Ah, the wonderful, mystical, world of Studio Ghibli.  Though most watch these movies for nostalgic purposes, I only began watching these last year, and I quickly realized how amazing they are. I’ve even watched enough to give a top five list!

Princess Mononoke


This list is in order of favorite to least favorite, that’s just how I set it up this time.

Now, this movie is known for being the most violent of the Ghibli films, and I would have to say that’s 100% correct. It’s a pretty dark subject, and the main character kills at least three people that I remember. This isn’t why I love the movie though. Watching it for the first time, I didn’t understand half of what was happening. It was so bizarre and trippy that I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But the art and scenery in the movie was gorgeous, so I watched it again to understand it.

The story focuses on Ashitaka, the prince of his tribe. His arm becomes possessed by a demon when he attempts to rid of it, and his tribe decides to banish him so they are not at risk of the demon hurting them as well. He discovers that there is a industrial place called Iron Town that has been targeting the ecosystem of the forest. Their main target is a girl who claims to be one of the wolves, and lives among the animals in the forest, living primitively. Ashitaka’s goal is to regain peace between the nature of the forest and the town.

I love this movie for its story, characters, and art. It may be a bit difficult to follow for a younger viewer, or even an older viewer if you don’t pay full attention to what is happening.

Spirited Away


Ah, Spirited Away. It was my favorite until I saw Princess Mononoke. When I initially watched it, I was with my friends, and they all said that Chihiro is like a younger me. Which, yeah, kind of makes sense. I tend to be the one to tell others if what they’re doing could cause consequences or get them into trouble, much like she did in the beginning of the movie to her parents. I’m not generally a risk-taker or excited to try new things, which is similar to Chihiro in the first bit of the movie. Throughout her adventure, she is thrown into difficult situations and must decide how to get through them.

In all, Spirited Away is a sweet movie about a young girl learning about the spirit world, and standing up for herself and the one person who helped her through it all. It’s hard for me to describe it without giving too much away, and if you haven’t watched it, I highly suggest watching it. And don’t watch it just once, there were a lot of things I missed my first time watching it.

Howl’s Moving Castle


Again, a movie I had to watch twice to understand all of what was going on. I realize now that these movies are really complex. And that’s why I love them.

Anyway, I love this one as well, which focuses around Sophie, who works at a hat shop. She’s harassed one day on the street, and mysterious man saves her from them.  Later, she is cursed by a witch to become old, since the witch had seen her with the man earlier. Her goal is to find the witch to have her reverse the curse, and along the way, she learns that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

I won’t get any more detailed than this, you’ll have to watch it. I love the relationships created throughout the story, and how they portrayed  Sophie as being so independent, but yet still needing help along the way. She is self-conscious and harsh on her image, which is something many women struggle with in our society.

Basically, just please watch it.

Kiki’s Delivery Service


Okay, so I haven’t watched this one twice,  but it was still a super cute movie.

The story focuses around thirteen-year-old witch, Kiki. She leaves home to find her witch calling, and ends up running deliveries to people, hence the title.  She works for a woman in charge of a bakery, but meets many others in her journey. To be entirely honest, it’s been a while since I watched it, so I can’t say much more than this. Kiki is spunky and cute, and ambitious in being a true witch. Jiji (the cat) was adorable and sassy, adding some comedy to the mix. I want to watch this again, but I just haven’t gotten around to it, since I have so many other shows I’m in the middle of watching such as My Hero Academia, Yuri on ICE, Black Butler, Steins; Gate, and Ajin.

I still wanted to include this one though.

Laputa: Castle in the Sky


I won’t say that I hate this movie, it’s just not as good as some others, but not bad enough to be in honorable mentions. It just was a little slow.

Basically, the main characters are Sheeta (the girl) and Pazu (the boy). Again, it’s been a while since I watched it, so I apologize if the description is choppy. From what I remember, Sheeta has a pendant that is connected to a place called  Laputa, which is a floating chunk of earth in the sky with a castle perched on top of it. Some say that this place is fictional and just a myth, but others believe that if they can steal this pendant, then they can take control of this place. Pazu comes into this through constantly looking after Sheeta through being kidnapped and almost forced into giving up her pendant. Their goal is to travel there, and others come after them.

It seemed to me that it was going to be very action-filled, but the first half or so is slow and kind of boring. Not that I would tell you not to watch it, it’s another cute story about young kids having an adventure, I would just say watch the other ones first.

Honorable mentions

  • Whisper of the Heart
  • From up on Poppy Hill
  • Ponyo
  • The Secret World of Arrietty
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • Only Yesterday

Hope you enjoyed this list! The next post should be out soon, and yeah, it’ll be part two of the Yuri on ICE post, which I’m looking forward to writing. The show is super enjoyable and I love writing about it!

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I lost the links to the pictures, so I’m sorry for that. I do not own any of them.