When it comes to anime heroines, Studio Ghibli has some of the best. These characters are not always the saviors of the planet, but they all feel like real people forced to endure extraordinary circumstances. Some are simply powerless people trying to achieve their goals on a small scale, while others are messiahs ready to save the world from ruin.
But which of Studio Ghibli’s various female leads is among the most memorable and shocking? Let’s count down the top 10.
Anna (when Marnie was there)
Depending on your personal experience, Anna is either one of Studio Ghibli’s most frustrating heroines or one of the most painfully understanding. When marnie was there it is a journey born out of depression and self-loathing. Anna is a depressed main character whom others describe throughout the film as stiff and distant.
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But all of this is a means of dealing with your sense of insecurity and detachment from the world. She could also be one of the few Studio Ghibli heroines who are not straight, depending on how you read her relationship with Marnie, as it sometimes seems like Anna is one-sidedly in love with the girl after their first meeting.
Haru (The cat returns)
Haru from The cat returns possesses a magical power: can talk to cats. That connection is, in part, what causes you to stumble into a rabbit hole, like WonderlandAlice Before that, Haru’s first big action in The cat returns He’s saving a cat from the biggest serial killer in anime – a truck. From there, she gradually transforms into one.
There are several Ghibli heroines who are thrown down the rabbit hole: Chihiro from Made disappear being a noteworthy example, but few take all the debauchery in stride like Haru does. There is something really charming about her and her adventure because of it.
Chihiro (Spirited Away)
Speaking of which, Chihiro is the ultimate Ghibli heroine “in the rabbit hole”, in the sense that her adventure to another world consists of continually reacting to increasingly fantastic events and spirits around her. On the surface, Chihiro is not your typical hero. She is essentially a spoiled brat with no means to defend herself, especially from the supernatural.
Despite that, and despite having her name stolen, she accepts the challenge and, as a result, Chihiro’s bow over the course of Made disappear it makes her gain a greater appreciation of the world around her. All the people he comes into contact with are better off. There is something really beautiful about it.
Taeko (yesterday only)
Taeko from Just yesterday is a unique character for Ghibli. Most of Ghibli’s heroines are children, teenagers, or very young adults who are dealing with life as it comes. Taeko, on the other hand, looks from two perspectives on Just yesterday: one young and the other 27 years old.
Because of this, Taeko’s journey back to her hometown and to the past is one that is most significant, especially when viewed through the lens of an adult. He is arguably one of Ghibli’s most human adult characters, as his journey is one of personal reflection, not external triumph. For some, this makes Taeko more forgettable. For others, it makes it deeper.
Shizuku (Whisper of the Heart)
Shizuku is a creative young woman who strives to do something great. While Whisper of the heartThis fantastic adventure exists only in the realms of her imagination, Shizuku’s journey creating this imaginative world is what makes her so attractive. Of course, Whisper of the heart it’s primarily a story about young love, but Shizuku’s personal journey, about artists finding their place in the world, is also important.
Your appreciation of Shizuku as a character can be determined entirely by how much you can relate to a young writer struggling to come up with an idea and her emotional intensity when someone else honestly responds to that work. Again, like Taeko, Shizuku’s bow is very internal. However, unlike Just yesterday, Whisper of the heart it is more cathartic.
Sheeta (Castle in the Sky)
Sheeta is a seemingly normal girl who embarks on the greatest of steampunk-inspired adventures in Castle in the sky. Over the course of the movie, we learn that she is the rightful heir to Laputa, the titular castle in the sky. But what makes her interesting is that she is actually an ordinary girl.
On the surface, she may not look much different in the pantheon of Ghibli girls, she even looks like Kiki once her braids are shot, but few other heroines in the studio face such a dangerous threat as Castle in the skyThe main antagonist, Muska. Consider this: she is the only Miyazaki’s heroine to kill the villain of her movie.
Nausicaa (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind)
Nausicaa is NausicaaTitular Princess of the Valley of the Wind. For fun, he travels to toxic jungles, collects spore samples, and drops Ohmu shells. Nausicaa can, at times, be a little as well perfect for this good world, but, again, she is a real Messiah destined to unite the human race at war with nature.
Yet in many ways, Nausicaa is a perfect heroine for Ghibli canon. You can see the potential for good in everything, including the chaotic and destructive forces of the Toxic Jungle. And ultimately, it’s the closest Ghibli has ever come to bringing a real superhuman to the screen to save the world.
Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
Kiki is a young witch who travels far from home alone for the first time, eventually making a living as a young delivery driver at a local bakery in a city. This may not sound like the greatest of heroics, nor like an incredibly compelling quest for a witch, of all things, to participate. However, what makes Kiki such a strong protagonist of Ghibli is how real and raw she feels.
During Kiki’s delivery service, we see Kiki optimistically take on this mundane job as she gradually becomes increasingly drained from her failures. Because of this, the character of Kiki is in Kiki’s delivery service it’s one of the most realistic depictions of burnout ever put on screen, and its journey is one that anyone who looks at it can find relatable.
Saint (Princess Mononoke)
Saint of Princess mononoke is without a doubt one of the most badass heroines of Ghibli. Abandoned as a baby to be raised by wolves, San identifies more as a wolf than a human, leading her to wage war against Lady Eboshi and the people of Iron Town.
Her inner journey, for her part, is one that forces her to understand that the coexistence between humanity and nature is fundamental. Humans view her quite reasonably as a villain because of how brutal her methods are. However, despite his wild appearance, there are several moments where San shows his humanity, allowing him to better understand his emotional state.
Sophie (Howl’s Howl’s Moving Castle)
Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle he is an incredible protagonist. Her adventure seems simple at first: she becomes an old woman, meets the wizard Howl, and falls in love. Beneath the surface, though, it encapsulates just about everything good about the other Ghibli heroines mentioned here. Like Marnie, her journey is one that forces her to overcome her own sense of depression and inferiority. And just like Chihiro and Haru, he goes down a rabbit hole into a hidden fantasy world.
However, what makes her the plus Incredible is that despite being an older and ‘weak’ woman for most of the movie, she ends up helping end a massive war, restoring something precious to Howl, and ultimately leaving everyone she found. better. Ironically, the curse that should have destroyed his life allowed him to put aside his inhibitions and have the adventure he was always too scared to continue. It’s a beautiful twist on the structure of the fairy tale. Howl’s Moving Castle not the best ghibli movie, but sophie is the best female lead in the study.
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