Saturday, 4 October 2014

Archetypes in Spirited Away

Hero: (Reluctant Hero) Chihiro is the reluctant hero of the story. She is unwillingly thrown into her adventure, wanting the whole time to return back to her parents. Although unwilling, the adventure, like many other "Hero's Journeys" helps her see things clearly and appreciate her parents.

The Mentor: Haku could be classed as her mentor, as he is the one who finds her and sends her on her way to get a job at the bath house. Despite these clear "mentor" signs, Even during his de-briefing and then throughout the film, he remains an enigma, Chihiro is unsure if he is helping for good or bad. Another more straightforward Mentor would be Lin, another employee at the bathhouse, she is asked to show Chihiro around and act as her older sister.

The Herald: The journey of moving house, being told she has to leave her home and friends behind, kind of acts as the herald of adventure. It is this disruption to her lifestyle that causes a change in her emotions, a change which is then resolved during her "adventure".

The Shadow: Despite also being her mentor, Haku is a shadow throughout the film. A mysterious character who is always shadowing both her and her thoughts. She knows that something in her destiny involves him, and is drawn towards him, but he is always very mysterious.

The Threshold Guardian: Yubaba is both the owner of the bathhouse and the one who turned her parents into pigs. Chihiro has signed a contract to her, which is legally stopping her from leaving, and also ultimately challenges Chihiro to pick which pigs are her parents before she can be set free.

The Trickster: As the film becomes more serious, comic relief is introduced. Initially scary characters- Yubaba's pet bird and her giant baby Boh, get turned into cute little animals that help Chihiro on her journey to Yubaba's sister's house.

The Shapeshifter: Another mysterious character in the film- No-Face, goes from being misunderstood to evil to helpful. Chihiro befriends No-Face as she feels sorry for him, and then continues to trust him when he is possessed by a money grabbing frog. No-Face repays her kindness and helps her get out of the bathhouse.

Allies: As well as Lin,  The pet bird and Boh, another character helps Chihiro a lot as well. Kamaji works in the coal room of the bathhouse. He gives her her first job, helps her when Haku is Ill, and gives her a train ticket to leave the bath house.

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