While talking about Japanese Animated movies, you will remember a lot of them. Your Name, Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, and Howl’s Moving Castle are some of the best anime movies. But, none of these movies come close to the 2001 blockbuster superhit Spirited Away. Spirited Away was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The movie is animated by the very popular Studio Ghibli, known for Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, and of course, Spirited Away. Though Demon Slayer: Mugen Train broke all the records, Spirited Away is still the highest-rated anime movie to date, as people were left mesmerized by its ending. The movie has an IMDb rating of 8.6.
Soon after its release, the movie shattered all the records. It was the highest-grossing film in Japan until Demon Slayer: Mugen Train overtook it. Even after this, it remains the 2nd highest-grossing film in Japan. Another impressive thing about the movie is that it was released back in 2001. Even after two decades of its release, only one movie has been able to reach the success of Spirited Away. The movie was so successful that it won the Oscar for a best-animated feature film at the 5th Academy Awards. It was also voted as the 4th best film of the 21st century by BBC, thus becoming the highest-ranking animated movie on the list.
The ending of Spirited Away has been a hot topic among anime fans for years. That’s right. This article will discuss the ending of the movie Spirited Away!
Also Read: Top 8 Underrated Anime Movies To Watch
Spirited Away Plot
Chihiro Ogino, a 10-year-old girl, is traveling to her new home along with her parents. Her father takes a shortcut to reach the destination faster. Their car stops in front of a tunnel, beyond which is an abandoned amusement park. Her father insists on going into the park while Chihiro is reluctant. Chihiro wanders and reaches a bathhouse. There she meets a boy named Haku. Haku tells her to go away from the park before the sunset. But before she could escape, she found that her parents had been turned into pigs. Thus she is unable to cross the riverbed and get out.
Chihiro is sent to the owner of the bathhouse, a witch named Yubaba. Yubaba hires Chihiro and renames her Sen. Sen soon realizes she has forgotten her name. Haku reminds her and tells her that if she forgets her name like him, she’ll be trapped there forever.
One day Sen sees Haku injured grievously. She goes to see Haku and is surprised to meet Yubaba’s twin sister, Zeniba. Zeniba reveals to Sen that Haku has stolen a magic golden seal of hers. And for that reason, he will face the consequences. Sen rescues Haku and resolves to apologize to Zeniba and return her seal.
Sen, along with No-Face, and Boh, travel to where Zeniba is. On the other hand, Yubaba orders the slaughter of Sen’s parents. Haku says that Boh (Yubaba’s son) is alive and he can bring him back. Yubaba agrees to release Sen and her parents only if Sen passes one final test. Haku arrives in his dragon form and takes away Sen and Boh. Sen recalls an incident from the past and realizes Haku’s true identity.
In the final test, Yubaba asks Sen to identify her parents from the group of pigs. Sen says that her parents are not here. Sen passes the final test, and her contract disappears. She is given back her original name. Chihiro crosses the riverbed, and Haku promises her that they shall meet again. Chihiro walks to her car with her parents. But, before leaving, she takes a glimpse of the tunnel and is puzzled if all the events inside the park ever happened.
Spirited Away Ending Explained
Though scared at first regarding her new school, Chihiro is confident about it by the end. Moreover, director Miyazaki has also confirmed that some time did pass as the grass surrounding the entrance is bigger in the ending. Apart from this, the car is also covered in dust. So, even if Chihiro is unsure about the events, fans can be satisfied knowing that it all happened and was not just a dream.
Some fans believe that Chihiro will meet Haku in the future. Others say that Haku died, as Yubaba stated, and the glow around Chihiro’s pink hairband is his tears. If this were true, without a doubt, it carries a lot of meaning.
The film truly is a masterpiece with a lot of hidden meanings behind it. Hayao Miyazaki deserves all the praise for the movie. All the awards and accolades, especially the Oscar, is well-deserving for it.
How To Watch Spirited Away?
If you have a subscription, then you can watch the movie on Netflix. Other sites to watch the movie are HBO Max and Amazon Prime.
Do tell us your thoughts regarding the ending of the movie and if you have any other theories behind it!
Also Read: 33 Memorable Anime Quotes From Spirited Away