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Spirited Away: Movie Review | Full Analysis and Opinions with Pictures

spirited away anime review
spirited away anime review

Spirited Away is one of the most loved and well known Anime Works of all time and has become a cult classic amongst Anime Culture Enthusiasts Globally. Studio Ghibli has also produced several other works that have become timeless classics, truly you must watch them if you love Anime or even have considered watching an Anime.

There would be times that you just wanted to go back in time and relive all the things during your childhood including the shows you used to watch. This movie may travel you back in time wherein you’ll see your grandma handing you your favorite snack in the afternoon.

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Table of Contents

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is No Face in Spirited Away 2001 Film?

A: No Face is a spirit who can absorb the quality of others, and he becomes mean and obsessed with Chihiro, who ultimately helps him improve.

Q: How Old is Haku in Spirited Away?

A: Haku is a River Spirit (immortal) who appears to be about 12 years old.

Q: What is the story behind Spirited Away?

A: Chihiro Ogino, a 10 year old (she/her pronouns), enters a world of Kami (Gods) and one day is separated from her parents while walking through the forest. Her Parents are magically turned into pigs. She begins working in an Onsen (bath house) for Spirits or Gods in order to return her parents back to human form.

Q: What is the main theme behind Spirited Away?

A: Spirited Away tells an honest look at human emotions and how people can change even when living in a world of corruption, greed, self preservation and self indulgence. Spirited Away takes a classic Japanese approach to teach that the choices you make define the person who you become.

Anime Review

A lot of people may have watched this already, given the fact that this film has reached over 30 billion yen at the box office and it is also one of the highest grossing films in Japan.

But, is ‘Spirited Away’ worth watching?

Chihiro Ogino Spirited Away Anime
Chihiro Ogino Spirited Away Anime

Yes, it is. It’s one of the highest grossing films in Japan for a reason and one of the astounding facts about it is that Spirited Away is a hand-drawn film which can be compared to how flipbook works. However, if you’re not into films that are related to fantasy and childhood, then it might be better to check out other ghibli films.

But, if I have to say one word about this film, I would say that it is magical. Watching it as a kid made me believe that those creatures are real and that there’s a portal that leads to a spirit world. But, the thing is there are things that are left unsaid in the movie which can be confusing for most of the younger audiences and you might only be able to understand this movie unless you watch theories or focus and think about the small details in the film.

Chihiro Ogino, is the main protagonist of this film, she was traveling with her parents and her father decided to take a shortcut in the tunnel which they didn't know that it leads to the spirit world. They eventually found an empty restaurant that’s filled with food and Chihiro was trying to tell her parents that they needed to go, but she got frustrated and decided to roam around the place. That’s the time where she met Haku who told her to immediately go, because it’s getting darker which also means that she’ll be seen by other spirits and it was already too late when she tried to get back to her parents who turned into pigs.

One example that may confuse the audiences is why did Chihiro’s (The main protagonist) parents turn into pigs? One of the things that I like about this film is that there’s a lot more meaning behind it. It has been said that the reason why Chihiro’s parents turned into pigs is because when you’re in the spirit world, your true nature can be seen and her parents just turned out to be such a ‘big eater’. Chihiro remained the same which I assume also shows her purity, but she was slowly disappearing because she did not belong in their world and that’s when Haku stepped in and helped her.

I have watched this film for almost a dozen times already, but during my childhood, when I first watched this film. All I could think about is how scary looking the other characters were, but that didn’t stop me from rewatching this movie all over again.

So when I watched this movie again, I tried to focus on the small details and it amazed me how there are a lot of meanings behind the small details I used to ignore.

This movie will surely bring you back to your childhood days and it requires a lot of imagination and research to be able to understand this film fully. But for me, I loved how I figured all those things out and I also realized that the spirit creatures which I thought looked scary are adorable to me now. Though, if you’re not into these kinds of films wherein you will also be using your imagination to interpret the ending, I will recommend you to watch other anime films. But, overall this film never failed to make me feel like home and it’s one of the anime films that brought me back to my childhood days.


One of the best animation directors in Japan, Hayao Miyazaki, had never failed to amaze his fans even in different types of genres in movies.

Hayao Miyazaki is not only a film director, but he’s also a producer, screenwriter, animator, author, and a manga artist. One of his manga that was animated is Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind which was released back in 1984. The film director, Hayao Miyazaki had last announced his retirement in 2018 and it was reported that he’ll be coming out of his retirement once again to make his final Studio Ghibli film which is based on his favorite childhood book which is “How Do You Live?” that was published in 1937 by Genzaburō Yoshino.

The fans of Hayao Miyazaki are excited and they’re all looking forward to the release of the film “How Do You Live?”.


Chihiro Ogino, also called Sen in the movie, is the main protagonist in the film. She is a 10 year-old girl who started off with a childlike personality and eventually had a character development when she encountered challenges in the spirit world in order to save her friend and her parents. I believe that Chihiro’s personality throughout the movie was realistic, because, during her stay in the spirit world she had to go through a lot of hardwork and that made her childlike personality mature.

Awesome Fan Art of Spirited Away
Awesome Fan Art of Spirited Away

Nigihayami Kohakunushi, also called Haku in the film, was the one who helped Chihiro while she was in the spirit world. Haku’s personality in the film was quite confusing, because there will be times that he will be caring and times that he will pull away from Chihiro as if they didn’t know each other. Even if I watched the movie multiple times, his character is still a mystery to me and he’s definitely hard to understand. But, that didn’t stop me from admiring Haku, I had always looked forward to seeing him in the movie.

Yubaba, is the main antagonist of the film. She was the one who controlled Haku and was the one who gave him and Chihiro a hard time. Her personality isn’t the best, she’s the main antagonist for a reason and you wouldn't want to bump into her either. But, even though she is greedy and a bottleneck to the other characters, she has a soft spot for her son Boh.

Boh is the son of Yubaba who had a personality that wasn't likeable at first. But during the times when he was with Chihiro, he soon developed a soft spot for her to the point he protected her from his mother, Yubaba.

No face, he was also known as the character who admired Chihiro, but he was also the one who gave her ‘quite’ a hard time. No face is a lonely spirit, but due to Chihiro’s kindness he had grown attached to her and followed her, but he soon made a ruckus by swallowing different creatures in the bathhouse. I think out of all the characters, I liked no face the most, I believe he just wanted to be friends with Chihiro, but because he swallowed different creatures, he was able to attain their greedy personality and caused a lot of damage in the bathhouse.

 Lofi Vibe Art of Spirited Away Movie Anime Chihiro
Lofi Vibe Art of Spirited Away Movie Anime Chihiro


Cabral K. (2021, November 30). 5 things to know about Hayao Miyazaki’s final Studio Ghibli film. Retrieved from.


Kemp E. (2021, February 05). Hayao Miyazaki came out of retirement to direct again “in order to live”. Retrieved from.

Samson C. (2021, December 02). Hayao Miyazaki is unretiring (again) to make one last Studio Ghibli film just because 'he wants to'. Retrieved from.

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