It is almost the end of the 2019! Now, while you are going to have a break and chill time, it may be interesting and relaxing to watch highly rated Ghibli movies. Studio Ghibli is a movie producing company that isbest known for its anime feature films, including Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and The Wind Rises. Today, I would like to tell the deepness of the movie within some messages I get from him throughout the movie. These three movies I chose are the ones that most Japanese people and The New York Times both recommend.
SPOILER ALERT! Please watch the movie first before reading. Then come back again. I think it would be interesting if you could view the movies after you see all of these interpretations!
‘Spirited Away’ (2001)
The producer, Hayao Miyazaki created this movie for his friend’s daughter. This movie starts with a girl, Chihiro’s parents driving to their new house. However, the driver (Chihiro’s father) gets lost in a mountain, and the where the alley comes to a dead end. The object blocking them was a small illegible and odd statue. Beyond the statue, there is a tunnel and a huge open space there were lots of kiosks and other constructions. I would say that this place is an odd, but heavenly place. This is where the story begins. While Chihiro was looking around, confirming if this odd place is where they can stay and chill, Chihiro’s parents start eating foods that were on the desk. Chihiro saw a gorgeous guest hotel, however, something odd happens around her. Non-humanlike creatures (some viewers say that they are God!) go in and out of the hotel, and the boy who’s named Haku comes to Chihiro and says to go out before the night comes. Chihiro runs away from the hotel and goes to where her parents were, but her parents are transformed into pigs!! Chihiro feels scared and went into deep loneliness, but Haku comes again and takes care of her. In order to put her parents back to humans, Haku comes to a solution, which is to let Chihiro work at the hotel – the owner of the hotel, Yubāba named her Sen (an initial letter of her first name in Kanji). Within the complexity of mind, Chihiro works at the odd and strict hotel and find a way to make her parents human again.
The overall message in Spirited Away from Hayao Miyazaki:
Warning against the Japanese adults in that time
Getting out of the brainwash
Recall of your meaning of life
The meaning of making Chihiro’s parents a pig:
The reason why her parents become a pig is that parents are represented as brainwashed adults. Everyone should feel a sense of crisis about eating foods that are free and which the chief does not exist. However, her parents are not even suspicious about the food on the table. This is because while lots of doubtful information is circulating, people are losing their feeling of doubt.
The meaning of the name being taken (Chihiro to Sen)
The name is what represents you, and what you are, and it is said that all the meaning of why you exists are implied in your name. Yubāba is making everyone forget their full name for them to work at the odd hotel without any doubt. Therefore, the meaning of the name taken away is that for you to be unable to recall your meaning of life. Haku’s full name is Hakunushi, which he forgets his in the story. Therefore, he was working under Yubāba without any complaint.
Why did Chihiro notice which pigs are the parents?
Chihiro is working in a place where the ‘Gods’ are been cleaned and relaxed. To define God, I think they are those who can see the truth without bias or brainwash. Therefore, Chihiro polishes her ability to not be brainwashed and see the nonbiased information by working at the onsen. This enabled her to guess which pig is the real parent. Did you try to guess which two are her parents? If so was it correct? I chose two pigs which might be the parents and it was wrong. I think in this scene, Hayao Miyazaki is trying to show if you as a viewer, themselves, are brainwashed! 😂
‘Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind’ (1984)
This movie is about a princess, Naushika saving the world from the people from other armies from other places (I would say ‘place’ because it does not mention a specific country). Naushika is protecting a creature named Ohm. There are many Ohms in the forest, and humans try to kill all of them for no reason, however, the Ohm will come and attack people if one of the Ohm was killed. This actually occurred in the story, which caused huge damage to the rival groups. Naushika was trying to stop the rival groups to stop killing the Ohms.
The overall message from Hayao Miyazaki:
Human’s greediness is destroying everything on earth, which connects to global warming
The importance of understanding others, and respecting others, which is connecting to war
What does the Ohm symbolize?
Ohm in this story are creatures that are really similar to insects, which is personally really gross and creepy. This is the only reason why humans (in this movie) try to kill them, while Ohms do not do anything to humans, only when the other Ohm was killed or attacked by humans. However, humans try to kill the Ohm just because it is not a human. This shows the greediness of humanity. Additionally, Nauhsika says that the Ohm is what making the water clean. When all Ohms are dead, the water would not be clean as people can drink, and all the cycle will get broken. This is reflecting global warming. Therefore, it can be said that Ohms are symbolizing the feeling of being hurt because of human greediness.
The character of Naushika represents…
Naushika is a princess who has lots of nerves and on the other hand, she is a broad-minded person. She is always trying to understand other people or why they are behaving as the way they behave. However, it is known at the beginning where her father was killed by other groups, she was not a people who think before fight. At that scene, after she was stopped by Yupa, a friend of Naushika’s father helped make Naushika realize what she was doing. After she realized, she regrets to who she killed without understanding, and mainly because of her own indignation. The people who are killed might have their family and their own life. Because of this occurrence, she stops having her own weapon. This connects to the overall message of understanding others and respecting others is important. As Naushika says “Stop! Stop killing!” many times, if all people viewed each person as people who has it’s own life, there must be no war.
‘The Wind Rises’ (2013
This movie is placed in the wartime, in Japan. It is about a boy, Jiro growing up with his future dream of being an aviation engineer. He has a faithful characteristic and superior for drawing a map or creating the military air craft from his first time in his job. In this movie, while the reality is moving, his dream is moving parallel. In the dream, he is able to talk with Giovanni Battista “Gianni” Caproni, who is Jiro’s respecting aviation engineer who died in the past. Eventually, Jiro meets with a woman who he loves. Her name is Nahoko. However, Nahoko is physically weak and add some sadness to the whole story arc.
The overall message from Hayao Miyazaki:
Military aircraft are beautiful but a cursed instrument
The main message in this movie
Military aircraft are instruments made for war where lots of people attack other countries and die for their country. The aircrafts Jiro and his co-workers made will be broken with the fire, while Jiro is creating aircraft because they are beautiful for him. As in the last scene, Gianni Caproni says “aircraft are beautiful, but a cursed instrument”; what they made with their efforts and perspiration is really short-lived. The context “aircraft are beautiful, but a cursed instrument” is really emotional and I thought that feeling is what Hayao Miyazaki wanted to say.
Why Jiro speaks without any emotion? (kind of odd)
Jiro is an aircraft maniac who never speaks out any emotional thoughts until when he meets with Nahoko. In my opinion, this is because of two reasons. First is because Jiro has a character who is truely a maniac person who is diligent and hard worker. In order to create that characteristic, the voice actor had to speak without emotion. (However, the voice actor is not really a voice actor, he is a movie director – just not this movie). Second is because of the difficulty of the content. This movie is about the beauty of the aircraft and it’s contradicted emotion by the use of the aircraft, so if the character who is an aircraft maniac voice record with the emotion in it, the movie as a whole will going to hold a different psychopathic messages, which is not where Miyazaki wanted to go.
The role of the “wind”
The most necessary character in this film is wind. As the wind carries Jiro to Nahoko and the wind carries farewell of Nahoko to heaven – or somewhere after she dies, the wind is what controlling the whole movie. There are some scenes where Gianni Caproni repeatedly asks Jiro if the wind has not stopped. This is when Jiro is saving thousands of books from the fire in the building, and the wind is not stopped. The wind is representing some cause to another occurrence. To have the occurrence, he has to be alive, so from the wind, I think the message from the wind is to live. By living, Jiro meets with Nahoko, he invents and flies the aircraft he made, and Nahoko lives in a different world where Jiro cannot see.
Well… there are three movies from Studio Ghibli that I’m sure you will enjoy. Watch them! And, if you have anytbing to add, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.