Spirited Away might be more than two decades old, but this doesn't stop fans from loving it and still theorizing about it! The anime movie is one of the 21st century's most iconic, and it's acclaimed as one of the best Studio Ghibli films ever made. For instance, the truth about what happened to Haku is still up for interpretation – both for new and long-time fans.
Haku in Spirited Away: Everything We Know
Haku is Chihiro's first friend when she enters the world of spirits. He's the one who helps her survive her initial fright and his advice makes her a part of the spirit world, giving her the time she needs to save her parents.
Throughout the movie, Haku's attitude alternates from friendly to cold. As Yubaba's servant, Haku seems loyal to her, although he doesn't like serving her.
Rather, he's forced into servitude like all those who serve Yubaba, and he cannot leave as she has stolen his true name and identity.
Eventually, Chihiro saves Haku from death and goes to make things right after her friend steals from Yubaba's sister, the much-kinder Zeniba.
In the end, Chihiro helps Haku remember his real name and become free of Yubaba. She remembers that when she was little, she lost a shoe in a river, and during this ordeal, she was saved by Haku from nearly dying.
That river was called Kohaku river, revealing his true nature as Nigihayami Kohakunushi: the god of the Kohaku river.
What Happened To Haku in Spirited Away?
When Haku finally remembers his true identity as the god of the Kohaku river, he becomes free of Yubaba.
He then goes on to promise Chihiro that they'll meet again, even though in the ending of Spirited Away, she loses her memories of the spirit world.
So, what happens to him afterward? This is not clear in the narrative, but there are theories - some of which can be a bit disturbing.
In the Facebook group "Ghibli Community", some fans theorize that Haku died after Chihiro left the spirit world.
Of course, we have no solid proof that this happens. Those who believe this theory refer to the fact that Haku was bleeding heavily when Chihiro left for Zeniba's place - though this would later create a plot hole as he seems perfectly fine when they part.
Others mention that Haku's river was filled up with rubbish, as the movie shows us what pollution can do to a spirit.
But these are unconfirmed theories. They might be cool to read, but remember that many viewers create the bleakest theories possible to be edgy, so if you really dislike this idea, you don't have to dwell on it.
Do Haku and Chihiro Meet Again?
Whether Haku and Chihiro meet again isn't confirmed or denied in the narrative.
Related: My Neighbor Totoro Ending Explained
While Chihiro forgets her adventures with Haku, she has already demonstrated an ability to reason and recall long-forgotten incidents.
As such, she might one day recall Haku, and, if she ever were to go to the Kohaku river, they could even meet again! This, too, is just a theory, but it definitely makes many fans feel better about the ambiguous ending!