Hayao Miyazaki and Aristotle: Hope Itoh’s thoughts
In Aristotle’s Poetics, Aristotle quotes that “a complex action is one out of which the change involves a discovery or reversal or both together” (Aristotle 34). By discovery the author means the realization of something that triggers the change in one self, making it something complex compared to a change that happened without realizing anything. This idea of complex action is applied in the movie Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki. In Spirited Away, the protagonist Chihiro, a dull, depressed girl who is moving to a new home only to find herself in a world full of Spirits when the whole family decides to take a detour. Not only that, her parents are turned into pigs as a punishment for eating the food there. In order to save them, she has no choice but to work in a bathhouse for Spirits. There, she begins to mature and realize the courage within her that could save the people she loves. That realization that she was stronger than she imagined changed Chihiro from a dull, frightful girl to a girl with a strong heart and the courage to step up when it really mattered. This ties in with Aristotle’s idea because Chihiro discovered more in herself, allowing her to make a complex change to her mental self and have more confidence, which would most likely not happen if she didn’t walk into the Spirit world, let alone have to deal with the many problems and tasks that came with entering the world. These events that lead to her discovery of her inner strength and courage are examples of what Aristotle calls complex actions.
Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. Joe Sachs. Newburyport, Massachusetts: R. Pullins Company, 2006. Print.