Warning: Movie spoilers ahead! The new anime film on Netflix, Drifting Home, surely sparked interest among anime fans. It is a fantasy film with realistic themes and emotional scenes. After watching it, you may have shed some tears but also have questions in your mind.
After all, the film presented mysteries like what exactly happened to the characters? Who is Noppo? What is Noppo? Noppo is the most mysterious kid in the group. He was even perceived as a ghost at first because of how pale he is.
During group talks, he is the only one who does not share about himself. He is too quiet. More often, we can see him just sulking alone. It is natural to feel suspicious about him throughout the course of the film. We get the feeling that he’s hiding something. It felt like he knew something about the situation.
In this article, we will give you an idea on who and what Noppo is. Although there is no solid confirmation on who or what exactly he is, but there are already clues and answers.
He Kept Natsume Company
When Kousuke and friends discovered Natsume in the abandoned apartment in the first scenes, Natsume mentioned Noppo. She stated that Noppo was a kid who was also in the apartment, and presumably kept her company. That alone sparks a question: the apartment is set for demolition, why is a kid staying there?
This is the first clue on who and what Noppo is. We can assume at first that he is a ghost. That he was a human boy who died in the apartment and never left there. It seemed plausible, but as we go further in the story, it seemed like there is more to him than meets the eye.
He Knew A Lot About Kousuke and Natsume
He seemed to be aware about Kousuke and Natsume’s current troubled relationship. This even disturbed Kousuke, as he was bewildered on Noppo’s knowledge about it. Noppo insisted that Natsume needed Kousuke, which can be assumed that he knew the two in a more intimate level. This is another clue on who and what Noppo could be. Natsume probably opened up to him, but there seemed to be more to it.
He Has Something on His Skin
Kousuke’s suspicions about Noppo solidified when he noticed Noppo’s skin. Although Noppo tried to hide it, Kousuke still had a glimpse of it. It looked green. This is why Kousuke confronted Noppo about it without hesitation the next day. Noppo then showed his skin, in which there are leaves and bushes growing from it. This freaked the whole group out, and started questioning if he was the reason they were stranded. However, he claimed that he had no idea.
This is the most obvious clue, and it’s clear that Noppo was not an ordinary human boy. He was also not the typical ghost where he’s translucent or he came from a dead person.
Eventually these greenery will spread in Noppo’s hair and face as the film progresses.
He is Solid and Harmless
What made the group calm down is when they decided to touch him. He seemed pretty solid, and his eyes were gentle. They thought that he has no bad intentions, despite being different. Judging his exterior, he seemed like a normal boy.
This scene showed that despite his suspicious and mysterious person, Noppo is actually not evil. So far, he had only helped the group. He even tried to rekindle Kousuke and Natsume’s relationship. Despite the possibility that he might have been the one who transported them to the middle of nowhere, he seemed to have his valid reasons.
He Has Considerable Physical Strength
Noppo is notably physically stronger than the rest of the group. This is evident whenever he tried to pull someone to safety and it will succeed. He is also the reason why Natsume was able to survive from drowning and getting swallowed by the dangerous bubbles. These bubbles will reduce any particles or things into nothing with its touch. It seemed to be a source of decay.
Noppo’s ability to remove these bubbles from Natsume is a telling sign of who and what he really is. He has extraordinary ability to counter these bubbles.
His Metal Foot
His foot managed to get caught in the bubbles and it reduced into some sort of metal. The metal looked like something you can see from an incomplete house. It served as one of the founding structures in a house. We can already have an answer from this alone: Noppo is most likely a manifestation or the spirit of the apartment.
Omnipresence in the Apartment
His connection to the apartment became obvious with his admission to the group. He stated that he has been with the apartment ever since it was constructed. He had witnessed a lot of families grow and leave. It was Kousuke and Natsume’s friendship that stood out to him. They were always happy and he loved watching them. With this, there is no doubt that he is the spirit of the apartment.
He loved Kousuke and Natsume’s happiness to the point that he felt like he was the reason why the group got stranded. He puts the blame on himself, because he wanted to hold onto Kousuke and Natsume further.
He also did not want to leave the apartment, despite the protests of the others. This is because he is the apartment.
His Blue Mist Power
Noppo first showed his blue mist power when he relived Kousuke and Natsume’s happier days when they were young. This blue mist seemed to have the ability to recreate scenes and make illusions.
In the end, it has shown its immense strength when Noppo eradicated the decay bubbles from Kousuke and Natsume. His sheer willpower to save the two also made his blue mist power to overcome the decay. Most notably, this power is what transported everyone back home. It meant that Noppo’s desire for Kousuke and Natsume to survive is stronger than his desire to see and keep them.
His Fellow Spirits/Manifestations
In the film’s ending, Noppo stayed in an island where his fellow spirits/manifestations seemed to reside. They all have greenery in their bodies. The girl from the Ferris wheel is a worthy example. She knew who Reina is, and the latter’s good memories in the amusement park.
The girl, Noppo, and all the other kids are not just the spirits or manifestations of various infrastructures. They encompass all the good and bad memories made by humans in certain places. Noppo represented the memories Kousuke and Natsume shared in the apartment with Grandpa Yasuji. The girl represented the memories made by Reina and her father in the amusement park.
They will be consigned to the world of the vast ocean if their respective buildings or infrastructures got demolished in the real world. The infrastructures the group encountered throughout the entire film were in a dilapidated state, waiting for its eventual decay.
The spirits themselves will be residing on an island once they have made peace with their parting. They will treasure the memories humans made with them until the end.
Read More: Does Chihiro Remember the Spirit World?