Call Me Chihiro (2023) poster
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,693 users
# of Watchers: 3,177
Reviews: 10 users
Ranked #4084
Popularity #3956
Watchers 1,693

Chihiro used to work as a prostitute. She happened to stop by a seaside town and have a bento meal there. She loved the meal so much, she decided to settle down in the seaside town and work at the bento shop. She now greets customers with a smile at the bento shop and makes small talk with them. She doesn't even hide her past. Chihiro talks with customers about various problems and, through their conversations, they are comforted by her. Chihiro herself suffers from loneliness, which started with her family when she was little. By meeting her customers, she also faces her loneliness and gets over that slowly. (Source: AsianWiki) ~~ Adapted from the manga series "Chihiro-san" (ちひろさん) by Yasuda Hiroyuki (安田弘之). Edit Translation

  • English
  • Arabic
  • Português (Brasil)
  • Čeština
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Movie
  • Release Date: Feb 23, 2023
  • Duration: 2 hr. 11 min.
  • Score: 7.7 (scored by 1,693 users)
  • Ranked: #4084
  • Popularity: #3956
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older

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Cast & Credits


Call Me Chihiro (2023) photo
Call Me Chihiro (2023) photo
Call Me Chihiro (2023) photo
Call Me Chihiro (2023) photo
Call Me Chihiro (2023) photo
Call Me Chihiro (2023) photo


The Butterfly
24 people found this review helpful
Feb 24, 2023
Completed 2
Overall 8.0
Story 8.0
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.5
Rewatch Value 5.5
This review may contain spoilers

You're wonderful just as you are regardless of what planet you come from

Call Me Chihiro reminded me of Mary Poppins, if Mary Poppins had been an ex-sex worker. Like a warm breeze on a cloudy day, Chihiro brought kindness and healing to the people she came across whether it was a mischievous little boy or an ant helpless on its back. Short on plot and long on healing human interactions this film is one you experience with your heart, not your mind.

Chihiro works at a Bento shop handing out warmth and food often with a gentle sense of humor. She makes friends with a small boy whose mother works nights, a high school girl whose father is at a minimum verbally abusive, a homeless man, and the blind woman married to the Bento boss. Despite her work background she never hides it from any of the people she helps. We don't know much about her except that she had a painful childhood and a traumatic experience that caused her to flee her massage parlor job.

Even though Chihiro helps the abused and downtrodden, she cannot always feel the warmth she gives. Without a second thought she buries the dead-both human and animal-afterwards taking a shower and then eating ramen. With her trans friend she explains that if love is about owning and being owned she wants no part of it. She reaches out to others yet cannot bring herself to truly feel and be open.

This film was filled with sweet, touching moments showing how kindness and healing are passed on. As the circle of people she has thrown a life vest of acceptance to begin to interact and support each, the story feels stronger and more interconnected. Yet as profoundly as Chihiro touched others she was filled with an "air of loneliness" and trying hard to run away from it; though near the end, the sun began to break through the clouds in her eyes.

One of my favorite parts of this movie is when Chihiro tells the high schooler about a client she had. He believed that people were actually aliens in human suits. The reason people don't get along is because everyone is from different planets. She and the high schooler always have their eyes open for someone who might be from their planet. What she really wants is for someone to validate her feelings and see her worth. When she thinks she's finally found someone from her planet it clearly touches her that this person thinks she is wonderful just as she is, even if she can't see that in herself.

Call Me Chihiro is a film for when you need a feel good story that doesn't require much brain power. Watching these disparate people begin to find a sense of belonging and someone who cares about them was heartwarming. It may also motivate you to see others beyond their physical appearance and faults and to discover how far one good deed can spread.


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13 people found this review helpful
Feb 27, 2023
Completed 0
Overall 9.0
Story 9.0
Acting/Cast 9.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 9.0
This review may contain spoilers

Power of Kindness and Connections!

We’ve seen many times how one life touches so many, and how one act of kindness can be like a pebble dropped into a pond. Its ripples stretching all the way across. People should never underestimate what one act of kindness can do for someone. We never know if a smile, a kind word, or act might will have an effect that we can’t possibly predict or fathom.

Life is about connections. Connecting with ourselves as well as connecting with others. Chihiro is a former sex worker who now works at a small bento shop in a seaside town. Initially, a person may scoff at her former life as a sex worker and judge her as someone of little/no value. Ah! How often do we judge a book by its cover? The film invites us to understand how a connection and a small act of kindness can help someone in need, while also learning how to dispel our own judgments about people.

The film opens with Chihiro paying attention to and playing with a cat. Initially, one might wonder why this is such a compelling scene. Because more often than not, how a person treats animals is often an insight into how a person treats people. Chihiro greets the customers warmly, and we can see her warmth is genuine. It isn’t fake or an attempt to win anyone over. It’s simply how she interacts with others.

Throughout the course of the film, we find Chihiro helping a variety of people. An old, homeless man down by the waterfront. She brings him a meal, gives him some company as they eat, and even invites him into her home so that he can have a bath. And sadly, when she’s looking for him in order to bring him another meal, she finds that he has died behind a small fence, and she takes the time to give him a proper burial in the middle of the night.

Chihiro also befriends a couple of high school girls who see themselves as outcasts within their own families. Chihiro treats them with kindness, accepting them fully as they are. Kuniko is one of these girls who’s basically told what to do in a family home with little warmth. When she’s given a meal by a single mother—as a means of gratitude for helping her son—Kuniko breaks down in tears, overwhelmed that she’s found more warmth from this stranger than she’s possibly received in her own home.

Chihiro also has to deal with the same, single mother who is outraged that Chihiro has been feeding and spending time with her son, Makoto, a lonely boy who has to spend much of his time fending for himself because his mother works. When the boy gets an idea from a TV commercial to buy flowers for his mother, the mother wrongly accuses of Chihiro of being behind it. After having the flowers thrown in her face, Chihiro calmly hands the flowers back, telling the mother that she will be making a huge mistake if she doesn’t accept the flowers and to see her son for what he is: a kind but lonely little boy who simply wants to show his mother how much he loves her.

Lastly, Chihiro also interacts with a woman in a hospital who has recently lost her eyesight. Little does the woman know that Chihiro is the woman she’d briefly had an encounter with, it becomes apparent that the woman is more of a mother to Chihiro than Chihiro’s own.

Chihiro is like a breath of fresh air, a gentle rain, a beam of sunshine as we quickly discover how she interacts and touches the lives of the various souls around her. Nothing about her is superficial or fake. She’s asked by her friend and former co-worker in the sex trade why she’s never fallen in love. It becomes apparent that Chihiro does not find romantic relationships appealing, largely due to their selfishness and propensity to strip a person of their freedom to be who they are.

Kasumi Arimura is a true delight in this film, and she shines brightly on the screen as she invites the viewer to look past her past. A person isn’t necessarily their job. How they treat others and interact with them counts the most. And like a passing rain—seeing that her job is done—she moves on to the next town, the next job, spreading her joy for life to everyone she meets. She takes pride in small moments of sitting on the dock in the sun or standing barefoot in the water.

I also found it interesting when I looked it up that Chihiro means, “A thousand questions.” This name is appropriate as one might have a thousand questions about her, but find that much like the wind, she can’t be pinned down to one thing or perhaps even grasped. Everyone could use a “Chihiro” in their life, and hopefully, everyone can try just a bit harder to be a Chihiro for others.

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  • Movie: Call Me Chihiro
  • Country: Japan
  • Release Date: Feb 23, 2023
  • Duration: 2 hr. 11 min.
  • Content Rating: 13+ - Teens 13 or older


  • Score: 7.7 (scored by 1,693 users)
  • Ranked: #4084
  • Popularity: #3956
  • Watchers: 3,177

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