In the realm of big Studio Ghibli films, while our affections naturally gravitate towards the main characters, the supporting cast often attains a heightened allure, a consequence of their comparatively fleeting on-screen moments. Nowhere is this phenomenon more evident than in Ghibli's 2001 anime opus, Spirited Away, where the bathhouse spirits threaten to seize the spotlight from the protagonists. Thus, when the studio introduces merchandise dedicated to these ethereal beings, they experience a rapid surge in demand, akin to hotcakes flying off the shelves.
Yet, the ensemble featured doesn't solely encompass the supporting players. At the forefront of the studio's newest merchandise collection stands the stone statue that makes its appearance at the film's inception. This assembly offers a selection of six distinct pieces, procurable individually or as part of a comprehensive set.
Termed "Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi Potteri Yura Yura Oki agari Koboshi," the collection translates to "Spirited Away Plump Swaying Self-Righting Dolls." As the title aptly implies, these diminutive figurines boast a unique trait – an inherent ability to remain upright indefinitely, a feat attributed to their rounded bases. This means that even when subjected to external forces, they promptly regain their vertical equilibrium.
Such self-righting dolls are steeped in Japanese tradition, with their most renowned iteration being the daruma, a rounded figure modeled after Bodhidharma. In Japan, these dolls symbolize persistence, owing to their unwavering capacity to stand upright regardless of circumstances.
This ethos seamlessly aligns with the thematic currents of Spirited Away, a narrative wherein characters demonstrate remarkable determination in surmounting their trials. Consider Oshira-sama, for instance. The pungent radish spirit might be repulsive to others, yet it steadfastly aids Chihiro during her sojourn at the bathhouse. Similarly, the duck-like chickens, known as Ootori-sama, persevere to find their place in the baths, despite the challenges. Others, such as No Face, the transformed child Boh, and the green-headed "Kashira," also navigate adversity.
However, one of the most distinctive entities within this collection is the Dosojin statue. Fleetingly glimpsed at the film's outset, it stands sentinel along the path embarked upon by Chihiro and her parents. In Japan, stone sculptures of this nature are believed to safeguard travelers as deities of pathways. Thus, placing one of these statues on your desk serves as a charming means to feel secure while journeying through the vast expanse of the internet.