Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked From Best to Worst – Top 10 Studio Ghibli Films – The Best Studio Ghibli Films – The Worst Studio Ghibli Films

Much like our recent list of the best and worst Disney films, here is a list of the best and worst Studio Ghibli films. Disney owned distribution rights for awhile for several Studio Ghibli films, but I think that has since changed hands to Gkids. Many people who love Disney films also love Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli Films; after all, they have a lot in common with each other. Both studios rely mostly on making films from well known children’s literature and fairytales. Both studios have a very recognizable animation style. And both studios excel at creating stories that the whole family can enjoy together, cartoons that appeal to young and old alike.

I was surprised there’s not as many Studio Ghibli films as I would think. If you’re wondering why Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is not on this list, that’s because it’s not actually made by Studio Ghibli. This actually gives me an idea for another blog post maybe something along the lines of “10 Anime Movies You Mistake for Studio Ghibli Films.” I can think of 3 or 4 right away without much effort. Nausicaa being the biggest “WTF, Really?!” moment of the bunch. There’s also Wolf Children, My Summer with Coo, Nadia The Secret of Blue Water, and a Letter to Momo which all seem to share Studio Ghibli’s art and story styles. More recently there’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower which I’ve yet to watch but am really looking forward to because of the “Ghibli Vibe”.  Although different in style, you might also mistake other recently successful anime films such as Ko no Katachi and Kimi no Nawa as Ghibli films because when most people think of successful feature length anime films, they immediately think of Studio Ghibli.  I’m also surprised there’s still quite a few legit Studio Ghibli films which I have yet to watch – I will include those at the end of this article. As there’s only a handful of them, I plan to try to watch them and come back and edit my rankings asap.

Here are my picks for best and worst Studio Ghibli films – what are some of your favorite and least favorite Ghibli films? Leave a comment below!


Best and Worst Studio Ghibli Films:

Ponyo

Ponyo is sorta Ghibli’s Take on the whole Little Mermaid thing. It’s a very original and creative take on it, with a lot of imagination and charm. Its charm and originality are what lands it at first place on my list of favorite Ghibli films. Ponyo is a fish like creature who gets caught by a young boy, Souske, who keeps her as a pet. She begins to fall in love with her new master, and as she grows, she becomes more and more human-like. Her transformation causes an inbalance in the sea which creates a Tsunami. Ponyo and Souske must work together to save their village from the Tsunami, which also tests their love for one another, If they can find unconditional love, Ponyo will be able to remain a human with Souske, or else she must return back to the sea. – If you also love Ponyo, check out Lu over the Wall which I reviewed here. It’s very similar and also very cute!

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Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service is definitely high on my list of favorite Studio Ghibli movies. It features a strong female lead, Kiki, a young witch who is leaving home for the first time, as is customary for young witches when they “come of age” (which is at just 13 years old). Each town can only have 1 witch, and Kiki must strike out to find her own place in the world – quite literally. Taking only her father’s radio, Mother’s Broomstick, and Jiji, her black cat, she sets out on a grand adventure. She struggles at first, an allegory to how we all must struggle to find OUR place in the world. This makes the film so relateable, and the characters are so likeable, that who can’t help but to just love Kiki’s Delivery Service? – Did you know that Kiki’s Delivery Service is actually based on a book by the same name? You can grab the book over on Amazon. It’s out of print and expensive now sadly. https://www.amazon.com/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Eiko-Kadono/dp/1550377884

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Spirited Away

This is one of Studio Ghibli’s best known, and most well loved, featured films. It was the first anime to ever win an Academy Award for Best animated Feature Film. I believe to date, it’s the only Japanese anime to have ever won this award. It beat out numerous other animated films that same year including Disney and Dreamworks. It’s the highest grossing film of all time in Japan, and even beat out Titanic. In 2016 it was voted as the 4th best film of the 21st century which made it the highest animated film on the list as chosen from more than 170 film critics from around the world.

Just because something wins lots of awards though does not necessarily make it a great film — but Spirited Away does indeed fall into the category of greatness. I feel that the success of Spirited Away is due largely in part to the emotional attachment the audience develops towards the young pure hearted characters, as well as the fantasy setting, which is set in a realm of spirits that’s mysterious enough to be edgy/creepy for older kids/adults, while not terrifying like Mononoke, and attention to detail through story writing, the excellent music score, animation, and voice acting.

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When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There is also based on a book by the same name. https://www.amazon.com/Marnie-There-Essential-Modern-Classics-ebook/dp/B00KA11ZI0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=&dpID=51FrFUXIjEL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=detail This Studio Ghibli adaptation rates higher for me than it does for most other people because I love my grandma so much, which made the bond that the main character shares with her own grandma overwhelmingly sweet and sentimental to me. Everyone loves their grandmas right? But mine is literally like my favorite person in the whole world. So this film really hit me right in the heart. I could watch it over and over and probably still cry each time. Love the song at the end of the credits too. I related a lot to the main character too who is always alone / lonely as I was similar to that growing up. She’s also interested in art like myself, and has a great imagination. Really, just on a personal level, out of all Ghibli films, this one is by far the most relatable to me, even though it’s still a fantasy movie about a ghost :).

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Howl’s Moving Castle

Obviously, Howl’s Moving Castle is based on the very well known series of books by the same name https://www.amazon.com/Howls-Moving-Castle-Diana-Wynne/dp/1442008431 – Though only very, very, very loosely based on this source material… In the original book, Sophie is very sarcastic and independent – She literally doesn’t give a flip about anyone or anything. In both versions they are pessimistic and feel they have no control over their fate, but in the book that quickly changes, and we witness Sophie become more responsible for her own actions and feelings. Sophie in the book also discovers pretty early on that she has magic powers. Howl in the book is a total playboy. There’s no war in the book. The villains are different too. In the book the main villain is the Witch of the Waste who is scorned by Howl rejecting her romantically and is looking to create her ideal mate by piecing together several different men, including the missing prince and Howl’s pretty face. Some find the book to be very funny, while others find it to be dry, because British humor is often very dry indeed. The idealistic love between Sophie and Howl in the film is quite different in the book. The two argue and break up and make up over and over throughout the story. The biggest difference is definitely in the titular character of Howl. In the book we see much more of Howl. Early on in the book it is difficult to like or sympathize for him as he is so vain and breaks so many hearts. But as the story unfolds, we learn the truth is that he is afraid of letting others close to him because he is in fact very sensitive and fragile and a very warm and loving person as well, and instantly we learn to not judge others, Everyone is going through their own struggles in life, and both Howl and Sophie have a lot of demons inside of themselves that they must face, which sadly is a lesson that the film doesn’t care to impart to the audience. In the film Howl instead is scarcely seen as he flies off to fight wars that don’t exist in the book. In the book, he is from modern day Wales, and has found a door to Sophie’s time and world where he has chosen to stay to study magic. This time traveling is completely omitted from the film, just as is equally omitted Sophie’s magical abilities. Instead, in Miyazaki’s version, it is Sophie who we see “time traveling” as she learns about Howl’s past. Miyazaki’s goal was to create a film that shows how love makes life worth living, while the original author’s goal was to create a story about a strong willed female mage which challenged gender and societal stereotypes. Both stories are equally charming in their own unique ways. Miyazaki’s interpretation of Howl’s Moving Castle is romantic and full of charm and innocence and still quite engaging in its storytelling and plot devices. There are some who complain that too many liberties were taken which deviated from the author’s original work, but one could also argue the same is true of Ponyo which is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid or any number of Ghibli or Disney works that are based on books before becoming films.

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Whisper of the Heart

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This is a lesser known Ghibli film based on manga of the same name about a young girl whose only passion is reading, and a young boy whose only passion is music. They are both outcasts and self isolated because they pour 100% of their time into their chosen hobbies. Both wish to drop out of school to pursue their passions full time. And neither one of them really get along with each other when the film first starts out. What I really enjoyed about this film is watching the characters change their thoughts and beliefs, about their passions, but also about how they perceive other people. They also discover they have a lot in common and both help to inspire one another to chase their dreams. Initially they view other people or other responsibilities as a hindrance, taking away time from their passions. But they learn that instead, other people add to your experiences and make life sweeter. Both characters yearn to grow up and become adults, but both are only grade/middle school students. They have a lot to learn. And as the film ends, we watch just how much they’ve matured over their summer. They learn to make time and space in their lives and hearts for other people while still each holding tightly to their dreams of their future. The original manga has not been licensed for US release. There is also a sequel manga that follows the characters as they prepare for their college entrance exams. https://mangarock.com/search?q=Mimi%20wo%20Sumaseba


Grave of the Fireflies

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This film is sad AF!!! There are some who will not like this film because of it being so sad. And also others who will not like this film simply because it portrays the real life events of the bombing of Hiroshima. Japan is the only country to have been nuked by an atomic bomb and the US the only country to have released an atomic bomb. Never again has such a weapon been used in combat because of the devastating long term and long range consequences that spring about from such frightening weaponry. This movie depicts the suffering and harsh realities of the war and subsequent bombing of Hiroshima. Obviously, war and decisions made by a country’s government, is a very politically charged issue. And many lives were lost on both sides of the war. So much suffering occurred that it’s still a tense and delicate subject to people on both sides of the war still today even in modern times. It is hard to watch this film, and even harder to see their suffering, and know that “we” (as a nation / group of nations) caused that suffering) even if it was perhaps necessary at the time of these events. It still doesn’t make you feel good realizing what you’ve unleashed. I’ve seen documentaries with actual real life footage of the victims, I’ve seen them peeling burnt flesh from survivors’ bodies using chopsticks, I’ve seen footage of their shadows burned into the walls, shadows of children playing at playgrounds, shadows of mothers trying to protect their children in their arms. But I’ve also seen movies on the other side of the issue too – Many US lives were lost in the bombing of pearl harbor; many other lives were lost around the entire world from Hitler’s atrocities, and so on. In war there is no clear cut good / bad decisions. You do what you feel you have to do to protect your country and its people, and in bombing Hiroshima, the US was trying to do just that, although it tragically resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Japanese civilians… such as the two depicted in this Studio Ghibli film… We watch them live fearfully, and with not enough food to eat, without any parents to take care of them, and we watch them suffer, fall ill, and struggle at every turn. We watch their own family and friends turn their backs on helping them and realize they have nowhere to go or turn to – an important – although equally political – message in our own modern times with issues with refugees and so on from our modern day wars. To quote the videogame Fallout “War Never Changes” – that’s why a film about a decades old war is still compelling and relevant and relatable in modern times. One of the interesting things about this film, is gaining a new perspective on the war and circumstances around the war. Sympathizing with our “enemy” and seeing just how similar we are, despite hundreds or thousands of cultural differences, at the end of the day, we each love our families, and would do anything to see to it that our families are happy, healthy, safe, and cared for. There is no way to watch this film without crying and forming an emotional connection with the characters. The ability to evoke such deep emotion is a testament to the quality of this film. It is an artful masterpiece with fantastic writing, character development, and storytelling.


Laputa Castle in the Sky

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I just watched this movie last year as part of Studio Ghibli’s and Gkids Ghibli Fest which brought many great Ghibli films to the theater – some for the first time in theaters within the US. I loved this movie. It had great action and a great love story. A lot of things in this film reminded me of my favorite Videogame, Lunar Eternal Blue which I reviewed here and cosplayed as here. Maybe it’s the girl and her pendant, her mysterious origins/past, her dramatic entrance, or the floating city in the sky, or maybe it’s the awesome epic love story. The lengths that both male characters go to in order to protect the person they love – and to help the girl they love complete her mission, or the way in which both film and game are so rich in lore and history and create a strange mashup of fantasy and technology creating a timeless story, that feels like it could take place equally conceivably in past, present, or future. Laputa Castle in the Sky is very action packed and fast moving, but yet, since it centers on these two characters and their love for one another, it can capture audiences of any age or gender.


The Cat Returns

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This is a sequel or Spin off based on Ghibli’s earlier film, Whisper of the Heart. I enjoyed Whisper of the Heart more than the Cat Returns, despite my huge massive never ending love for cats. Unlike the author’s own sequel to her manga, this story is not related to the two main characters of Whisper of the Heart, but instead focuses on the story that was inspired by the cat-like doll, nicknamed Baron as he searches for his lost love Louise, who was taken from him by Muto. Despite the name of the film, and it actually really being a sequel, the title is still slightly confusing. A better English title would have been something along the lines of “The Cat’s Reciprocation” or “The Cat Returns the Favor” but that doesn’t really have the same “ring” to it. Perhaps the perfect title should have been “The Cat’s Reply” which could not only mean to “return the favor” but also foreshadow Haru’s ability to speak with cats. Haru saves a cat one day, who wants to return the favor by offering her the prince’s hand – err paw — in marriage. Haru is flustered both by the cat’s proposal and his ability to talk. Cats around her begin acting strangely, bringing her gifts and tokens of the prince’s affection. Haru is cat-napped and taken to the world of cats where she is pampered and treated like a queen. She is given feasts and entertainment and more lavish gifts. As she begins to enjoy her time in the cat world, she begins to turn into a cat. The Baron warns Haru that she will become a real cat, and forget her human self if she does not immediately leave the cat world. The king and prince orchestrate obstacles and distractions to lengthen Haru’s stay in the cat kingdom, knowing that once she is fully a cat, she will become the Prince’s Bride. Will Haru forget her true self and live happily among the cats? Or will she escape and reclaim her place among the humans? Many people think this film is based on the Manga by the same author of Whisper of the Heart, but actually the Ghibli film came first, and the author enjoyed it so much that she made a manga based on the film – kinda neat, right? 🙂 Usually it’s the other way around.


The Secret World of Arietty

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Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arietty” is based on a popular children’s book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton. This book has entertained children for several generations. But it’s also a book (and film) that can be enjoyed by the whole family, young or old alike. My grandmother told me that it is her favorite book, she told me she first read it when my mother checked it out of the library. I too read the book when I was younger, and I also enjoyed many other film and tv adaptations and similar books and movies and tv series such as The Littles and The Indian in the Cupboard.

The Borrowers and The Secret World of Arietty give you a glimpse at a hidden world right under our noses. The Borrowers are a tiny race of miniature humans who live in our walls and gardens and live off of things we waste or take for granted. If you ever notice a button or a needle is missing, you can bet it’s been “Borrowed”. Of course the human world presents many dangers to Arietty, she must be careful to not be discovered by the humans who could capture her and keep her as a pet or science experiment. At the same time she must be aware of her surroundings at all times. She could get swept away by just a small trickle of water, or mistaken for a mouse and gobbled up by a cat, or crushed underfoot by a horse and carriage. Arietty is of course not afraid of the human world, and instead intrigued by it. She finds the human world fascinating and impossible to resist. Especially when she meets and falls in love with a human boy who is equally fascinated by Arietty’s world. The story teaches us that even though our lives may seem dull and mundane, that all it takes is a change of perspective to be reminded how wondrous life truly is.


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Ghibli used an unusual art style in this anime, making it quite different from any of their other films. Their intention was to create an anime that looked like ancient Japanese calligraphy paintings and wall scrolls. The tale of Princess Kaguya was unfamiliar to me, but very familiar and loved in its home country of Japan where it is known as the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This legend has been around for over 1,000 years! It is most famously presented and passed down through ancient Japanese paintings from the Edo period which is what influenced Ghibli’s character and art direction in this film.

I’m not a huge fan of the art style in the anime, and even some of the customs/traditions of the Edo period which the film accurately depicts like women painting their teeth black – SO eww. Interestingly, little has changed as I know even now it’s generally considered to be “unlady-like” for a woman or girl to smile widely thus showing her teeth. That’s why there’s two emoji’s ^.^ and ^_^ – the first one is a feminine emoji and the second is a masculine emoji. I learned that years ago when I used to chat with people all over the world and was told about my “improper” use of the “^_^” emoji. Although I still use ^_^ all the time, and I consider “^.^” to be more of a “playful” smile, sorta cattish or impish or mischievious, or maybe a smile that seems like it has a secret, a smirk or a giggle behind it, where as I feel ^_^ is just pure joy/happiness/amusement/laughter.

Anyways enough about Emoji’s – lol. The strange art style and questionable fashions/traditions of the Edo period are really the only reason this film doesn’t rank higher for me. I do agree that the film looks just like the historical paintings… but it’s just not my tastes personally… That said though, I am extremely fascinated by the story and legend behind this film.

The legend states that an old man unable to have children of his own, found Kaguya one day while cutting bamboo. When she first appeared she was only the size of his thumb, but she rapidly grew much faster than other children. The bamboo cutter took the baby to his wife, where they raised her lovingly as their own child. Ever since Kaguya appeared in their lives, every time the Bamboo cutter would go to work, he would find gold coins in the bamboo stalks and soon the family become very rich. Although initially the family wishes to protect Kaguya’s innocence and youth, it is not long before word spreads of the beautiful young woman and many princes appear to seek her hand in marriage. Kaguya tasks each prince with impossible tasks, knowing they cannot be achieved, because she wishes to remain with her family and maintain her independence. One by one each prince fails to win the hand of Kaguya. Time passes, and eventually the Emperor comes to see the beautiful Kaguya. He falls in love instantly, but Kaguya tells him they cannot be together because she is not from his country. They instead become friends and remain in correspondence. As time went on, Kaguya began acting strangely, especially on nights with a full moon. She would cry and cause her parents to worry. She later reveals to them that she is not from Earth and must return to her home on the moon. The Emperor, as well as her family, do everything they can to try to hide and protect Kaguya who does not wish to return to the Moon. Kaguya wants to remain on Earth. In the end, however, Kaguya must go back to the kingdom of the Moon and leave her beloved family and friends.

Studio Ghibli’s version of the tale differs in some areas – The Emperor in the Ghibli version is more obsessed with Kaguya and Kaguya wants absolutely none of it because she’s in love with a simple boy from her childhood whom her father deems is not of high enough rank for her hand (who never existed in the original legend). In fact she is so repulsed by the Emperor that she cries when he touches her and discovers she has a secret ability to disappear at will. These details were made up for the Ghibli version only. Also at the end of the Ghibli version, Kaguya looks back onto the earth with a longing and sad gaze, even though her robe of feathers was to strip her of all of her memories of her time spent on Earth, the look on her face implies that her feelings and attachments were so strong that she could not forget the people of Earth. – This also is made up in the Ghibli version. In the original legend, Kaguya does in fact forget everyone when she returns to the Moon. In the original legend, the Emperor is so saddened by Kaguya’s death (or disappearance whatever you want to call it) that he orders his army to climb to the top of the mountain “closest to heaven” – There he wishes to burn a letter from Kaguya in hopes that his love and feelings for her will rise with the smoke from the letter and reach her on the moon. He also wanted to burn the elixir of immortality that Kaguya left him because he did not want to live forever without Kaguya by his side. Wikipedia states that the Japanese word for immortality “Fushi” is what Mt. Fuji’s name was derived from. And that the kanji characters for the mountain mean “Mountain abounding with warriors” which is said to denote the Emperor’s army who burnt the letter. The legend also says that the smoke from the letter still rises today (when the legend was created, Mt Fuji was an active volcano and hence produced smoke). I think the original legend makes for a very beautiful unrequited love story, where in Ghibli’s version the Emperor is the main villain whose appearance is what drives Kaguya to pray to the moon for help, after which her people come to “rescue” her from the Emperor. Quite a different take on the tale. I know Japan’s long history and traditions with their Emperor’s being near godlike status, so it’s odd to see a film from Japan depict in Emperor as a villainous character, especially given that in the original tale he was so pure and chivalrous and so in platonic unrequited love / mutual friendship with Kaguya throughout much of their lives.

I can’t remember where I read it now, (I’ve tried searching) but I read a few years ago that there are many scholars who believe that the legend of the Swan Princess / the Swan Lake Ballet is derived from the much older Legend of Kaguya. The main themes are very similar. This wikipedia article gives you a glimpse at the “Legend” of the Swan Princess The “Legend” is apparently much older than the ballet itself.

Here are a few of the similarities:

In these “Swan Maiden” tales, an unmarried man steals a robe of swan feathers from a woman in order to keep her from “flying away” – The maiden then bears children by this man. At some point the children come across the robe their father has hidden, or they ask their mother why she is always crying and go find the robe for her. As soon as she is given her robe she ascends to heaven without any hesitation or thought or attachment for her family or life as a human. Regarding those she leaves behind, wikipedia says this: “Although the children may grieve her, she does not take them with her. If the husband is able to find her again, it is an arduous quest, and often the impossibility is clear enough so that he does not even try.”

Kaguya is pursued by many unmarried men. She is given her robe of feathers when she ascends to the moon, and thus this ascending into the sky, can also be like “flying away”

Kaguya begins crying “always” uncontrollably near the end of her tale and her family always asks her what’s wrong / show concern for her.

Kaguya is given a robe of feathers which allows her to forget her time with her human family and friends so that she has no attachment or regrets leaving them (obviously Ghibli changed this part with one final glance back to Earth from their version of Princess Kaguya)

Kaguya’s family does grieve her but she cannot take them with her.

Kaguya tasks her “would-be” husbands with impossible quests – Even the Emperor himself cannot win Kaguya’s hand. After her disappearance, he sets out on his own arduous quest in the legend which would become the legend and folklore around Mount Fuji. 

The wikipedia article also states that “The swan maiden has appeared in numerous items of fiction, including the ballet Swan Lake, in which a young princess, Odette and her maidens are under the spell of an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, transforming them into swans by day. By night, they regain their human forms and can only be rescued if a young man swears eternal love and faithfulness to the Princess. When Prince Siegfried swears his love for Odette, the spell can be broken, but Siegfried is tricked into declaring his love for Von Rothbart’s daughter, Odile, disguised by magic as Odette, and all seems lost. But the spell is finally broken when Siegfried and Odette drown themselves in a lake of tears, uniting them in death for all eternity. While the ballet’s revival of 1895 depicted the swan-maidens as mortal women cursed to turn into swans, the original libretto of 1877 depicted them as true swan-maidens: fairies who could transform into swans at will.”

Kaguya has a special relationship to the Moon (symbol of the night).

The Emperor loved Kaguya (not as apparent in the Ghibli film, but VERY apparent in the original legend where he burns the letter and the elixir of life.)

In burning the elixir of life, he gives up immortality so that he can (one day) rejoin Kaguya in death.  

The Lake of Tears could signify how the Emperor wept for Kaguya (or in Ghibli’s case how her parents wept for her). 

The ability to transform into swans at will could be inspired by Kaguya’s ability to disappear at will. 

There is another tale from Japan with themes similar to Princess Kaguya, Tsuru no Ongaeshi, or the Crane Wife, about a crane who is caught in a trap. She is set free by an elderly couple and to repay their kindness she arrives as a human child, claiming to be lost. She asks them if they would take care of her as their own daughter, and the elderly couple happily agrees. To repay them for their kindness she begins to weave beautiful fabrics which she makes by plucking her own feathers. The fabrics sell for a lot of money and make the family very wealthy. She warns them they must never look in the room as she weaves. But overtime, curiosity overcomes the couple and they steal a glimpse only to find a crane and not a human in the room. With her identity revealed, she tells the couple she had hoped to always  remain their daughter, but she must now return to being a crane. In other versions of this legend, it is not a couple, but a young man who saves the crane disguised as a human. The two soon fall in love. In some versions he is sick and so the crane plucks her own feathers to make the fabric to sell for money to get medicine to save her husband. In other versions the husband is alive and well, but the crane becomes increasingly ill as she continues to pluck her feathers. As she plucks her last feather she must return to being a crane and leave her husband behind as the husband vows he will never forget her.

(source: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuru_no_Ongaeshi)

The legend of Kaguya predates the legend of Tsuru no Ongaeshi. You can already see how the folk lore was shifting but still similar to the original tale of Kaguya. From here, the similarities between Kaguya and Swan’s lake are even more apparent.

Obviously both Swan Lake and Tsuru no Ongaeshi feature a bird who has turned human.

Swan Lake’s maiden has lost a robe of feathers, while the Crane Wife has lost her feathers while making robes.

In relation to Kaguya, Once their true identities are uncovered they both must return to their former selves/worlds.

Also in relation to Kaguya, the main character is raised by or falls in love with humans – she then asks them to raise her as their own child. When she is leaving she tells them she never wanted to leave and always wanted to remain their child, but that she has no choice now. In the version with the husband, his vow of never forgetting her, could be similar to the Emperor’s love for Kaguya in the original legend and the lengths he went to even after her death or disappearance to prove his love and rejoin her in death.

As you can see, I had the most to say about Kaguya, despite it not being my favorite Ghibli film, but because of the interesting ancient legend on which it, and many other fairy tales, are based. The Legend of Kaguya predates all other tellings of similar nature which makes it even more interesting from a historical point of view.


Princess Mononoke

I dunno, Princess Mononoke honestly scares the hell out of me… Even looking at this gif scares the hell out of me… This movie is so unsettling… and it’s even “worse” dubbed – because then the lip syncing is all off and then it’s just even more eerie AF…. I think Princess Mononoke definitely has a good story… and it is no doubt beautiful…. and probably Ghibli’s most successful / well known film – I own it, I “like” it (even though it honestly gives me nightmares) – but damn son…. this movie just ain’t right lol…. Am I the only one that finds this movie just INHERENTLY creepy? It’s not even the infamously excessive amounts of blood and violence… it’s little things like this creepy-ass mother bugger right here….

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Only Yesterday

I thought this was a little bit of a bore. I generally love slice of life and romance films. I’m not sure why this one missed the mark for me. The story is told by a middle aged woman as she looks back on her childhood / early adulthood and reminisces about summers and her first love. Even though the majority of the film felt a little slow – I really really really really REALLY loved the later parts of the film — Especially the ending — One of the most memorable endings of any Ghibli film — or any film — ever. So good. I think overall though, the story suffers from some pacing issues and the constant back and forth from memories/present day. There are cute parts, sweet parts, dramatic parts, but in some ways it just felt like it dragged and droned on and on… That ending though… so emotional!! Loved it.

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My Neighbor Totoro

If you care to read more about My Neighbor Totoro – I did a review after attending the Gkids theatrical release last year. Read my Review of My Neighbor Totoro here.

As for how it ranks against other Ghibli films… Sorry Totoro – cute as you may be – and having owned the film as a kid, and seeing it again recently in theaters – I still love you for how cute you are, and the memorable characters – dust bunnies, cat bus, Totoro himself — but Totoro there’s just one problem, there’s just not much really happening in your film. One interesting theory suggests that the girls are actually dead, and that Totoro is a Shinigami (a spirit that only children can see which will guide them to the afeterlife. A sort of Grim Reaper that usually takes the form of animals or stuffed toys etc) – I think this theory could be plausible. And it would definitely make the movie a bit more interesting. Like Princess Mononoke, parts of Totoro are (perhaps unintentionally) Creepy AF!!… Also after seeing it in the theaters – Catbus has balls… just saying…. WTF? lol. XD Nothing like sitting in one of the front rows and seeing huge Catbus balls in my face as he leaps through the sky. – I have heard that Pompoko also features cute characters with huge balls lol. (though I haven’t seen it yet). Anyways, despite Totoro being the iconic mascot of Ghibli, basically equivalent to Mickey Mouse for Disney, the movie just isn’t that great. I love it for the heartwarming sweet characters, but yeah that’s about it. And the juxtaposition between the beginning and 2nd half of the film, is just kinda creepy. (although admittedly, that’s when things pick up rapidly and get more interesting.)

Studio Ghibli GIF


From Up on Poppy Hill

This film is absolutely beautiful to look at (Just look at the ambience in the gif below, how it perfectly captures the glow of the street lights and sunset) — But that’s about the only nice thing I can say about this film. I found it to be the most boring Ghibli film of all time. — But actually after reading Wikipedia to refresh my memory of this film (I only watched it once, and years ago) — I dunno – the plot sounds interesting to me; I may give this one another watch. The only thing I remembered from the film was the children trying to save their school and club house – which I think took up 90% of the film – and this part was boring to me, watching them clean and repair the building – etc. It just felt dull. I never felt like I cared about any of the characters, and therefore also never cared about their school or club house… But after reading Wikipedia it seems I missed the point of the film, which is a complicated love story. The two below fall in love, but find out that they may be siblings. I won’t say if they actually are – Wikipedia can give you that answer if you’re curious – Anyways the two struggle – first avoiding each other, then trying to remain “just friends” because of their situation – and then deciding that even despite their situation that they will embrace their feelings for each other. Another wiki dedicated to all things Ghibli says that the two also learn the “full story of how their parents met, loved, and lived”. This piques my interest even though after reading wikipedia I now know all of the details and don’t really need to watch the film – I still may rewatch this – and if need be, adjust my rankings of it because the drama honestly sounds like it’d be right up my alley, and that animation is just so pretty.

studio ghibli GIF


Ocean Waves

Well here is my least favorite Ghibli film… I hate it for one reason – The main girl is a total B-… She has NO redeeming qualities, NO remorse for her actions, and she does NOT change her ways or grow as a person at all. She remains this same horrible terrible crazy B– of a person…. But yet the main character falls in love with her and basically bends over backwards, throwing money and time and his emotions etc at this girl… and for what reason? But I know sometimes love and life are like this. Sometimes nice people get sucked in by people like this. Or sometimes love is just so unexplainable and inexplicable that we don’t really know WHY we love some one… Clearly she has no qualities that should make anyone love her. She is manipulative, cold, greedy, and just crazy. I can’t stand her… I want to scream and shake the main character’s shoulders like hey wake up, this girl is not good for you!!… But nope, in the end, they get their “happy ever after” – Man, way to romanticize abusive relationships. Domestic, Emotional, and Verbal abuse does not deserve to be twisted into some grand fantasy romance like this… I just can’t get on board with the characters in this film… They may be the most realistic and adult like of any Ghibli characters…. but I can’t believe how she treats him. Begging / Stealing money, Playing Victim all the Time, Dragging him and parading him like a trophy in front of your friends, Then turning your back on him, etc…. We do see that she is ostrichsized by her classmates too near the end for her behavior being called to light — and I get that the main character is Mr. Nice Guy and feels bad because suddenly she has no friends and everything… And he is also in a similar situation because of rumors that she and her friends started after their trip… but dang… I dunno he’s just TOO nice to her. She really doesn’t deserve someone as good as him. And it makes me mad. LOL. — I guess it’s still an interesting film… I definitely remember it and feel very very strongly about it… so there’s that at least… The movie and the characters are unique… and memorable… just not in a good way LOL.

ocean GIF


Studio Ghibli Films I have yet to watch – In no particular order:

  • Porco Rosso
  • Pom Poko
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • The Wind Rises

Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked From Best to Worst – Top 10 Studio Ghibli Films – The Best Studio Ghibli Films – The Worst Studio Ghibli Films was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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I Want To Take an Anime and Manga Tour in Japan

OMG… I want to do this. (Maybe Next Year – I don’t have Vacation Time left this year since I will be going to Peru this summer) Their next tour is in just a few weeks, and seems to only happen once a year, in March coinciding with the International Anime Festival AnimeJapan.

https://japandeluxetours.com/japan/group/anime-japan-tours#anime3

Visiting Japan is my life long dream. (sadly, mostly just so I can go shopping for anime, game, and doll stuff lol. Although I do want to do the museums and cherry blossoms and hot springs and other cultural things too – though mostly, I’m just a big geeky nerd who loves anime and wants to go shopping – which is what this whole tour is designed for <3)

Animate - The World's Largest Anime Store

Animate – The World’s Largest Anime Store

It’s not that much money (well OK it is, but it’s cheaper than I expected honestly). Guided 6 Day Anime Tour in Japan which includes hotels and Guides through all the “anime” spots in Japan (since I can’t speak Japanese a Guide would be helpful…)

Cat Heavy Breathing GIF

Only $1,500 a person, includes hotels for each day. I’d just have to have airfare, and LOTTTTTTTTSSSSS of money for food and shopping. Like seriously I’d probably want to have another $1,000 with me just for shopping lol. If I buy a dollfie dream or custom volks doll or something that’d eat half that budget right there. Then there’s all kinds of cheap (but cute) dolls / toys / figurines, etc.

idea intensifies GIF

I wouldn’t want to go by myself either – I would hope my boyfriend would go with me but if not then I’m pretty sure that I could find a friend or family member to take… If I had to pay for both of us that’s $3,000… The tour includes several meals but I’d need money for more meals (Let’s say $100 a day food budget X 5 days $500) Airfaire is probably close to $1,000 a person too So not counting shopping expenses I’d need $5,500… I want to mainly go shopping so I’d want at least $1,000 for shopping for myself that’s $6,500…. which still… isn’t that bad because of all the things this tour includes.

Studio Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli Museum

This tour includes all of the Ghibli and other museums, the largest anime stores, and even admission to an anime convention for one day. OMG and an anime theme park another day… OMG it includes real life mario kart racing too…. omg…

Anime GIF

The number 1 place I want to visit actually isn’t on this tour – that place is Doll Point Akihabara – Volks store where you can buy Dollfie Dreams and Asian Balljointed Dolls and Accessories – including some items available only in the store and not sold online.  But that’s OK because the tour gives you free time in the evening and one free day where you’re on your own without a guide.

Doll Point Akihabara

Doll Point Akihabara

My dream / life goal / bucket list… lol…

Now that I have my passport I can actually do stuff like this O_O!!! Now I just need money (lots of money) (and to wait for my vacation time again lol).

https://japandeluxetours.com/group/tour/anime-japan-tour-6-days-a

Tour Includes

  • 6 DAYS
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • 7 MEALS
  • 5 breakfasts
    2 lunches
  • TRANSPORT
  • All transport shown
Anime Stores

Anime Stores

Details:

  • 4 nights Western hotel
  • Daily Breakfast-Buffets and 2 Lunches included
  • All ground transportation in Japan during the tour
  • Complimentary Airport Transfers (see details)
  • Admission Fees, Tax & Gratuities at all included Destinations
  • Full time service of licensed English speaking tour guide & separate bus driver
  • Japan Deluxe Tours Handbook and Tour Goods Package
  • Free Wi-Fi in Bus & Most hotels
Doll Stores

Doll Stores

Travel Highlights

  • A day at the AnimeJapan Festival in Tokyo
  • A walk through the busy Shibuya Crossing
  • Tokyo’s lively Harajuku and Takeshita Dori
  • The electronics and anime town of Akihabara
  • 20+ Anime stores at Tokyo Character Street
  • Admission to J-World Jump Theme Park
  • The well known Ghibli Museum
  • Souvenir shopping at Harajuku Kiddy Land
  • Shopping and trading time at the Pokemon Center
  • The Gundam Base Tokyo and Lifesize Unicorn Gundam

Not Included
– Airfare
– Travel Insurance
– Optional Excursions

Animate Japan - World's Largest Anime Store

Animate Japan – World’s Largest Anime Store


Itinerary:

Day 1

Tokyo Arrival
Arrival* Narita Int’l Airport (NRT) Haneda Int’l Airport (HND)
Arrival Transfer
Welcome to Japan! We will have transportation services to take you to your hotel. Please refer to your tour handbook for more information.
Rest at the hotel and be ready to start your exciting tour tomorrow.

Mirai Store

Mirai Store

**INFORMATION**
From Narita Airport to downtown hotel in Tokyo – about 90 mins(Bus)
From Haneda Airport to downtown hotel in Tokyo – about 30 mins(Bus)

Hearton Hotel Higashi Shinagawa or similar


Day 2
Tokyo | Sushi & Akihabara
Morning [ Tokyo ] Asakusa Sensoji Temple Pokemon Center J-World
Afternoon Tsukiji Fish Market (Lunch) ( Lunch – Sushi )
Tokyo Character Street [ Akihabara ]
Animate
Evening Return to the Hotel

Tokyo International Anime Fair Anime Japan

Tokyo International Anime Fair Anime Japan By Max TimchenkoOwn work, GFDL, Link

Before our big day at the International Anime Fair – AnimeJapan tomorrow, our Anime tour will visit some of the best anime sites Tokyo has to offer. We first start with some traditional Japanese culture and shopping at Asakusa. Enjoy shopping at the Nakamise area and the stunning red temple that is Sensoji. We then make our way to Sunshine City to check out the Pokemon Mega Center, a must-go for all Pokemon lovers. Besides all the Pokemon goods they sell, they also have a battling and trading room for customers to interact with other Pokemon fans.

pokemon center

pokemon center

After browsing through exclusive products, we will head over to J-World, the Shonen Jump theme-park in Tokyo! Play games and win prizes based on all your favorite characters, including Goku from Dragonball, Luffy and Co from One Piece, Naruto and Sasuke, Kuroko and the rest of the Generation of Miracles, and Hinata and his team of volleyball hopefuls! Win prizes and shop to your hearts content at the J-World store before our next stop. For lunch, enjoy sushi with fish provided by the Tsukiji Fish Market, the famous fish market that provides freshest ingredients for thousands of families and businesses alike.

J-world

J-world

Following our time at the market, the tour will visit the lively Tokyo Character Street in Tokyo Central Station. The area is lined with various anime-themed shops, including a Jump Store, Pokemon Center, Hello Kitty shop, Ghibli store, and more! There’s also Tokyo Ramen Street, Okashi Land, and Gachapon Street, perfect for someone who wants some lunch and to do a little more gift shopping for friends or for themselves! After our adventures at Character Street, we will head to Akihabara, the town of anime. While there, enjoy shopping ad sightseeing for the rest of the day at some of the most popular otaku destinations, including Animate. Animate carries all kinds of character goods, electronics, and games from current and popular anime/manga series.

Tokyo Character Street

Tokyo Character Street


Hearton Hotel Higashi Shinagawa or similar Breakfast Lunch
Day 3
Tokyo | AnimeJapan Festival
Morning AnimeJapan
Optional Shibuya Scrumble Crossing Gundam Base Tokyo (Optional) VR ZONE SHINJUKU (Optional) Ninja Trick House (Optional) CAPCOM BAR (Optional) Mario Kart (Optional)
Evening Return to the Hotel
*Evening Capsule Hotels (Optional)

Gundam Base Tokyo Japan Life Size Gundam Unicorn

Gundam Base Tokyo Japan Life Size Gundam Unicorn

Today’s the big day of the International Anime Fair – AnimeJapan! Join the many cosplayers, otaku, and anime lovers of all degrees in the biggest Anime event in the world. Anime, manga, doujinshi, guest speakers, figurines, rare items, video games, limited and exclusive covers are all accessible at this large event. Enjoy your day exploring the grounds and meeting people with the same passion as you! If the fair isn’t enough, you also have the option to join an optional tour at 3pm to explore the famous Shibuya Crossing and Gundam Base Tokyo to see the awesome life-size RX-0 Unicorn Gundam model (72 ft). The Gundam Base is an expansive store, museum, and features a cafe for guests to enjoy everything Gundam.

Real Life Mario Kart Experience at Maricar Japan

Real Life Mario Kart Experience at Maricar Japan

Feel free to enjoy the night at your leisure, or you have the option to enjoy the night as you wish, or sign up for a few optional excursions. We have the new VR Zone Shinjuku, an incredible VR-focused arcade, the Ninja Trick House where guests can enjoy learning how to throw ninja-stars and also learn the ways of the ninja, or a meal at the CAPCOM BAR, a themed-restaurant showcasing the best of CAPCOM, including games and themed-meals, or sign up for a MarioKart experience and drive go-karts around Tokyo dressed as some of your favorite characters!

You also have the option of staying a night in a capsule hotel for one night (additional fees may apply for capsule hotel and/or additional excursions)

(Err no thank you to the capsule hotel… Too claustrophobic for me – like sleeping in a coffin or morgue lol)

Japanese Capsule Hotels

Japanese Capsule Hotels


Hearton Hotel Higashi Shinagawa or similar Breakfast
Day 4
Tokyo | J-Pop, Ghibli, & Robots
Morning Harajuku Harajuku Crepes (JDT Recommends)
Harajuku Kiddy Land (Optional)
Omotesando (Optional)
Sailor Moon Store (Optional)
Tokyo One Piece Tower
Afternoon Ghibli Museum Robot Restaurant
Evening Return to the Hotel

Japanese Crepes

Japanese Crepes

We will start our morning heading to Harajuku for shopping and snacks along Takeshita Dori. This shopping area is the perfect place to get in touch with Japan’s pop culture trends, and to sample some of the best crepes in Japan. After our time in Harajuku, we head to Tokyo Tower, Japan’s iconic tower. Tokyo Tower has been taken over by One Piece, resulting in Tokyo One Piece Tower. Known as Tongari Island, this event is filled with attractions, wonderful restaurants, and a live-action show designed to wow fans of all ages.

Japanese Crepes

Japanese Crepes

Following our time at the tower, we head east to visit the famed Ghibli Museum. This animation and art museum exhibits works of Miyazaki Hayao, creator of world famous films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. Ghibli Film fans will definitely enjoy the artistic museum, which not only exhibits the history and techniques of animation but also plays short movies in a theater room, produced exclusively for the museum.

Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower

After the museum, it’s time for dinner at the Robot Restaurant in Shinjuku for those interested! Enjoy a show like none before, fusing classic Japanese elements with the dreams and fantasies of the future. The restaurant has a wild vibe and a unique experience you are sure to find entertaining.

Robot Restaurant

Robot Restaurant


Hearton Hotel Higashi Shinagawa or similar Breakfast Lunch
Day 5
Tokyo | Leisure-Free
All Day Free at your leisure
Optional Excursion Fees not included.
Opt 1 Tokyo Disneyland (Optional)
Opt 2 Tokyo Disney Sea (Optional)
Opt 3 Kamakura (Optional) -or- Nikko (Optional)
Opt 4 Mario Kart (Optional)
Opt 5 Sanrio Puroland (Optional)
Opt 6 Fuji-Q Highland (Optional)
Evening Return to the Hotel
We have cleared up the day for you to explore and enjoy Japan as you wish. You can either
1) enjoy the entire day as you wish
2) visit Tokyo Disney Land, Fuji Q Amusement Park, or Tokyo DisneySea or another theme-park
3) Join a Mario Kart day tour*
4) go on a private-guided tour through Nikko or Kamakura

Tokyo Disney Resort

Tokyo Disney Resort

For those who wish to visit Tokyo Disney Land, Fuji Q Amusement Park, or Sanrio Puroland, your tour guide will be happy to explain directions.
(additional fees may apply for additional tour options. Please contact us in advanced for this service)

*The Mario Kart experience requires an International Driving Permit. Please contact us for more information if you would like to participate.


Hearton Hotel Higashi Shinagawa or similar Breakfast
Day 6
Tokyo Departure
Departure Transfer
Departure* Narita Int’l Airport (NRT) or Haneda Int’l Airport (HND)
Your pleasant and memorable Japan tour ends today. The tour will disband after breakfast.
Fly home with cherished memories or enjoy your extended stay in Japan.

https://japandeluxetours.com/help/frequently-asked-questions/


Mirai Store

Mirai Store

5. Anime Japan Tour | Tokyo
Departure Date(s)
6 Days
2018 Tokyo Tokyo 03/22
5 Nights 6 Days From : USD 1,878 USD 1,784 pp

Destinations:

  • Akihabara Animate
  • Ghibli Museum
  • J-World
  • Pokemon Center
  • Asakusa – Sensoji Temple
  • Shibuya Crossing
  • Nakano Broadway
  • Tokyo Character Street
  • Tokyo One Piece Tower

Experiences

  • AnimeJapan
  • Robot Restaurant
  • Tsukiji Fish Market Lunch
  • Optional – Capsule Hotel

Take on Tokyo during our AnimeJapan Tour | Tokyo package! This fully escorted Japan tour focuses on all of the major anime & manga spots in Tokyo, and enjoy admission to the AnimeJapan festival! We’ve also included a day of leisure in the city, with plenty of suggested itineraries we can set up at your convenience (additional fees may apply).

Animate Japan - World's Largest Anime Store

Animate Japan – World’s Largest Anime Store

During this Anime Japan tour, we have selected the integral destinations that showcase Japan’s unique pop culture. Akihabara, the mecca of anime and electronics, is just one of the many destinations we will be visiting during this tour. Among the shops of Akihabara, we recommend a visit to the Animate store. One of the largest anime and manga store chains, you’re bound to find the latest anime posters, figurines, and goods.

There’s also J-World, the indoor theme park featuring Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Naruto, Tokyo Character Street, the shopping arcade in Tokyo Central Station perfect for souvineer shopping, and the Ghibli Museum where the works of Hayao Miyazaki come to life. We’ll also be swinging by the long-standing Nakano Broadway and Tokyo One Piece Tower, just in case you were worried we didn’t have enough anime spots on the menu. This anime tour will also covers the Gundam Base Tokyo, where the massive 72 foot Unicorn Gundam stands over Odaiba!

animation copic markers

animation copic markers

With so many incredible anime shopping destinations, don’t forget this tour includes admission to the AnimeJapan exhibition at Odaiba’s Big Sight Convention Center! There are over 100 exhibitors participating, capturing the spirit of anime and manga from fans all over the world. The exhibition not only features displays and performances, but also charity auctions, cosplayers events, meeting animators and manga artists, limited edition goods, and more. We’ve also arranged for an optional walking tour along Shibuya after the convention! You can also extend your vacation before / after this Anime Japan Tour in Tokyo.

Cat Heavy Breathing GIF

Come Join the LARGEST Anime Expo & See all the hottest anime and Manga spots in Tokyo!

Tokyo – AnimeJapan


OMG!!!! They have a different tour to the Tokyo Game Show and Video Games / Arcades in Japan too. A shorter one, only 3 nights.

And another one which is 8 nights and includes things like the deer park (deer just roam the streets, they’re tame you can pet and feed them, etc). And includes more museums and things too.

idea intensifies GIF

Of course the best one is 15 days long – but it’s also the most expensive.

So many awesome tours. I’m definitely doing this (probably the 6 day one) – Hopefully next year once I save up the money.

My life long dream ❤

I Want To Take an Anime and Manga Tour in Japan was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

My Neighbor Totoro Ghiblifest 2017 Anime Movie Review

I went to see My Neighbor Totoro subbed last night as part of the 2017 GKids Studio Ghiblifest. The theater I went to seemed to have a fairly good turnout for the show, but not as popular as the theatrical SailorMoon Release which I reviewed here (dub) and here (sub)

Still it is nice to see anime getting more coverage in theaters. I drove almost an hour to go see Totoro, but it was still closer than the nearly 2 hour drive I made (twice) to go see Sailor Moon. It’s also awesome to see old anime like Totoro from the 80s and SailorMoon from the 90s finally on the big screen!

The excitement of seeing such childhood favorite films on the silverscreen inspired me to want to do a review for Totoro today.

Also be sure to check out the Studio Ghiblifest home page, there will be other Studio Ghibli films in theaters all summer long, with the next one being Kiki’s Delivery Service on July 23 (dub) and 24 (sub). I like Kiki’s Delivery Service so much, that I might just go to both of them :).

Onto the review:

Title: My Neighbor Totoro

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Release Date: 1988

Genre: Slice of Life, Adventure, Fantasy

Geeky: 2/5 This film is beautiful to watch, even now, 20 years after its initial release. But plot wise, this is a very slow moving film, slow and uneventful for almost the entire film, and then insanely rushed in the last 10-15 minutes of the film. Actually the ending feels really disjointed from the rest of the film and you can read about that under the Conspiracy Theory below. The languid plot and ending that feels out of place make this a hard film to like, unless you’re watching it for the beautiful backgrounds and cute characters. Systematically though, I can’t give it high “technical” points due to the poor writing.

Sweetie: 4/5 Like most Ghibli films, this is super charming with a lot of heart. It depicts every day life of two little girls living in a new home in the forest with their father as they wait for their mother to return from a hospital. The girls encounter magical creatures, and those creatures are super adorable to boot. Blending slice of life in traditional Japan in a quiet countryside rural village, alongside the mystical and fantastical secret world that only the girls can see, and all the new magical friends they make, this tale is full of sweet cute moments sure to appeal to anyone looking for a kawaii cute family friendly and feel good anime. — It loses one point because there is no plot or character development. Unlike other Ghibli films, this one just never seems to get off the ground or accomplish much.

Story: 6/10 The story is a slice of life look at the life of 2 very young girls. Their mother is sick in the hospital with some unexplained illness, and their father has just decided to move the family to a new home in the country, thinking the fresh air from the trees would be good for his wife once she returns back home. While exploring their new surroundings, the two girls stumble upon a magical creature which they dub Totoro. Their father says Totoro is a very old forest spirit, and the father, along with Totoro, teaches the young girls to love and respect nature.

Characters: 9/10 The real reason to watch this show is because all of the characters are cute, unique, heart warming, and funny. Not just the adorable Totoro and his friends, but also the human children. The anime puts a lot of work into making us like and care about the girls and their father. In fact, the entire film, until the very end, is just day to day stuff that the girls find exciting about their new home, or sharing loving family moments with their father. — That said, unlike most Ghibli films, there’s really no character “development” the characters do not change much at all throughout the movie. This, combined with a very slow moving plot, makes the anime feel slow and sleepy at times.

Conspiracy Theory: If you’ve already seen the film, here’s something you may be interested in reading. There are spoilers below here, so proceed at your own risk.

End of Spoilers.

Artwork and Animation: 10/10 The backgrounds are lovely and all of the character designs are imaginative, quirky, and cute. Totoro has become so iconic that he is now the mascot for Studio Ghibli and known around the world.

Music: 10/10 I don’t really love the opening song. However, I do super love all the background tracks throughout the film. The ending theme is also catchy.

Voice Acting: 10/10 The two sisters are adorable and precocious. They give very believable performances with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Totoro’s well timed animal sounds are quirky and cute. And the father and mother both sound very sincere and loving. Granny sounds old and slightly scary, but also warm and loving as well.

Overall: 51/60 85% B “Very Good Anime for Girls”

PS: If you enjoyed Totoro also check out Wolf Children and My Summer with Coo

My Neighbor Totoro Ghiblifest 2017 Anime Movie Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Boxychan Anime Box – June Unboxing Photos and Review – Monthly Subscription Box for Anime and Manga Fans

I just finished my review for Betoyo Bento here. In this review I mentioned how I just had a birthday a few weeks ago and my best friend gifted me with 2 subscription boxes. Here is the 2nd of those subscriptions – Boxychan Anime Box. I liked this box so well that I subscribed myself after opening this awesome box. I’m also going to update my top ten list of subscription boxes for geeky girls to reflect my love of Boxychan. What makes Boxychan so great in my opinion are two things – 1.) It has stuff you’ll actually use. I don’t know if “every” box is like this, but I’m assuming each box contains one manga and one dvd. – that’s actually stuff I want! stuff I’m already buying. Yes, little figures and posters and candy and other things are good – but this is stuff that’s expensive, manga is usually around $10-$15 a pop, Dvds around $15-20 a pop. Speaking of the word “Pop” that brings me to point 2.) This box is full of officially licensed products! Including the VERY popular “Funko Pops” YES! 🙂

When signing up for Boxychan you can choose many different “themes” – anime is just one of MANY geeky themes, they have comics, gamer, toys, geek, themes and more!! — I stuck with the anime theme, because I loved almost everything in this box!! I loved it so much I signed up for the longest subscription, the 9 month option. This is not a paid post or sponsored post. My friend bought me the one month box as a birthday gift, with her own money. I then used my own money to subscribe to the 9 month option – I just want to be very CLEAR that I GENUINELY love Boxychan. It is my favorite box. Oh by the way, interesting little tidbit for you – the 9 month option, only takes your first month’s payment of $28 up front – unlike MANY of these boxes where if you want the year subscription you’re paying hundreds of dollars – but I assume if you try to cancel before the 9 months are up they “clip you” for the remaining months then. But I like that they don’t want the whole fees up front – very kind! You also get discounts for longer subscriptions (I believe, but can’t remember for sure, that a single box is $35 a month), so it was a no brainer to me to sign up for the full deal.

The other things you do when signing up are indicate your gender, and your “age” (child, teen, or adult) – I think they may customize the box to fit this demographic info! I say this, because the manga I received was VERY girly (GOOD Just what I like!! SHOUJO!! It’s very hard to find Shoujo stuff in these monthly boxes because most of them just focus on “mainstream” shounen stuff.) It also had sailor moon! (another “girly” shoujo item). And Totoro – which appeals to both male and female, but probably more towards girls for the kawaii factor. It had Tokyo Ghoul too which I think is more popular with boys, but probably one of the most popular anime series in recent years.

Lastly, when you sign up, you are asked your shirt and shoe sizes. The June box did not have any wearable items, but it’s good to know they have from Extra Small up to 2XL.

You can learn more about Boxychan over here: http://www.boxychan.com/products/anime-mystery-box

They call themselves the “original” themed mystery box – I’m not sure if that’s accurate. I’d not heard of them before – but to me they’re “claiming” to be the first anime subscription box available on the net. Which if it’s true, gives them some “street kred” and reliability.

Anyways I know what all you lovely people want to see, the box opening photos! So let’s get to it!

The outside box is rather plain compared to some of the competitors, for example, Doki Doki, which I reviewed here, uses a flashy bright pink attractive box. While Pusheen Box uses a box that looks like a cat on all 4 sides, which I’ve reviewed here. However, Boxychan keeps it very simple, with just a smile on one side of the box, and their logo on another side. Similar almost to amazon’s familiar packaging. The paint was also rubbing off of the outside of the box. – Not a big deal, but seeing it didn’t leave me with high expectations for the opening lol.

Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review

However, once cut open, this little box is just crammed full all the way with awesomeness. Also pink wrapping paper – which again to me seems to indicate that they probably select the items based on your gender and age group. The beautiful wrapping paper and seeing how FULL the box was started to lift my spirits and I started feeling excited.

Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box - Box Opening - Photos - Review
Boxychan Monthly Anime Subscription Box – Box Opening – Photos – Review

OMG SAILOR MOON!!!!!!! I was even more excited removing the wrapping paper to see the Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure. 🙂 So let’s start the review with that item. My only “complaint” is Damn that’s a big ass box for a tiny fingertip sized lil guy! LOL. The packaging of the figure was exciting though! Although it also sort of defeated the purpose of it being a “blind” box. The figure itself is painted well although it does have rough “edges” – I am used to this though since I collect “Asian balljointed dolls” which often have unfinished seams and I’m not bothered by this, but for some people who are unacustomed to seeing a figure or doll with rough seams showing, it may look cheap but this is actually quite common for toys from asian countries. Either way, tiny lil Artemis is so kawaii (bonus points for me since I love cats lol) and the base is engraved with the moon rod and beautiful scrollwork. Once again, this item says “For Girls” on it, which is another indicator that Boxychan may select items taking your gender and age group into account – I cannot prove this, but am impressed by how many “girly” items were in the June box which leads me to wonder if it is in fact shipping out different items tailored to your demographics which it requests upon signing up. – I would be interested to hear from any men out there if they also received the same items in their June Boxychan box in the comments below.

Pics:

Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box - June Boxychan Unboxing Photos - Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure - Sailor Moon Figurine - Sailor Moon Blind Box - Artemis - Artemis Blind Box Figure
Boxychan Anime Subscription Box – June Boxychan Unboxing Photos – Sailor Moon Blind Box Figure – Sailor Moon Figurine – Sailor Moon Blind Box – Artemis – Artemis Blind Box Figure

Next up, we have the Totoro lanyard from Studio Ghibli. It’s cute and bright blue. You’ll probably see it in several other photos in this review since I slipped it on to take pictures and then didn’t take it off until after the review.

Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box
Totoro Studio Ghibli Lanyard in June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box

The anime that I received is Kirameki Project – I have not seen it or heard of it before — and I haven’t watched it yet, because my cats broke my TV and my laptop has no dvd player… 🙁 orz. I’m saving up (and waiting hopefully for a sale) to replace my TV. I need to mount it on my wall because my cats are so naughty.

Anyways though, it looks cute? It also looks like it has huge amounts of fan service though which is a bit of a put off – There’s a pretty prominent “Panty Shot” on the back of the packaging.

It’s a “giant robo” or “mecha” anime however, one of the mecha looks like a “doll” (from wikipedia). Wikipedia also says it’s a quirky and cute show, although they are also quick to point out that it has a huge amount of fanservice – most of which comes from said doll-like robot. They also note that it has a lot of drama (which to me is a plus as that’s my preferred genre for anime).

Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service
Kirameki Anime DVD inside June Boxychan Anime Subscription Service

The manga, “Nui!”, on the other hand, that I received is ADORABLE – I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Fruits Basket or well a fan of Shoujo in general. It’s about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they become human. Sometimes they can’t always control when or where this transformation will happen, and of course, all of them are in love with their owner. I really loved this manga – and once again had never heard of it before. Which is a pretty impressive feat since I’m usually “in the know” when it comes to all things shoujo.

Note that despite the pics below, the manga is in black and white (as most manga are), it just had a few colored pages inside.

Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.
Nui Manga by Broccoli Books inside June Boxychan Anime Mystery Box. I love this manga about a girl who loves her stuffed animals so much that they come to life.

There was also this weird (but kinda cute in it’s own way) “Pin” you know the kind you place on a hat, purse, backpack, jacket, etc – Of a baindaid (a popular “fashion” item in “Decora Fashion” which is a fashion trend in Japan where you wear as many accessories as humanly possible. This lil baindaid has a face and greenish blush on it’s “cheeks”. There was also a rubber, black Tokyo Ghoul bracelet (not pictured).

Decora Japanese Fashion Pin in June's Boxychan crate.
Decora Japanese Fashion Pin in June’s Boxychan crate.

And last, but certainly not least, the Funko Pop Tokyo Ghoul figure. It’s Funko Pop, and Tokyo Ghoul, two of the hottest, most popular things in geek culture. There’s 2 versions, a girl, and a guy (forgive me, I’ve actually not yet watched Tokyo Ghoul so not real familiar with the characters) in this series. I received the girl figure. It’s cute, and I love Funko Pops! – Secretly wish it would have been one of the sailor moon funko pops instead – but still happy with this lol.

Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June's Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June’s Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June's Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June’s Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June's Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate
Tokyo Ghoul Funko Pop Vinyl Figure inside June’s Anime Boxychan Subscription Crate

Once again, I can’t tell you just how impressed I am with this box – for $28 (for the 9 month plan) every month, I will get manga, anime dvds, funko pops and officially licensed anime goods! This stuff would probably easily cost over $65 if buying everything separately.

Hands down, Boxychan gets my vote for best anime subscription box – WAY better than Doki Doki – and slightly better than Betoyo.

I still also really like Pusheen Box because it’s so damn kawaii — but Boxychan has more “universal appeal” — even if you don’t like anime, they have other themes too – seriously, go check them out :). http://www.boxychan.com

PS: I signed up and my box has already been sent – which means I MAY get another June Box – if that is the case I may end up giving away a few duplicate items in a future blog post(s) – stay tuned :).

Boxychan Anime Box – June Unboxing Photos and Review – Monthly Subscription Box for Anime and Manga Fans was originally published on Geeky Sweetie