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Spirited Away Chihiros Hero Journey
Transcript of Spirited Away Chihiros Hero Journey
Chihiro is a young girl growing up in modern day Japan. Up to this point she has gotten everything she has ever wanted simply by whining for it. She has no sense of self independence, gratitude, and despises change. In short she is a spoiled brat. When the movie starts Chihiro is in the car with her parents and they are talking about how they are almost to their new home. On the way there though Chihiro’s father Akigo see’s what he thinks is a short cut through the road and takes it. It actually turns out to be a dead end with a gate leading into a valley and Chihiro and her parents get out to investigate. They come across an old amusement park that they have to cross an old dried up river to get to. They then enter the amusement park and Chirhiro’s parents find some food and start eating it. Chihiro thinks something is wrong and walks off. When she returns, frantic over the lights turning on, her parents have turned into pigs The Call This is Chihiro’s call because she has lost her parents and her adventure is to save them and turn them back into humans and also to grow up in the progress. This call is accidental because neither Chihiro nor here parents had any idea what was going to happen when they stepped across that river. Threshold
During the time Chihiro is wandering around pre-pig parents she walk onto a bridge that leads to a bathhouse. She is casually looking at a train when Haku runs up and tells her to leave immediately. She then runs of bewildered at what just happened. After finding her pig parents Chihiro runs off and then Haku finds hers and helps her get away from a mystical bird and then helps her across the bridge. He then gives her intrsutctions on what to do next.
The boundary between the known and the unknown is the bridge that separates the amusement park from the bathhouse. On one side is Chihiro’s parents and modern Japan; on the other is the bathhouse which is filled with gods and other mystical creatures of Japanese folklore. Chihiro’s leap of faith is where she must decide to trust Haku and cross the bridge. The two scenes with Haku and the bridge are excellent examples of how a guardian acts. The first time Chihiro comes to the bridge she has not recived her call yet and thus is not ready to cross the bridge. Haku stops her from getting any further and then proceeds to tell her to leave. This is almost exactly like a troll guarding his bridge. Though, when Chihiro returns to the bridge Haku leads her across the bridge and then tells her how she can continue further. Also if you note how in the video near the end Haku says he has know Chihiro since she was very young. This is a "hint, hint" kind of sentecne. 1st Challenge: Getting a Job After Haku leave Chihiro goes off to find a job and goes down to the boiler room. When she enters she meets Kamajii. She demands that he gives her a job but he says that he has no need for her. Chihiro then sees one of Kamajii’s workers get squished by some coal. She then proceeds to throw it into the furnace. This is when Lin stops in to give Kamajii his meal. Kamajii talks Lin into taking Chihiro to see Yubaba. (Lin is reluctant at first but Kamajii bribes her with some fried newt, a rare delicacy that he has been saving). Chihiro then is guided to the elevator and on the way is taught about the bath house by Lin. At the elevator Chihiro gets on while Lin distracts one of the Toads (worker at the bathhouse) from the human scent. Radish spirit, who has been following them, then gets on the elevator too. This blocks Chihiro from being seen by the toad. Chihiro then pulls the lever and they leave Lin down below. At first they stop at the wrong floor so Radish spirit pulls the lever again. Once at the top floor Radish spirit checks for anything then lets Chihiro out. Chihiro then goes on to Yubaba’s office and after a heated argument in which Chihiro never gave up asking for a job Yubaba grants her one in return for her name. In this challenge we can see Chihiro starting to show some of her more hero-like qualities though it is still faint. When she was with Kamajii in the boiler room for example he was not going to give her a job but something compelled her to help the worker by taking the coal from him. Even though she has to be told to finish the job the initial act of kindness was hers. This shows a change from the Chihiro in the car. Also, when she is left alone with Radish spirit she was a little scared of him but she showed her independent side and still got on that elevator with him alone. Now, what I happen to believe is one of the biggest changes in this challenge for Chihiro is when she bows to Radish spirit. She realizes that he was actually a friend and she is thanking him. This is a change even compared to when Lin had to tell her to thank Kamajii no less then 5 minutes ago. The confrontation with Yubaba is a reinforce of Chihiro showing her independence. It will also helps show how Chihiro is developing a backbone.
2nd Challenge: Stink Spirit In this challenge Chihiro is tasked with cleaning a spirit who is at first thought to be a stink spirit. Yubaba gives her this job because this is the most undesirable job in the bath house and she is trying to break Chihiro’s resolve. Before this Chihiro is given bath tokens in which she can order different types of spa water from Kamjii by No-Face who stole them for her. She is polite to the Stink Spirit and even though she detests Yubaba she follows her instructions to the “T”. After she uses the most pristine herbal water some of the sludge begins to wash away. She then starts to realize that something is logged in this stink spirit. She can’t seem to unlogged it but she keeps working at it till she finds out it’s a bicycle. She then realizes that it’s attached to something else and this is when Yubaba realizes that it’s not actually a stink spirit but rather a river spirit. She has the entire bath house help Chihiro pull out the waste in him. After this is accomplished the river spirit secretly gives Chihiro a medicine ball and then gold flows out of him and Yubaba becomes jubilant because she is now richer. Though, Chihiro does not touch the money even though everyone else is grabbing at it. In this challenge we see Chihiro learning the importance of humility and teamwork. She shows humility at a couple points when dealing with the stink spirit/River god. She is a very good host to him even though he is quite a hindrance on her. For teamwork this is when Chihiro works with the entire bathhouse to remove the junk from the stink spirit. Also, notice how earlier Chihiro had trouble with a lump of coal and compare it to how much more work she did in this challenge. The difference shows the she keeps gettting more and more like a hero. 3rd Challenge: Healing Haku In this challenge Chihiro is sitting out outside the bathhouse when she sees paper figures attack Haku (in dragon form). She runs up the stairs to go help him after she sees him crash. When she gets there he is all bloody and she must drag him down to the boiler room to Kamajii. When she gets there she puts the medicine ball that she got from the river spirit into Haku’s mouth. He starts slashing his tail all over and tries to spit out the medicine ball but Chihiro holds his mouth shut. He eventually spits out a black slug and a golden seal which he stole from Zeniba (Yubaba’s sister). Chihiro steps on the slug and takes the seal so she can return in to Zeniba.
This challenge displays a quality that Chihiro has not shown before and that is love. Now this is more like a friendship-loyalty kind of love though. Chihiro who before this adventure began barely cared about others is crestfallen at the sight of Haku being attacked and runs to his side immediately to help him. She then also uses her medicine ball which is said to cure anything on Haku. This shows that she is putting others in front of herself much unlike the beginning of the story. The Abyss
The abyss for Chihiro is when she goes to return the golden seal to Zeniba. She must take the train to get to the marsh were Zeniba lives. Kamajii gives Chihiro the train tickets and she leaves with Boh and no-face to go face Zeniba. Once they arrive at the marsh they are met by a lamp post who guides them to Zeniba’s house. Chihiro walks up to the door with no-face trailing behind her and it magically opens. A voice from inside tells Chihiro to come in and she does after building up the courage. She is the greeted by Zeniba who scolds her for stealing the seal but then stops after she realizes that the curse on it has been broken, a curse that only love can break. She then sit down with Chihiro and gives her some advice on how to remember her name and how to help Haku. She then hands her a brightly colored hair band and then Haku knocks on the door.
While this may not seem like an abyss to me or you it is for Chihiro. She has to go off to an evil witch’s house to return a powerful magic item. Also, her only company is a mouse and no-face who can not talk and is really creepy but he means well. Chihiro also leads the group instead of letting others lead her. So, this is almost the complete opposite of the beginning of the movie. Here we have Chihiro risking her life to return something she did not steal to help a friend, she has basically no one to help her, and she is leading the group. Chihiro conquers the abyss by not being afraid and by using her new gained traits to help with over Zeniba. Zeniba in turn gives her advice on the up coming challenges though she is not specific like Haku was. She was more guiding her then telling her the right answer. The Revelation
Chihiro’s revelation happens on her way back to the bathhouse from Zeniba’s house. She is riding on the back of Haku when, thanks to the advice from Zeniba, she suddenly remembers his name. This sets Haku free and lets him remember who he once was which was a river spirit. He knows Chihiro because when she was very young she fell into his river and he saved her. The two after realizing this then carry on with going back to the bathhouse to face Yubaba’s final test.
Even though this seems to be more of a “light bulb” moment for Haku it is actually the same for Chihiro. Her whole attitude changes after this point. All her traits that we have seen her hone over the adventure reach there prime. Chihiro also seems to have a much more mature presence. She is a bona fide hero from this point on. Also to make it even clearer she is falling into water then rising out again as a totally different person in the movie clip. The Transformation Chihiro’s transformation takes place at the final meeting with Yubaba. When she arrives everyone is waiting on the bridge. Boh tells Yubaba to stop this all or he won’t love Yubaba any more. Chihiro stops him saying that a deal is a deal. Yubaba then says Chihiro must pick two of the eight pigs that are her parents and if she is wrong then they will be eaten. Chihiro confidently replies that none of the pigs are her parents and she is right. She wishes Yubaba good-bye by hugging her and calling her grandma in an affectionate way. She then crosses over the bridge back to Haku. Chihiros actions and behavior have changed for the better in several respects. First, is that she would not let Boh cause himself any harm on her part. Second, is that she replied confidently that none of the pigs were her parents. Thirdly, she even gave Yubaba a warm hearted good-bye. These actions show that Chihiro is now a hero because she has undergone her adventure and has risen out a kinder, harder working and all around better person compared to when this story began. She also out matches all of her peers.
Atonement and Return
Chihiro’s Atonement is a rather short one lasting about 40 seconds. Chihiro has now conquered the unknown and is heading back to see her newly set free parents. When they first entered the valley she was yanking on her mothers arm screaming lets go back but now she rushes to greet them and they fondly walk back to the car. She is content with herself and when her parents start freaking out about the dust in the car (they don’t realize how long they have been gone or that they were even gone) she just sits there and smiles looking back on the valley. Her father then asks that going to a new school must be pretty scary to which Chihiro replies that she can handle it. At the being of the movie she was acting like her life was over because she had to move schools, now she is perfectly fine with it and thinks nothing of it. These 40 seconds also represent Chihiro’s return too. Her gift is that she has freed her parents from being pigs so it would be a physical gift. Now Chihiro is never actually recognized by her parents as a hero but rather by Haku and the other people/spirits at the Bathhouse.