Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser
BoredPanda Add Post

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Studio Ghibli Finally Explained Why Chihiro’s Parents Turned Into Pigs
278points
User submission
25.3K
215.5K
Entertainment6 years ago

Studio Ghibli Finally Explained Why Chihiro’s Parents Turned Into Pigs

The classic Studio Ghibli film “Spirited Away” was released in 2001 and it remains as popular today as it was fifteen years ago. It’s the most successful film in Japan’s history (it even won an Oscar) and it grossed almost $300 million worldwide. But while the movie has no shortage of fans, it also has no shortage of people who continue to argue about what the sometimes ambiguous movie actually means.

To bring the ongoing debate to an end once and for all, a Japanese fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpiece recently wrote to Studio Ghibli asking for an explanation regarding the story’s underlying message. And to her surprise, she actually got a reply.

Twitter user @0910noncha wanted to know why the protagonist’s parents turned into pigs, what was in their food, and how Chihiro managed to pass her final exam. The reply she received went on for almost two pages and was written by a studio employee. In it they explained that Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs because the transformation represented the greed that took place during the Japanese recession of the 80s.

The letter also explained that the transformation was irreversible in order to reflect the nature of greed in the real world. The letter continued by saying that Chihiro knew that none of the pigs in the pen were her parents because her mindset had changed following her experiences in the underworld.

Finally, the letter explained that the story isn’t about a girl with a “unique heart” – it’s actually about a girl who learned to face her fears by developing a heightened understanding and appreciation of life.

But what about the food? Well, that one remains a mystery. After all, what would people argue about otherwise?

216Kviews

Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
Share your thoughts
La
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm confused that this had to be explained. I thought it was clearly outlined in the story...

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here. I mean, this explanation was exactly how I understood the story. Maybe not at first look, but seeing it again and reflecting afterwards, I made almost exactly the conclusions that now appear in this explanation. But still I'm very glad this article came out, not everyone sees the world with the same eyes and same metaphoric idioms in language, not everyone's life situation is same. I bet explanations that I need sometimes seem too clear to someone else as well.

Load More Replies...
Hauwei Teng
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very likely the scene is about gambling addiction. The place they entered in the day was an abandoned theme park. What gambling houses are to adults are theme parks to children. The parents went in for a look, smelled a fragrance coming from food left unattended. They wanted to try a bit of the food and pay the shop owner later. But the first few bites of the food were tasty and addictive. Soon they found themselves losing control of themselves and turned into pigs, unable to stop gobbling food and unable to pay. The girl is then sent to work in a bath house to pay off the parents debts. Linking back to Japanese history, bathhouse in Edo Japan has female workers who often offered sexual services to the patrons. Perhaps the bathhouse represent the sex industry and the food stalls represent the gambling industry, the girl is sent to work in the bathhouse to try free her parents.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
La
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm confused that this had to be explained. I thought it was clearly outlined in the story...

Daria B
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here. I mean, this explanation was exactly how I understood the story. Maybe not at first look, but seeing it again and reflecting afterwards, I made almost exactly the conclusions that now appear in this explanation. But still I'm very glad this article came out, not everyone sees the world with the same eyes and same metaphoric idioms in language, not everyone's life situation is same. I bet explanations that I need sometimes seem too clear to someone else as well.

Load More Replies...
Hauwei Teng
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very likely the scene is about gambling addiction. The place they entered in the day was an abandoned theme park. What gambling houses are to adults are theme parks to children. The parents went in for a look, smelled a fragrance coming from food left unattended. They wanted to try a bit of the food and pay the shop owner later. But the first few bites of the food were tasty and addictive. Soon they found themselves losing control of themselves and turned into pigs, unable to stop gobbling food and unable to pay. The girl is then sent to work in a bath house to pay off the parents debts. Linking back to Japanese history, bathhouse in Edo Japan has female workers who often offered sexual services to the patrons. Perhaps the bathhouse represent the sex industry and the food stalls represent the gambling industry, the girl is sent to work in the bathhouse to try free her parents.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Popular on Bored Panda
User Submissions
Also on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda