Otaku USA Magazine
Chihiro and Yubaba from Spirited Away Take Over One-Time Subaru Commercial

Hayao Miyazaki’s birthday was on January 5, and on the same date his Oscar-winning movie Spirited Away played on Japanese television. During the film’s ad time, a special commercial played — a Suburu commercial featuring Spirited Away’s Chihiro and Yubaba.

Technically, you only hear their voices, but Subaru made the point of hiring original Japanese voice actresses Rumi Hiiragi and Mari Natsuki. Hiirage, as Chihiro, remarks that she was able to get to her destination without problems. (Apparently Chihiro is now old enough to drive.) Natsuki, as Yubaba, asks if she’d gotten help from someone, and Chihiro admits it’s from Eyesight, a feature in the car. Because it has three special cameras, she’s able to see more of what’s around her.

Chihiro says that Eyesight helps prevent accidents and Yubaba, impressed, chimes in that a society with more Eyesight will have fewer crashes. It ends with Chihiro suggesting people look into Eyesight and apply.

The ad was specifically made for one-time viewing with Spirited Away, and will not play on TV again. But it was popular with Japanese fans, which got them talking online. SoraNews24 shared some of the online responses:

“Thank you, Subaru!”
“This made me so happy!”
“It’s a conversation between Chihiro as an adult and Yubaba!”

GKIDS licensed Spirited Away for North America, and gave this description for its plot:

Chihiro’s family is moving to a new house, but when they stop on the way to explore an abandoned village, her parents undergo a mysterious transformation and Chihiro is whisked into a world of fantastic spirits ruled over by the sorceress Yubaba. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Overflowing with imaginative creatures and thrilling storytelling, Spirited Away became a worldwide smash hit, and is one of the most critically-acclaimed films of all time.

Source: SoraNews24


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.