Stacking blocks on top of each other has never made us so Ghibli inside.
It’s no secret that Hayao Miyazaki and his team of animators find inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s movies all over the place. Ponyo’s setting was inspired by a harbor town in Japan, Spirited Away’s world was based on a location in Taiwan, and Princess Mononoke’s forest came from Japan’s Yakushima Island.
But it was recently brought to light that a lot of inspiration for Ghibli’s movies came from a more innocuous place: a manga. The title is Mudmen, named after the Asaro Mudmen of Papua New Guinea, where the manga takes place.
Who are these “mudmen” and where do their inspirations crop up in Ghibli films? Read on to find out!
We here at RocketNews love Studio Ghibli and its cast of adorable animated characters. We save all our yennies to splurge on licensed merchandise and never miss a chance to visit tourist sites where we might bump into acclaimed semi-retired director Hayao Miyazaki.
One thing we’re yet to do is adorn our bodies with permanent ink tributes to the Ghibli stars. Thankfully, there are fans out there much braver than us who have made the leap, giving us a huge collection of beautiful tattoos for us to sift through. Take a look at 12 of our favourites, from the films My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Minecraft has shown us time and time again that it’s much more than just a sandbox game made up of tiny blocks and flat-faced sheep. We’ve seen clever builders create everything from Super Mario Bros. gameplay to Japanese-language classes and even the entire country of Japan.
Today, we bring you something straight out of the world of Studio Ghibli: the floating city of Laputa from the animated film, Castle in the Sky.
Out of all the things we wish would spring to life from Studio Ghibli’s animated films, the catbus from My Neighbor Totoro would have to be at the top of the list. Who wouldn’t want to ride an enormous, fluffy, bright orange cat over hills and through forests on their daily commute?
As with all great things, if it can’t exist in real life, it can at least exist in the imagination. And there’s one imaginative lad who’s found a way to bring the catbus to life in the cutest way possible. All it takes is two ingredients: a fluffy, compliant cat and some Finnish beer.
September in Japan is the bridge between summer and autumn, with warm humid days mixed in with cool nights and passing typhoons dumping some of the year’s highest amounts of rainfall around the country.
With the rain set to continue, umbrella sales are in full swing at the moment, and some of the best ones here are simply magic. They won’t send you flying through the air like Mary Poppins, but they will reveal hidden secrets when the rain begins to fall!
In Hokkaido, there is an area of hilly countryside along the Souya Cape in Wakkanai, with peaks reaching from 20 to 400 metres above sea level. The area, known as Souyakyuuryou, features an idyllic backdrop of the Soya Strait, and with its wind farm and rolling hills it’s said to be reminiscent of the Netherlands. (It also reminds some people of the Ghibli classic Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind!)
But by far the coolest thing about the area is that it also has a country road that used to be a plain old dirt road until they decided to make it pretty – with crushed white shells!
Despite what some people might think, animation is not, and never has been, “just kids’ stuff.” Many adults around the world enjoy watching animated works, and Japanese anime in particular has raised the genre to an art form, with many masterpieces crafted to elicit raw human emotion in viewers while dealing with a multitude of adult themes. In other words, there are plenty of animated works of art out there that aren’t just for quieting crying children.
Some animators spend their lives crafting these sophisticated animations, but every now and then a work comes along that far surpasses even the highest expectations of quality. In their latest video, CineFix decided to pay tribute to ten such animated films whose visuals are so far ahead of the game that they deserve special recognition. The list features movies released between 1926 and 2014, but can you guess what they are?
Generally, cats have a pretty cushy life, don’t they? Lounging around, napping, and being fed tasty treats by their adoring owners. So it’s only fair that they repay us a little bit by allowing us to have some fun with them every now and then!
From improvised egyptian makeovers to scrunchie cat collars, there are all sorts of amusing ways to spruce up your cat for a photo op. But did you know that you can turn Kitty into Totoro using just a pair of googly eyes?
According to his online profile, when freelance illustrator Bill Mudron is not working on stuff that pays the bills, he “draws ridiculously nerdy stuff that he wants to hang on his walls but hasn’t been made yet by anyone else.” I don’t know about ridiculously nerdy, but he’s definitely not the only one who’s going to want to decorate with these Hayao Miyazaki-inspired illustrations in Japanese woodblock style.
Our love of the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro has truly blossomed during the month of May. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better after we heard about Totoro’s Forest in Saitama Prefecture, complete with a house for black dust bunnies known as Kurosuke no Ie, it seems there’s even more reason to celebrate, with an exact replica of Mei and Satsuki’s house open to the public in Aichi Prefecture.
Studio Ghibli and Pixar are two of the most successful movie companies in the world. They’ve released over a dozen memorable movies that can be enjoyed over and over again. The connection doesn’t end there, as Japan loves Pixar movies as much as the rest of the world loves Ghibli.
There are dozens of hidden gems to be found in Ghibli movies, which pay homage to beloved characters, and Pixar is also well-known for having a slew of Easter eggs that not only give a nod of respect to past characters, but also give clues about future characters and movies! Disney has released a new video of some of their favorite hidden treasures, and fans in Japan couldn’t be more excited about it.
Artist and T-shirt designer Saqman, who, despite his pen-name inadvertently reminding this writer of genitals, actually seems like a pretty wholesome guy, recently put together this spiffy and kind of spookily appropriate-looking mashup of Spirited Away and Alice in Wonderland, and it really works on a level we never really thought about!
When it comes to Ghibli movies, My Neighbour Totoro is arguably one of the animation studio’s best-known and most loved releases. The storyline, the atmosphere and the colours in the film all help to create a magical world that we yearn to visit again and again.
While fans might enjoy the film at any time throughout the year, real fans know that May is the month to watch Totoro. Like a favourite fruit coming into season, this Ghibli film has ripened and is at its peak watching period now, all due to some clever tricks that director Hayao Miyazaki worked into the story.
Parasyte, the creepy science fiction horror manga series about a boy with a sentient alien parasite living inside his arm, was almost the newest Studio Ghibli animated venture, it has been learned. Studio Ghibli’s former president Toshio Suzuki last week sensationally revealed the news that Hayao Miyazaki had intended to bid for the rights to the series, which eventually went to film studio Toho.
So, what is Parasyte and what, if anything, have we missed out on here?
Lush greenery, magical flying machines and huge, squelching monsters, overlaid with a soaring orchestral soundtrack. This animated short makes no pretence about its strongest influence – it’s a beautiful homage to the works of Hayao Miyazaki.
The film even features a mysterious-looking gentleman who looks suspiciously like Miyazaki himself. But this short, which has been gaining attention online in Japan and abroad, was not made by a team of professional animators, but a young film student in Paris.
Tesla Cosplay are an all-female group who describe themselves as “five girls from Oregon who decided to add a little ‘awesome’ to their lives”. And looking at these photos from their recent Princess Mononoke shoot on location, we think they’ve achieved that aim!
For Ghibli fans, the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo could be considered a holy Mecca of sorts, a place to make a pilgrimage to. The museum offers delightful entertainment filled with creative fun, which we guess is something you would expect from Ghibli, and it’s bound to be a hugely enjoyable place to visit, even if you’re not a die-hard Ghibli fan.
And one of the attractions at the museum has to be its gift shop, full of original Ghibli goods that can only be purchased there. In fact, we think that the shop alone could be reason enough to visit the museum, and we’ve even brought to you a previous article featuring 10 cools items from the shop that we thoroughly recommend. And now, we have another special item to share with you, also from the museum shop, that one of our Japanese reporters Yoshio found absolutely fascinating. It’s the Ghibli Museum original “Minituart”, a detailed miniature replica of the museum, and we just had to see for ourselves how exact a replica it was!
And it looks like what the kids really want to buy these days are shirts and goods emblazoned with Studio Ghibli art!