No-face is a spirit that can mimic the personality traits and physical attributes of his prey. He can consume anything including humans, animals, and other spirits.
Hayao Miyazaki created this character around two decades ago. It was back in 2001 when No-face first appeared in the famous Japanese film, Spirited Away.
While some people may see him as a dark spirit, he is considered to be an anti-villain. He neither has any definite physical appearance nor any particular mindset. He imitates exactly what he absorbs. Be it good or bad, he behaves accordingly. For instance, if he eats a person with a kind nature, he will become soft-hearted but if he eats a person who’s greedy and volatile then he will automatically become all-bad and insatiable.
Impersonation (he mimic whatever he eats and absorbs)
Magic (he can transform objects e.g. dirt into gold)
Akio Nakamura (Japanese)
Bob Bergen (Disney)
According to the film Spirited Away, No-face has a semi-transparent tubular-shaped body that keeps becoming more and less visible as he walks around.
Apparently, he has a black figure with a white facial mask. It seems like he has a mouth with two eyes. Also, there are some gray-violet highlights painted above his head and below his eyes.
However, it has been speculated that No-face has no definite body shape as he develops new body parts to mimic his prey. His body shape changes according to the type of person, animal, or spirit he eats.
He can literally expand like a giant balloon and act like a monstrous creature or shrink into a little shy ghost who doesn’t even know how to grunt.
No-face has a vague and lonely kind-of personality. He tends to mingle in his surroundings but always ends up ravaging due to his ability of mimicry.
When we first see No-face in the film Spirited Away, we find him as a shy spirit but as the film proceeds, he changes into a devouring monster. Basically, his personality and attributes are adapted from whatever he eats or absorbs. So, he gradually became like those greedy and aggressive people whom he has eaten throughout the film.
If you pay close attention to his character and personality then you’ll notice that he is somewhat an anti-villain. For instance, he had affection for the protagonist, Chihiro of the film Spirited Away. He never attempted to hurt her, rather he liked to stay around her. Most importantly, in the end, he willingly chose to stay behind with Zeniba and become his all-sweet spinner.
Can you imagine someone who makes thread can be bad and dark? Obviously not, not until you tickle them with something awful.
No-Face has two main abilities: Impersonation and Alchemy.
He can mimic anyone or anything he eats and absorbs. You might find it surprising but No-face can mimic the voice, body language, and personality of everything that he consumes. He not only adopts his prey’s personality traits but their body shape as well.
Moreover, he can do a little bit of magic to change the essence and physical appearance of objects. For instance, he can easily change dirt-like objects into gold.
No-Face Fascinating Facts
There’s a variety of things you probably don’t know about the mysterious spirit, No-Face. Let’s get into the details of this interesting creature’s life to find out what we missed while watching him on the screen.
- No-Face Represents Humanity’s Turbulent Nature
Dark appearance and ghostly presence, No-Face’s character emanates much more than this. He is just like every other human who is striving to live. His only desire is to be loved and cared for.
No-face wants to be accepted in this society and constantly seeks attention. He perfectly represents the impulsive, irrational, and immature behavior of humans. When left unguided and unloved, no person grows into a well-rounded individual rather they become selfish, greedy, and pathetic. Likewise, No-Face is always seen as a person who’s trying to get more and more of everything he comes across. There’s a deep sense of dissatisfaction as his urges are never fulfilled.
- No-Face Resembles Noppera-Bo
According to Japanese folklore, there’s a terrifying face-less creature called Noppera-Bo. It is anticipated that No-Face has an uncanny resemblance with Noppera-Bo. More clearly, there’s a possibility that No-Face’s character may be inspired by Noppera-Bo’s ghostly presence.
Basically, Noppera-Bo is a spirit who likes to taunt and tease human beings. They don’t pose a real threat to humans but they do enjoy terrifying them. For instance, if a Noppera-Bo is to appear right in front of you then he would disguise himself as someone you are familiar with. They would make you comfortable with them until they reveal their vicious game to you.
However, if you have actually seen No-Face then he is nothing like Noppera-Bo. He doesn’t intend to hurt or scare anyone.
- No-Face Can Consume Anything
No-Face can literally eat anything he wants. Either it’s a human, animal, bird, or another spirit, he won’t hesitate from consuming them.
If he comes across a person and he is hungry then he will eat him right away. Likewise, if there’s a frog in front of him then he will do the same. He will grab him and make him fulfill his unquenchable hunger.
Anyhow, it is totally up to No-Face who he chooses to eat and who he doesn’t. For instance, he restrained from eating or even scaring the sweet little Chihiro in the film Spirited Away. This means that he can somehow control his hunger around the ones he loves or cherish.
- No-Face Becomes What He Eats
There’s no doubt that each individual embodies the environment in which he lives. Likewise, No-Face becomes exactly what he consumes. He manifests the emotions and personality traits of his prey which makes him behave like them.
For instance, if he eats a person with a never-ending greed in his mind then he will automatically become greedy. On the other hand, if he eats a person who has a good heart and a calm mind then he will start behaving in a good way.
This means that No-Face has no actual control on his personality. His mindset and behavior changes with respect to the person or entity he consumes. However, there are some instances when we witnessed him controlling his urges despite the fact that he was under the influence of violent personality traits.
- No-Face is an Anti Villain
No-Face appears to be dark and terrifying but in actuality he is a creature who just wants to be loved and accepted.
According to his role in Spirited Away, No-Face is neither a hero nor a villain. In fact, he is an anti-villain. You can make him do good or bad, depending upon the situation and other factors that influence his personality.
No-Face turns dark only when he consumes something dark and most importantly, he can control his urges if he is around someone he cares about.
- No-Face Has a Non-Binary Gender
Although No-Face was initially referred to as “he” in the film, he is believed to be non-binary. We can neither consider him a male or female. Actually, it makes sense. The way he has no actual form, he seems to lack a proper gender and sexual orientation as well.
Most importantly, we haven’t received any specific information about No-Face’s gender from its creator. This can mean one thing: either it is yet to be revealed or it is up to the audience to decipher.
- No-Face is the Inspiration Behind Darth Nihilus
if you have played the Star Wars games then you are surely aware of Darth Nihilus but if you are only a movie-fan then you need to search about him.
Multiple resources have confirmed that No-Face served as the direct inspiration for Star Wars villain Darth Nihilus. Although Darth’s mask is much more frightening, he has a strange resemblance with No-Face’s facial appearance.
However, there’s a clear-cut difference in both of these ghostly creatures. Unlike No-Face, Darth Nihilus has a dark persona and his face explicitly manifests his anger.
- No-Face Doesn’t Have a Form But Leave Footprints
If you pay close attention to No-Face then he leaves footprints while he walks. This is hard to believe because how he can have footprints when he doesn’t have an actual form.
Well, it’s true. He does have footprints. It might seem ambiguous but there must be a sound basis of it. According to our analysis, No-Face’s footprints represent the fact that he actually exists and is a part of this world. He leaves his footprints as remnants of his existence. He wants people to know him, acknowledge him, and remember him.
We hope that people do remember him!
- No-Face Lived His Happily Ever After
Did you ever wonder “what happened to No-Face after Chihiro went back to her mundane world”?
While Chihiro was struggling to get her parents back, No-Face took a bold decision to stay with Zeniba and become her spinner. It was indeed a good step as No-Face got a chance to live his life somewhere calm.
Finally, No-Face lived happily ever after!