The twin sisters Yubaba and Zeniba teach Chihiro that good and evil both exist in the world, and often exist within the same person. While Yubaba represents evil and can be quite scary, she also honors her word and is scrupulously honest in her business dealings. She recognizes that everyone needs to feel useful and gives a job to anyone who wants one, which is a way of acknowledging the dignity of every individual. Yubaba trusts no one and assumes that everyone is as sly and greedy as she is, but she adores her baby, Boh, beyond all reason. She literally almost smothers him with love, filling his room with pillows, keeping him safe from the world by keeping him away from it. Yubaba has a big, warty head and a huge nose, features that make her evil seem inevitable.

At first Zeniba seems as unscrupulous as her sister, but Zeniba leans more consistently toward good. At one point she notes that she and Yubaba are complete opposites even though they are identical twins, but their differences aren’t always so black and white. While Zeniba threatens to kill Haku for stealing her seal, she later forgives him with no strings attached. She also critiques greed and overconsumption, and she insults Yubaba’s indulgent parenting. Zeniba is still no saint, but her wisdom helps everyone to discover their true identities and abilities. By the end of the film Sen addresses both Zeniba and Yubaba as “Granny,” which suggests not only that both twins are wise in their own way, but that they are merely two sides of the same coin.