Surprisingly, the male stars of Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away don’t top the list, according to this survey.

There’s always so much to love about watching a Studio Ghibli animated film. Whether it’s the adventure-filled storylines, the deep and meaningful narratives, or the beautifully illustrated images, the acclaimed animation studio knows exactly how to sweep audiences off their feet with their perfectly constructed magical worlds.

With all these aspects of filmmaking successfully at play, interesting characters are able to shine and resonate in our minds long after seeing a Ghibli film. Shape-shifting animals, courageous heroines, and cheeky spirits have all stolen our hearts, and with so many attractive male leads to choose from, Japanese survey site VenusTap decided to put the following question to a group of 500 Japanese women: “Which Studio Ghibli character would you most want to date in real life?”

Let’s take a look at the results below!

5. Tombo from Kiki’s Delivery Service

5. Asbel from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Tying for fifth place on the list are two male leads who are very different in character yet equally attractive in the eyes of survey respondents. While Tombo is a geeky boy who’s just entered his teenage years, Asbel is the son of a chieftan on a journey in a post-apocalyptic world. The one thing the two do have in common, however, is an admiration for their female companions, which is a quality that female viewers yearn for in a real-life partner.

4. Ashitaka from Princess Mononoke

Ashitaka possesses a number of admirable qualities which appeal to female viewers. Not only does he cut a dashing figure riding on the back of Yakul the red elk with his bow and arrow, but his strength and bravery, combined with his sincere values and caring nature, make him an ideal partner for many.

3. Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle

This leading man is a departure from the naturally caring heroes we’ve seen so far on the list. Incredibly vain and good-looking, Howl is like the bad boy women are warned to stay away from for fear of having their hearts broken. Despite his selfish and cowardly nature, though, with love Howl finds courage and displays a loyalty and desire to protect his beloved, which is a quality that had many respondents swooning.

2. Haku from Spirited Away

Who wouldn’t be in awe of a mysterious boy that can transform into a beautiful dragon? While a large number of respondents commented on Haku’s handsome appearance, it was his kind yet vulnerable nature that melted the hearts of female viewers, with many saying they would like to care for him, much like Chihiro, or Sen, does in the animated movie.

▼ Haku also set hearts aflutter with his amazing kabe-don wall pound.

1. Jiro Horikoshi from The Wind Rises

Taking the number one spot as the Studio Ghibli character that most women want to date is Jiro Horikoshi. Modelled on the real-life Dr Horikoshi (1903 – 1982), the chief engineer for many World War II Japanese fighter planes, the animated character was the one that survey respondents said they wanted to date the most, with comments including:

“He has a beautiful way of speaking,”
“Intellectual types are sexy!”
“Despite being a genius, he’s totally awkward, which is just irresistible!”
“I love a good-looking guy with glasses.”

Horikoshi’s endearing love for his wife, and his desire to spend as much time as possible with her, even throughout her illness, is no doubt another reason why this charming intellectual took out the rest of the competition to top the list.

According to the results of this survey, you don’t have to be classically handsome or good with a bow-and-arrow in order to get a date with a girl. As long as you’re caring and treat a woman with love and kindness, you’ll always be a hero in her eyes.

Now to find out what types of Ghibli heroines men have said they most want to date in real life!

Source: VenusTap via Excite News
Featured image: Twitter/@jiburiiyasi