20 Years of Spirited Away (For Me)

I promise I will get back to reviews and such soon. Life gets rough sometimes. I have a lot of catching up to do for this site, but I plan on doing just that (catching up, that is). And yes, this is the third post celebrating a twentieth anniversary for Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away in one form or another (I wrote about the anniversaries of its original Japanese release, its US release, and now from my own personal first viewing of it). Like I’ve said in the past, it’s my favorite film of all time (and I’ve seen many a movie) and has been my biggest creative influence for twenty years now. In fact, this site and all my writing exits because of the impact Spirited Away had on me. So bear with me.

Of course, I already wrote a piece about my personal history with Spirited Away five years ago (on the fifteenth anniversary of when I first saw it. Math), which I technically wrote elsewhere five years before that… Anyway, you can read that here. So I’ll try not to repeat myself and keep this short, but of course I had to acknowledge the twentieth anniversary of when I saw my favorite film here (and hey, this may help me get the ball rolling on the other things I’ve been meaning to write).

Yes, it was twenty years ago (March 31st, 2003) today that I first saw Spirited Away – that most magical of movies – during its brief theatrical re-release following its Oscar win. The odyssey of Chihiro Ogino remains so captivating, that these twenty years later, I feel like I’ve been spirited away myself.

Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (which was actually the full title of the film when it was released under Disney. The more you know) was a massive success, becoming the most successful Japanese and non-English language film in history for nearly two decades. It continues to influence and inspire other works of art (whether in animation or in entirely different mediums) and has rightly earned its place in cinema history. It even inspired a stage adaptation in Japan just last year, which is seeing a limited theatrical release of its own in the US later in April (there’s a small dose of free advertisement for ya, GKIDS).

All those accolades can’t really measure up to how a work of art can impact individuals on a personal level though. And for me, I don’t think any work of art has impacted me quite so much. Although I’ve always prided myself as an imaginative person, the creative inspiration Spirited Away has given me kicked things into imagination hyperdrive. If I could one day create something that has even the tiniest fraction of impact on someone as Spirited Away has had on me… well, that’s all I could ever hope for.

To put it simply, Spirited Away will spirit me away forever.



Author: themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

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