7 Things I Love About Studio Ghibli

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Studio Ghibli’s last movie comes out Friday 10th, so I’ve been feeling pretty emotional about it recently. I flail about Ghibli a lot, as many people know — and I have a suspicious amount of Totoro merchandise stored up in my bedroom! I’ve been watching them ever since I lived in Japan when I was younger, and I’m actually pretty proud of how many I’ve watched…I’ve only got When Marnie Was There left to watch before I complete them. 🙂

But it’s the last movie before their hiatus, and I HAVE NO IDEA HOW I’M GOING TO COPE. By crying in the cinema, probably. In order to sort of commemorate that, I decided to tell you all why I love Ghibli movies!

1. Beautiful animation

Literally, it’s like Hayao Miyazaki just TRIES to make animation difficult for himself. There’s so much beautiful scenery and art. There aren’t many animated movies as beautiful as Ghibli ones. A lot of studios have moved into computer graphics, so it’s awesome to go back to a more traditional style that we all recognise from Ghibli.

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2. Strong female characters!

I was just going to put ‘strong characters’ here, but to be honest lots of movies suck at having any female characters, so. (I don’t want to generalise too much about movies altogether, and it’s getting better, but yeah.) But I love that Ghibli movies have well-rounded female characters — not just the ‘strong’ femme fatale. Which is a totally fine character trait, but I don’t want all girls to be that because NOT ALL GIRLS ARE. There’s headstrong girls! Shy girls! Writerly girls! Selfish girls! Villainous girls! YAY. (Although Ghibli isn’t the pinnacle of all diversity ever and stuff. Before I get into an argument.)

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3. Awesome soundtracks

Mostly these are composed by the legend that is Joe Hisaishi — the more classical ones, like Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited — but there’s also gems like From Up ON Poppy Hill. WHICH HAS JAZZY CLARINET and to be honest is just a really nostalgic film altogether. I just…really, really like Ghibli soundtracks.

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4. There’s so much variety

I mean, I think a lot of people do think of Spirited Away as embodying Ghibli films, but Ghibli films cover so many different genres: epic fantasy, high school love story, cute children’s movie… There are meaningful movies and silly movies and nostalgic movies. Every mood can be satisfied. In my opinion, there’s one for everyone. 😛

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5. Hurrah for non-patronising childrens’ movies

You can watch Totoro with your 8 year old cousin and both enjoy it and not have to worry that it’s too inappropriate or whatever. I STILL LOVE TOTORO. And The Cat Returns. (Baron is me.) And… yeah. You get the idea.

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6. Hurrah for movies without romance

Sometimes I just don’t want to watch a movie with romance, guys. IT ISN’T THAT DIFFICULT. Although it actually is quite difficult. So it’s great to just be able to pull out a movie and know I’m getting an awesome adventure! (There are romantic movies. Whisper of the Heart is one of my favourites. But anyway.)

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7. Hayao Miyazaki is a Very Cool Guy

I’ve just been watching a documentary about Ghibli called Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, and IT’S SUPER COOL. I mean, I realise that Hayao Miyazaki hasn’t directed all Ghibli films, but he’s probably the face of the studio and he does seem to be the driving force. He’s also talked about anime culture and how directors aren’t observing human behaviour. I think there’s a lot of meaning in his films and Ghibli films in general. I cried at the end of The Wind Rises. IT’S JUST. Ack. So beautiful and sad. (I almost put the Anime is Trash gif here, but I looked it up and that’s just a mistranslation. MIYAZAKI NEVER SAID IT.)

I’m currently in exam week, so if I’m not replying as usual that’s the reason! I hope you’re all having a good day, and I’ll probably return Friday flailing about When Marnie Was There. 😛

do you like studio ghibli? which are your favourite movies? do you know of any similar films?