Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away has some of the most distinctive art work you’ll see in any anime, and that doesn’t just go for the design of the characters and creatures, but for the Aburaya bathhouse too, where the majority of the story takes place.
This sweeping structure is where protagonist Chihiro starts her adventures with the movie’s diverse cast of characters, and fans say its design was partly inspired by a bathhouse located in director Hayao Miyazaki’s hometown.
While several real-life locations claim to have been the inspiration for the bathhouse, the on-screen form of the enchantingly creative work of fictional architecture was put together in the imaginations of the studio’s skilled artists. There is a way to bring Aburaya into our real world, though, with this gorgeous kit from Ghibli specialty store Donguri Kyowakoku.
The extremely detailed set is made of wood but requires no cutting or gluing to assemble. The walls of the pre-painted kit look good on their own, plus there’s inner beauty to the structure, as it’s equipped with LED lights that can be switched on for a nighttime effect.
Donguri Kyowakoku has retail stores in Japan but this puzzle is available online at the Donguri Kyowakoku web site.
The model is approximately 8 inches (20.7 cm) tall when completed. There are even small details fans of the movies can appreciate, such as Chihiro peeking out from one of the windows and an accompanying model of No-Face. There are other Studio Ghibli 3D puzzels, including Howl’s Moving Castle and Big Totoro.
David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.