The dream team of Miyazaki, Takahata, and the rest have created some of the most iconic characters in anime history. Who is your favorite?
The “Studio Ghibli Characters” is a list of 4 iconic Studio Ghibli characters. The list includes the names of the characters, as well as their respective films. Read more in detail here: studio ghibli characters names.
There are no shortage of creatures to capture the imagination in Studio Ghibli’s films, which are arguably some of the best works of animation ever produced. A bus that is a giant cat, witches, dragons, and spirits made of soot — there’s no shortage of creatures to capture the imagination in Studio Ghibli’s films.
Part of the enchantment comes from the efforts of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, who founded the studio in 1985 with the goal of fostering a creative atmosphere that prioritized artistic vision above economic success.
Over the previous four decades, the result has been a collection of over 20 animated features, many of which have been critically and economically successful in Japan and across the globe. The once-obscure animation company is become a household name.
Studio Ghibli films have given us much to laugh, contemplate, and weep over because they are full of wonder and energy in vivid, delightful detail. They’ve also given us some of the most unforgettable characters to ever appear on our televisions. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (Kiki’s Delivery Service, 1989)
The title character in Kiki’s Delivery Service, a 1989 film written, produced, and directed by Miyazaki and based on a 1985 book by Eiko Kadono, comes first on the list.
This wonderful coming-of-age narrative follows 13-year-old witch Kiki as she travels from her village to the port city of Koriko on her mother’s ancient broom and with only her black cat Jiji for company. She begins to build her eponymous delivery business there, but runs across a number of roadblocks along the way.
Kiki’s Delivery Service is a sensitive, well-paced examination of independence, individuality, and self-confidence, and is perhaps Ghibli’s most famous film. Kiki’s world is one where magic is commonplace, and we find awe instead in the individuals we meet and the problems they encounter, albeit it isn’t as as far-fetched as other of the studio’s more intricately imagined realms.
Kiki, a wide-eyed child still trying to figure out her position in the world and what type of witch she wants to be, is a mix of enthusiasm and self-doubt. She loses her ability to fly and communicate with her cat at one point, which is heartbreaking and has connected with audiences young and old throughout the years.
Kiki states in the movie, “Flying used to be enjoyable until I began doing it for a career.” “I used to be able to fly without even thinking about it,” she says afterwards. Now I’m attempting to figure out how I achieved it by looking within myself.” Despite the fact that the character was created in the 1980s, her narrative arc is a textbook example of millennial creative burnout.
The video examines individuality, freedom, and connection in addition to the difficulties of converting a passion into a vocation.
Apart from providing us with relevant screencaps, Kiki’s narrative serves as a constant reminder to exercise self-care. “Stop trying. Long walks are recommended. Take a look around. At 12 p.m., I slept asleep. Kiki’s painter friend Ursula urges her, “Don’t even think about flying,” in a type of checklist we should all presumably follow – replacing flying for whatever we’re burnt out from, of course. “And then you’ll be soaring again in no time.”
The film depicts Kiki’s travel from her hamlet to the large metropolis as a ritual for young witches. Burnout, rehabilitation, and self-discovery are all achievable in real life, regardless of age. Her tale demonstrates that being vulnerable and powerful are not mutually conflicting qualities, and that sometimes all we need are good friends and a little daring to reclaim our ability to soar.
Seita and Setsuko are a couple (Grave of the Fireflies, 1988)
Okay, technically they’re two characters, but I couldn’t write an essay on classic Ghibli characters without including Seita and Setsuko Yokokawa. Though, unlike the other characters on this list, they’re hard to locate in fan art or plushie collections, those who have watched (and sobbed to) 1988’s Grave of the Fireflies know they’re difficult to forget.
Grave of the Fireflies was written and directed by Takahata and is based on a 1967 short story by Akiyuki Nosaka. It is considered one of the finest war pictures of all time. Despite several proposals to do a live-action version of his work, Nosaka had turned them all down. Finding kid actors who could portray the characters realistically, as well as recreating the burnt land in the city of Kobe in the closing months of WWII, would be difficult for him.
He was taken aback when Studio Ghibli offered to do an animated version, but after viewing the storyboards, he realized it was the greatest (and only) way to present the narrative cinematically. The finished picture, which clocks in at just under 90 minutes, is a stunning and heartbreakingly tragic masterwork that I believe everyone should watch.
There are lots of war films in general and WWII films in particular, but what makes Grave of the Fireflies stand out is how it focuses on the experiences of its young primary characters, particularly Seita, whom Takahata described as “a unique wartime ninth grader.”
Although war films are often emotional, Takahata contends that they are seldom filmed from the viewpoint of young people. He believes that framing war tales in terms of heroes and villains battling for abstract notions like freedom makes it difficult for modern audiences to connect with films and their larger-than-life protagonists.
Setsuko and Seita are both fascinated by fireflies.
As a result, Grave of the Fireflies concentrates almost exclusively on Seita and Setsuko, two siblings who lose their home and mother to a bombing in 1945. Unlike many previous Ghibli films, the siblings’ subsequent voyage — first to a distant aunt, then to an abandoned bomb shelter where they release fireflies for light — is devoid of helping spirits or talking animals.
It’s difficult to see the movie and not be moved by it, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that it still makes me weep (I’m crying up as I write). The siblings’ delight, despair, and love all seem very genuine, which contributes to their force.
In addition, the film’s short tale is semi-autobiographical: Nosaka’s younger sister died of hunger during the war, and he blamed himself for her death.
Faceless (Spirited Away, 2001)
Despite the fact that No-Face is not the primary character in 2001’s highly acclaimed Spirited Away, he does sometimes steal the show from Chihiro, the 10-year-old heroine. He’s become a face (pun intended) for Studio Ghibli as one of the most striking characters in a Miyazaki picture full of odd-looking creatures.
No-Face is a fascinating individual whose look defines him. This spirit, as the name implies, lacks a face and wears a mask in the place where a character’s face would normally be. His dark, tube-like body is practically empty throughout. He also seems to be without an individuality since he imitates others.
He seems to be a mysterious, peaceful soul at first, yet his sequences are among the most frenetic and unforgettable in the movie. Because of the individuals around him, he acquires new attitudes and talents.
When he is exposed to the bathhouse’s clients and staff’s materialistic attitude, he develops a craving for items and food as well, desiring more and more as his body expands with everything he consumes.
Just when you think you’ve had your fill, he begins devouring the bathhouse workers, revealing their personalities and viewpoints in the process. We also discover that beneath the plain white mask lurks an even wider and more dangerous-looking mouth in the haste to fulfill his trained hunger.
Although No-Face may seem to be the stuff of nightmares, many people find him sympathetic.
Though all of this is enough to make us fear him and repulsed by his avarice, we quickly realize that he is merely a spirit that is still learning how to connect with people. When he vomits up all the things that made him greedy, he returns to being a more accessible spirit, and we see that all he wanted to do was aid Chihiro / Sen.
His character is one that may easily make anybody nervous at times throughout the film, and I genuinely doubted that anything positive would come out of him. However, we know that he succeeds in a different (and better) setting in the end.
Here’s a fascinating fact: No-Face was the inspiration for Darth Nihilus, a Star Wars villain.
Totoro is a Japanese cartoon character (My Neighbor Totoro, 1988)
Studio Ghibli’s logo features the titular Totoro from the 1988 film My Neighbor Totoro. It doesn’t get much more iconic than being picked to symbolize the firm amid its enormous cast of personalities.
Totoro is now available in a variety of forms, including plush toys, tattoos, lunch boxes, and night lights. In Kiki’s Delivery Service and Toy Story 3, he even appears as a plush toy in Kiki’s room. A set of grandparents in Japan recreated his image in concrete and bricks exactly near a bus stop for their grandchildren to enjoy as a homage to him and a famous scene of him waiting for a bus in the rain.
My Neighbor Totoro is a Japanese animated film that depicts the narrative of Satsuki and Mei, two young girls who travel to a rural place with their father to be closer to their mother, who is in a hospital. The girls adjust into their new farm lifestyle and explore their surroundings, with the youngest daughter, Mei, being the one who first encounters Totoro.
The film is a whimsical, pastoral, and charming ode to children and nature, which is why it’s difficult to imagine it was released as part of a double feature with Grave of the Fireflies.
Despite the fact that both films involve brothers, they couldn’t be more different. Whereas Grave of the Fireflies would leave you needing a minute (or ten) to silently digest the on-screen sadness, My Neighbor Totoro has no narrative and urges you to relax and enjoy the sunlight and magically sprouting trees, trusting that everything will work out in its own time.
Totoro is one of the forest spirits, and his chest is an ideal spot for a snooze.
Interestingly, the picture was a box financial disaster at the time – the lowest of all Ghibli films — yet there’s no doubting the film’s and its namesake creature’s lasting appeal now.
Mei can’t blame Totoro for falling asleep on him since he’s a giant, fluffy monster. Even though the name Mei gives him is a mispronunciation of the Japanese word for troll (Torru), he’s really lovable. In reality, he was inspired by many woodland creatures such as cats, owls, and Japanese raccoon dogs known as tanukis.
He might talk in the early versions of the film, but I believe I’m not alone in thinking that he’s great exactly the way he is.
Which Studio Ghibli character is your favorite?
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The “studio ghibli dog names” is a list of the most iconic characters from Studio Ghibli.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the most popular character in Spirited Away?
A: Chihiro is the most popular character in Spirited Away because shes the protagonist.
Is Studio Ghibli shutting down 2020?
A: It is very likely that Studio Ghibli will close in 2020, but it may or may not happen.
What animal is Totoro?
A: A giant white fluffy creature that is a near-perfect representation of what the word totoro means.
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