Spirited Away acts as a bildungsroman in which its protagonist, Chihiro, faces many obstacles in order to leave her childhood. Like many preteenagers, Chihiro becomes disenchanted with her parents and is forced to see the world for herself and assign it her own meanings. When Chihiro's parents turn into pigs after exhibiting their gluttonous ways, she finally sees them for what they really are. Upon entering the magical world, she has the opportunity to leave her childhood behind.
Chihiro's magical world contains many creatures for which she must discern their true natures and characters. One of these most mysterious creatures is that of No-Face whom Chihiro seems to initially befriend, but whose character eventually comes into question when he enters the bathhouse. Over the course of the story, Chihiro adapts many new qualities that classify her has mature and adult-like. She becomes very astute and perceptive. She manages to keep her kindness, patience and sympathy while she learns of the evil and the unfairness that is possible in the world. Chihiro's quest to leave this magical world eventually establishes her independence and this independence carries her away from her childhood.