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Heartwarming / Spirited Away

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Once you meet someone, you never really forget them.

Even though this is the spirit world, Chihiro soon learns that appearances mean nothing as she constantly finds herself surrounded by people and spirits alike whose kindness is the only thing that keeps her from giving up.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.


  • He gives Chihiro food that stops her from disappearing and then demonstrates that it's worked when they gently touch hands. Haku's expression softens as they do this.
  • The scene where Haku gives Sen some Onigiri to eat in a quiet place and she breaks down in tears further cementing that he's there for her by bringing her to a quiet and specific place where she can cry for once. And he puts a comforting hand on her back, too. In addition, he brought her name back as well, telling her to keep it safe or she'll be trapped forever.
  • Haku knows that if Chihiro leaves the spirit world, he will never see her again. He goes to bargain with Yubaba anyway for her freedom, as well as that of her parents.
  • If you watch it with subtitles, you can see how much that they changed from the Japanese script to the adaptation. Like Haku bargaining his life in exchange for allowing Chihiro to return home. That's right: if Chihiro hadn't figured out his real name, Haku would have been killed. That enough love for ya?
  • At Zeniba's house, Chihiro is sick with worry for her parents and Haku. Suddenly, the windows rattle and with a smile, Zeniba tells Chihiro that their guest is on time. Chihiro goes and opens the door... to see Haku, in all his perfect, dragon-formed glory. There are no words to describe the joy on Chihiro's face as she runs up to Haku and gives him a tight embrace.
  • When Chihiro tells Haku his true name, he turns back into a boy and they perform a Headbutt of Love while flying through the air.


  • Every single moment between Lin and Chihiro. She's constantly advising her, instructing her and generally looking after her as if she was her own daughter.
  • She's delighted to hear that Sen got a job and confesses that she was worried about her when she sent her to Yubaba. Later she wades through swamp muck yelling that she's coming and she won't let the supposed stink spirit hurt Sen, and even delivers a platonic "If You Do Anything To Hurt Her!" warning at No Face.
  • While Lin is looking for some work clothes for Chihiro, the latter hunches into a fetal position and begins to shake like crazy, crying. Lin immediately comforts her. When another worker complains about all the noise, Lin gently explains, "It's the new girl. She's not feeling too good." The "So leave her alone." is unspoken, but absolutely there.


  • A small one, but calling Chihiro his granddaughter. Sure, it's a cover story, but his tone of voice, at least in the English dub, sounds so much like a real grandfather introducing his granddaughter to other people.
    • Even better is that before that moment, he wasn't overly fond of Chihiro, insisting that he had no work for her and getting angry when she throws the piece of coal into the furnace (he accuses her of trying to take work from the enchanted soot). And then he just lies so casually, to keep her from getting into trouble with Lin.
  • As soon as he wakes up and finds Chihiro sleeping in his basement, his first reaction is to cover her with a quilt.
  • Giving Chihiro the train tickets that he's been saving for 40 years.
    • Even more so when you consider that those were his tickets for the Afterlife Express. Without a moment's hestitation, he literally gives away his ticket for resting in peace just so this little girl might have a happy ending and that she can save Haku.
  • And in the Japanese dub, Chihiro calls him "Oji-san" when she frets over Haku being unable to breathe. While this can simply mean "old man", adding another mora (so that it becomes Ojii-san) translates to grandfather. It's a beautiful moment which is unfortunately not reflected in either the English dub or subtitles (which simply refer to him as Kamaji-san).


  • The soot spirits immediately like Chihiro when she saves one of their own from getting squished with coal. While at first, they pretend to be squished so she'll do their work, they keep her clothes safe and give them to her without question.
  • A moment involving the four. Chihiro needed to confront No Face and Yubaba, so she told an unconscious Haku to not die and that she'll back soon.
    Lin: "What's going on?"
    Kamaji: "Something you wouldn't recognize. It's called love."
  • The radish spirit on the elevator knowing exactly what Chihiro is (a human), but not ratting her out to any of the employees, giving her a look that might as well have been a grinning wink.
    • Not only that, but the fact he also rode all the way to the top of the elevator alongside her. He clearly had a destination in mind that was not Yubaba's penthouse, seeing as he went back down as soon as she reached her floor. He may well have stayed on the elevator just to keep her company and prevent her being discovered. Both because he's large enough to step in front of her to keep anyone from seeing her, and because his scent could mask her human scent.
  • The River Spirit after Chihiro helps him. He had already saved her from drowning, which led to her seeing he had a thorn stuck. Cue Chihiro saying he needs help, and pulling the "thorn"— actually a lot of human garbage. He congratulates her for her work, and then gives her the herbal cake, before flying out joyfully laughing. The River Spirit's payment for Chihiro's services was something that allowed her to save her friends when the time came.
  • A little one from Yubaba herself, after Chihiro successfully dealt with the River Spirit. She hugs Chihiro, congratulates her and says to her employees to take a leaf from her. The human girl is not so useless after all.
  • No Face asking to see Chihiro after he has been poisoned by the greed in the bathhouse. Even though he's gone so bad, he still wants to see her and, in his own confused way, repay her (by that point, he is mimicking the bathhouse employees and believes that giving Chihiro gold will make her happy).
    • Chihiro's adorable little smile after Yubaba compliments her work.
  • Chihiro and her companions have just gotten off the train, and are standing there, probably wondering what to do next. A lamp with a foot hops squeaking out of the forest and bows to them, then hops away again. They follow it. A moment later, the camera cuts to a farther-back view, and the most beautiful, heartwarming little tune starts playing.
  • Zeniba accepts Chihiro's apology on Haku's behalf; in fact, her bigger concern was that the seal Haku had stolen didn't curse Chihiro. Zeniba then treats the girl and her new friends to tea, showing she's not a bad person. When Haku shows up to escort Chihiro to the bathhouse and free her parents, Zeniba tells him she forgives him, knowing he was brainwashed into doing Yubaba's bidding. Her only request is that he protect Chihiro.
  • Then there's the hair tie that Zeniba gives her.
    "It will protect you. It's made from the threads your friends wove together."
    • These "friends" being a shadow creature called No Face, a formerly spoiled baby, and a bird creature who used to be loyal only to Chihiro's nemesis Yubaba. Chihiro's really good at making friends.
    • No Face returns to normal when outside the bathhouse. Chihiro invites him onto the Spirit Train since she has an extra ticket from Kamaji.
    • Zeniba giving No Face a home with her, and the spirit graciously accepting the offer. And the humble trappings are perhaps a finer environment for him than the bathhouse.
  • Boh, Yubaba's son, standing up for Chihiro at the end. Telling Yubaba that he won't like her anymore if she makes Chihiro cry. Considering how he was rather antagonistic when he first met Chihiro, it shows how much he grew to her in such a short time. It doesn't hurt that it's very likely Chihiro is the first friend Boh's ever made in his life.
  • The Youkai's transition while Chihiro is at the bath house. They are full of Fantastic Racism towards Chihiro when she first arrives, but after she asserts herself and proves to them that she isn't as useless as they perceived her to be, she seems to grow on them. For example, the Foreman - who had previously denied her bath tokens - doesn't find her struggling to get the stink spirit cleaned amusing after she leads it to the bath, and later he shows genuine concern when she goes to confront No-Face. The frog and human-esque Youkai that she saves by feeding the spirit's medicine to No-Face vouch for her when they are talking to Yubaba about Chihiro's punishment. Other characters, like the boiler man, who was initially jerkish at first eventually come around (though some are faster than others). In the end, all of them cheer for Chihiro when she successfully finishes Yubaba's test.
  • When Haku demands that Yubaba release Chihiro and her parents, Yubaba says that they made a deal and needs to pass the final test, hearing this, some nearby bathhouse employees, who have gotten attached to Chihiro, show their displeasure by booing Yubaba. They may hide when she yells "shut up!" but considering how powerful Yubaba is and what she can do to them, it shows that they are willing to openly oppose their master so one of theirs can be free.
  • The ending of the English dub version, where the last lines are Chihiro's cutely matter-of-fact "I think I can handle it." as regards the prospect of transferring to a new school. Even if her parents remembered and learned nothing from the ordeal, she did. This is a girl who just faced down practically the entire spirit world by power of will and virtuous behavior... real life is so going to get its ass kicked, and you know it.
  • Chihiro embracing Yubaba and calling her "Granny". Yubaba is shocked ("Granny?!"), but she doesn't gainsay her.
  • When Chihiro passes her test(recognizing her parents among an assembled group of pigs) and she gets the truth, knowing NONE of them are, the spirits who were transformed to trick her are all returned to their true form as Chihiro's contract is destroyed, with every single spirit of the bath house(other than Yubaba initially)cheering and celebrating for her happily.
    All the spirits: YOU GOT IT!
  • After Chihiro passed her test and her waving goodbye to the rest of the spirits who has grown attached to her, Yubaba can be seen smiling as Chihiro leaves with her parents implying that she has grown to respect her. Chihiro also hugs her in farewell, much to Yubaba's confusion.
  • The end credits song “Always With Me”. The song is about life and death, and even though dying can be melancholic, the soul would always be reincarnated into another person. The song portrays reincarnation as something wonderful, as well as the light in everything.