chapter  5
Opening the Closed World of Sh÷ojo Manga
ByMizuki Takahashi
Pages 23

This chapter examines some of the reasons why Miyazaki's anime are popular in contemporary Japan, particularly focusing on what the unprecedented success of Spirited Away reveals about important socio-economic and religious changes that have recently taken place in Japan. It describes how Chihiro's quest mirrors Miyazaki's own search for his personal identity as modern Japanese. The chapter argues that Chihiro's success in recovering her true name and her true identity is a metaphor for the possibility that her audience can do the same in a time of economic, cultural, and spiritual malaise when what it means to be Japanese become an open question. The first important factor behind Spirited Away's commercial success is the high quality of its animation. Miyazaki's anime are famous for their original character designs, beautiful coloration, attractive music, and skillful sound effects. The Mircea Eliade, in archaic ontology the renewal of the world is believed to take place through the imitation and repetition of an archetype.