My Neighbor Totoro is a perfect film for those comfortable late nights, or an evening with family. Parents and children, both love it. That’s the beauty of Studio Ghibli! A world that is beyond reality and full of magic, but has a touch of realism. This movie taught me the importance of family bonding, friendships and siblinghood.
If you also like animated, Japanese aesthetics and comfort films, this is the perfect post for you. Here, we have collected 7 anime movies like my neighbor totoro that give off the same vibe as My Neighbor Totoro.
The most internationally recognised Studio Ghibli movie, aired in 2001 still makes it to the top of this list. It gives the same warmth as My Neighbor Totoro. When ten-year-old Chihiro is travelling with her parents to their new home, her father takes a shortcut, which leads them to an interesting situation. She meets a boy named Haku in an abandoned village. Drawn into a world of spirits and magic after taking the wrong road, Chihiro now must survive and bring her parents back.
Howl’s Moving Castle
Loosely based on the book by the same name written by Diana Wynne Jones, this Studio Ghibli adaptation covers magic, technology and focuses on anti-war. When Sophie, a young milliner goes out to visit her sister, she encounters a wizard named Howl. That later turned out to be a dangerous meeting, when the Witch of the Waste transforms her into a ninety-year-old woman. Somehow making her way back to Howl, she wishes the curse to be broken. The film’s main aesthetic is Howl’s castle, where Sophie spends most of the time in the movie.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Exploring freedom with thirteen-year-old Kiki, a young witch who sets out to follow the tradition of witches, we realise how hard work and creative thinking influences livelihoods. Along with her pet, a black cat named Jiji, she meets Osono, a heavily pregnant woman who owns a bakery shop, whom Kiki helps in the exchange for accommodation and food. We see Kiki through ups and downs, and it reminded me of my own carelessness and curiosity while being thirteen years old.
Children Who Chase Lost Voices
Want more magic? I’ve got you! This 2011, fantasy-based film is a must on this list. Asuna has always lived a fast life. After her father died, she was forced to task with her mother and keep the house running. She spends her days listening to intriguing music coming from a receiver which her late father gifted and accompanied by Mimi, her cat, who has strange red marks on her fur. She encounters Shun while being attacked by a dangerous creature, who tells her that he is from another land. But when the body of a boy who resembles Shun is found in the river the next day, Asuna finds it hard to believe it. Her substitute teacher, Mr Morisaki talks about the same land in school, both are fascinated by the possible existence of a new world.
Whisper Of The Heart
A soft, teen-love and coming of age film focusing on following your dreams. Shizuku is a 14-year-old keen on creative writing, and we find her framing lyrics. The lyrics are read by a stranger, a boy who had found her book on a bench. She notices how a boy named Seiji checked out all of her library books a year ago, and the boy later turned out to be the same lyric-reader! She discovers his place, an antique shop, by following a mysterious cat. The film is about both the teens flourish and rise together, in different fields. A perfect way of motivating yourself would be watching this film!
Received critical acclaim for its uplifting themes, virtual design and storyline, this film has a sort of endurance towards young children. Brunhilde lives with her father and young sisters under the ocean. She sneaks away one day on the back of a jellyfish but gets trapped in a glass jar. Here is when we meet our other protagonist, Sasuke. He helps her get out of the jar but cuts his finger in the process. After healing the wound, we come to know how magic is involved in this film. He names her Ponyo and aims to protect her at all costs. With an angry father and a powerful mother searching for Ponyo, we uncover the strength of friendship and trust.
Based on a manga, this 1991 film focuses on realistic views and attracts an adult audience due to its story. Taeko is 27 years old with a stable job in Tokyo. The film starts with her deciding to visit her childhood city and visit her sister’s in-laws. She begins recalling her memories as a school going student. We discover first loves, frustrations of math and boys, and sweet moments. Her brother-in-law’s second cousin, Toshio picks her up whom she has no idea about. As she stays in the countryside, the graphics only get better. It has a beautiful ending too, and gives you happiness and satisfaction after watching (and rewatching) this film.
While I go and enjoy rewatching these anime movies like my neighbor totoro masterpieces (and leaving my unwatched anime), which one of these is in your watching list?
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