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‘Animal Crossing’ gamer lives out her childhood dream with a ‘Spirited Away’ island

When we talk about Studio Ghibli films, the very first thing that comes to mind is the franchise’s idyllic scenes. From the detailed techniques and dream-like color palettes to charming yet complex characters, the acclaimed animation studio never fails to evoke nostalgic feelings and capture the beauty of everyday life.

That’s why it came as no surprise when foreign and local tourists alike started flocking to Jiufen, a mountain town in Taiwan that bears an uncanny resemblance to Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. (But because of our current situation, we have no choice but to wait a little longer before we get to book that plane ticket.)

via Giphy

So when Nintendo launched Animal Crossing’s fifth series—a simulation video game that allows you to create your own island paradise—a gamer who has always wanted to be like Spirited Away’s main character Chihiro took all the time and effort to build her own Ghibli-esque world.

On a Facebook group named Subtle Asian Traits, Sharon Nguyen (from Australia) proudly shared her Spirited Away-themed island on Animal Crossing: New Horizons—and for other Ghibli fans out there, the completed areas are definitely envy-worthy!

Image from: Sharon Nguyen
Image from: Sharon Nguyen
Image from: Sharon Nguyen

Ever since a kid, Nguyen has always loved the film and so seeing the output felt more like a dream come true for her.

“I’ve been playing for less than 3 weeks and Spirited Away is my obsession! I’ve loved it ever since I was a child and I collect and love it. This is just pictures from my room so I haven’t completed the island yet. But the ones in the picture took me 3 weeks since I had to wait, and gather appropriate furniture,” shared Nguyen.

Since the designs in this latest Animal Crossing installation seems limitless, she also used different softwares to cut No Face’s image in the background into smaller pieces and uploaded them to a fan-made tool called ACPatterns. 

As of this writing, Nguyen’s post has garnered 14,000 likes and 4,000 comments with people continuously praising her dedication and asking for codes. Even though it has only been a month since ACNH was released for consumption, the video game has already sold 1.88 million physical copies during the first three days—making it “the biggest Switch yet.”


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