15 Things Only Studio Ghibli Fans Will Understand

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Fans of Ghibli Are A Special Breed And We Know IT!

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Since 1985, after the initial success of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Studio Ghibli and visionary genius Hayao Miyazaki have come up with some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring animated movies ever created.

The fantastical imaginations of Ghibli’s animators, screenwriters and directors have given us magnificent worlds and characters, guiding us through tales of friendship and courage that echo messages of positivity through our day-to-day lives. Studio Ghibli’s fans are some of the most dedicated in the world, especially in Japan where Spirited Away remains the highest grossing film of all time.

However, trying to explain your mania for Studio Ghibli to those who have not already been introduced, you may find yourself arguing with statements such as “I don’t like cartoons” and “It’s pretty, but it makes no sense”.

So, with all of this in mind, take five minutes out of stoning such people over the head with your Totoro pencil pot, and take solace in the fact you can fully appreciate many wondrous things only Studio Ghibli fans will understand.

15. Always Wanting To Call The Man Who Comes Round To Fix The Boiler ‘Kamajii’

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Many Studio Ghibli fans who have lived in freezing cold, rented apartments in the winter, only to receive a phone call from their letting agent stating that ‘the boiler man will be round this week’, will have had a fair giggle about just this.

Kamajii, being one of the many wonderful characters from Spirited Away, is referred to as the boiler man on many occasions as he controls the hot water running through the bath house, catering to all of its weird and mystical spirit guests.

Images of a gentleman in overalls with a toolbox are no more in Ghibli fans minds, as we open the door fully expecting to see a giant man-spider with a very short temper, surrounded by soot sprites carrying coal, coming over just to fix the shower.

So far, this has unfortunately not been the case, but we’ll forever live in hope one day it will be.

14. Knowing They Have The Strongest Women In Animation

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Ghibli has always been better at creating dynamic, admirable female protagonists than some of it’s more traditional competitors.

The girls and women in Studio Ghibli films are almost always feisty, strong, full of life and very rarely need rescuing. Take for example, Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle, who refuses to bow to Howl’s charms without forcing him to acknowledge his ridiculous self-involvement and immaturity. She’s also a working girl with a no-nonsense attitude that most girls can relate to.

Then there is San (aka Princess Mononoke) who is one badass, blood-sucking warrior woman who needs no prince to protect her. Also, she rides around on giant wolves all day, so basically she couldn’t get any cooler.

Just to mention a few others, you have Kiki, Chihiro, Arrietty, Ponyo, Umi, Satsuki and of course Nausicaa, which make up this band of Ghibli girls who portray characters whose gender has never held them back from doing whatever is necessary.

13. All Old Women Look The Same

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Yes, Yubaba and Zeniba are twins, right down to the clothes that they wear for some reason, but there seem to be some strange similarities between the other older ladies in the Ghibli universe.

Whether this was intentional or not is unknown, but characters such as Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle (in her older form of course) bare a striking resemblance to Barsa from Kiki’s Delivery Service. The same could be said for Yubaba, Sophie and Dola from Castle in the Sky, who all feature a similarly large nose and wide, expressive eyes. It could also be argued that Obaba from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is also similar to Yubaba in name and appearance as well.

It seems as though the Studio has an archetype for older women that fits the bill for what they are trying to achieve with the character, these older ladies are always just as feisty and strong willed as their younger counterparts, but just that bit more cantankerous.

12. Feeling Smug When You Spot A Connection Within The Studio Ghibli Universe

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Every good Studio Ghibli fan should now know that there are quite a few crossovers in the Studio Ghibli universe, but that still doesn’t stop that smug sense of satisfaction when pointing them out to a newcomer or noticing a new one yourself.

The most obvious one being the presence of the Susuwatari (Soot Sprites or Dust Bunnies, depending on who you ask) in both My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. The small, black balls of soot have functionary roles in both films, not to mention they are absolutely adorable!

Along with spotting this there are also things like the Squirrel foxes in both Nausicaa and Castle in the Sky, the appearance of the Baron in Whisper of the Heart and The Cat Returns, and the resemblance between characters such as Ponyo and Mei from My Neighbour Totoro. All of this leads to the conclusion that these events occur in the same universe but perhaps at different times or in different realities, which just adds to the glory of Ghibli for many of the Studio’s fans.

Another connection, that could be taken as tribute, is the portrait of Dola’s younger self in her bedroom, which many fans have theorised could be a painting of Nausicaa. Who knows?! With Ghibli it seems the possibilities are endless.

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11. You Really, REALLY Want A Squirrel Fox.

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There is absolutely no doubt that Ghibli provides a range of characters that you want to collect as stuffed animals. From the Soot Sprites to the Tree Spirits, nearly every creature is as huggable and loveable as the last. However, there is one you would give all of your stuffed Totoros to own in real life.

That creature is Teto the squirrel fox, Nausicaa’s furry, snappy companion from the Valley of the Wind, whose kind make a brief appearance scurrying all over robots in Castle in the Sky. Their bushy tales, scruffy collars and enormous, bug-like green eyes make them the perfect pet for sitting comfortably on your shoulder while you whizz around on your adventures.

You would only need to let it bite you for a few seconds before you completely gained its trust and had a fuzzy friend for life, that beats a boring old cat any day… unless it can turn into a bus.

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