Considering Studio Ghibli films are now available on Netflix for streaming, I can now recommend to you my Top best Hayao Miyazaki Anime. See Studio Ghibli is mainly headed by two directors: Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, who use their unique style to cover a large spectrum of mainly animated movies. Their cinematic sense and amazing depictions with beautiful aesthetic finishes are perhaps on a different level.
Hello my fellow otakus, it has been quite some time since we interacted. Also, I hope you are all keeping safe at a time like this because my list is to help you have a good time during this quarantine.
1) Whisper of the heart (aka Mimi wo Sumaseba) (1995)
This is in my opinion, is a very underrated and underappreciated Ghibli title which gave us a very interesting film about adolescence, teen love, and this dialogue sums it up better “You see that rough surrounding stone? You can polish it all you want, but it'll still be worthless. But there might be something much more valuable inside that you can't yet see” Also, this film gave us the Japanese rendition of Country Roads by John Denver, man o man it was so beautiful. Okay, so this film is about a girl who finds out that the library book she issues were borrowed by the the same person, she sets out to find this mysterious boy and in doing she finds more about herself and what it means to believe in the beauty of your dreams.
2) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (aka Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa) (1984)
Spirited away and My neighbor Totoro might be the poster child for studio ghibli but Nausicaa is where it all started, as in the studio was officially established after this film. This movie has the recipe of a perfect animation film, it has action, a very simple yet thought-provoking story, an amazing protagonist, a stellar soundtrack, and a beautiful animation for its time. Today's standards, the themes of this film were truly ahead of its time as they were about a nuclear catastrophe and the environment.The story is set in a dystopian future which follows the struggles of Princess Nausicaa of a farming kingdom known as Valley of the wind when trouble comes knocking on her doorsteps. Now Nausicaa must unite human civilization and nature itself which has gone hostile towards humanity.
3) Kiki's Delivery Service (aka Majo no Takkyuubin) (1989)
If I have to explain this in terms of anime, it has the elements of slice of life. People between the age group of 18-24 will find this film to be very relatable, the film is about a 13-year-old Kiki who wants to be a witch (except for this part, unless you have magical powers) but to do so she must spend a year living on her own in a distant town to become a full-fledged witch. The struggles of living alone, making an honest friend, loving yourself and knowing how big the worldtruly is. For a movie about a kid, it is worth commending that Miyazaki can use such mature themes and present them in a heart-warming way and it still works in line with the studio’s main goal; To letchildren know that life is worth living and we should appreciate how beautiful it is.
4) Porco Rosso (aka Kurenai no Buta) (1992)
This too is a very underrated Ghibli film, which has a strong anti-war theme and shows us Miyazaki’s political stance about the war in general. One might not find emotional moments in this film but at its core it is still a Ghibli, but the catch is that we have light sexual undertones about the protagonist who were an ace fighter and a ladies player in his prime days before he was cursed and became an anthropomorphic pig. The story is set after World War 1 and is sort of a love triangle between Porco, the love of his life Gina and his American rival named Curtis. This simple narrative is driven by tongue in cheek humor, some gorgeous aerial shots and some spectacular aerial combat.
5) Princess Mononoke (aka Mononoke Hime) (1997)
This is perhaps Miyazaki’s most dark and slightly gory film to date which was intended for a more mature audience as compared to his typical fare. Even the protagonist of this film is a male but the highlight of the film was San, the wolf child. Her first appearance is enough to create an everlasting impact on the viewers. I love how Miyazaki ditches your conventional “damsel in distress” narrative and uses a more stoic approach for the female-led film, which is so satisfying to watch. The story is about a young prince named Ashitaka who kills a possessed boar and is cursed by the latter. To save himself he leaves the village to find a cure to the curse which is siphoning away his life. He comes across a town headed by Lady Eboshi which is at war with San and the sacred spirit of the forests, finding himself between this conflict a shitake must choose a side before this whole fight consumes the valley. Just like Nausicaa, this film in a way teaches us about technology and nature itself and how we coexist together for a better future.
Joaquin phoenix quoted his late brother at the oscar’s speech, that same thing can be used for this
film as well; “Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.”