In Kyushu, Japan, there’s a tiny little village that’s drawing in visitors from across the world. Part Ghibli fantasy, part English Cotswolds, the town houses an Alice in Wonderland store, a Peter Rabbit petting zoo, and a bread shop modelled on the bakery in Kiki’s Delivery Service. And if you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the gorgeous shop-fronts and blossoming gardens, there’s a hotel where you can stay and gaze out at the cluster of cottages from the comfort of your own room. We step into the fantasy world and take a closer look at the shops, restaurants and services on offer in this special little town.
Sakimichan is a digital artist who makes stunning paintings of Disney characters, drawn in a completely different way. These leading characters are redrawn with a new gender – and even more attractive than before!
Let’s take a look at 12 of Sakimichan’s gender-switched Disney heroes and heroines. On her website, she shares some insights into how these beautiful paintings are made. She even paints gender-bent Ghibli characters, too!
16-year-old actress Sara Takatsuki (Black President, Otomen, GTO, Daily Lives of High School Boys, Haganai) and 21-year-old actress Kasumi Arimura (Amachan, Hagane no Onna, Clover, Judge) will star in Studio Ghibli‘s next film, this summer’s anime adaptation of Joan G. Robinson‘s English children’s novel classic When Marnie Was There (Omoide no Marnie). Oricon describes the film as Ghibli’s first one with dual lead heroines, and it is also the first animated title and first Ghibli title for both actresses.
- Fran Wrigley
Apr 5, 2014
Japanese netizens are bursting with excitement about Manuel Valls, who was appointed as France’s new Prime Minister this week. But what are these Twitter users so astounded about? Well, the newly appointed Prime Minister supposedly bears a striking resemblance to evil genius Colonel Muska, from Hayao Miyazaki’s 1986 movie Castle in the Sky.
And what’s more, in Japanese his name sounds just like barusu or “balse”, the incantation from Castle in the Sky. So this new guy not only looks like a character from the classic animated movie, his name also happens to be the movie’s most important word – which, incidentally, is a record-breaking Twitter meme in its own right.
Japan is home to an enormous number of famous ruins and castles, with fascinating histories that transport us back to an era of clan warfare and old allegiances which remain at the heart of local tales today. As strongholds for the Lords and clans of old Japan, many castles have a commanding view of surrounding lands but none more so than this spectacular castle in Hyogo Prefecture. Often referred to as the Machu Picchu of Japan, and looking every bit like Ghibli’s famous floating castle from the animated movie Castle in the Sky, these ruins are expecting an unprecedented number of visitors this year. And with photos as stunning as these, it’s easy to see why.
At the same time that director Hayao Miyazaki’s drectorial swan-song, The Wind Rises, opened in wide release in North America, the live-action version of Kiki’s Delivery Service was released in Japan. The coming of age story of a young witch in training is best known internationally for the 1989 Studio Ghibli animated film of the same name, but how does the new version, from production company Toei, compare with the anime classic?
Eager to see if Kiki was better left in two dimensions, we checked the film out for ourselves.
- Oona McGee
Feb 24, 2014
With the live-action version of Kiki’s Delivery Service set to hit cinemas in Japan on March 1, it’s time for the celebrations and tie-in promotions to commence! Japanese bakery chain, Little Mermaid, is one of the first to step up to the plate, paying homage to the movie with this collection of delightfully cute offerings. Available only for a limited time, the three new baked varieties are named in honour of Kiki, her black cat Jiji, and Ms Osono, Kiki’s mother-figure and resident baker. Can you guess which design is which?
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Feb 18, 2014
Today the marketing industry is a multi-billion dollar entity that spends countless man-hours designing and maintaining relatable brand logos. That’s why the work of pop-culture artist, Bruce Yan, is so cool. He takes characters we all know and love and uses them to recreate logos we see every day, somehow managing to give rise to a brand new and yet completely familiar logo. From the Girl Scout symbol to Morton Salt, take a look at his clever redesigns after the jump!
- Casey Baseel
Jan 30, 2014
It’s hard to imagine legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki needing to be any more lauded than he already is. Over 95 percent of Japan’s population has watched one of his movies, people see uploading his films to the Internet as being the fast track to popularity, and he’s even got a celestial body named after him. Really, though, after seeing the quality of his work, it’s hard to argue with the respect he receives. The man is clearly a genius.
However, Miyazaki is also a 73-year-old man, and like many individuals who have reached such an age, occasionally can’t resist the stubborn urge to grumble about how the people who came up after him are screwing up his industry.
The only thing more gorgeous than the characters from Studio Ghibli’s animated movies would have to be the magical lands in which they live and play. And if you’re looking to play in a forest town where Totoro might be lurking, this unique shopping town in Japan’s Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, is the perfect location.
Ghibli’s influence on both Japanese and global culture is hard to understate. The animation studio’s films are loved by young and old, male and female, and nearly anyone who’s ever even heard of anime. So, is it any surprise that women love the gentlemen that appear in Ghibli movies? Not really.
And if you’re feeling unlucky in love, there’s nothing better than some advice from women themselves. So read on, guys, for some Ghibli-inspired tips on impressing the ladies!
Many little girls dream about their wedding and plan out each detail of their special day even if it’s decades away. Sure, there are plenty of wedding sites touting conventional themes of roses, white doves, and anything pretty, but what’s a Ghibli fan to do? Luckily, Japanese site, Naver Matome, has compiled the ultimate list of Ghibli-themed wedding ideas for any Totoro, Kiki or Jiji fan.
Totoro, from the 1988 animated movie, “My Neighbour Totoro”, remains one of the most beloved characters to come out of the magical world of Ghibli. The story of the friendly giant who befriends a young girl in the forest is so enchanting that a trip to the woods today seems to come with the real possibility of a chance meeting with the furry animal, probably sheltering from the rain under a leaf and waiting for a new friend.
This festive season, people in Japan are using acorns to bring the magical world of Totoro into their homes and the results are adorable! From garden ornaments to wreaths, these photos show that the world under an acorn tree really is a great place to gather up some new forest friends. The fantasy is only limited by your imagination!
Dec 2, 2013
Tsutsuki, near Yokohama, is making waves in the Japanese media for its unassuming highway that, when viewed from the right angle at night, forms the vague silhouette of Hayao Miyazaki’s beloved character, Totoro.
The lighting on the street in question was apparently deliberately planned by the city so that it would look like “an animal with ears”, but even planners hadn’t intended it to look like studio Ghibli’s famous cat-like mascot.
Sometimes food is so beautifully prepared it seems like a shame to eat it. And yet, the beautiful preparation makes it that much more enticing. The Japanese are without a doubt the masters of this skill, ranging from the exquisite jewel-like arrangements of chic kaiseki-ryori to the saccharine adorableness of the average kid’s bento.
But we’ve discovered an almost-too-squee-inducing-to-eat treat that should appeal to adults and children alike: cream puffs shaped like Ghibli animation favorite Totoro.
We previously shared with you the video of a Ghibli fan’s remarkable piano performance, created as a tribute to the famous animation studio’s numerous works shortly after the studio’s co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki, announced his retirement. Now, another Ghibli fan has wowed us once again with a tribute video involving impressive skills, this time expressed on paper. Japanese Internet users have been raving about this video, and once you see it, we think you’ll understand why!
I’m sure many readers of our site are aware of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s recent announcement that he is retiring from filmmaking. Some of you may have even seen the press conference he held in Tokyo on September 6. While some people were skeptical upon hearing the announcement, since Miyazaki had mentioned retirement several times in the past, the legendary animator started off the press conference by saying that he knows he’s cried wolf multiple times concerning retirement, but that he was serious this time.
And so it was that Ghibli fans around the world had to accept that the creator of numerous acclaimed anime films such as Spirited Away and Princess Monoke was finally putting down his animator’s pen. Naturally, the news caused a huge response across the Internet, but one video in particular posted after the conference by an obviously musically talented fan has been receiving considerable attention on the Japanese Internet. We admit it is a slightly long video at 31 minutes, but if you’ve seen any of the Ghibli films and enjoyed the experience, we think it will be well worth your time to view the musical tribute.
Recently a video was posted by science fiction writer Rikao Yanagida which, using a scene from the much-loved Studio Ghibli movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service, attempted to gauge the upper-body tensile strength of the titular character.
The scene used for Yanagida’s analysis came from the climax in which Kiki catches Tombo mid-fall after slipping off a rope attached to a blimp. According to Yanagida’s calculations, to be able to make such a one-handed catch while clinging to the broom, Kiki would have to withstand a force of 44 tons!
That’s a seriously impressive feat of strength. But before we go patting Kiki on the back, let’s go over Mr. Yanagida’s work.
- Rachel Tackett
Sep 27, 2013
They say that beauty is fleeting and withers with age, at least in the personal sense. Perhaps that’s why Takumi Kanehara walked away from a life of charming women as a professional host in order to pursue a career as a comic artist. Now, the self-made illustrator is gaining international attention for his beautiful re-interpretations of the characters created by Studio Ghibli. The combination of recognizable characters and subtle symbolism shows the artist’s deep love of the source material, and the artistic execution is positively stunning, ensuring that these works will never lose their luster no matter how many years ago by.
- Japanese women dish about being betrayed by their female friends1
- Japanese driver fails to stop at a yellow light, turns herself in to the police2
- Japan Self-Defense Force’s elite Central Band performs Hatsune Miku song Senbonzakura3
- Japanese high school student becomes Twitter sensation showing difference between time with boyfriend and friends4
- Japanese Twitter users and the tale of the broken battery5
- “How many freakin’ CDs do I have to buy?” Fans displeased with idol group’s debut single6
- Poster for Ghibli’s new movie under fire … from the big guru himself!7
- Japanese netizens put reality on hold for a moment, fall in love with new attorney general of Crimea8
- Chinese “porn identification officer” has seen over 600,000 adult videos, threw up after watching some9
- Here are the weirdest things you can buy on Alibaba’s English site10
- The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly1
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong2
- 12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection3
- 10 Japanese expressions that sound delightfully strange and funny when translated4
- So, the Dalai Lama walks into a convenience store in rural Japan… 【Photos】5
- Lady Gaga goes gaga for Hatsune Miku, makes virtual idol her opening act6
- Advice from Japanese women on dealing with your boyfriend’s anime girlfriend7
- Real-life barbie bares real-life face in minimal makeup selfies【Photos】8
- “Racist” Air France geisha poster prompts satirical home-made fixes9
- Cat greets its returning owner with so much warmth we’d swear it was puppy love10
- Chinese Photoshop Trolls and the Half-Blood Prisoner of the Deathly Phoenix Goblet (Part 6)1
- Unfortunate Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos2
- Daughter of Osamu Tezuka, God of Manga, discovers his stash of hand-drawn sexy mouse artwork3
- Little store managers take over FamilyMart in Taiwan, hilarity and tons of cute in store【Video】4
- 【TBT】China’s Photoshop experts will fix your bad photos, but be careful what you wish for5
- The extreme lengths Samsung must go to make sure your Galaxy phone works perfectly6
- Japanese netizens put reality on hold for a moment, fall in love with new attorney general of Crimea7
- 10 incredible tiny houses in Japan: a photo tour8
- Attack on Titan’s studio head talks sequels, keys to the hit anime’s success9
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong10
- Korean high schools allow “anything goes” yearbook photos, with hilarious results1
- Taiwan’s Gravity Max – Quite possibly the scariest roller coaster in the world2
- Don’t call them fat, call them Marshmallow Girls!3
- Japanese netizens put reality on hold for a moment, fall in love with new attorney general of Crimea4
- Beautiful gym babe impresses Chinese netizens with her incredible fitness!【Pics & GIFs】5
- Picture perfect siblings of 18 years apart melt the hearts of Chinese netizens【Photos】6
- Attack on Titan’s studio head talks sequels, keys to the hit anime’s success7
- Unfortunate Google employee forced to wander alone on eerie abandoned island for Street View photos8
- Chinese Photoshop Trolls and the Half-Blood Prisoner of the Deathly Phoenix Goblet (Part 6)9
- Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki says the anime industry’s problem is that it’s full of anime fans10
- “How many freakin’ CDs do I have to buy?” Fans displeased with idol group’s debut single
- Poster for Ghibli’s new movie under fire … from the big guru himself!
- Japanese netizens put reality on hold for a moment, fall in love with new attorney general of Crimea
- Chinese “porn identification officer” has seen over 600,000 adult videos, threw up after watching some
- Here are the weirdest things you can buy on Alibaba’s English site
- Photos of women with and without make-up show that reality is what you make it
- Better know a train nerd: 36 different classifications for Japan’s “densha otaku”
- How Microsoft created a virtual assistant that could blow Siri away
- Japan’s king of curry restaurants enters the instant noodle market, we taste the results
- 10 things Japan gets horribly wrong
- The pillows fans rejoice! You could win a contest to meet the band in Tokyo【Videos】
- Miss Todai/weather forecaster Ayaka Sawada’s adorable drawings
- Healthy ice cream? Well, these new Häagen-Dazs vegetable flavors at least sound healthy!