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My Life in Studio Ghibli’s Animated Movies

Out of all animated movies, I love Studio Ghibli’s the most. Not Disney, not Pixar, but Studio Ghibli. Their movies draw away from simply pleasing and entertaining the audience but encourages them to think critically and discover underlying themes that they could interpret for themselves. I also realized that their characters, fiction they may be, reflect real situations in life.

That’s why when I had another bout of Studio Ghibli marathon, I purposely tried to find scenes from Studio Ghibli movies that would reflect situations that happened in my life.

This scene from Ponyo, really stuck with me, because this is how my day usually begins. It’s a beautiful morning and exciting things are bound to happen but I’d rather stay in bed, cuddle with my pillows and dream.

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Another memorable scene from Ponyo. This reminds of how, when I was a kid, I would try to prank my cousins but I ended up getting hurt. It made me realize that pranks and playing aren’t always fun. Sometimes, it also hurts. Looking back, I think it was one of the times when I learned that happiness also comes with a price. tumblr_n19ri9zHV61smejd3o1_500 This scene from Kiki’s Delivery Service, reminds me of nights when I couldn’t sleep. Instead of tossing and turning in bed, I’d get up and sit by a window and draw until I fall asleep on the table. My imagination comes at unconventional hours and trying to hold it in usually ends with eye bags and a restless night.  tumblr_n1jej6c6nK1rz2421o1_500 In life, you will often discover stones, that when polished and cared for, turns into bright jewels. This scene from Whispers of the Heart taught me that no matter how ordinary things may look like, it has something special within it just waiting to be discovered.tumblr_mu6mzlCTTL1qc006to1_500 The first time I saw Kaonashi (No-Face Man) in Spirited Away, I was freaked out. He looked too creepy to be in a children’s animated movie. But I realized that two of us actually had a lot in common. We were often misunderstood and alone. Like him, there are times when people pass by you, pretending you didn’t exist because they couldn’t understand you. You hide behind a mask to hide what you feel and most of the time, find yourself in a lonely place that you just get used to it.tumblr_mrla99Ufaf1r6icreo2_r1_500tumblr_n45zrpMIHP1rt479bo1_500 Like Chihiro in Spirited Away, there are time when no matter how fast you run or wherever you go, trouble follows you. You just have to be brave to overcome your fears and troubles. Remember that your fears does not define who you are, it’s there to make you stronger. tumblr_mocd3q31sf1qhd8sao1_500 There are times when you just have to take a break and ponder about life, just like in Kiki’s Delivery Service. Take the time to reflect on the things that happened in your life, remember the mistakes you made and the lessons you learned from them. Think about the things and people who make your life worth living. tumblr_n3nzhrdmSc1r2dgsfo1_500 When the old gives you advice, listen. They have been through situations you’ve never been, made mistakes you haven’t made yet. Their wisdom is like a lamp that can light the path you are taking. tumblr_muiw1uoC9N1rf3wd1o1_500 And finally, my favorite scene from Spirited Away taught me that no matter how much you love someone, if they’re not meant to be in your life, you have to learn to let go. tumblr_n2osueE7rx1rll7syo2_500   *GIF photos taken from Tumblr (oh-totoro)

19 thoughts on “My Life in Studio Ghibli’s Animated Movies

  1. The CrazyNerds

    I have watched all of those anime movies except Ponyo… I’ll get to it some day. Great selection anyway. I’m a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki… My favorite anime on that list is Spirited Away. Best animated movie ever!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Jade Herrera Post author

      Ponyo is also a good movie but nothing beats Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. I might write a blog post about all of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated movies one of these days.

      Reply
      1. The CrazyNerds

        Yeah my neighbor Totoro is on my top 10 anime movies. What struck me in that one is that there’s no villain. Hayao Miyazaki often does those kinds of slice-of-life stories and then adds a supernatural element to it. It’s like magic! When you do the blog post on him, I’ll be one of the first to read it. The guy deserves all the accolades!

      2. Jade Herrera Post author

        Yup, I also found it unusual that it didn’t have any villains and focused more on life and family.

        But this past semester, a humanities professor told us that Mei and Satsuki actually died since only people who are dead or those who will soon die can see a Shinigami. He told as Totoro was one.

        I had to rewatch Totoro to find out if what he said was true. His analysis of the film changed my perspective about the movie.

      3. The CrazyNerds

        Noooo… I will rewatch it. There was too much weirdness in that movie to really grasp everything that was going on (plus all the subtleties) from the get go. I don’t know anything about Japanese culture and tradition when it comes to the spiritual world and such, but throughout the whole film, I kept wondering why only those girls could see Totoro. Now I have my answer. But if that’s the case, it’s too sad. Sad sad sad!!!

      4. Jade Herrera Post author

        I know. It’s really sad. I couldn’t believe it at first that I actually asked my uncle (he’s Japanese) about it and he pointed out to me that a spirit train like the Catbus was used to transport dead people into the spirit world. He even pointed out that the townspeople only found Mei’s slipper.

        Maybe it’s the reason why this movie didn’t have any actual villains. I guess the villain was death. But still, t’s just too sad.

      5. The CrazyNerds

        I think I’m going to go ahead and start watching again (in order) Miyazaki’s movies. Reading your comments, I realize there must be a wealth of little details I may have missed out since I’m not too familiar with Japanese folklore. Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away come to mind. I need to watch those again. I hope it wont turn out that the girl in Spirited Away is also dead and that’s how she sees all those strange creatures… Actually I don’t think I want to find out…

      6. Jade Herrera Post author

        I haven’t heard any interpretations like that for Spirited Away. From what I can remember, I think it was just a dream? Not entirely sure but I hope she isn’t dead. Her story with Haku is sad enough.

      7. The CrazyNerds

        Yeah right… I mean all of his movies are sad to some degree. Just the other week I got nostalgic and and watched Castle In The Sky. I hadn’t seen it in years. It was good but then I felt a little by the end.
        Another great anime movie (not by Miyazaki) I watched a couple weeks ago is Tokyo Godfathers. There’s a lot of hearts in this one. Guaranteed to strike a chord. Anyway, it’s just the fan in me speaking…

      8. Jade Herrera Post author

        I haven’t watched Tokyo Godfathers, I’ll watch it when I have the time. I’ve also been watching other Studio Ghibli anime movies not directed by Miyazaki like Grave of the Fireflies and Only Yesterday. These movies are also sad but when it comes to sad and romantic anime movies, I love Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters Per Second and Voices From a Distant Star. Those two made me cry.

      9. The CrazyNerds

        I know Grave of the Fireflies. The movie is emotionally supercharged. I shed a tear too (only inside though). But I don’t know the works of Makoto Shinkai. I’ll definitely check out those recommendations. One does really learn something new everyday, huh… Thanks for sharing!!!

      10. Jade Herrera Post author

        Makoto Shinkai’s works are good. He is actually being called as the next Hayao Miyazaki but he declined the title. He said that there could only be one Miyazaki.

        If you know other Japanese animated movies, feel free to share them with me. So glad I got to share my love for studio ghibli with you🙂

      11. The CrazyNerds

        No worries, I’m glad too… I definitely get where that love comes from. I used to watch a lot of anime back in the days when I was a snot-nosed kid; anime movies and series alike. I still do but not so religiously.
        Anyway there’re a few good movies that I would definitely recommend; I just have to remember their titles. Once I do, I’ll share them. Take care…

  2. The CrazyNerds

    Just watched ‘5 Centimeters Per Second’. It’s a really a beautiful, emotionally engaging little anime, offering vignettes of life as we live it RIGHT NOW. I was particularly struck by its accuracy in its depiction of the characters’ feelings. How they struggled to articulate what they felt and all…
    Also, I kind of dig the style of Makoto Shinkai, really. I like how in the movie, he sometimes cut away from an action to an unconnected image which at first sight has nothing to do with the storyline, (like that bird flying around in the sky: LOVED IT) but then, you realize that image is tied into the storyline on a symbolical level. There were lots of those sprinkled throughout the movie. And my best scene was when Tono lost the letter at the train station. Don’t know why. Overall, nice movie. Glad I watched it.
    Some of the titles I’ve watched in the past that I think were awesome are:
    Akira
    The Girl who leapt through time
    Ghost in The Shell (The first one)
    A Wind Called Amnesia
    Those are the ones that come to mind for now…

    Reply
    1. Jade Herrera Post author

      Really glad you enjoyed it. Out of all of Makoto Shinkai’s works it’s the best with Garden of Words and Voices of a Distant Star coming at close second. I love the pacing and transitioning of the scenes and the elements of flashbacks. Plus, the ending makes you wonder about what would happen next just like how we don’t know what would next. To be honest, I haven’t quite gotten my fill of 5 Centimeters that I even read the manga and fan fictions.

      I’ve seen A Girl Who Leapt Through Time and it’s really good. I haven’t watched the others though but I’m familiar with the Wind Called Amnesia. There’s also another animated movie that I like, Hotarubi no Mori e and Anohana

      Reply
      1. The CrazyNerds

        Yeah… about the ending in ‘5 Centimeters’ I thought it ended sort of abruptly, you know, without really resolving Tono’s story. But maybe that’s the point; Maybe we’re supposed to guess what’s going to happen next, just like in life, something like that.
        I also enjoyed the back-and-forth with the flashback sequences, I think the last segment of the movie makes great use of them.
        Didn’t know there was a manga adaptation and fan fictions expanding on ‘5 Centimeters’ Do any of those sort tell if Tono tries to find Akari after he comes across her at the tracks? Just curious…
        Between Garden of Words and Voices of a Distant Star, which one would you say I should watch first?

      2. Jade Herrera Post author

        The manga adaptation was released a year after the movie, I think. But yes, it does shed more light about the characters after Tono and Shinohara crossed paths at the train tracks.

        I think you should watch Voices of a Distant Star first. It’s one of Shinkai’s earlier works and the elements is somewhat similar with 5 centimeters but has a touch of scifi. Garden of Words on the other hand was released only last year.

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