Can Anime Teach You How to Be a Grown-Up? 

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Spirited Away (2001)

Miyazaki's Oscar-winning fantasy almost immediately confronts the viewer with the knowledge that the hellish trip young Chihiro takes while working off her parents' debt in a hellish world of ghosts and monsters can't be dismissed later as a nightmare. Here Miyazaki proves that responsible children are often more mature than most adults. Chihiro's parents are punished for having lost the innate instinct that warns them to fear and respect the fog of dread that surrounds a local valley peppered with Shinto shrines. Chichiro on the other hand, show proper deference and must find a way to look after her parents after they've turned into pigs, reversing the normal responsibilities of parents and kids. In a typical Miyazaki flourish, Chihiro shows us here that sometimes the best way to act like an adult is to accept feeling like a child sometimes.


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