Pure energy II
Spirited Away I had been quite hotly anticipating, having seen Howl's Moving Castle at the Film Festival and loved it in spite of its terrible ending.
I also saw the earlier Miyazaki film (wankity-wank) Princess Mononoke recently, and I loved it, particularly for the odd and inventive creatures it featured. SA has a rich cast of strange, frightening, and humorous creatures too, in addition to the standard Anime kids in unfamiliar surroundings succeeding against all odds (despite or perhaps because of their naivete) to become PURE ENERGY.
That makes it sound like I didn't like it - far from it, it's stupendously great. No matter how much of an anime nut you are though, I think you'd agree that not a huge amount of horsepower is used up in plot creation.
As I may have said before, the animation is often not very nice either (it's like there's a code of practice in the anime industry or something) except for the occasional wickedly computer-animated scene or two.
No, the majority of the creative power is used to create a believable fantasy world (in the ones I've seen, at least). Very little explanation is given for why and how this world exists, but it's so well done I find that I don't question it. The creatures are so intriguing and odd, the things they do so unfamiliar that it seems almost like a slice-of-life documentary.
Until, that is, the young hero kills (or in this case befriends) the monster, saves their love, and turns their parents back into humans again.
This is great escapism, please don't try to turn it into some kind of a metaphor (unless it's a pisstake, then please do).