Characters who appeared in the film, Spirited Away.
The protagonist of the movie, a young girl moving with her parents to a new home and not too happy about that fact, having to leave behind her friends. On the way to their new home, she and her parents explore an abandoned park and shes accidentally trapped in the spirit world, only just able to survive by working in the amusement parks spirit bathhouse with the aid of benevolent spirits like Haku and Lin.
- Action Survivor: Chihiro isn't a warrior or skilled into anything to handle extreme situations. And yet, she's managed to survive the Spirit World.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Not at her old home, but in the Spirit World. None of the spirits (sans Haku, Kamaji, and Lin) like her due to their Fantastic Racism against humans. Thankfully, this trope is averted by the end.
- Badass Adorable: A cute 10-year-old girl manages to survive being in the Spirit World.
- Badass Pacifist: Subverted as she never talks about violence as a solution, but Chihiro never does anything remotely violent in the film (aside from accidentally killing a slug that Haku had in his stomach, courtesy of Yubaba). She uses her wits and willpower to get through anything thrown at her.
- Blush Sticker: Part of her overall character design.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Chihiro was quite spoiled and didn't know anything about hard work, something she was later called out for by Yubaba. She grows out of it.
- Captain Obvious: More emphasized in the dub, but she tends to state out loud anything unusual happening to her.
- Character Development: Chihiro starts out as a spoiled, whiny child with no experience in work. The craziness she went through in the Spirit World made her more selfless, brave, and generally more well-mannered.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: The "clumsy" part is emphasized in particular at the beginning, when its clear she hasnt worked a day in her life.
- Dub Name Change: To make sense of the renaming from Chihiro to Sen, the Hungarian dub at least changed her family name from Ogino to Sento. While this removes the element of reducing her to a number, it still means arbitrarily giving her a new identity and it being based on her family instead of her given name makes it more impersonal (not to mention it being a single syllable makes it conveniently short for barking orders at her.)
- Dragon Rider: Briefly got to ride dragon Haku.
- Expressive Hair: Her hair tends to spike up whenever something startles her, or just freaks her out in general.
- Fish out of Water: She has a hard time fitting in in the spirit world, being a human.
- Made a Slave: She's contracted into Yubaba's service after being trapped in the spirit world.
- Magnetic Hero: At first, the only friends Chihiro had were Haku, Lin, and Kamaji; the other worker spirits hated her. However, she gets everyone else to like her after helping a guest spirit, and saving them from No-Face. By the end, they all are cheering for her to be free from Yubaba.
- Mama Bear: Inverted. Chihiro spends most of her time in the spirit world trying to rescue her parents.
- Meaningful Name: Chihiro, possibly translated as "a thousand fathoms" or "ask a thousand questions", which is later changed to "Sen," or simply "a thousand," when Yubaba steals her name. Essentially she is turned from a unique individual to simply a numbered worker.
- Morality Pet: The biggest example in the movie.
- Mythical Motifs: She can't go anywhere without stepping on an Eastern dragon. This affinity for them saves her life several times.
- Nice Girl: Not that she was a complete Jerkass in the beginning, though given her parents' lack of sympathy towards her, you can't blame her, but her adventures in the Spirit World allowed Chihiro to grow in emotional maturity, making her more respectful and polite.
- Say My Name: "HAKUUUU!!"
- Spoiled Brat: Starts out as this, particularly from the perspective of Yubaba, though grows out of it as she learns to better take care of herself.
- Tightrope Walking: Actually, Pipe Running. She runs across a thin metal pipe outside very high above the ground, to reach a far ladder, so that she can reach Haku and try to save him. Even more impressive since she was implied to be scared of heights earlier in the movie and is in fact screaming in terror through the feat.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: She wears a ponytail combined with sidetails.
- Took a Level in Badass: Becomes more self-reliant and bold as the movie progresses.
- Took a Level in Kindness: She also starts being more helpful and selfless.
- Walking Disaster Area: She's really clumsy for most of the film.
- You Leave Him Alone!: When Haku is unconscious and the heads are trying to push him down a fireplace flue, she runs over screaming his name and yells at them to stop.
Akiyo and Yūko Ogino
Chihiro's mother and father.
- Adults Are Useless: They both get themselves turned into pigs with no memory of their original selves and it is up to their meek daughter to fend for herself and eventually save them from being cooked and eaten.
- Baleful Polymorph: They both get turned into pigs as punishment for eating the spirit's food.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Akio thinks that he could beg for forgiveness instead of asking permission when he finds massive platters of food because he has "credit cards and cash."
- Too Dumb to Live: They find massive platters of mouth-watering food freshly made in an abandoned theme park bereft of any other signs that they aren't alone there, the supposed chefs nowhere in sight and neither of them seem to think this strange enough to worry about it. In-fact they decide to start eating the food and wonder where it came from later. This gets them turned into pigs since that food was meant for the spirits that lived there.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Akio twice over. First he decided to take an off-road shortcut which led to the abandoned theme-park. He then decides to help himself to the spirit's food, goading his wife into joining him, turning him and his wife into pigs and leaving his daughter alone in the Spirit World.
Yubaba's apprentice and right hand man in the bathhouse, a spirit who keeps order among the other workers as well as doing Yubaba's dirty work. Unbeknownst to his master, he aids and protects Chihiro a great deal and the two form a close bond. He has the ability to turn into a dragon.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Downplayed. While Haku was already Chihiro's Mysterious Protector from the start, his devotion and love for her becomes even stronger after he learns from Kamaji of Chihiro's act of protecting him from Zeniba and saving his life with a spiritual herb.
- Bishōnen: Quite the looker.
- Curtains Match the Windows: Haku has matching green eyes and hair. Possibly to reflect his nature as a river spirit, either through the actual water's color or the greenery that naturally collects around rivers.
- Deuteragonist: The film's secondary focus is on his role as Yubaba's henchman, his mysterious connection to Chihiro, and his search for his own forgotten name.
- Distressed Dude: Hes cursed by Zeniba and left to die by the second half of the film, leaving it up to Chihiro to save him.
- Dragons Are Divine: Is basically the god of the Kohaku River.
- Enigmatic Minion: Hes bound to Yubabas service and acts cold in the presence of others, but is kind to Chihiro in private.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Of a sort, with Chihiro, having rescued her from his river when she fell in trying to reach her pink shoe.
- Giant Flyer: In his dragon form.
- Elemental Eye Colors: He has very beautiful, striking green eyes, especially when compared to the rest of the cast. At the same time they are cold and emotionless, until he gets his name back.
- Heroic Resolve: When he's unconscious and bleeding to death internally and falling down a fireplace flue, because Chihiro is also falling with him he comes to long enough to get her to Kamaji safely, before crashing again.
- Merciful Minion: He's apparently The Dragon for Yubaba but he's secretly defying her by helping Chihiro to get her parents back.
- Mysterious Protector: Hes one for Chihiro for most of the film, until becoming a Distressed Dude in the second half.
- Nature Spirit: Like most of Yubaba's workers, but it seems pretty clear he's of a higher caliber than the toad, slug, and weasel spirits running around. Even Yubaba's fire breath doesn't phase him. Hes actually a river spirit, whose river was filled in years ago.
- Number Two: Haku is Yubaba's right-hand man.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Yubaba stole his name long ago, not even Haku himself remembers his real name. Thanks to Chihiro, he remembers his real name is Kohaku River.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Hes able to turn into a dragon with an eastern aesthetic, naturally—also naturally this is because hes a river spirit, and in many eastern mythologies dragons are closely associated with water.
- The Stoic: When hes not with Chihiro, hes completely unemotive.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Haku is cold, stoic, and unresponsive to Yubaba and the other spirit workers; he's smiling, warm, and talkative when around Chihiro. Chihiro even asks Lin if there are two Hakus—Lin shudders at the idea of two of him.
- When He Smiles: It's rare to see him smiling, but when he does he looks even more handsome than he already is.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Hes unable to return to his home and this is the reason he joins with Yubaba. As it turns out, he no longer has a home because the river he inhabited was filled up.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has green hair, which becomes a green mane in his dragon form.
The six-armed boiler man, he also helps Chihiro get around in the bathhouse and is one of the more benevolent spirits, though initially gruff and dismissive.
- Animal Motifs: He's a hardworking spider spirit.
- Bad Boss: Played with; he is hard on the soot spirits, but he explains that if the little creatures don't work, the spell on them will fade and they'll lose their consciousness. And Chihiro's attempts to be helpful only encourage them to be lazy.
- Blatant Lies: "She's my granddaughter."
- Comforting Comforter: He draws a blanket over the sleeping Chihiro when she falls asleep in the boiler room.
- Creepily Long Arms: It's a little unsettling when you first see just how far Kamaji's arms can reach without him moving from his spot.
- Creepy Good: A sinister-looking bald man with a gruff attitude, a profusion of extensible arms, and unexpressive dark glasses. But once Chihiro overcomes her fear, he provides good advice and even lies for her sake.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Kamaji is clad in black clothing and was one of the first spirits to help Chihiro.
- Grumpy Old Man: Kamaji is a grumpy, old spider spirit.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He came off as dismissive and rough around the edges, but was one of the only spirits to be helpful to Chihiro from the beginning.
- Lennon Specs: Part of his design.
- Meaningful Name: Kamaji comes from kamado (furnace, hearth) and ji (old man, grandpa).
- Multi-Armed Multitasking: Uses his multiple arms to carry out his duties efficiently as the boiler man.
- Shipper on Deck: When Lin is confused of why Chihiro is acting so tender to an injured Haku, Kamaji notes it's something she doesn't know: Love.
- Tsuchigumo and Jorogumo: While it is never expressly noted, many believe that Kamaji is a tsuchigumo, a spider youkai known to have illusionary abilities and, while commonly portrayed as malevolent, can at times be neutral or even generous Depending on the Writer.
The proprietor of the bathhouse, a greedy and malevolent witch who, after turning Chihiros parents into pigs, eventually takes her on as a worker and steals her name to keep her in her service. Its implied that she does that with all of her spirit workers to keep them unable to leave, such as Haku.
- Absurdly Elderly Mother: She has a giant baby, despite appearing grandmother-aged.
- Always Identical Twins: She and Zeniba look exactly alike. In fact, the only way to tell them apart are their differing personalities
- Animal Motifs: Shes associated with crows and ravens, who signify ominousness, death, destruction, and cunning.
- Big Bad: She keeps Chihiro and Haku captive, is responsible for Chihiro's parents turning into pigs, and provides the final obstacle to Chihiro before she can return home.
- Cain and Abel: She has an antagonistic relationship with her sister.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She's not completely heartless, as shown with her being a doting mother to Boh.
- Even Evil Has Standards: She won't go back on her oaths, which is why she gives Chihiro a job to begin with, since she had previously sworn to give a job to anyone who asked for one (an oath she regrets taking because it forces her to be so-called "nice" all the time).
- Gonk: Like her baby and sister, she is extremely deformed looking next to the other characters, with a gigantic and ugly head.
- Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: She smokes from a long pipe, the smoke of which she blows in other peoples faces.
- Greed: One of her defining characteristics, running the bathhouse for their rich clientele.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Yubaba may not be likeable, but her criticisms of Chihiro as well as the latter's parents are completely justified, even if her responses are excessive.
- Mama Bear: For Boh. When she learns that her son is missing, she starts freaking out and frantically searches his room for him. When she suspects that Haku was involved somehow, she rushes him, breathing fire, and entangles him in her hair, and demands her son's whereabouts while sounding like a demon.
- Meaningful Name: Yubaba, "baba" often meaning "old woman" or "hag" in not just Japanese but also most Slavic languages. Her name also brings to mind Baba Yaga, the famous witch from Slavic folklore.
- Not only that, the Yu in her name Yubaba（湯婆婆） literally means "Hot water" or "Hot spring".
- My Beloved Smother:
- To her child, Boh—she has literally babied him so much that he is fully grown but still retains the appearance of an infant.
- Chihiro later calls her "Grandma!" to her shock and surprise, but she doesn't deny it.
- Non-Dubbed Grunts: Her kiss to Boh sounds exactly the same in both Japanese and English.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Unlike her sister, shes quite nasty and cruel while still having a soft side deep down.
- Supernatural Floating Hair: A particularly threatening aspect of her Freak Out when she discovers Boh is missing.
- Take Away Their Name: Yubaba magically enslaves her employees stealing their names, thus taking their memories of their past and their real name. She gives them new names, to avoid nameless confusion. They can only get free of her if they remember their real name.Yubaba: So, your name's Chihiro? What a pretty name! And it belongs to me now.
- Wicked Witch: She certainly looks like one.
- Would Hurt a Child: She forcibly pulls Chihiro into her office, literally zips her mouth shut, verbally abuses her and threatens to turn her into a piglet and/or a lump of coal on various occasions.
A (weasel) spirit working in the bathhouse. After Chihiro is impressed into Yubaba's service, she becomes a mentor figure teaching her how to clean and become more efficient as a worker. A bit cold and snide, but ultimately one of the more benevolent spirits.
- Animal Motifs: Shes a weasel, who is shown as being snarky, not understanding love, and a bit of a trickster around her coworkers.
- Beauty = Goodness: She's the only spirit in the bathhouse (other than Haku) who could pass as a normal human and is nicer to Chihiro than any of the other bathhouse workers aside from Kamaji.
- Big Sister Instinct: Gradually she develops this towards Chihiro, trying to protect her even from people who arent trying to hurt her (like the stink spirit).
- Cool Big Sis: She ends up becoming one to Chihiro—comforting the younger girl during an emotional meltdown and spending the rest of the time guiding her through the workings of the bathhouse.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially with dealing with Chihiros naivety and lack of job experience.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Lin is always barefoot. She has no need for footwear working in the bathhouse and tells Chihiro she doesn't need any, either, when Chihiro hesitates to discard hers in a place where it's normal to walk everywhere in bare feet.
- Kitsune: While she appears human, the Japanese picture book reveals calls her a byakko — a white fox-spirit. The English version of the picture book translates this as "weasel".
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lin is sarcastic and sneaky, but proves to a good person.
- Mama Bear: Besides a Big Sister Instinct, Lin's protectiveness of Chihiro comes across as a mother protecting her child.
- Parental Substitute: As well as being a Cool Big Sis figure, Lin also adopts a maternal side while looking after Chihiro.
- Rapunzel Hair: Her hair reaches to her waist.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Either Lin or Rin, due to Japanese Rs.
- Took a Level in Kindness: While initially annoyed at the idea of taking of Chihiro and displaying the same Fantastic Racism towards humans like most of her co-workers, Lin gradually comes to care for the younger girl.
A lonely and faceless spirit whom Chihiro allows into the bathhouse during a rainy night, growing an affinity for her as a result. He soon turns out to be a huge problem for the bathhouse, beginning to emulate the greed of the other workers and obsessing over Chihiro.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason why he hangs around Chihiro is she was kind enough to let him in.
- Belly Mouth: This is where his true mouth lies, rather than on the mask.
- Big Eater: As he gets greedier and greedier he eats just about anything in sight, including people.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: He constantly tries to repay Chihiro's kindness by trying to eat her. Justified since it's heavily implied that the greed emanating from the bath house drove him insane.
- Cannibalism Superpower: He takes on the physical and emotional traits of those he consumes.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Initially shows up as one of many strange spirits in a large crowd.
- Dark and Troubled Past: All we know about his backstory is that he has no one and is very lonely.
- Dark Is Not Evil: "Evil" is pushing it, but he causes some problems for the bath-house, eats the workers, and tried to do the same thing to Chihiro. However, he ultimately proves to be a good, if misguided spirit, a sentiment reinforced by Hayao Miyazaki with the line "No Face is within all of us".
- The Empath: When on his own, he is just a shiftless, mysterious, lonely spirit wandering outside of the Bathhouse. In his short time in the bathhouse, the Greed and Gluttony prevalent in the environment turns him into a malevolent blob driven by hunger and a lust for attention, only to go berserk when his attempts to temp Chihiro fail unlike all of the others.
- Expressive Mask: His mask changes details subtly to show his different moods, much like how a real Noh mask can seem as though it has different expressions through the actor's subtle movements or under certain lighting.
- Extreme Omnivore: In addition to eating a lot, he'll eat anything.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: He only communicates in sighs, but Chihiro can understand him just fine. He can use the voices of those he's eaten, though, and temporarily averts this trope during his rampage, but notably, his calmer moments have him going back to sighs, suggesting that the stolen voices are a side effect of his instability.
- Leitmotif: Balinese Gamelan music plays every time he first starts appearing.
- Lucky Translation: While his original Japanese name, Kaonashi, is pretty straightforward, the English translation of it comes out as an amusing Punny Name. His mask resembles those used in Japanese Noh theater, thus he has a Noh Face.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: When Chihiro asks him if he has any friends or family or a home to go back to, all he has to say is that he's lonely. No-Face's obsession with Chihiro seems to stem from this as well, supposedly being the first person to ever acknowledge him and show him kindness by letting him into the bathhouse.
- Meaningful Name: No-Face doesn't have a face, but a mask.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: He actually isnt that bad, but the bathhouse made him sick and he is very lonely. His problem is mostly his reflection of those around him, in the bathhouse most people are expressing greed so he did as well.
- Non-Dubbed Grunts: His grunts sound exactly the same in both Japanese and English.
- Villainous Glutton: The Greed so prevalent in the bathhouse turns him into this, ranging from emptying the kitchens of all of their food by paying with gold to just flat-out eating the employees. After Chihiro feeds him the River Spirit's medicine, he is purged of everything he ate and cured of the toxicity in the environment.
- Voice Changeling: He can speak only after eating someone else, mimicking their voice.
- Yandere: He briefly becomes this for Chihiro, unable to gain her affection through gifts and so eating several people, culminating in almost trying to eat her.
- You Are Who You Eat: He gains the personality and physical features of those he swallows (gaining frogs legs, for instance, when eating a frog-man). It's possibly one of the reasons he wants to eat Chihiro.
Stink Spirit / River Spirit
The Stink Spirit is one of the bathhouse's patrons, a particularly gnarly entity that finds itself there on Sen's first day as an employee.
- Cool Old Guy: His true form has an incredibly old man's face and is portrayed as thrilled when it is freed of its Muck Monster form, giving Sen a medicine ball (which comes to her aid twice later on) and leaving behind nuggets of gold to compensate for all of the trouble he caused.
- Non-Malicious Monster: When the Stink Spirit first appears, it frightens all of the spirits in the town and some of the employees even try deterring it from entering the bathhouse. Even with how repulsive it is, it behaves itself as best it could, even paying upfront. It is then revealed that he was an ancient, incredibly wealthy River Spirit, having been transformed into its unpleasant state when its river was polluted.
- Our Gods Are Different: His true form is the dragon-like River Spirit, having been turned into a Muck Monster when his river became polluted with garbage.
- Stink Snub: The toxic sludge its body is composed of gives off an unbearable odor, hence why everyone calls it the "Stink Spirit." The smell is so putrid, it rots Sen and Lin's breakfast in seconds when exposed to it.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After it leaves, it leaves behind hundreds of gold nuggets for the bathhouse as thanks. Unfortunately, No-Face was there to see how everyone reacted to the gold and began to feed on their greed by conjuring more for them.
- Vertebrate with Extra Limbs: His dragon-like true form has multiple pairs of limbs.
- Visible Odor: At close range, the Stink Spirit's, er, stink can be seen as a light cloud.
Yubaba's twin sister, who shares her appearance but differs from her in personality. She places a curse on Haku after he steals one of her magical artifacts.
- Always Identical Twins: She and Yubaba look exactly alike. In fact, the only way to tell them apart are their differing personalities
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's normally a kind old woman, but you don't want her to get mad at you. Just ask Haku - who she sicced a fleet of shikigami on for stealing from her.
- Cain and Abel: She and Yubaba are clearly on bad terms.
- Call to Agriculture: She is the opposite of her sister even in their lifestyle: Yubaba lives in a opulent bathhouse, Zeniba lives in a nice little cottage surrounded by plants, flowers and a vegetable garden.
- Cool Old Lady: When Chihiro meets her, Zeniba is shown to be kind and grandmotherly.
- Eccentric Mentor: Shes this for Chihiro later on.
- Gonk: Like her sister, she is extremely deformed looking next to the other characters, with a gigantic and ugly head.
- Granny Classic: Once Chihiro meets her, Zeniba reveals herself as a grandmotherly and helpful old lady who enjoys knitting. She gives Chihiro advice and takes in No Face to live with her.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: "Ow, a paper cut."
- Polar Opposite Twins: Unlike her sister, shes clearly capable of great anger and retribution but usually nice and grandmotherly.
- Troll: Once she has access to Yubaba's office, one of the first things she does mess with her son and main minions via ironic polymorphing. She does this for seemingly no reason other than to annoy her sister (that and the fact that Boh was annoying her with all his crying.)
- Would Hurt a Child: When she's been crossed. She turns Boh into a mouse and threatens to rip out Chihiro's mouth if she tells anyone she was in Yubaba's quarters.
Yubaba's son. He's a gigantic baby who features more prominently in Chihiros struggle through the spirit world during the films second half.
- Baleful Polymorph: For a time, turned into a mouse by Zeniba. The trope is played with in that the spell wears off early, but he doesnt choose to turn back until much later.
- Big Brother Instinct: Zig-Zagged. While he does gain a protective streak towards Chihiro, it's rather unclear if he's an actual baby or just a grown man who has been "babied". Either way, harming Chihiro becomes a major offense to him. In his mouse form, he bites No-Face when he gets dangerously close to her and threatens to disown Yubaba when she acts mean to Chihiro during her final test.
- Bratty Half-Pint: When he meets Chihiro, he's an annoying and spoiled giant baby. He later gets better.
- Character Development: In his time with Chihiro, he goes from a Spoiled Brat who threatened to break her arm if she wouldn't play him to developing a Big Brother Instinct attitude towards her.
- Disappeared Dad: Whoever was the father of Boh is never addressed in the movie.
- Manchild: Hes literally a baby but supposedly fully grown, his growth stunted by his mother babying him. Yubaba is apparently unaware he can walk on two legs, indicating just how much he'd been "babied".
- Morality Pet: Hes one for his mother, being the only person she really cares about.
- Non-Dubbed Grunts: His screams and cries sound exactly the same in both Japanese and English.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Inverted. He's big enough to be a man, but has the appearance and mentality of a Spoiled Brat; his first character moment has him threatening to have his mother kill Chihiro if she wont play with him.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Hes one as a mouse.
- Spoiled Brat: His mother spoils him so much that he's now a bratty giant baby.
- Took a Level in Kindness: His brief time as a mouse and spending time with Chihiro, leads him to stop behaving like a brat. In fact, he gains a Big Brother Instinct towards Chihiro.
- Vague Age: It's unclear if he literally is a giant baby, or a man who has been so ludicrously coddled throughout his life that he still looks and acts like a baby even as an adult.
- Visual Pun: He's a literal big baby.