An Animal Crossing: New Horizons player has recreated the iconic bathhouse from Studio Ghibli’s masterpiece, Spirited Away, red façade and all.
Considered the finest achievement in director Hayao Miyazaki’s highly esteemed lineup of Japanese animated classics, Spirited Away follows the adventures of Chihiro/Sen in the spirit world, focused around a bathhouse owned by the witch Yubaba and frequented by spirits inspired by classic Japanese folklore. It received global critical acclaim upon its release, even outside of its native Japan, and continues to receive accolades and place on best feature film lists 20 years later. To date, it is the only non-English film to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and more firmly established Studio Ghibli, already well-known in anime fan circles, as a premier film studio in Western countries alongside cultural giants like Disney and Pixar.
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In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players have the opportunity to build and customize their own private island community with a library of objects, wallpapers, textures, and more, and as a result, have taken up the chance to recreate some of pop culture’s most recognizable locales. Redditor asuna86 has continued that noble tradition by building the bathhouse from Spirited Away in impeccable detail, down to the curved bridge (which involved some clever use of the game’s topography and fencing), featuring’s custom-made panels to make up the building’s iconic façade.
Nearly 24 hours of work went into creating the scene, especially in texturing and coloring the custom panels that make up the building’s red face and the path of the curved bridge, which was a clever idea given that New Horizons isn’t exactly brimming with amazing wallpaper options. Even if asuna86 didn’t also include the two characters customized to represent Sen and partner Haku, the result is so breathtakingly accurate that anyone even remotely familiar with the film would instantly recognize it, perhaps even confusing it for an actual still from the movie momentarily (and a few stunned Redditors admitted this was their experience).
Although Animal Crossing: New Horizons is having a bit of an issue in that it has more items than players have room for, the breadth of its customization options means that the sky’s the limit for what players with patience and ingenuity can create. For fans of Spirited Away, it’s the chance to visit Yubaba’s bathhouse and relive one of the greatest films ever made, without the hassle of their parents turning into pigs.
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Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on Nintendo Switch.
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