“My Neighbor Totoro” Tops Japanese Poll of Most Popular Studio Ghibli FilmsEntertainment Cinema
Studio Ghibli’s animated films are highly acclaimed in Japan and around the world thanks to their elaborate storylines, unique and fascinating characters, beautiful backgrounds, and magnificent music. A Line Research survey polled men and women in Japan from the ages 10 to 69 about their favorite Ghibli anime.
My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away were the most popular overall, with 48.5% and 44.5% of respondents choosing the works, respectively. Both films, which are frequently broadcast on Japanese television, are admired across all generations and were particularly popular among women. Castle in the Sky at third and Kiki’s Delivery Service at fourth both received just over 36% of votes, followed by Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke, each mentioned by around 20% of those surveyed.
Top 10 Popular Studio Ghibli Films
|1||My Neighbor Totoro||48.5|
|3||Castle in the Sky||36.4|
|4||Kiki’s Delivery Service||36.3|
|5||Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||27.2|
|7||Howl’s Moving Castle||18.9|
|8||Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea||15.2|
|10||Whisper of the Heart||12.0|
Created by Nippon.com based on a Line Research survey. (n=5,254; respondents can choose up to five films.)
My Neighbor Totoro, which ranked first overall, was the top choice among those in their thirties to sixties. The film, set in 1950s Japan, is particularly popular among those in their sixties, who spent their childhoods in that era, with just under 60% of respondents in that age bracket choosing it as one of their favorite works.
Spirited Away was the top choice among people aged 10 to 29 and was particularly popular with those in their twenties, with over half choosing it as their favorite Studio Ghibli anime.
The popularity of the films ranked second and lower varied by age group, and it appeared that many people made their choices based on a strong emotional attachment to a film they had seen as a child or when their own children were growing up.
Many teenagers chose films from the 2000s as their favorites, with Ponyo (2008) ranking fourth among this age group, Arrietty (2010) at seventh, and The Cat Returns (2002) at eighth.
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) ranked fourth among 20-year-olds, with over 30% of them choosing it as their favorite film.
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) was highly popular among women in their thirties and forties, with over 40% of them choosing it, possibly because they identified with the main character Kiki. Anime produced in the 1990s such as Princess Mononoke (1997) and Whisper of the Heart (1995) ranked higher among women in their thirties than other age groups.
Anime from the 1980s like Castle in the Sky (1986) and Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) ranked high among those in their forties. Both films were more popular among male viewers, with the former striking a chord among men in their thirties and forties and the latter a favorite among men in their forties and fifties.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988) was one of the top-ranked Studio Ghibli films among those in their forties or older, particularly 60-year-olds.
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: A scene from My Neighbor Totoro. © Studio Ghibli.)