Although I felt like I was able to follow the plot of Spirited Away much easier than I have the other films we’ve viewed so far this semester, there were still several aspects which I found somewhat unusual. It seemed that Chihiro showed more maturity than her parents for most of the movie, being skeptical about the strange entry portal, not wandering off, or gluttonously stuffing her face with whatever food was in front of her. It seemed to portray a coming-of-age type story where she is forced to grow up quickly during her family’s move and compensate for her parents curiosity which gets them in trouble. I also found it interesting that the only way she was allowed to stay was if she got a job, even as a child, but I guess this again returns to the theme of personal growth and maturity.
At the same time, while Chihiro was forced into so much change, she had to remember her name in order to stay true to herself and return to her life before entering the bath house. This must have been an overwhelming transition for such a young girl, but one that she had no choice but to accept as she was thrown into an alternate world and separated from all that she knew.