy to hate and many children would hate her for just going against Chihiro in the movie. Looks can be deceiving in that she dearly loves her baby boy without question, something that many parents can easily relate to.
Chihiro is still stubborn and wants to see this job through until she can find a way to turn her parents back into being human again. She goes through many hardships and struggles to find out who she is as a person and how to save her parents.
As she’s working she finds a spirit outside and offers it to come in. When the spirit doesn’t budge, Chihiro kindly opens the door partway so it’ll be able to get in freely. Her kindness triggers an obsession towards Chihiro to this spirit called No-Face. It also gives the bathhouse and its residents much trouble in the future.
Soon after she and Lin are charged with cleaning the dirtiest bathroom in Yubaba’s bathhouse. Frustrated, Lin blames this on her coworkers who tease her about working with a human and wishing the duo good luck. Without complaining, Chihiro and Lin work through it. The animation with them struggling is very realistic. You can see Chihiro and Lin trying so hard to clear away the gunk inside the bathroom and in the tub. Surprisingly enough, after the tears she shed when she first came to the bathhouse, Chihiro grits her teeth and does her best in this situation. She knows that it’s helpless in complaining, but does her best anyway to get things done.
She is constantly plagued with trying to remember her name and hopelessly working for her parent’s freedom. She breaks down crying as any child would when she meets her parents when they are pigs, shouting to them that she’ll work hard to get back their freedom. Haku is her main emotional support, reassuring her that everything will be all right. She also has support with Lin when Chihiro runs away from the bathhouse to find a cure for Haku later on in the movie.
As she finds out that Haku is injured she goes out of her way to find a cure for him. She travels by train, her tickets given to her by Kamaji. She travels with No-Face who feels bad about ruining the bathhouse during his rampage. She finds out through her travels with her companion that all she needed was love and acceptance for Haku. When Yubaba’s good sister named Zeniba finally tells her that, everything was in its place.Chihiro realized that all she needed was a family that supported her and that she’s been supporting her family through her trials as a bathhouse worker. She realized that all she needed was love and she was stronger from it.
When Haku finally comes back and is fully cured, Chihiro realizes that she met Haku before! When she was little, she fell into a river near her home. She could have drowned, but was saved by the river spirit who distantly remembered her pink shoe that floated away.
His real name is: Kohaku River.
Knowing his real name, he is freed from Yubaba’s curse and tells Chihiro that he remembered her pink shoe as he saved her. The way that Studio Ghibli animated this was wonderful. It showed the love and the emotions of being freed from a prison to the gratefulness in both of their eyes when they are finally together.
The way that Miyazaki does his animation is gorgeous. It gives out the feel that the characters are really there. Even something as simple as tying up one’s hair is so detailed.
The studio really goes all out in animation and the backgrounds are beautiful.
Flying is also one of the important things to remember in this movie. It can represent freedom from responsibilities to freedom from a gilded cage. When Haku and Chihiro fly together, it’s a wonderful scene straight out of a fairy tale ending. They finally have the answers to everything to save her parents. It’s one of the few times we see Chihiro so childlike and innocent rather than serious and worried.
Miyazaki went so far as to give out the emotion to when someone smells bad. That’s incredible! You can see everything on Lin’s face: her disgust and horrified expression when she first smelled the polluted River God in person.
The struggles that Chihiro faces is amazing in that she’s only a child faced with going against a witch who wants everything from everyone, to trying to help her best friend from dying along with trying to save her parents. She had to grow up so quickly and faced with so many odds against her, she was almost trapped. She had the help of friends along the way: Haku, Kamaji, Lin, and No-Face that tried their best to help her in anyway they could.
I mean, compare this from Chihiro’s first appearance:
To her last:
She’s a stronger person now. She knows that she has to forge her own path to success and she’s not alone anymore. She has her family to support her and her memories of the spirit world will always be with her. Children can so easily relate to her when they see her struggle. They cheer her on when she tries her best even though she’s not good at it. Parents can see her as their own child. She’s childish and wants things her way, but when push comes to shove, you can see the potential she has in herself. It’s a wonderful film for the whole family to enjoy and I hope this review gives you the idea to watch it with your kids too.
What is Copyright?
Copyright, a word that many people have heard when they listen to music or watch a movie but, don’t understand very much. What is copyright? Well, it’s a form that protects authors and their artwork, music, and other things that are written down physically in some way, shape, or form. When an artist or musician or any creator makes up something it’s automatically protected by United States law.
When the internet began, it copyright became a messy, messy place. Many people used music, images, and other forms of freely without the artist’s permission as background music for videos and other productions online and this centered around Youtube. Youtube is currently one of the most popular websites to view videos from all over the world. Uploads of music, pictures, and professionally made videos are seen countless of times by audiences Many artist began to get into lawsuits towards users on having snippets of their music playing in the background.
One of these famous court cases was the “Dancing Baby” video which went viral as the artist Prince sued the user, Stephanie Lenz for having 30 seconds of Prince’s song, Let’s Go Crazy as background music for her dancing baby.
They both went to court and the judgement ruled in favor of Stephanie as they thought that she was using the song as fair use. Fair use meant that she didn’t profit over playing the song nor was it in an infringement of Prince’s copyright over his own song. It was a court case that became famous and set a precedence towards fair usage of music on the Internet.
Copyright is so important and yet so loathed by users on Youtube, one of the world’s first video sharing sites on the Internet. Youtube has a unique system that automatically takes down videos that have music or clips of movies/shows/ being used “illegally” by the user. If the user has three strikes on their account, their account is deleted and he or she loses everything.
Since the program is a bot, it can make mistakes on what is fair use and what really should be taken down. Many Youtubers, mainly people who do reviews of movies or Let’s Plays or Walkthroughs of games are often hit with Youtube’s automatic bot system. They are often justifiably angry at at Youtube’s hand’s off approach and it causes backlash within the Youtube community. Take for example, a well-known game reviewer AngryJoe.
He was hit by Youtube’s bot system when Youtube first installed it on their website. Many of his videos were taken down because of it and he decided to make his audience more aware of what was happening and explain how unfair the system was when his fans complained that they couldn’t view his videos.
Other famous game reviewers was TotalBiscuit. He was hit with a take down notice by one of the game companies whose game he reviewed, Day One Gary’s Incident, when they took advantage of Youtube’s Copyright bot system. They wanted to take down TB’s bad review about their game so they went on Youtube to issue a copyright on his video claiming that TV’s review was using their game without their permission. So, in retaliation and to inform his audience, TV created a video for his fans explaining even further how bad Youtube’s bot system was and how other companies can potentially take advantage of this exploited system for their own use.
With the complications of copyright on Youtube, Youtube has enacted a new policy to protect their users from companies taking advantage of users to silence them about bad reviews. It’s called The YouTube Fair Use Protection Program. It provides legal backing for users who have been taken advantage of companies trying to censor them. It’s a long time coming and it’s giving users hope that they are protected from faulty take downs.
Jim Sterling hosts a YouTube channel called the Jimquistion is a game reviewer who’s cases between indie developers shed light into how game developers want to silence bad reviews of their game from the public, but unfortunately for them, Jim published his fight with many indie developers on Youtube.
He also is proud at how Youtube is backing him up when another game developer tried to take down one of his recent videos. Youtube notified Jim about the faulty take down notice and Jim knowledged their actions in this video.
So after everything, people are still fighting against copyright against faulty content claims. The internet changes constantly and the system is either out of date or slowly being improved throughout the years. It goes complicated when companies try to censor Youtubers online, but it ends up badly in the end. Youtube is trying to improve the process and users are slowly trying to trust Youtube in doing what is right. Who knows what might happen next?
My final topic is going to be Spirited Away, a Miyazaki film. It touches upon childhood and its hardships. My target audience will be aimed at parents who are looking at a review about the movie.
Parents are often very cautious about what their kids are watching so this review might help them learn more about another person’s culture, traditions, and to see the world from a child’s point of view. This movie can inspire children to be thankful for their parents and give parents a new perspective on the main protagonist (Chihiro, a ten-year-old girl) on how hard she works to save her family.
My resources are going to be the movie itself, Miyazaki’s interview about the movie, to other people’s articles and interviews on what they personally thought of the movie and how many awards the movie has won.
Asian immigration in the US is growing. So many immigrants come here for a better future and with so many Asians coming to America, they are a growing population with so many different cultures, backgrounds, and traditions. In any case, there are many things people don’t really know about Asian immigration and here are the top 10 facts about it:
I went to MTSU’s Holocaust Event on October 23, 2015. It was about the survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and why it’s important to learn from the past and prevent something like this happening in the future. It was a wonderful experience and it taught me how we have to learn more about the horrors of our past in order to better our future. From the people who personally experienced the Holocaust in different ways, it affected them so much that they had to share their stories to everyone.
Finally Feminism 101
A blog that informs anyone what a feminist really is and debunks the myths surrounding feminism. It also posts up articles about feminism and has monthly thread posts for members of WordPress to debate or ask questions about the topic at hand. Since it’s a wordpress site, people can easily navigate between topics and see the recent blog posts on its home page.
Why I like this blog:
It’s a refreshing take on why feminism is important. There are many people against feminism so this blog states the reasons why people should support feminism. There are also common misconceptions about feminism so FF101 gives out the facts in a reasonable manner. Since its a wordpress site, I can easily follow it on my own account and keep track of the blog.
- Lori Adelman, Executive Director, Partnerships
- Maya Dusenbery, Executive Director, Editorial
- Jos Truitt, Executive Director, Development
It’s a blog for fellow feminists to talk, debate, and inform their audience about feminism. There are main editors who make content for the website for their audience.
Why I like this blog:
An informative feminist blog and gives out details about what feminism really is. It also gives out information that educates audiences that are unfamiliar with feminism. It also tells the audience about what females have to deal with on a daily basis based on their gender.
Our Bodies Ourselves
Formerly known as the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. It’s an organization
A blog about women and their bodies. It’s about female health care and how to take care of ourselves. It gives women information about contraceptives and the global projects they are helming in different countries to spread female healthcare. It also has a a donation tab to donate to the organization and a weekly newsletter.
Why I like this blog:
It’s a great blog about women and their agency over their own bodies. I love the information it gives out and it gives me a sense of understanding my own body and health. It also supports women from all over the world and uses its donation money to help them due to the lack of health care in many countries that need them.