© Studio Ghibli

On the evening of January 7th, 2022, Nippon Television's weekly movie show Friday road SHOW aired Hayao Miyazaki's famous 2001 animated film Spirited Away.

Even now, 20 years after its release, the story has not faded and continues to enthrall and stir the hearts of viewers all over the world.

Fans rejoice! Spirited Away backstory and trivia revealed

To coincide with the broadcast Friday road SHOW invited fans to ask questions about Spirited Away and Studio Ghibli responded to the questions on their official Twitter account.

Here are some of the most popular questions and answers.

Why is Kamaji afraid of Zeniba?

© Studio Ghibli

This question is about Kamaji, the bathhouse's boiler-man who appears in the middle of the story and has many arms like a spider, and Yubaba's twin sister Zeniba.

"Q: Kamaji calls Zeniba scary, but in the movie, she is a kind, old lady. Why did Kamaji call Zeniba scary?"

"A: People who appear to be kind are the scariest when they get angry."

This insight into Zeniba and human nature in general resonated with many on Twitter.

Is No-Face a god?

© Studio Ghibli

Questions were also asked about No-Face, one of the most popular characters in the film.

Q: "Is No-Face a god? Is there a reason why No-Face wasn't allowed to enter the bathhouse?"

Many people have wondered about the true identity of No-Face, who went on a rampage in the bathhouse and seems to be both a god and a monster.

This is how Studio Ghibli answered:

A: Although No-Face is not a god, Mr. Miyazaki said at the time: "There is a No-Face in all of us."

This reply elicited many comments, such as:

  • "I didn't know that about No-Face. I always thought it was some kind of god. Well, that's interesting..."
  • "I've been looking for someone who will acknowledge my existence. I think there is a No-Face within me."
  • "I understand. I want to ask for a plastic bag at the checkout counter*, but I always end up saying "ah...ah..."
  • * In a measure intended to reduce plastic waste, the Japanese government enacted a nationwide policy of charging for plastic bags in July 2020, with mixed reactions from consumers.

Incidentally, No-Face was voiced by Akio Nakamura 中村彰男 (Bob Bergen in English).

Studio Ghibli also revealed that they had a fun time with No-Face's lines in the recording studio.

No-Face's voice-over session was non-stop hilarity.
"Please give me a sadder 'ah.'"
"A sadder 'ah.'"

Behind-the-scenes stories about the creation process

© Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli not only answered fans' questions but also revealed some secrets behind the movie's production.

The production team was amazed by the acting skills of actress Mari Natsuki 夏木マリ, who voiced both Yubaba and Zeniba.

"When Mari Natsuki shouted, "Sen!" the lighting equipment in the screening room resonated and made a noise, which resulted in a retake. What a powerful voice!"

This revelation elicited comments such as: "Mari Natsuki is truly exceptional," "How amazing," and "This episode has surely become a legend...".

Most popular question and reply

© Studio Ghibli

All told, Studio Ghibli posted more than 30 answers on their Twitter account last night to fans' questions they'd received.

Here is one of the questions and replies that elicited the most responses.

"Q: Did Chihiro and Haku ever meet after that?"

At the end of the movie, Chihiro and Haku part ways. However, there is no description of what happened to them after that, and it's left to the viewer's imagination whether they met again or not.

Here is Studio Ghibli's answer to this question.

"A: Haku is the spirit of the river that runs near Chihiro's former home.
If Chihiro ever visits that river..."

Production secrets and insights like these that Studio Ghibli offered on their Twitter account surely made many fans want to revisit the film!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.