Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Spirited Away vs. Harry Potter

1.) I found Spirited Away to be a great movie. I’ve only watched one other anime production and have been impressed with the quality of the work. I was amazed that an anime production could hold a collegiate audience on the edge of their seats. I was always under the impression that anime was geared towards the youth of society and so I never watched any until last year. I guess I was deprived. Anyway, I found Spirited Away to be a fantastic movie that held me on the edge of my seat throughout the showing.

2.) The English narrative, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and the Japanese film Spirited Away share many common ideas. The most obvious common ground, shared by the two respective masterpieces, is their employment of an isolated magical reality. In both works, the main characters find themselves involuntarily entering a magical world in which they had no previous knowledge. Not only are the settings in both works congruent, but also the main characters, in the two masterpieces, go through similar transformations. In Spirited Away, Chihiro begins the novel in a depressed state, believing that she doesn’t have any friends at her new home. Harry Potter also begins in the story as a boy depressed by his settings. Both Harry Potter and Chihiro, by the end of the story, have transformed their respective character’s moods from depressed to elation. In both stories, the main characters personalities begin transformation upon their entrance into the alternate magical reality. The entrance into the isolated magical world sparks the change in the characters, but it is the friendships made in the magical worlds that causes the drastic change in Harry’s and Chihiro’s personalities. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry, upon entering the magical world, is reunited and thus consequentially transformed by his friends. He changes from a depressed byproduct of abuse to an elated youth because of his reconstituted relationships with his friends. The plot of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban also resembles that of Spirited Away because Harry, like Chihiro, finds someone special he did not know about before he entered the magical world. In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry finds his Godfather, Sirius Black, while in Spirited Away Chihiro meets a forgotten friend from the past Haku. Even though Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Spirited Away were created in different cultures, their storylines and consequentially their plots are amazingly similar.

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