The new automated money box speaks, plays music from the film, and burps after every deposit!
Studio Ghibli’s 2001 animated film Spirited Away remains the highest-earning anime in Japan, with much of its success due to its unique cast of magical characters. There’s a mysterious boy who turns into a dragon, a stinky bowl-hatted white radish, soot sprites who hide in the shadows, and of course, a lonely spirit called No Face.
As one of the main characters in the film, No Face is a lonely creature who becomes close to female protagonist Chihiro, only to turn into a hungry monster when exposed to the greed of people surrounding him in the magical bathhouse. His gold-and-human-devouring rampage is one of the highlights of the film, where he reveals a set of white teeth from beneath his expressionless mask as he eats everything in sight, including a frog spirit called Aogaeru.
Now No Face’s hungry greed for money is being put to use in a new product developed by Benelic, the company behind the official Studio Ghibli merchandise sold at Japan’s Donguri Kyowakoku chain of stores. Called the Spirited Away No Face Munching Piggy Bank, the automated product springs into action once coins are placed onto the red bowl it holds in its outstretched hands.
Once the coins reach a default weight of about 30 grams (1 ounce), No Face lets out his signature “Ah…ah…” phrase, and music from the movie begins to play as the dish of coins moves towards its mouth. No Face’s teeth are revealed, the coins are consumed and the spirit lets out a glorious burp at the end of its rich meal.
Given the huge demand for Studio Ghibli merchandise, this new product is sure to be a hit with locals and overseas visitors with a soft spot for the lonely spirit from Spirited Away. Set to retail for 5,184 yen (US$45), the No Face Piggy Bank will go on sale at Donguri Kyowakoku stores around Japan from 20 May, with pre-orders available on their website from today.
For those outside of the country, Cafe de Donguri offers international postage for this and a slew of other cute Studio Ghibli merchandise from their English page at the Rakuten Global Market site. The piggy bank can only be ordered from this site for a limited time, however, until 18 May.
Source, images: PR Times