7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar

Arguably one of Studio Ghibli’s most iconic films of all time, Spirited Away continues to set the bar for imaginative coming of age films. Chihiro’s quest to save her parents, and learn who she is in the process, can captivate most any audience, and the world and characters around her only bolster this with their iconic designs and personalities. For fans who want to see something similar though, these seven movies are their best bet for capturing the same experience as Spirited Away.

7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar

In This Corner of the World

Following an arranged marriage to a boy she barely knows, a young woman named Suzu finds herself forced to adapt to an entirely new way of life. Gone are the days of lackadaisically sketching and creating her artwork, replaced by the daily duties of keeping her in-laws in check and keeping things afloat amid the increasing struggles of life during World War II. And yet, through the use of her imaginative view of life, she is able to find creative ways through life’s hardships, and hopefully even come out of the other end with a positive outlook on the future.

Though admittedly a more grounded coming of age tale than Spirited Away, In This Corner of the World still encapsulates the struggles of a young woman learning who she is and how she fits into the wider scheme of the world. It’s cheery highs and crushing lows can capture the attention of most any viewer, and it’ll leave them examining their own life – in a good way – by the end.

7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Following a disastrous day at school, Makoto Konno is nearly killed when her bike’s brakes fail and she is sent flying in front of a train. At the last minute, however, a strange object she discovered in a classroom activates and sends her back in time to that very morning, complete with the knowledge of what will happen and when. This opens up a world of possibilities for Makoto, who decides to use her newfound gift to achieve the best and most entertaining outcome to her daily life. Or at least, it does until the power is depleted, and she is forced to reckon with the consequences of her choices and the permanence of their consequences.

Imaginative, fun and a cuttingly realistic depiction of what would happen if a regular teenager gained the ability to redo embarrassing situations, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a resonant and entertaining romp through the extraordinary circumstances of everyday life. It also helps that it’s beautifully animated and features great vocal performances, making for an experience viewers won’t soon forget.

7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar

A Letter to Momo

Momo Miyaura, a young girl from Tokyo, finds herself living on Shio Island with her mother after her father passes away. Lonely and depressed that the only remnant of her father is an unfinished letter to her, she searches for a distraction in the slow, isolated town until she discovers a rare book on Goblins and Yokai. Shortly after reading it, three such Yokai appear before her: Kawa, Mame and Iwa.

Having been gods before they were turned into strange creatures as punishment for their violation of divine laws, the three discover that if they assist Momo in her endeavor to adapt to her new life, they may have a chance to return to their former divinity. To this end, the four team up to uncover the lost meaning of Momo’s letter, caught up in several other dilemmas and hijinks along the way.

An inventive offering which blends everyday struggles with supernatural elements, A Letter to Momo is a nice reversal on some of the core elements of Spirited Away and just as impactful. It’s heartfelt and inventive to the end, and few wouldn’t be satisfied by the quirky story it portrays.

7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar

Kiki’s Delivery Service

Another offering from the acclaimed Studio Ghibli, Kiki’s Delivery Service tells the story of a young witch named Kiki who sets off into the world to apply her magical training for a year. To this end, she winds up in Koriko, a port city host to people of all stripes, and sets up a delivery service to assist the residents with their daily tasks. While this plot summary could be fluffed up with allusions to otherworldly happenings and the like, the film is grounded in a way even more realistic offerings aren’t.

The dilemmas Kiki faces aren’t ones which are world changing or mystical in nature; they have to do with her own self-confidence, the daily struggles she encounters and her learning to manage them herself while reaching out for help when she needs it. Like Spirited Away, it’s a strikingly realistic portrayal of a person growing up, gaining the experience they need to take on the world and be the best person they can be, and it’s hard not to fall in love with.

7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar

Your Name

Your Name

The lives of Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana take a turn for the unreal when they each awaken in the other’s body. Though they are each taken aback at this strange development at first, they soon adapt to the randomly occurring change and develop feelings for each other as the phenomenon continues. Then, almost as quickly as it started, the switching stops, leaving the two to wonder why it happened and how to get back in touch with one another. With no other option, they set out to learn the truth, uncovering deeper secrets as to their relationship with each new clue they find.

A story of missed connections with a supernatural twist, Your Name is one of the more striking tales of one of the harder parts of growing up. Not every love story is meant to have a happy ending and, while there is certainly a happier ending to this story than other works by its director Makoto Shinkai, it still offers an enthralling message most anyone can sympathize with.

7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar

Tokyo God Fathers

Leave it to Satoshi Kon, the master of psychological thrillers, to craft an animated family film that is equal parts surreal and heartwarming. On a cold winter’s night, three homeless vagabonds – an alcoholic named Gin, a trans woman named Hana and a young runaway named Miyuki – discover an abandoned baby in the trash. Uncomfortable with leaving it alone to succumb to the cold, they take it in and set to work finding its parents, sparking an adventure across the city full of peril, heartbreak and more than a few strange encounters with the city’s more eccentric residents.

Creative and heartwarming in a way that feels completely unique, Tokyo Godfathers manages to capture that strange sense of genuine which Spirited Away offered for the coming of age of a young girl. There aren’t many other films like this, and viewers will be left kicking themselves if they choose to pass up on it.

7 Movies Like Spirited Away if You’re Looking for Something Similar


Last year’s Coco was a runaway hit around the world, and for good reason. Set in modern-day Mexico, the film follows Miguel in his quest to become a musician, albeit against the wishes of his family due to his great great grandfather abandoning them to pursue a similar passion. Undeterred, he decides to steal a guitar from the grave of the legendary musician Ernesto de la Cruz, and is drawn into the land of the dead as a result. Unable to return to the world of the living without the blessing of his ancestors, and unable to get this unless he gives up his pursuit of music, he instead tries to find his long-lost ancestor who went after a life in music, uncovering the true value of family as a result.

An impassioned take on the value of family and pursuing one’s dreams, Coco is deserving of all the praise it has received and so much more. Whether you’re a fan of animation or want to view something that will masterfully pluck your heartstrings, this film will do the job just as well as Spirited Away.

What are some films that remind you of Spirited Away? List them in the comments below, and check out our other recommendation lists for those who enjoyed Golden Time or Fruits Basket.

About the author

Keenan McCall

Keenan has been a nerd from an early age, watching anime and playing games for as long as I can remember. Since obtaining a bachelor's degree in journalism back in 2017, he has written thousands of articles covering gaming, animation, and entertainment topics galore.