Spirited Away Ending Explained & Plot Analysis

After watching the movie, do you have more questions than answers? Let me help you find the hidden meaning behind the movie Spirited Away and also explain what the movie’s ending means.

Spirited Away is one of the most famous animated cartoons (anime) by Studio Ghibli, authored by Hayao Miyazaki. This anime was loved even by those who have never admired the creations of Japanese culture and have never been familiar with other animated cartoons. This is a fairytale story about growing up and overcoming difficulties, filled with unusual images of the spirits and gods of Japanese culture.

What is the anime “Spirited Away” about ?

“Spirited Away” (literally:   Sen and Chihiro kidnapped by the kami”) is a story about a girl Chihiro, who ended up with her parents in a city of ghosts. In Japanese folklore, there are often stories in which people become victims of ghosts. They kidnap people and lock them in their world.

Chihiro’s story is similar to such a legend. Together with her parents, she enters the world of spirits and deities, falling into a trap and not being able to get out of it on her own.
The girl’s parents decided to move to another city. Little Chihiro was left without her friends, left the environment familiar from childhood and is very difficult to move, which, in general, is normal for a child of her age. She is a little naughty, nervous and scared when she finds herself in a strange and unfamiliar place with her parents.

Chihiro is frightened from the very beginning by the emptiness of the city she finds herself in with her parents. There is not a single living soul here, but the table is full of delicious food, which her parents immediately begin to eat.

After briefly moving away from them, Chihiro begins to notice strange dark shadows everywhere, and when he returns to his parents, he finds … pigs instead.

Frightened to death, she runs away and meets a local boy – Haku. He begins to help the girl and tells what needs to be done to survive in this world.
Haku explains to Chihiro that she needs to work at the spirit bath run by the sorceress Yubaba so as not to become dinner for the next visitors. Chihiro gets to the sorceress’s office immediately after meeting the local spider spirit, for whom little soot spirits work, and with enviable tenacity begs Yubaba to give her a job. Yubaba takes part of Chihiro’s memory along with part of her name. So she becomes a girl named Sen.

What is the meaning of the Spirited Away anime?

Chihiro, who found herself in far from the best conditions, reveals completely new qualities in herself that she did not possess before. When she lived in the city (under the protection of her parents), she did not have to fight for her survival. When she is cut off from them and is left completely alone, she has to change and discover new character traits in herself. Passing through all the trials in the world of spirits, she tempers her character and matures.

Self-reliance is one of the main themes of this animated film. Chihiro learns to cope with everything on his own, develops ingenuity and fortitude.
A mixture of a purely folk story with modern technology creates a more realistic picture, although what is happening on the screen is pure fantasy.

Chihiro, often acting more haphazardly than deliberately, handles the situation she finds herself in. She falls into despair only at the very beginning, and then finds the strength and motivation to fight for her life and for the salvation of her parents.

Fortitude of character, fortitude, determination and perseverance – this is what leads the girl forward. It is also worth noting that in the world of spirits and history in general, there is no clear division into good and evil or black and white. The heroine does not have to deal with villains and save the whole world – she must change on her own in order to be able to return home with her parents.

Chihiro nearly forgets herself and her true identity due to Yubaba taking the kazdi part of her name. The Sen that the girl had become would have lost the opportunity to leave the spirit world, but Haku reminded the girl of her real name so she was able to return home.

Chihiro is a model of integrity. She does not accept gold from a faceless spirit, because she does not need such gratitude.
The train that Chihiro rides along with the faceless and other creatures travels along the road of life. The final stop is death, which is why you can return from there not by train, but on your own two feet. Through this image, the transience of life is conveyed. In the city of spirits, all deities and ghosts arrive on a large boat that takes them across the river to the world of the dead.

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