Spirited Away (synopsis - graphical - Page 5)
This page contains a detailed synopsis of the plot of Spirited Away.
As dark ghostly monsters loom at the bottom of the shaft, Haku recovers enough to fly again, and crashes into the boiler room through the ventilation shaft, on top of Kamaji. Even Kamaji realises that Haku has something wrong inside. Sen decides to feed Haku the herbal cake from the river god, and although he ahs a violent reaction, he vomits up a seal, and with it a little worm. The worm tries to escape, but the soot-sprites block the way. Sen stomps on it, smearing it all over her foot, but Kamaji performs a little cleansing ritual on her. Kamaji tells Sen that Zeniba's seal is that of a powerful witch. Haku reverts to human form, and Kamaji gives him a soothing brew while telling Sen of Haku's appearance at the bathhouse, wanting to learn sorcery from Yubaba, as he had nowhere left to go. However, Kamaji has noticed Haku's changing appearance over time, becoming paler yet with a sharp gleam in the eye. Meanwhile, the mouse and the soot-sprites re-enact Sen's heroic victory over the worm.
Sen tells Kamaji she wants to return Zeniba's seal and ask for her help in healing Haku. While Kamaji thinks getting there would be possible, returning is another matter. Lin enters and tells Sen of the goings-on upstairs, with Yubaba angry with Sen for allegedly letting the monster No-Face into the bathhouse. Sen admits this, although it was an honest mistake. Kamaji finds some train tickets in the bottom of his drawer, and tells Sen where to take the train to Zeniba's house. Although there is no return train, Sen resolves to walk back - but first, she must see about the unwelcome guest.
No-Face has been demanding to see Sen, and when she arrives, Yubaba angrily tells her to wheedle more gold out of the guest. She fails to recognise her son-turned-mouse, but there is no time for explanations as she shoves Sen into the guest's room. Sen encounters the grossly engorged No-Face, who offers her food, then gold, and finally pleads to know what she wants. But Sen tells him she has to leave, as he can't help her with what she wants, and that he should go, too. But this only disturbs him further, as he cries out his loneliness, and almost force-feeds his offered gold down Sen's throat. Her new-found mouse friend bites No-Face, and almost gets squashed for his trouble. Sen, fearing being eaten, offers No-Face the herbal cake she was saving for her parents. His gagging reaction to the cake is even more violent than Haku's and he flies after her in a rage. His fury is so great that even a spell from Yubaba doesn't stop him, and she gets covered in vomit instead. As No-Face crawls after Sen in an insectoid manner reminiscent of the cursed gods in Princess Mononoke, she leads him out of the bathhouse, temporarily halted along the way only by yet another wall at the bottom of a staircase. Lin is waiting in a punt outside, and Sen hops in, still drawing No-Face away from the bathhouse, which, she tells Lin, is the cause of his problems. Lin drops her off by the railway line, with a gruff parting from Lin. No-Face follows Sen, and receives a rather more threatening warning to not harm Sen.
Lin finds the platform, and the train arrives. The conductor counts out the tickets, noticing No-Face behind Chihiro. She decides to use up the final ticket for him, and they board the train which is occupied by rather shadowy, although human-like, figures. They find a spot to sit, and the serenity of the train's progress (and the accompanying background music) is contrasted with the childish glee with which Chihiro's mouse and bird friends embark on their ride. They pass various isolated places along the watery plain, stopping at stations to let passengers off until only the four remain, with Chihiro intently watching for their stop.
Back at the bathhouse, Haku awakes, and tells Kamaji that he heard Chihiro calling to him, and he followed her. From this, Kamaji realises the depth of Haku's love is such that he even senses Sen's true name. Yubaba is seething over the damage to the bathhouse wrought by No-Face in spite of the gold that he brought, and while railing at Sen for causing the mess, abandoning her work and her parents, tells her staff to slaughter Sen's parents for meat. Haku appears and asks Yubaba to reconsider, as she herself has not noticed the loss of something precious. She quickly examines the gold, but her "baby" is making distracting noises and she zips his lips. Her spell seems to react with the one cast by Zeniba, and the three green heads return to their original form. Added to this shocking development is the revelation that the gold produced by No-Face was only sand, and it crumbles before their eyes. Yubaba is in no mood to count costs though, as she frantically searches for her son. She flies at Haku in a rage, but when told that Bou is with Zeniba, Yubaba has the stuffing knocked out of her. Haku offers to bring Bou back, in exchange for the release of Sen and her parents. Yubaba decides to up the ante by threatening to do away with Haku after the deal is concluded.