The Cat Returns and Spirited Away

Title: The Cat Returns and Spirited Away
Author: Hiroyuki Morita, Aoi Hiiragi, Hayao Miyazaki
Year: 2002, 2001

Recently, I’ve been reading less manga in Chinese than I intended, but I’ve still managed to finish a couple of them. This post will be a joint account of two of them, both adapted from Studio Ghibli movies, namely The Cat Returns and Spirited Away.

To start with, I think the basic idea is a bit cheap and feels mostly like a strategy to wring some more money from an already exhausted concept. They have basically taken frames from the movies and printed them, together with the subtitles and some added phonetic symbols to denote specific sounds (although these are in Japanese and thus meaningless to me). So, the Cat Returns is not the manga on which the movie is based, but a manga based on the movie (which in turn is based on a manga).

However, the two stories involved are quite good. Spirited Away is a movie dear to my heart and I’ve watched it many times, each with great appreciation. The Cat Returns is new to me, but reading this manga made me want to watch the movie. It tells the story of a young girl who saves a cat from being run over, but it’s no ordinary cat, but one with connections in the kingdom of the cats. Before she really understand what’s going on, she is being spirited away to their kingdom and more or less forcefully married to the king. A simple but fascinating tale.

As I’ve stated before, reading manga in Chinese is a great way to learn the language, mostly because it grants me access to spoken Chinese in a written form, which is a lot easier to study without help and a lot easier to analyse. I hope I will be able to get hold of interesting manga even after I go back to Sweden, but it will definitely be more difficult than now.

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