I want to thank Elou @ ElouCarroll for tagging me for this! Go check out her site right now, you won’t regret it!
I though this was an appropriate tag to do, because I’ve finally watched Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle! I’ve only ever seen Ponyo, so I’m glad I finally got to watch those two. So without further ado…
- Please pingback, rather than link to Kate@Melting Pots and Other Calamities. She will only know if you’ve done this tag if you pingback.
- Tag as many people as you want. Ghibli movies aren’t as popular as Disney or Pixar, so be careful that those you tag are at least somewhat familiar with Ghibli.
- You can use examples from books, movies, TV shows, anime/manga, and webcomics.
- As this tag celebrates heroines, please name either a piece of fiction or a female character, if you’re able.
- Have fun!
Let’s Start the Questions!
Nausicaa, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: (Even though this isn’t technically Ghibli, it’s still marketed that way). Nausicaa is a princess in a post-disaster world. She is compassionate and brave, a daring explorer who is capable and selfless. Name a strong female leader.
Okay, first I’d like to say I want to see this movie, it looks epic.
And I’d also like to say Katniss. I know I know, this answer makes it seem like Katniss is the only strong female character out there (because she’s a common answer when it comes to this kind of question), but she was the only character who popped in my head that quickly. But I’ll also shout out to the awesome other female characters out there (I won’t forget you all). 🙂
Sheeta, Castle in the Sky: Although Sheeta may have a quieter demeanour than other Ghibli heroines, she is not a damsel in distress. She’s royalty, but doesn’t stay on the sidelines; she is involved, kind, and despite a sad past, hopeful. Name an inspiring member of royalty.
Aelin!!!!! Haha, I still haven’t finished all the books (Empire of Storms and The Assassin’s Blade) but I’ve read enough to know that Aelin is not your average royal. 😉
Satsuki and Mei, My Neighbour Totoro: Before Anna and Elsa, before Lilo and Nani, there was Satsuki and Mei. Satsuki was incredibly young when their mother was hospitalised, and with their father at work, she has to take care of Mei. And Mei is only four, with a big imagination. Name a pair of siblings (or two friends who act like siblings).
Cath and Wren from Fangirl! These girls may have it rocky, but in the end they’re sisters for life!
Kiki, Kiki’s Delivery Service: Kiki has to go off on her own to live alone, as is the custom among witches. She goes through many things that newly independent young adults face, like money problems, finding a place to stay, job searching, and loneliness, before finding her way thanks to her special abilities. Name a female character who has supernatural gifts.
Ah! I’ve wanted to see this movie when I was very little! I never got to it though. T^T
Celia from The Night Circus! Her father might not exactly call what they do magic, but Celia can only do things that seems impossible, and has the appearance of magic.
Gina and Fio, Porco Rosso: Gina and Fio are both heroines in this film, and they couldn’t be less alike. Gina is a young woman who is very feminine, a singer and a restaurant owner. However, she is very resourceful and capable. Fio is a teenage mechanic who is independent, goes against the flow, and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She may be one of the best mechanics of her time. Name two inspiring heroines; one who is unabashedly feminine, and another who is more of a tomboy.
Akira from Kimi no Neiro seems to fit the tomboy description. She never has been outwardly girly in her life, and when finally she attempts to, it doesn’t quite work out for her. She now has come to terms with herself, and no longer cares if she meets the feminine quota society has set up for her.
I’m going to go with Akari from Shiny Doll. She’s now enjoying fashion and dressing up for the occasion. She might not know how to do makeup just yet, but she’s trying her best to change and say something with her outfits.
Angel, On Your Mark: On Your Mark is a music video that Ghibli helped a music group with. It may not have much of a story, but it’s beautiful and interesting, and not may people are aware of its existence. Name an underrated heroine.
Satoki from Plus Alpha no Tachiichi! She would rather play the side character than the main character, but when she has a chance to be one, she mistakenly turns herself into a supporting character that no one cares about.
Shizuku, Whisper of the Heart: Shizuku is an eighth-grade student who can’t quite focus on school as much as on her favourite books. However, through encounters with an ambitious boy who seems to have a likely chance at meeting his goals, a cat who rides trains, an antique shop owner, and a cat statue called The Baron, Shizuku is determined to meet her own goal and become a writer. Name your most relatable character.
I’m sorry, I have to cheat on this one. I’m using the same answer as before: Satoki. I’ve written a review (that won’t be out for awhile) that says how she’s one of the most relatable manga characters I’ve ever read. It’s because, like her, I’d rather be a supporting character that helps other people, than having other characters rally around me for my aid. That and she’s one of the most realistically portrayed characters I’ve ever read.
San, Princess Mononoke: San has been raised by wolves her whole life. When humans begin to invade her home forest to make towns and use the resources for themselves while killing the spirits and animals within, San refuses to let it be. She takes a stand and becomes the village’s greatest obstacle. She is such a force to be reckoned with that they even give her a name; The Princess Mononoke. Name a female character who is physically strong.
Nemesis from The Diabolic. She’s not human, so she has all the superhuman capabilities.
Chihiro, Spirited Away: At the beginning of Spirited Away, Chihiro starts off as a whiny, spoiled ten-year-old girl. However, during her time working at the spirit’s Bath House, she discovers parts of herself she didn’t know she had. The story is about her finding the strength she already had but was unaware of. Name a character who has an amazing character journey.
Probably Uru from Happy Cafe. All seems well in her life, but she doesn’t realize the burden she’s hidden away. The progress of her change is slow, but ultimately she’ll be able to face the truth of her past.
Haru, The Cat Returns: Haru is a typical high school girl; kind, clumsy, and a little forgetful. But she soon finds herself involved in events that are out of her control. In a way, it is because of her normalcy that she can find her way out of her situation and become stronger because of it. Name a female character who may not have any supernatural abilities herself, but is memorable anyway.
I got sidetracked a took a PlayBuzz quiz to see what Ghibli Heroine I was, and I got Haru. 🙂 (Link if you want to play!)
Eleanor from Eleanor & Park! She has a normal life, but it’s filled with problems. She’s a pretty strong willed character to be able to face all of her challenges.
Sophie, Howl’s Moving Castle: Sophie doesn’t think much of herself for a lot of the story. She doesn’t think she’s pretty or memorable, especially when compared to her younger sister, Lettie. It gets even worse when she’s cursed to look like an old woman. When she finds a new life that involves the mysterious wizard Howl, a fire demon, Howl’s apprentice, and many others, she is shown to be resilient and intuitive. Name an emotionally strong character.
Haha, so funny story. When I was watching the dub for this, I was told that Howl was voiced by Christian Bale, who plays Batman. So once when Howl uttered, “I see no point in living if I can’t be beautiful” he sounded so much like Batman it’s almost as if he said it himself, and then I burst out laughing for five minutes.
Ghibli fans, forgive me, haha. 😅
The closest answer I can come up with is Charlotte Holmes. She’s reserved and can’t connect with emotions, which have proven to help her solve a case. She doesn’t have time to be emotionally unstable, because bigger things are approaching.
Ponyo, Ponyo: Ponyo is one of the youngest Ghibli heroines at only five years old. But she still gets a lot done, including becoming human, discovering things, finding a best friend, and saving the world. Name a hero who happens to be a child.
Ah, so many childhood memories in this one film.
A child hero who’s also a girl, hmm, I guess Alice from Alice in Wonderland. If we weren’t doing girls than I would’ve chosen Harry Potter.
Arrietty, The Secret World of Arrietty: Arrietty is a Borrower; she is tiny and survives by stealing small things that humans won’t miss. Yet she’s curious about the human world, and does braver things than most humans would be incapable of doing, despite her tiny size. Name an unlikely hero.
I’ve always wanted to see this one too! I love tiny things, I would’ve loved this!
I want to say Liesel from The Book Thief. She’s just an ordinary child from a desperate time. She doesn’t have any say in anything, but she’s one of the few who has different values than everyone else. She may not seem like it, but she’s the most heroic character of them all when she wasn’t intended to be.
Nahoko, The Wind Rises: Nahoko has tuberculosis during World War 2. However, she doesn’t allow this to cripple her, and enjoys life to the fullest anyway, which includes painting and falling in love. Even being placed in a sanitarium doesn’t break her. Name an inspiring character with some sort of obstacle.
Puck from The Scorpio Races. She has to win the races in order to keep her childhood home and also to make her brother stay longer. There are some factors that aren’t in her favor, but she’s willing to do what it takes to compete in the races.
Kaguya, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya: in a time where women were expected to follow social norms such as blackening teeth, shaving eyebrows, and being forced into arranged marriages, Kaguya refuses to play along. She would much rather be outside, dance, and play with friends. Name a female character who challenges social norms.
I don’t really know if she’ll count, but Haruhi from OHSHC. She doesn’t really care who she’s perceived as, and doesn’t always care about Tamaki’s rants of her being ungirly. She just likes to enjoy doing her own thing.