We travel to China to watch Studio Ghibli anime Spirited Away on its inaugural opening day

Spirited Away finally premieres in China…but hardly anybody was at the cinema to see it.

Since its Japanese premiere back in 2001, Studio Ghibli’s anime film Spirited Away has been shown in dozens of countries around the world, becoming the highest-earning anime in Japan.

However, there’s been one country missing from Spirited Away‘s long list of worldwide premieres, as Chinese audiences have been waiting 18 years to see the film make its official debut in their country.

Thankfully, that all changed this month, when the anime classic premiered in China on 21 June, along with some beautiful posters featuring the local cast and characters to help celebrate the momentous occasion.

Being diehard Ghibli fans ourselves, we wanted to join in with the celebrations, so we sent our reporter Ikuna Kamezawa over to China to attend a viewing and give us a firsthand report on what it was like.

After landing in China, Ikuna whipped out her phone and checked the app she’d pre-installed, which had information on the different times and locations where she could see the film.

Eager to be part of one of the first audiences to watch the film on its opening day, Ikuna booked herself a ticket to the 9:45 a.m. screening, and arrived an hour earlier at the mall where the cinemas were located.

She was expecting to see queues of people, with some maybe wearing No Face masks, lined up in anticipation of the big event. However, when she arrived, there was nobody around and the mall wasn’t even open. After enquiring with a staff member at the door, she was told to come back closer to the screening time, and



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