Category: Movie Reviews

Weathering with You

Weathering with You

Weathering with You anime movie cover art
Weathering with You

Another Bad Movie Night Movie

Weathering with You (Tenki no Ko / 天気の子) is a fantasy, romance, drama anime directed by Makoto Shinkai. And yes, he’s the one who also directed the fantasy, romance, drama anime Your Name. However, Weathering with You isn’t as good as Your Name.

You can think of this movie as being like a cross between Your Name and Penguin Highway. It has a lot in common with both of those movies. Unfortunately, the plot is far more like that of Penguin Highway. And, that explains why I don’t think it was very good.

You see, the things Weathering with You and Your Name have in common are pretty superficial. They’re directed the same way, they look similar, and they have some of the same themes. These movies also share at least 1 character, so we know they’re in the same universe.

Natsumi Suga winking (at me) from the anime movie Weathering with You
Natsumi Suga winking (at me)

What this movie shares with Penguin Highway are all the bad things about Penguin Highway. Well, other than the fact that they both have cute onee-san characters. Everything else they have in common are negatives, such as plots that really don’t make any sense.

And so you’re aware, I’m about to spoil some of those things right now.

Remember how Penguin Highway had a portal into a water world? Well, this movie has something similar, but with a cloud world. And remember how the female lead faded away in Penguin Highway? Again, the same exact thing happens in Weathering with You.

Over-promising and under-delivering are rampant among fantasy drama anime movies. They craft unique worlds to draw you in and set up interesting plot points. But then, they don’t have enough run time to follow through on what they set up. So, they cut out everything that’s not 100% necessary to conclude the story.

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Sunshine Girls & Rain Boys

The main premise of the movie revolves around so-called “Sunshine Girls.” These are girls who can make the sun come out on rainy days. And, as you may have guessed, Hina Amano, the female lead, is a Sunshine Girl. When she prays for sunlight, the rain clouds dissipate.

Opposite the Sunshine Girls are some kind of rain people. I don’t remember what they’re actually called, so I’ll call them Rain Boys. These Rain Boys only got a single mention in the movie when we got the explanation of Sunshine Girls.

I assumed that they were going to play a role since it was always raining in this world. It seemed like there could be a Rain Boy behind it all. But, no. We never got an explanation for that. And it was only slightly implied that the main character, Hodoka Morishima, is a Rain Boy.

Hina Amano praying for sunshine from the anime movie Weathering with You
Hina Amano praying for sunshine

Anyway, Sunshine Girls are treated as a myth in this world. Most people don’t believe they exist. They might be familiar with the concept, but only from legends and fairytales from long ago. And yet, when a real Sunshine Girls appears, nobody seems that surprised.

When Hina is going to reveal her power to the public for the first time, people are skeptical. However, as soon as she makes the sun come out, they accept Sunshine Girls as part of their world and move on. This isn’t a fantasy-fantasy world. It’s the same as our world, but with Sunshine Girls. So, this acceptance was a bit jarring.

Imagine if tomorrow we found out that the Greek gods are real, live among us, and have magic powers. Now imagine that everyone accepts that fact within a few minutes and starts paying them to do odd jobs. That’s Weathering with You.

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A Surprising Crime Thriller

Enough about the bad aspects of Weathering with You. What was the best thing about the movie? By far, the best thing was how it turned out to be a crime thriller. I can’t say I was expecting that to be the case.

Early in the movie, Hodoka comes across a handgun he thinks is fake. That is until he fires it at someone and goes on the run as a fugitive. Then, for most of the movie, the gun doesn’t play a significant role. Hodoka even throws it away at one point.

And, let me just say that throwing away the gun was a great decision. If you’ve committed a crime, you should usually get rid of the evidence. Unless tampering with evidence has a harsher penalty than the original crime, toss it. That’s being a criminal 101.

Hodoka Morishima in the rain from the anime movie Weathering with You
Hodoka Morishima in the rain

Unfortunately for Hodoka, he makes a huge blunder at the end of the movie. He returns to where he tossed the gun and retrieves it. And to make matters worse, he then uses the gun to threaten the police. Pro tip: don’t get into a standoff with police if you want things to work out in your favor.

The good news is that since Hodoka lives in Japan, he survived his encounter with the cops. However, what he got was a fate worse than death: 3 years of probation until he graduates high school. Honestly, I’m not sure how he made it through those 3 years.

Oh, and while this is unrelated, I almost forgot the funniest part of Weathering with You. Hodoka saved Hina from the clouds. But, in return, this caused it to rain 24/7 for the next 3+ years. And because of that, the entire nation of Japan is sinking. Classic.


Overall, I’d say Weathering with You is a 5/10. It’s not a good anime. But, it is funny at times. And something tells me I’d view Your Name the same way if I ever rewatched it. So, I won’t rewatch it and I’ll keep pretending that it was one of the best anime movies.

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Laid-Back Camp: The Movie

Laid-Back Camp: The Movie

Laid-Back Camp: The Movie anime cover art
Laid-Back Camp: The Movie

They Grow Up So Fast

Laid-Back Camp: The Movie (Yuru Camp△ Movie / 映画 ゆるキャン△) takes place years after the events of the series. And it’s not even based on the manga like the anime series is. The movie is completely original.

But, why does it matter when the movie takes place and whether it’s original or not? Because I know there are others out there like myself who aren’t big fans of movies. I always put off watching movies. And that’s why we’ve started doing monthly movie nights on Discord. It’s so I can finally get through my backlog of movies.

Back to why this all matters, the movie isn’t canon. It came out after Season 2 of the series. But, it’s not mandatory viewing material for the upcoming Season 3. The way you should think about the movie is that if you want more Laid-Back Camp content, it’s there.

Ena, Nadeshiko, Aoi, and Chiaki from the anime Laid-Back Camp: The Movie
Ena, Nadeshiko, Aoi, and Chiaki

So, how far in the future does the movie take place? In the series, our main characters are in high school. In the movie, they’re all out of school and have jobs. And considering some of their jobs, it’s likely they went to university, as well. It’s been a few years.

Nadeshiko now works at an outdoor gear shop. Rin works for a magazine. Aoi is an elementary school teacher. Ena is a dog groomer. And Chiaki works for a local tourism board. Chiaki’s job is the one that matters for the plot of the movie.

When watching the movie, you’ll also notice that the girls don’t look the same as they used to. Most notably, Rin has short hair — like, very short. The Shimarin bun is a thing of the past. Nadeshiko also has short hair now, but I don’t think it looks as bad as Rin’s.

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Grass Cutting Simulator

As part of her job with the tourism board, Chiaki wants to create a new campsite on an abandoned hillside. And to make her dream a reality, she recruits her old camping club buddies from high school. But, since the other girls have jobs, they can only help out in their free time.

Now, it quickly becomes apparent that none of these girls know what they’re doing. They may be experienced campers — some more so than others. But, they have no experience with designing, building, and maintaining a campsite.

Normally, this wouldn’t be much of an issue. In a lot of movies and TV shows, the characters start off inexperienced. But, the difference is that those characters usually learn what to do pretty fast. That’s not the case here. A very significant portion of the movie involves watching the girls do things wrong.

Nadeshiko and Chiaki cutting grass from the anime Laid-Back Camp: The Movie
Nadeshiko and Chiaki cutting grass

Take the image above, for example. One of the tasks the girls need to do is to cut the overgrown grass. And, keep in mind, this is an entire campsite worth of overgrown grass. So, how do they go about cutting it? With grass sickles. Yes, that’s how they plan to cut all the grass.

If they used a lawnmower, they could finish the job in a matter of hours. But, they want to cut the grass by hand, one blade at a time. And we get to watch it all happen. We watched them do this for multiple days and they never learn.

It actually became infuriating watching Nadeshiko and the gang work on this campsite. Why couldn’t we see them actually improve the campsite over the course of the movie? Instead, we watched them struggle for most of the movie and then got a montage at the end.

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Did It Need to Be 2 Hours Long?

Did Laid-Back Camp: The Movie need to be 2 hours long? No. Of course not. Very few anime movies need to be that long. And this movie, in particular, could have been half the length. An hour would have worked.

We didn’t need all those grass-cutting scenes. And there were plenty of other scenes we didn’t need either. There were multiple scenes of the characters eating in silence that went on for too long. Listening to the sounds of people eating isn’t exactly appealing to me.

There were also plenty of scenes that had nothing to do with creating the campsite. In one, we follow Nadeshiko and Rin as they hike up a snowy mountain to a hot spring. And, of course, along the way, they stop for lunch — which we get to listen to.

Nadeshiko and Rin at a mountain hot spring from the anime Laid-Back Camp: The Movie
Nadeshiko and Rin at a mountain hot spring

Don’t get me wrong, the hike to the hot spring might have been my favorite part of the movie. But, did it have anything to do with the plot? Not really. Was it a necessary addition to an already long movie? Definitely not. This was 10 minutes of the movie.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, they don’t even start working on the campsite until 38 minutes in. That’s when they start cutting the grass. And they finally upgrade from grass sickles to power tools (still not a lawnmower) 1 hour and 44 minutes in. That’s 12 minutes before the credits start rolling.

Looking at how I’ve been talking about the movie so far, it doesn’t seem like I liked it very much. But, I do actually think it’s a good movie. It’s just not the movie I expected it to be. It’s more like a super long OVA.


Overall, I gave Laid-Back Camp: The Movie a 7/10, which is the same score I gave the first 2 seasons of the anime. But, I believe the anime series is better than the movie, despite giving them the same score. The movie is good, but it feels like it’s extra, which it is.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

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Penguin Highway

Penguin Highway

Penguin Highway anime movie cover art
Penguin Highway

The Great Penguin Conspiracy

Penguin Highway (ペンギン・ハイウェイ) is a sci-fi, fantasy, mystery anime about penguins in a Japanese town. It’s a weird movie and I thought it was going to be a lot better than it was. Unfortunately, Penguin Highway isn’t a very good movie.

One thing that made Penguin Highway watchable, though, was that I didn’t watch it alone. I watched it as part of the DoubleSama Discord server‘s monthly movie night event. Penguin Highway was December’s movie. And yes, I’m only now getting around to the review.

So, what’s Penguin Highway about? It’s about a conspiracy — at least, at first. You see, one day, Penguins appeared in a small Japanese town. Where did they come from? Why were they there? And, most importantly, do they even actually exist? That’s right, there are penguin truthers in this town who don’t believe the penguins are real.

Aoyama looking at the penguins from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Aoyama looking at the penguins

Now, you may be thinking that it would be pretty easy to prove the existence of some penguins. But, after their initial appearance, the penguins disappeared. Nobody knows where they went. So, it kind of makes sense that those who didn’t see the penguins themselves don’t believe they existed.

Naturally, the most popular theory was that they escaped in transit. But, that doesn’t appear to be the case. No local zoos or aquariums reported the penguins missing. And with that, most of the townspeople lost interest in the mystery of the penguins.

However, there was one boy who didn’t lose interest. Aoyama, a nerd, wants to get to the bottom of the mystery. So, he recruits the help of a local dental assistant with whom he has a questionable relationship. Together, this unlikely pair unravels the truth behind the penguins — and, as it turns out, the universe.

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Main Characters

Despite being a nearly 2-hour-long movie, Penguin Highway only has 4 named characters. These are Aoyama, Uchida, Hamamoto, and Suzuki. But, there’s also 5th character worth mentioning, the Lady. We never learn her name, but she’s one of the 2 main characters, along with Aoyama.

Aoyama is a middle schooler at the latest. He’s a young boy who’s interested in things like space and chess. So, as I mentioned earlier, he’s a nerd. He also doesn’t have many friends. Though, this is likely due to his failure to pick up on social cues and the fact that he’s annoying.

Uchida is Aoyama’s one friend (of the same age). He’s also a nerd. But, he seems more well-adjusted than Aoyama. He’ll grow up to be a normal person. However, as he is now, he’s kind of useless. He’s afraid of getting in trouble and doesn’t want to get beat up, for some reason.

Hamamoto, Aoyama, and Uchida from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Hamamoto, Aoyama, and Uchida

Speaking of beating people up, Suzuki is the class bully. Of course, that means he picks on Aoyama and Uchida. Though, I have to say Aoyama kind of deserves it. Suzuki is also the leader of the penguin deniers in Aoyama’s class.

The last of the named characters is Hamamoto. Hamamoto is the popular girl in Aoyama’s class. Suzuki has a crush on Hamamoto. But, she’s more interested in Aoyama because they share similar interests — like space. As the movie progresses, Hamamoto inserts herself into Aoyama and Uchida’s circle.

Finally, we have the Lady. She’s a dentist’s assistant who befriended Aoyama at some point. They play chess together at a local cafe. But, their relationship is a bit worrying. Aoyama has also been to her apartment alone at night to “play chess.” And she even takes him on an out-of-town trip alone.

Pocket Dimension of the Sea

Are you thinking Penguin Highway sounds like a pretty good movie so far? Well, hold your horses. I haven’t actually discussed any of the weird stuff yet. You see, this is a sci-fi anime. And the sci-fi aspects of the movie make no sense.

Let’s start off by spoiling where the Penguins come from — the Lady. That’s right, the Lady is the one who created the penguins (without knowing it). She can turn random objects into penguins by throwing them. And, for some reason, this only works if she’s in direct sunlight.

In case you’re wondering, no, this is never explained. But, it gets weirder. The Lady also creates leopard seal-like monsters that can swim through solid ground. These, she creates while she sleeps. They’re the spawn of her nightmares — or something like that.

Aoyama, Hamamoto, and Uchida looking at the "Sea" from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Aoyama, Hamamoto, and Uchida looking at the “Sea”

Then, there’s also the pocket dimension known as the “Sea.” The “Sea” is a giant sphere of water in the middle of a field. And as we later learn, it’s a portal into another dimension. So, you may be thinking that this must be explained at some point. Well, you’d be wrong.

The closest we get is when Aoyama’s father uses his wallet to explain pocket dimensions. He doesn’t actually explain the “Sea.” He’s just explaining pocket dimensions in general, for some reason. And after this cursory explanation, he hops on a bus and skips town.

Oh, and then there’s another mystery involving the stream that surrounds the town. It’s a circle. It starts and ends at the “Sea.” Again, this is never explained. I assumed this was going to be important. Maybe the stream is a boundary of some kind and will connect back to Aoyama’s father leaving. No. That would make too much sense.

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The Dentist’s Assistant Who Never Was

With all the weird stuff surrounding the Lady, it wasn’t much of a surprise when we learned she wasn’t real. Well, she’s real. But, only temporarily. You see, like the penguins and leopard seal monsters, she’s from the “Sea.”

And once the penguin energy (yes, that’s a thing) returns to the “Sea,” the Lady can’t stay around. The “Sea” collapses in on itself and everything from the “Sea” starts disappearing. By the end of the movie, the Lady is gone and Aoyama is only left with his memories of her.

This leads us to my favorite part of the movie. Well, one of my favorite parts. My first favorite part came early on because we watched a poorly translated version. We only realized the movie was available on Crunchyroll after it was over — I assumed that as a movie, it wouldn’t be.

Aoyama and the Lady riding the train from the anime movie Penguin Highway
Aoyama and the Lady riding the train

Anyway, back to my favorite intentional part of the movie. Throughout the whole thing, Hamamoto was flirting with Aoyama. And, as you might expect from Aoyama at this point, he wasn’t picking up on it. But, at the end, after the Lady disappears, he mentions that he still has someone special.

So, he must have finally recognized Hamamoto as a girl, right? Wrong. He’s talking about his memories of the Lady. First, Hamamoto had to compete with a mature woman. Now, she has to compete with the memory of a mature woman. She can’t win.

I’m kind of surprised Aoyama even remembers Hamamoto’s name. She seems so far off his radar that at times it seems like he forgets she exists. It sucks for Hamamoto. But the fact that Aoyama still unintentionally rejects her in the end was too funny to me.


I had to give Penguin Highway a 4/10 in the end. The movie looks nice. And the Lady is cute. But, the plot made absolutely no sense. There were so many twists and turns that ended up going nowhere. You’d think everything would get tied up at the end and make sense. But you’d be wrong.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

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Belle anime movie cover art

Beauty and the Beast for Zoomers

Belle (Ryuu to Sobakasu no Hime / 竜とそばかすの姫), also known as Ryuusoba, is Japanese Beauty and the Beast for zoomers. Just by looking at the cover art for the movie, you should be able to tell. But, there’s a lot more to it than that.

The main character’s name is Belle, which is the same as in Beauty and the Beast. Well, her name is Suzu (鈴 / すず), which translates to “bell.” And because of that, she’s known as Belle online. Also, there’s the Beast, which is pretty self-explanatory.

But, why do I say it’s for zoomers (Gen Z)? The movie Belle modernizes Beauty and the Beast by having most of it take place online in VR social media. Now that’s how you get the kids to relate. Also, there are a lot of cringy moments that I guess today’s kids would find compelling.

The Beast and Belle from the anime movie Belle
The Beast and Belle

If you couldn’t already tell, I didn’t like this movie. In fact, it’s the worst anime movie I’ve ever seen. But, I don’t want this review to be all doom and gloom. So, let me point out the two scenes I liked before continuing.

The first good scene comes right at the beginning of the movie when Suzu loses her mother. The whole lead-up where we got to see Suzu’s relationship with her mother was good. And so was the scene when her mother actually dies. The other good scene was when Ruka confesses to Kamishin because his reaction was funny.

Great, there were 2 good scenes. That’s not so bad, right? Well, this movie is a painful 2 hours long. Combined, these scenes might add up to 10 minutes of that 120-minute run time. They don’t make up for how boring and poorly written the rest of Belle is.

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Unimaginative Digital Universe

My next complaint about Belle has to do with the digital universe it portrays. The popular social media site everyone uses in the movie is U. As I mentioned, U is a VR social media site. But, you don’t wear glasses or goggles. You put in headphones and it connects to your brain or something.

How the device works makes no sense. But, what I care about more is what U looks like. It’s an expansive space with a lot of random characters in it. There are also giant, nondescript buildings we never see inside.

This isn’t only a problem with Belle. Summer Wars was kind of the same. I’m not sure why this is how anime represent virtual worlds. There’s nothing going on within U. Everyone just floats around. And when Suzu logs in and starts doing things, they all hate it. How dare she interrupt their mindless floating.

Suzu Naitou from the anime movie Belle
Suzu Naitou

Now, in Belle’s defense, its depiction of U isn’t that far off from Meta’s (Facebook’s) Metaverse. That’s also an empty wasteland. But, at least the Metaverse (poorly) tries to be a world you can interact with. U doesn’t even have that going for it.

Another weird thing about U is that it has a moderation team led by a single, all-powerful moderator. His name is Justin because he represents justice. And how does he dish out justice? By doxxing anyone he deems to be a troublemaker. Like, that’s the official moderation policy. You don’t get banned. You get doxxed to billions of people.

There are a lot of things in Belle that make me think the creators have never used the internet. It feels like an interpretation of what the internet would become from 30 years ago. If U was real, nobody would use it. It’s garbage.

Idols Against Child Abuse

I guess now’s a good time to explain the plot of Belle. And, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the plot was. It went through some pretty drastic transformations over the course of the runtime. And these transformations didn’t make much sense.

At first, the movie was about how Suzu learned to sing again. Music was something she and her mother shared. So after the death of her mother, Suzu couldn’t sing anymore. But, as the anonymous Belle within U, she could sing again. If that was the whole story, it would be good.

From there, it turned into the Beauty and the Beast story you’re probably familiar with. Everyone hates the Beast. Then, Belle meets the Beast and realizes he’s not actually that bad. The problem with this part of the story is that it’s boring. I’d rather watch the Disney version.

Belle singing in U from the anime movie Belle
Belle singing in U

Where things get wild is the final act of the movie. It turns out the beast is a 14-year-old boy. This makes sense because he’s an edgy teen. But, it was also foreshadowed earlier through a story one of Suzu’s choir members told. She told of her romance with an 8th grader in her youth.

That’s not the craziest part, though. Why is the Beast a menace online? Because he’s taking out his frustration from being abused at home. His father abuses him and his younger, seemingly special-needs, brother. And guess what. Belle (Suzu) is the only person who can save them.

It makes no sense. The police say they can’t help for 48 hours even though there’s literal footage of the abuse. So, Suzu travels across Japan to save some kids from their abusive father. And then there’s some “power of music” garbage at the end. The movie sucks.


I know a lot of people won’t agree with my assessment of Belle. But, at the very least, I know there’s one person who agrees with me. The top review of the movie on MyAnimeList by user BigOat brings up a lot of the same issues I had with it.

In the end, I have to give Belle a 2/10. The only reason it’s not a 1 is that it does actually look nice. And the music is fine. Some people like the music. But, I didn’t care much about it despite music being a major theme of the movie.

And, I need to wrap up this review by reiterating that this is a 2-hour movie. That’s very long for an animated movie. For anyone thinking about watching it, be prepared.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting at the Heika tier this month. And I’d like to thank Key Mochi for supporting at the Senpai tier. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out

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Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Spirited Away anime movie cover art
Spirited Away

Movie Overview

Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi / 千と千尋の神隠し) is the fourth Studio Ghibli anime movie I’ve seen. And, it might be the best. The only other one (that I’ve seen) that can compete with it is Princess Mononoke.

Of the two movies, Princess Mononoke has a far more serious story, which I appreciate. But, Spirited Away is much more fun, both in terms of the setting and the characters. And while I know people like them a lot, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service can’t compete.

What’s Spirited Away about, though? A young girl named Chihiro gets stuck in the spirit world. There, she finds herself contracted to work at an inn run by the evil witch Yubaba. Chihiro must save her parents, whom Yubaba turned into pigs, and return to reality before she forgets who she is.

Chihiro and No Face on a train from the anime movie Spirited Away
Chihiro and No Face on a train

Along the way, Chihiro makes some new friends, including a boy named Haku who also works under Yubaba. It’s Haku who teaches Chihiro how to survive in the spirit world. And, as we later learn, this might not be the first time Chihiro and Haku have met.

Now, one issue I have with standalone movies, in general, is that they don’t have much time to do things. It’s much easier to build a world, characters, and plot when you have, say, 12 episodes instead of under 2 hours. Ghibli movies are also geared toward children, which only makes this issue worse.

I’m not saying that Ghibli movies can’t be deep because they’re meant for children. And I’m also not saying they don’t appeal to adults. But, I’m always left feeling that we didn’t get to explore the interesting aspects of the movie. Everything gets set up and wrapped up too quickly.

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Main Characters

Chihiro Ogino is the protagonist of Spirited Away. She’s also the character with the most development, which makes sense. But, it’s not that hard to have the most development. The majority of the characters really have no development at all. If they have any change, it happens with the flip of a switch.

I’ll discuss Chihiro more in the next section, so let’s move on to the other characters, for now. Haku is the male lead of the movie. He’s the first person Chihiro meets in the spirit world. And because he looks like a human, Chihiro feels comfortable with him.

But, despite being an important character, Haku doesn’t get much development at all. His “development” is that we later find out he’s a dragon spirit. Does that change who he is at all? No. Does it matter at all? Also no. There’s not enough time in the movie to make it matter.

Yubaba from the anime movie Spirited Away

The villain of the movie is Yubaba. She’s a witch who runs an inn as if it was a factory with no worker safety standards. Why is she evil? I’m still not sure. I guess she wants money. So, again, we have a major character we don’t know much about.

Kaonashi, or No Face, is a spirit that Chihiro lets into Yubaba’s inn. It seems to like Chihiro and wants to give her whatever she desires. But, Chihiro doesn’t have time to be friends with a spirit she can’t talk to. So, she spends most of the movie ignoring it while it eats people.

And the last character I want to mention is Kamajii. He’s a spider-like old man who runs the boiler room. Despite not being the most important character, I do like Kamajii’s role. He’s our first real exposure to this world.

Sen and Chihiro

A major plot point throughout the movie is Chihiro forgetting who she was. At the start of the movie, Chihiro’s body begins to physically fade away within the spirit world. Haku manages to stop this from happening. But, from then on, Chihiro’s sense of self fades away as the movie progresses.

Why does this happen, though? Well, according to Haku, it has to do with Yubaba’s magic. When she makes contracts with her workers, she takes their names and gives them new ones. In Chihiro’s case, she was renamed Sen., And over time, she forgets that her name was ever Chihiro.

This magic extends beyond Chihiro forgetting her name. She starts to forget where she came from and her goal of saving her family. If not for Haku reminding her, she could have forgotten who she was completely and worked at the inn forever.

Chihiro and Haku from the anime movie Spirited Away
Chihiro and Haku

But, as it turns out, forgetting who she was isn’t all bad for Chihiro. It’s also how she’s able to develop over the course of the movie. In the beginning, she was afraid of everything and preferred to stay within her comfort zone. But, as she forgets who she was, she becomes much more willing to try new things.

At the end of the movie, Chihiro makes it back to reality with her parents. She doesn’t remember any of the events that took place within the spirit world. But, the implication is that she internalized what she learned there. She’s no longer as afraid of the unknown as she once was.

Basically, the moral of the story is that the unknown isn’t as scary as you think it is. While you might be afraid of change at first, you shouldn’t avoid new experiences. Experiencing the unknown is how you grow as a person.


Despite all the complaints I had about Spirited Away, I still gave the movie a 9/10. It’s a great movie because it’s fun to watch and explores its lesson in an interesting way. But, I also don’t feel like it’s a movie that I need to rewatch. It’s a great movie, but once was enough for me.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. And come join our Discord server to discuss anime with other members of the community. We watched Spirited Away for one of our monthly movie nights. You’re welcome to join us for the next movie.

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