Maboroshi (2024) Ending Explained – What happens to Itsumi?

Maboroshi Plot Summary

Maboroshi, Mari Okada’s newest coming-of-age, focuses on a city stuck in time. Masamune and his friends are happily studying together, but a sudden explosion in the town’s factory takes their attention. When they go check it out, a light blinds them, and they find themselves in the earlier scene. The kids leave the house to piece things together and see the sky full of cracks while dragon-like smoke tries to correct it.

From that day on, the seasons don’t change, nor do the people. Students even have to monitor themselves and write a weekly report about them. However, one day Mutsumi, Masamune’s classmate, presents him to Itsumi, a girl who can never leave the city’s steel factory. That event changes his and everyone’s lives forever in unthinkable ways.

How does Maboroshi end?

Masamune and the whole city find out their city is only a reflection of reality. The days never change because everything there is fake, and the smoke tries to keep things intact. 

In its final act, the movie shows the main cast finding out Itsumi is actually a girl from the real world. The main cast struggles and manages to put her on the town’s train, which will transport her to the real world. Masamune and Mutsumi are successful and guarantee her a life in which she’ll be able to change and get older. Unfortunately, the city stays stuck in time, so they won’t get the same benefits.

Maboroshi’s last scene follows an older Itsumi. She arrives at Mifune, Masamune’s town, and talks with her dad on the phone. After hanging up, she takes a cab to the factory. While seeing the ruined place, she says that’s the place she had her heart broken for the first time.

Who is Itsumi in Maboroshi?

Near the end of the movie, we learn that Itsumi is Masamune and Mutsumi’s daughter from reality. She unknowingly ended up in the fake world with their teenage selves. Masamune’s father was one of the people who found her, and his partner was the one who chose to lock her there.

Masamune and Mutsumi decide to take Itsumi back to the present because they don’t want their older selves to suffer. Even if they won’t get to live the same type of life, what matters is seeing her happy.

We never see or learn what happens to her the moment she returns to her world though but it’s fair to speculate that she’s going to try and be happy, living through the lessons she’s learned.


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