A bunch of Studio Ghibli’s films has always been my favorites to watch, time and again. A range of this studio’s film has created a culture of its own, very “Ghibli”. Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies, Howl’s Moving Castle, and so much more have received many appreciations from watchers not only Japanese but also around the world.
The Prior Success
Founded in 1985 by Hayao Mizayaki, Isao Takahata, and Toshio Suzuki, Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation film studio. It is well known for the high quality of its films and artistry. The trio collaborated and founded Studio Ghibli and kicked things off with Castle in the Sky in 1984, following the success of Mizayaki’s Kaze no Tani no Naushika (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) produced by Topcraft. (Bauer, 2020)
Ghibli = To Blow a New Wind Through the Japanese Anime Industry
Ghibli is based on the Libyan Arabic name (قبلي, ‘ghiblī’), meaning “hot desert wind.” The idea implies that the studio would bring a new wind to the Japanese anime industry. Moreover, Ghibli is also the name of an Italian aircraft Italian Ca.309 ‘Ghibli’.
The Blockbuster Sensation that Made The Reputation Wide Spreads
It is likely that you have heard of Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, three of Studio Ghibli’s most well-known films. Here are a few reasons why these movies are cherished and honored as such.
The story follows Chihiro, a young girl who gets lost and trapped in a spirit world. She meets a lot of strangers, some of whom are both kind and evil, and faces many challenges working at an Onsen (Japanese hot springs). Luckily, she met ‘No Face’, a character who helps her along her journey in the spirit world. At last, she ends her journey there and reunites with her parents after a long time living in that spirit place. The movie is worth watching with a lively story plot, friendly animation, and outstanding characters. Furthermore, Spirited Away is Studio Ghibli’s highest-grossing movie with a revenue of $355,467,076. (McCormick, 2020)
My Neighbor Totoro
After talking about Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro is next in the discussion. It is one of the tops of the mind whenever people think of Studio Ghibli characters. My Neighbor Totoro tells the story of a family of schoolgirl Satsuki and her sister Mei, settling in the countryside beside their ill mother. There, they gradually discovered unknown creatures, one of them is Totoro, a giant but kind, friendly one who befriends the sisters to overcome adventures lately. The movie is gentle, meaningful, and educative for children to learn how to treat people with care and kindness.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
This one is by far my personal favorite of Studio Ghibli’s work. Kiki, a young magician who is eligible to live away from family and discover a new adventure of her life. Taking advantage of her superstition of flying with a broomstick, she had her first job as a deliveryman of a local bakery in a new town. However, adult life made Kiki feel bored and want to be careless and playful like other fellows. Thanks to that, she loses her superstition day by day. Therefore, Kiki has to find a solution to repair and come back to her family, eventually. Accompanying her, Jiji the cat, has made the journey become more interesting. The characteristic of Kiki inspires me to be bold, confident, and root for what I aim for.
Howl’s Moving Castle
The story tells about an 18 years-old girl Sophie, who is cursed by an anonymous customer who enters her shop and turns Sophie into an old lady. Sophie has to run away from her family without recognizing her. She encounters Howl, a wizard who lives in a moving castle. She has no place to stay but becomes Howl’s housekeeper. Being with Howl and knowing what he has to accomplish in his duty fighting for the king, Sophie develops her feelings towards him and both help each other to improve one’s self.
There are 22 Ghibli films in total and those recommendations above are Ghibli’s signature film works and they also gain high crossing in theaters. Most of Ghibli’s films are available on Netflix and they are ready for binge-watchers to jump into the world of fantasy.
Into The Real Experience with Ghibli Museum in Japan
Located in the West area of the capital of Japan–Tokyo, Ghibli Museum, Mikata, is the showcasing museum displaying film works of Studio Ghibli, the characters in the films (including giant Totoro and the robot from the film “Castle in the Sky” in the rooftop garden), and the man behind all the masterpieces, Hayao Mizayaki. This is a must-go destination for Ghibli fans and travelers when in Tokyo.
Happy 36th Anniversary of Studio Ghibli
On June 15, 2021, celebrated the 36th birthday of Studio Ghibli, 1985 to 2021. The Studio Ghibli Twitter account, showed a picture of three filmmakers and producers sitting together which evokes sustainability of an animation studio that is a childhood memory of many people across the world, mesmerizing the fantasy imagination of every film.
Studio Ghibli always recalls memorable childhoods of mine through the films they produced, the characters they built up that inspire watchers to admire and adore the fantasy of the films.