Spirited Away

Question: Due to the Audi having a left side steering wheel, Chihiro's father being brown haired and overweight (rare in Japan), Chihiro having a whiny nature, her confusion of work responsibility, and her parents eating food with gluttonous abandon (all stereotypical American characteristics), could Chihiro have been the product of a Japanese-Anglo American mixed marriage? It would explain that the reason for her exposure to the spirit world is to broaden her Japanese heritage via work ethic, gratitude, maintaining calmness, understanding hierarchy, and belief in the existence of iconic yōkai.

Gordon Rice

Question: On the DVD, there are two sets of subtitles. One follows what is being said closely and includes sound effects. The other follows the general idea of what the characters are saying, but the sentences are written differently. What is the purpose of the second one? Also, why do even the accurate subtitles show Lin as Rin, Zeniba as Zaneba and Kohaku River as Kalaku River?

Susan Kirk

Chosen answer: This is probably because one track follows a near direct translation from Japanese, while the other subtitle track follows Japanese more loosely but is one that a westerner can relate to better. A normal western person who never had any experience with Japanese would be puzzled why there are sound effects in the text, that is because Japanese has a lot of specific sound effects for many thing, like the sound of someone walking and makes a quick stop, the sound of someone becoming shy etc. And as with Lin and Rin, these are pronounced the same way in Japan.

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