The collected casts of Studio Ghibli’s anime are filled with memorable female characters, but who left the biggest impression on respondents?

Along with lush, verdant locales and majestic scenes of flight, charismatic heroines have long been a staple of the anime films of Studio Ghibli. But Ghibli’s propensity for female leads doesn’t mean its movies aren’t popular with male fans. Quite the contrary, actually, which led Internet portal My Navi Woman to recently poll 101 Japanese men between the ages of 22 and 38, asking them “Which Ghibli heroine do you think is the cutest?”

The top responses were:

6. San (5.9 percent)

Many would call Princess Mononoke grimmest, or perhaps even bleakest, work, but the fierce, raised-by-giant-wolves San still had a number of respondents calling her cute.

5. Chihiro (10.9 percent)

Spirited Away, Ghibli’s only Academy Award winner stars the sort of resilient, true-to-herself heroine that the studio depicts arguably better than anyone else in animation history.

4. Shizuku Tsukishima (14.9 percent)

Unlike the other top rankers in the survey, Whisper of the Heart’s Shizuku doesn’t have magical powers or live in a fantasy realm. She’s just a schoolgirl living in mundane, real-world Tokyo, which makes her earnest charm all the more believable and heart-warming (unless you’re the sort that reacts to her movie by contemplating suicide).

2 (tie). Sheeta (17.8 percent)

During the events of Castle in the Sky Laputa, Sheeta repeatedly shows herself to be a kind and selfless person, so much so that she ends up in a tie for the number-two ranking, despite the fact that one of the first things audiences see her do is knock someone out by violently hitting him over the head with a glass bottle.

2 (tie). Nausicaa (17.8 percent)

Hayao Miyazaki’s first big-screen heroine, the warrior princess of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, is intelligent and courageous, and was praised by at least one respondent for her “strong sense of justice.”

1. Kiki (20.8 percent)

Soaring to the top spot is the protagonist of Kiki’s Delivery Service. While she faces a handful of magical challenges during her story, much of the film’s narrative is focused on Kiki’s relationships with the people she meets after moving to a new city. She might be a little standoffish at first, but before the movie ends, she’s shown helping out not only her adolescent friends, but babies, adults, and even kind-hearted, unappreciated grandmothers. “She’d makes people feel good,” explained one admirer, “and that’s all that needs to be said.”

Source: Excite News/My Navi Woman
Top image: RocketNews24/

Follow Casey on Twitter, where Kiki’s Delivery Service remains his favorite Ghibli film.