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The One Creature That Captivates Audiences In Spirited Away

In the Hayao Miyazaki’s feature film “Spirited Away” a spirit named “No Face” has captivated audiences both with his creepiness and at the same time lovable portrayal of a spirit in the world where the heroine of the story is trapped. This spirit is by no means not alone in the film as it was filled with strange creatures. The spirit No Face though is different as fans insist that he represents the spirit of greed kind of like the legendary Genie of other tales. Because No Face has never been fully explained by Hayo Miyazaki himself, theories about what or who he is abounding and made by the fans of Spirited Away, who has a cult following. Below are some of these fan theories that attempt to explain what or who No Face is.

Captivates Audiences In Spirited Away

No Face’s Appearance

     The spirit appears translucent with a Japanese Noh mask on his face and appears to be floating on his cylindrical body. In Japanese folklore, they are known as the faceless ghosts and are shapeshifters. In the movie, he is shown to be capable of reacting to emotions and ingests other individuals and by doing so gain their personality or other traits such as their voice.

The Spirit Of Temptation?

      From the moment the heroine of the story and No Face met, it is clear that no face will magically give you what you desire at that moment. This was evidenced by the fact that when the main character wanted bathhouse tokens, The Spirit immediately gave her a lot of bathhouse tokens. The only way in the story it seemed in defeating No Face is to refuse what he offers.

He is A Null Mask

    Another interesting theory is that No Face is mirroring the concept of a null mask. A null mask in theater language is a mask without any emotion. It is a compelling image and the mask itself is given emotion by the context of the play, the actor’s body language, and the audience expectations themselves. The way No Face reflects and reacts to the people surrounding it supports this.

He Is A Mirror-Image of the Surrounding People

    In the bathhouse where he is surrounded by greedy people, No Face becomes greedy as well and eats everything he can. He also tries to feed other peoples greed in the bathhouse by producing gold. Around kind people, like Chihiro and Zebiba, he becomes helpful. When that unfortunate frog accepted the gold that No Face offered and when he does take it the spirit offers more, and when the greedy frog takes it again, No face devours him. Indicating that greed will not get you anywhere

A Lonely Spirit

     Some fans believe that No Face is a spirit seeking an end to loneliness. Despite having the power to give what other people desire, he still conveys unhappiness. He achieved this happiness by being with the heroine of the story, who required nothing from him and he never had to give her anything or change anything in his appearance just to please her.

No Face Represents Children

     In a deeper meaning, some fans think that no face represents the impressionability of children. The spirits reaction to things around him and how he mimics others mannerism suggests this metaphor. It was further suggested that his power brings some sort of instant “karma” depending on how we treat suggestible people, especially children.

About Janice J. Robinson