Canne’s Top 10 Studio Ghibli Works (part 1)

A post like this hardly needs an introduction considering how influential Studio Ghibli is in the world of anime. The real question is ‘Why haven’t I done this post before?’. Anyway, the idea of making this post was ignited after I came across an article of this exact same topic from Japan Cinema.

Let me give you a warning first. This list is rather personal. Since almost all Ghibli works are more or less masterpieces and we all know which ones are the classic or the award winning, I’m not going to rank them as a critic or elitist (which I am not) would. I am doing this as an anime lover. My feeling, my personality and my taste will definitely affect my choice. So bear with me and get ready to be surprised!

10) Princess Mononoke

I know that it is unbelievable to see Princess Mononoke ranked at number ten but, as everyone knows, Studio Ghibli has made too many great films. Princess Mononoke took my breath away with its shear size and scale. In this anime, Human clashes with nature leading to both tragic and hopeful conclusion.

9) On Your Mark

Who would believe that a 6 minutes long music video with absolutely no dialogue could have this complex and convoluted storytelling? What’s more, the MV also talks about nuclear power and about the fight to protect purity and…whatever, the winged girl represents.

8) Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Laputa is a classic epic fantasy. But honestly, Laputa earns its place in my top ten mostly because of its opening sequence. To be more specific, its opening theme remains one of my all time favorite theme even to this day. It is epic. It is filled with hope, dream and sadness. It almost outshines the anime itself.

7) Only Yesterday

Contrast to other Ghibli films, Only Yesterday tells the story of a woman, not a girl. What I’m most impressed about it is the blending of the past and the present done with simple but effective style. This is a rare and genuine drama anime, one that does not mixed with romance, comedy or fantasy.

6) Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

Ponyo is a lovely fish princess who comes to the dry land and brings catastrophic tsunami with her. This is probably the most joyful disaster movie ever made. (read full review here)

The second part of this post will be published soon. Please stay tuned and feel free to share your thoughts!

27 responses to “Canne’s Top 10 Studio Ghibli Works (part 1)

  1. On Your Mark huh, that’s the first time I’ve heard about that.

  2. you have some really interesting ones in the bottom. I can’t wait to see what you have in the top. i actually think Only Yesterday was the worst one for me XD

    • I didn’t like this movie in the first watch as well. It was painfully boring. It climbed its way up my list in later viewings. Only Yesterday is too different from the group and will suffer negative effect from fans of other Ghibli films especially Miyazaki’s.

  3. Princess Mononoke would easily be my number one.

  4. aquabluesweater

    Good to see On Your Mark in there! Having Miyazaki doing animation for your music video must be pretty awesome. Really looking forward to see what will be in the top 5.

    There are still Totoro, Spirited, Whisper, Porco, Kiki, Grave that have gone unmentioned so far (not to mention Yamada which was so much fun to watch), which means one of this are probably going to be left out of the list (blasphemy!:) )! Are you also going to count Nausicaa in there?

    Regardless, looking forward to what will crown your number 1!

    • Making the list is harder than I expected and the thought of expanding the list to top 20 kept springing into my mind. But that would not work because the whole thing would have turn into a recap instead.

      Yes, Nausicaa counts so there are going to be lots of blasphemy! x_x

  5. Out of these listed, I liked Omohide Poro Poro and Mononoke Hime the most :) Omohide Poro Poro featured one of the most creative and poignant endings ever :)

    I’ll try to predict your top five list (alphabetical order):

    Grave of the Fireflies
    Spirited Away
    Whisper of the Heart

    • Yes, I still smile every time I think about the ending; the children popping out of the blue and dragging Taeko out of the bus to meet Toshio…that was brilliant!

  6. I predict that your Top Five will have Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, and My Neighbor Totoro. At least that’s what I would do.

    • It’s all about sharing so feel free to do so! Spirited Away is locked to be in the top 5 because it have made its way into my best movies of the decade list :)

  7. I was almost surprised to see Princess Mononoke and Laputa closer to the 10 than the 1, but then again I’m biased since those two were my favorite films from Ghibli (if you disregard the fact that I still need to watch Whisper of the Heart).

  8. yeah i always do these lists thinking itll be easy but as I progress through it, it gets harder and harder. I’m glad I could inspire you, as I am a big fan of your blog. I look forward to seeing the other half soon.

  9. I didn’t see all Ghibli films so on your list there’s only two, Mononoke and Laputa.
    Both of them remain as a very good moment in my head. I’ve watched Mononoke several times.
    I really wonder what’s going to be the follow up list ^^

  10. Pingback: Canne’s Top 10 Studio Ghibli Works (part 2) « Canne's anime review blog

  11. I’ve never heard of On Your Mark either. Agreed that all Ghibli are masterpieces (at least the ones I’ve seen).
    I really liked Princess Mononoke and Laputa too.

  12. I would need to see everything first in order to rank them. I plan on watching the rest of the movies soon. I’ve seen 7 of them.

    I also plan on re-watching Princess Mononoke, when I first saw it I didn’t like it. But I was a kid at the time, now that I’ve matured I feel like I need to try it again.

    • I face quite similar problem. I watched a few of Gjibli films several years ago and never re-watched them. I suspect that the timing affects my list quite a lot.

  13. To be honest, I’ve watched most of these so long ago that I don’t even remember the events that transpire within them. A bit of a serious crime, so I’ll have to find the time to rewatch somehow :/

  14. Awsome article, really nice work.

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