Studio Ghibli Recommendation

Studio ghibli movies you should probably add to your watchlist

Growing up as a kid who loves fairy tales, I discovered that Hayao Miyazaki created a beautiful painted world that could take us into a deep fantasy. Simple, but meaningful and aesthetically pleasing, Studio Ghibli movies never fail me when I try to find something to watch whenever I have a rough day.

Here is a list of Studio Ghibli movies that I strongly recommend you to add to your watchlist!

Spirited Away (2001)

Spirited Away is a story about a young girl who slipped into the world of spirits when looking for her parents inside an abandoned tunnel. Chihiro takes you into the journey to take her parents back into the mortal realm. She meets Haku, the witch servant that helps her with her journey. This movie is pleasing the eyes and ears, the soothing music and amazing landscape will help you relax, and not to mention the deep meaning behind every scene. I already watched this movie numerous times, but I am still able to spot new facts behind the movie. This movie might look like it had a very basic storyline, but believe me, there is something about Spirited Away that could make you watch in awe. One Summer Away is one of the famous soundtracks from this movie.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

You might have once heard of Merry-Go-Round of Life or seen this picture of blond man and brunette girl somewhere on the internet. Aside from Spirited Away, this movie had to be on my all-time favourite movie list. I first watched this movie on local television when I was a little kid, and did not understand a thing. The only thing I remember is that the girl is turned into an old lady by a witch, and then meets Howl Pendragon, a male witch that lives inside a ‘moving castle’ and likes to eat “girls’ hearts”. Like Spirited Away, you might find it confusing at first because of the plot jump, but this movie is perfect for all the fairy tale lovers. The cinematic, romantic act between Howl and Sophie, and the beautiful scenery bring you into Howl’s world, hopping into his moving castle of fantasy. 

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

If you are looking for a movie that is far from any conflict, this movie is for you! Kiki’s Delivery Service is about Kiki, the witch in training that had reached the age to go outside her house and live among people. She brings her cat, Jiji, to accompany her during her adventure. She lives in a bakery, and has an idea to help the town citizens by delivering their package with her broom. I did not find anything that is packed with conflict here, it is really just about your friendly neighbourhood witch-in-training and her cat who delivers your package.

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

It feels so wrong writing a Studio Ghibli recommendation if I didn’t include this legendary Studio Ghibli movie into the list. My Neighbour Totoro is one of the most well-known Studio Ghibli movies of all time. This movie tells about the siblings that move to the countryside with their father. They meet Totoro, a big creature that lives in the woods beside their house. Together they had an amazing adventure with this creature. 

Whisper of the Heart (1995)

I fell deeply in love with this heart-warming tale of chasing dreams and adolescence. Shizuku carries out the story where she accidentally meets a boy in the next class named Seiji Amasawa during the summer break. The tingling sensation of first love surely brings warmth to your chest as you watch them chasing their future dreams on their own path by giving uncountable support to each other. Every time the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” plays, I can’t help but think that I want Seiji Amasawa to be real. He is too good to be real anyway.

The Secret World of Arriety (2010)

This is the latest Studio Ghibli movie that I watched recently. A tale about a girl who belongs to a species called “the borrower”. Arriety is excited to start her real life as a borrower when a boy named Sho, who just moved into the house that his mother lives in during her young days. Sho knows about the borrower's existence, thus coming to the house to witness the truth from his mother’s tale. This movie is nerve wracking yet emotional, to see the interaction between Arriety and Sho. I love the movie's ambience so far, and I strongly recommend this movie.

I could not list all Studio Ghibli movies into one article, but I can assure you that the other movies (When Marnie was There, Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, Castle in The Sky) are worth your time. “Grave of The Fireflies” is also a Studio Ghibli movie that is famous for being the saddest anime movie of all time, and I don’t really recommend you to watch this movie during peak college season because of the heavy emotional damage this movie might cost. Aside from that, all Studio Ghibli movies created by Hayao Miyazaki are indeed works of art and will stay inside your heart for a while.

So, for the upcoming college break, which Studio Ghibli movie do you pick as a date?

Writer: Ghinaa Atsiil Rachmania

Editor: Ias Aprilia