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Spirited Away

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charlotte everingham

on 27 April 2014

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Transcript of Spirited Away

Spirited Away

By Charlotte E
In this mid-shot we see Chihiro being yelled at by Yu-Baba. This shot portrays how meek Chihiro is compared to the ferocious and ever-powerful Yu-Baba. The brass instruments that play in the background, create an increasingly tense atmosphere. You can see that Chihiro's hair is upright, here eyes are wide and her mouth is tightly closed. These are distinctive features of a scared anime character.
The extreme closeup shot is used here to show Chihiro being very intimidated by Yu-Baba. You can hear Chihiro's terrified whining and moaning when Yu-Baba's talon like nails threaten to scratch her neck. These "claws" portray Yu-Baba as some kind of evil witch.
You can see by the determined look on Chihiro's face that she is desperate to get a job. The close up shot is used to give us an insight to her character, that she is timid yet brave. There are many characteristics of anime used in her expression they are, for example: wide eyes, large mouth (unnatural movement) the lip syncing doesn't match the voice and circular scratchy cheeks. Chihiro's slightly hunched body language suggests that she is terrified, although she just has to put up with it.
In this mid-shot we see Yu-baba poking Chihiro in the stomach, with dagger like nails. In this shot Chihiro is portrayed as worthless. With the help of dialogue from Yu-baba telling Chihiro she is not good enough. The music in this scene is always growing louder and louder, and is very staccato (the notes are short and sharp). The music almost seems to effect the way Chihiro is standing, very stiff and straight, with her hair seeming to be frozen in the air.
Extreme close-ups are used often in this scene to show intricate detail, and in this shot Chihiro is shaking with fear. When Yu-baba yells at Chihiro, she whimpers and shakes . In the background of the frame Yu-baba's forehead, which is ugly and wrinkly, fills the frame. The music creates an ever growing tense atmosphere.
If you look closely you can see Yu-baba's feet flying in from the corner of the frame, showing that she has super natural powers. The setting of this shot is Yu-baba's living quarters,and in this particular shot there are poles in the background which are elegantly decorated, illustrating that Yu-baba is very rich.The lighting is dimly lit in this scene creating an eerie atmosphere.
When Yu-baba launches into flight a high angle shot is used to show how powerful she really is. The lighting draws a focus to her ugly face exaggerating her wrinkles. we know that she is powerful, but is it because of her status that she is scary? I think it is partly because of that and partly because of her super natural powers she possesses. Chihiro get a shock when Yu-baba bursts out of her chair and into flight, the sound effects consist of many crashes and the sounds of paper flying everywhere. There is a common feature of anime in this scene, the background becomes blury when Yu-baba is flying.
Conclusion
Overall in this scene Chihiro is portrayed as weak, although she definitely knows what she wants and will face her fear until she succeeds, so in a way she is also portrayed as childishly brave. I think that Hayao Miyazaki (the director of Spirited Away) intended for the atmosphere of the scene to be very tense and suspenseful, drawing the viewers in the more they watch. The main camera angles are close-ups and mid shots, allowing us to see, in detail, the emotion on the characters faces. There are many conventions of anime in this scene such as: Chihiro's hair standing on end, her exaggerated features, her mouth lacking natural movement, and the way Chihiro's cheeks go all scratchy when she is angry. We also see when Yu-baba launches into flight the background seems to blur behind her, to show movement. This scene is a vital part of Spirited Away because it allows us to get an insight to the characters personalities.
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