Black Spirit’s “No Face” in Spirited Away Explained

Spirited Away is one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most well-known movies, and many of his fans still say it’s their favorite.

The movie tells the story of Chihiro, a 10-year-old girl who gets stuck in the spirit world when she and her parents accidentally enter it during the day.

When Chihiro’s parents eat the spirit guests’ food, they turn into pigs, and Chihiro almost becomes invisible until Haku saves her.

Chihiro wants to save her parents and leave the spirit world with them. In order to do this, she has to work for Yubaba in the bathhouse.

She meets different people there, and one of them is No Face, whose name in Japanese is Kaonashi, which means “faceless.”

Even though each character in Spirited Away is important, No Face seems especially strange and interesting because he doesn’t say much but still plays an important role in the movie.

Why No Face from Spirited Away Continues to Captivate Fans Everywhere?

spirited away 1 Black Spirit's "No Face" in Spirited Away Explained

When No Face shows up in Spirited Away, a creepy tune plays in the background. He is first seen on the bridge as Chihiro and Haku try to hide Chihiro’s human identity by crossing it.

At the time, No Face looks like just another passing spirit, but he is the only one who sees Chihiro and Haku cross the bridge.

He is back on the bridge when Chihiro crosses it in the morning to meet Haku and see her parents.

Chihiro bows to him in a polite way and then goes on her own way. For a moment, it looks like No Face is the guard of the bathhouse, but that is not the case.

When Chihiro goes outside in the evening to drain some water, she sees No Face standing in the rain, so she asks him if he is getting wet.

She leaves the door open for him because she thinks he is a guest.

Lin and she have to clean the tub in the bathhouse that is the dirtiest. Even though the tub needs a herbal bath, the foreman won’t give Chihiro a bath token.

When she tells the foreman again what she wants, she sees No Face standing next to him.

She thanks No Face for helping her get a bath token and goes back to work.

What is No Face’s Perspective?

No Face in Spirited Away Black Spirit's "No Face" in Spirited Away Explained

Most likely, “No Face” from Spirited Away is about being alone and wanting to be seen.

Even though the music in the background is scary, when he first shows up he seems like a gentle spirit who doesn’t say much and just watches what’s going on.

When Chihiro bows to him on the bridge and lets him into the bathhouse, he is moved by her kindness.

When Chihiro thanks him for the bath tokens, he feels happy and appreciated.

He decides to do more to make her happy in the hopes of becoming her friend.

When Chihiro politely says no, he is sad and drops the tokens on the floor before leaving.

Later, when he sees that the other people who live in the bathhouse praise Chihiro for helping the famous river spirit and bringing money to the place, he thinks that Chihiro may want gold more than bath tokens.

He also thinks that Chihiro might want to be his friend if he takes on the roles and personalities of the people around him.

So, after No Face ate Aogaeru and took his voice and personality that night, he became a well-known guest at the bathhouse.

He can make gold, which he gives freely to those who work for him. Since Aogaeru was a greedy creature, No Face has taken on the same trait and keeps asking for more food in exchange for gold.

He thinks that Chihiro might hear about him this way.

Later, when Chihiro says no to his gold, No Face is surprised and takes out his anger and frustration on two of the workers by eating them.

He wants to see Chihiro over and over again. Chihiro asks him if he has nowhere to go when he finally sees her.

He tells her that he is lonely. This is when the audience gets why he turned into a monster: he was lonely.

Chihiro gives him the herbal cake that the river spirit gave her. This gets rid of all the bad things inside No Face.

He throws up everything he ate in the bathhouse, even the people who worked there, and runs after Chihiro.

She calls out to him and tells him to come with her until they are outside the bathhouse. She tells Lin that No Face went crazy in the bathhouse and that he will be fine as long as he stays outside.

Chihiro is right, as it turns out. No Face goes back to being kind and quiet, and he starts to follow Chihiro around.

She lets him come with her to Swamp Bottom and tells him to be good, which he does gladly. Spirited Away shows that he is a nice person even when he is at Zeniba’s house.

Spirited Away shows through the changes in No Face’s personality how a person’s environment and mood can affect how they act and are.

He really wanted to be friends with Chihiro so he could stop being alone, so much so that he took on a bad personality just to impress her.

But he didn’t know he was doing something wrong, which shows that he has an obsessive personality.

When No Face is himself, he manages to impress Zeniba. She asks him to stay with her and help her, which he is happy to do.

He is just like a lonely child who will do anything to please a nice person. Even though No Face from Spirited Away is just a spirit, he has a lot in common with people.

Spirited Away fans love to come up with new ideas about No Face, but they almost always come to the same conclusion.

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About the Author

Garima Singh

Moshi Moshi everyone! I'm Garima, an anime enthusiast with a passion for sharing my love of anime with others. I've watched over 1000 anime, and I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting shows to watch.

I love everything about anime, from the stories and characters to the animation and music. I'm also a big fan of anime culture, and I love to learn about Japanese culture and history through anime.

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