At last Spring has come to grace the Northern world with all its lush green beauty! The dark green leaves of daffodils and hyacinth have sprouted along every roadside and shivering clusters of fragile purple crocus have popped up outside every home. The wind is less bitterly cold. The sky is less dark and brooding. And the weather threatens with a gentle misty rain rather than frozen ice pellets of death. On particularly sunny streets here and there throughout town, trees have even started showering passers by with a delicate snow of pale pink flower petals. Indeed, in a few short weeks, it might almost look like an anime! And what better way to celebrate the world waking from its Winter slumber than with some anime that just loves Spring!
Spirited Away is an anime movie about a grumpy little girl named Chihiro, who is moving from her home town and all her friends to the countryside, something that she is not a big fan of. On the drive to their new home, her parents make a wrong turn and end up driving down an overgrown abandoned road. The road suddenly ends at a huge building. After a moment Chihiro’s parents realized that the building is an old abandoned amusement park and they decide to look around. Chihiro (who’s a bit of a scaredy cat) doesn’t like this idea, but follows her parents into the park anyway. One thing leads to another and Chihiro’s parents end up being turned into pigs and taken captive by the witch Yubaba. When night falls the park is suddenly filled with spirits and Chihiro is swept away into the fantastical world of spirits. The old witch is the owner of a bathhouse in the center of the park, and Chihiro gets a job at the bathhouse so she doesn’t also get turned into a pig. In the end, through Chihiro’s hard work and kindness, she and her parents manage to return to the human world.
Though all Ghibli films could be given the title of “Anime that Loves Spring” without a doubt, Spirited Away is the one that has the most blindingly beautiful scenes of the splendor of Spring! When Haku guides Chihiro through the garden, the explosions of color from the rhododendrons and Hydrangea are just staggering. Even quiet emotional scenes like when Chihiro finds out that Yubaba has really turned her parents into pigs, as Chihiro weeps she is surrounded with delicate sweet pea flowers and the lush garden stretches out to the horizon. Truly, this anime movie is a feast for the eyes, and the creators must have loved Spring!
Card Captor Sakura
Card Captor Sakura is a classic maho shojo by Clamp about a 4th grader that finds a magical book in her dad’s library. When she opens the book the magical cards that were sealed inside burst out and disappear! The guardian of the book (an adorable floating critter named Kero) says that if Sakura doesn’t find the cards and seal them back into the book again, they will run a muck in her home town. And run a muck they do! Sakura has quite some trouble tracking down these pesky paper punks! They do everything from clone Sakura and then frame her for petty crimes to scaring her friends by making them think that the woods near their school were haunted. Thankfully, with Sakura’s energetic personality, iconic bird headed magic wand, and the guidance of her furry friend, she can handle whatever those feisty cards can throw at her!
If you have ever seen any thing of the anime series Card Captor Sakura, you have probably seen the beautiful scene of Sakura strolling through a street lined with cherry trees in full bloom. A scene like this actually doesn’t happen once, but rather several times throughout the series. Sakura wondering under a ceiling of rosy pink flowers over her head. The air is filled with fluttering pink flower petals. Dappled sunlight peeks through the leaves of the trees. These are truly some of the moments in the series that relishes the joyful abundance of Spring! And Sakura is the perfect character to enjoy it! She is just such an energetic maho shojo, that it’s impossible not to smile as she skates, strolls, or is enchanted by the flowery tunnel. Even her name means Cherry Blossom!
Snow White with the Red Hair
The anime Snow White with the Red Hair, is based off of the folktale of Snow White, but with a lot more detail and character development than what you would ever find in the original. Though there isn’t any jealous queens or seven dwarves, there is more than enough poisonings, kidnappings, and mysterious plagues to keep things interesting! I love that the main character (Shirayuki) is no longer a scared and doey eyed waif that will believe anyone and anything, but instead a smart and brave girl and makes her own choices rather than letting the story happen to her.
Though Snow White with the Red Hair isn’t specifically focused on Spring, there is certainly a Spring like feel to this anime. The main character Shirayuki is an herbalist and spends plenty of her time in the forest discovering and learning about the wild plants there. She later joins the castle (where her prince charming lives!) and spends a lot of time in the royal green house filled with beautiful medicinal flowers. The seasonality of medicinal herbs and the blooming of flowers plays a significant role in this anime, and with it’s sweet romance between Shirayuki and Prince Zen, it makes for the perfect anime to enjoy for Spring.
Do you have any favorite anime that are just perfect for Spring? Leave a comment below!