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Fool wrote

If I picked just one, I'd cheat and pick Castle of Cagliostro, or Nausicaa... Which technically aren't Ghibli.

Castle of Cagliostro - Heist Movie + Comedy (Pre-Ghibli Miyazaki) - A small band of thieves break into a Castle that belongs to the rulers of a small city state. Lots of ridiculous action sequences.

Nausicaa - Anti-Civ Awesomeness - Civilization has been wiped out, and the world is mainly deserts and toxic forests. (Pre-dates Ghibli, but still Ghibli)

Spirited Away - Awesome Story of Girl saving her parents by taking employment in a Spirit Bathhouse. Great Animation, but I'd say the interactions of all the staff is what really makes the movie.

Howl's Moving Castle - Anti-War + Magic Air Battles + Oddball Romance. Girl is cursed by a witch, and goes to live with a fugitive magician in a house that can walk around. There's also a war going on, with big airships.

Laputa - Sky Pirates + Robots from Forgotten Civilization

Totoro - Fun Kids Movie, about two girls moving to a house in a small village and meeting some Nature Spirits.

Grave of Fireflies - I think everyone should watch this at least once, but be prepared for it. About two children in WW2 Japan.

Whisper of the Heart - High School Romance Movie, follows a girl interested in being a writer.

My Neighbours the Yamadas - I don't really think of this as their best, but it's very different from most Ghibli stuff. A series of short comedy pieces about a Japanese family.

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fortmis OP wrote

Reporting back: Nausicaa blew me away. Beauuuutiful. The environmental storyline is so incredibly on point... leaves me feeling... what's left to say?? And wow... "we" understood all this, for this long? And yet...? Nausicaa is my favourite female character so far. With Dolla as a close second.
So, yes Dolla, the head pirate in Laputa, castle in the sky. Our main gal, Laputa, here was kind of yawn I thought. The little boy stole all the thunder and got all the one liner zingers... He was also almost a disturbingly smooth talker.
But, back to Dolla. I loved that storyline. When they're sitting in the boy's house as he returns, and she chastizes him for just giving up without a fight I was like... OH HO HO! I like where this is going! Then her compassionate side slowly starts to show.. until, at the end when she sees Laputa is still alive, and the look of pure relief and joy... Tear jerking!
And it was interesting to see a similar storyline again in Howl's moving castle -- the initial "evil" lady villain, becomes both more interesting, and less of a threat.
Couldn't stop giggling at Christian Bale as the voice of Howl haha. Also Sophie's wit and feistiness as an old lady was very enjoyable and a nice break from all the sighing and soft and cute girl protagonists in the films so far.
Up next is Spirited Away (a rewatch for me, but a welcome one)

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moonlune wrote

Oh yeah castle of cagliostro I saw it a long time ago but it was very high paced fun iirc. It was kinda tropey, but didn't take itself very seriously which made it fun.

I didn't manage to watch more than half an hour of nausicaä, the pacing was too slow for me. I really liked the manga though!

I liked howl's moving castle but the story was a little too condensed imo. I had to watch twice to understand ha

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Fool wrote

Castle of Cagliostro - I probably should have considered it more, it's been a long time since I watched it. It's old enough to sort of defined a lot of tropes, but also taking the tropes of the characters and genre.

Nausicaä - The slowness is part of what I like. I think it really makes the action more impactful, since it's intrusion on the valley community and the forests.

Howl's - I think this movie grew on me. I think you're right, you can easily miss what is going on.

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moonlune wrote

Yes that's what I meant with castle is Cagliostro, trope defining.

Now that I reread my comment it came out a little aggressive but while it didn't look like it, I agree with your list all of these are great films (except for Nausicaa which is a little too "old anime" slow for my zoomer self, but the story/manga is great)

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fortmis OP wrote

beeaauuttiiful review and analysis, a dream response for an OP like me, thank you and I will report back

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fortmis OP wrote

reposting my response to moonlune in Friday free talk here:

Internet tres tres slow where I am. It buckles under the weight of my video downloads. So I leave the computer on overnight to download files... undercover of darkness....
All this to say, I was only able to watch Castle of Cagliostro last night. But I stocked up and I have Nausicaa all ready to go.
Castle was epic for sure. Loved the twist at the end... When Clarisse confesses her love and Wolf is like "I ... love you...LIKE A BROTHER."
To be honest, I wish it had been more of a action duo vibe, -- with Wolf and Daisuke doing more together. Loved when he paired up with the Inspector though.
The politics are like.... Why don't we get to do it like this anymore! That shit was StrAighT UP... almost on the nose. When the inspector goes to parliament and is like LOOK at all this EVIDENCE and all the politicians are like mmmmmmm No. Loved to see it so up front in an animation like this.... I said Listen up KIDS.
Also, living in a country where the value of the currency has tanked beyond belief, I very much condone a film where the villain is someone who prints cash for his own use, thus rendering it valueless and fucking over entire economies.

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fortmis OP wrote

do you prefer to watch dubbed or subbed??

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Fool wrote

Ghibli dubs were done by Disney, so they're really good quality.

Castle of Cagliostro subs are probably better (since it's old, I can't remember if I watched it dubbed), but all the other Ghibli stuff I'd say dubbed.


Back story, Ghibli almost didn't allow English dubs and it stalled for about 10 years because Disney kept wanting to change things.

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GroundFrost wrote

What a hard question that i cant narrow down. My fave probably depends on my mood on a given day honestly. But top few of the list...Princess mononoke for nature fighting back against the encroachment of civ. kikis delivery service and my neighbor totoro cuz theyre just cute fun and i wish i had a catbus instead of a car. I like the adaptation of Earthsea quite a bit too.

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monday wrote

Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa.

Earthsea had potential, but I feel that many stuff was left out to fit the movie, maybe a series would fit the length of the novels

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GroundFrost wrote

I cant believe i forgot Nausicaa, its so good. but totally, a series wouldve been so much better.

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moonlune wrote

Porco rosso had a really cool MC and dogfights. Grave of the fireflies is a really beautiful movie, although quite heavy so be ready to take a mental hit.

other japanese animation that I can rec: tokyo godfathers and paprika by satoshi kon, both have really fun stories and the pacing of the animation is very very pleasant. Paprika also has great music, and tokyo godfathers is a Christmas movie.

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fortmis OP wrote

Oooo love the branching out, I am easily drawn in by a good soundtrack, especciiaallyy in animated. Music and animation is such a good combo

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Embalo wrote (edited )

I wish I shared the enthusiasm most people have for Ghibli. That being said, The Wind Rises has been the one I've enjoyed the most out of the relatively few I've watched. Also, I've got a friend who is quite high on Shinkai, but I haven't gotten around to those yet, so I couldn't say.

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Ensemble wrote

Grave of the fireflies because it's heart wrenching no matter how dead inside you are.

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desert wrote

Princess Mononoke for sure. they’re all good honestly except Pom Poko was just too bizarre for me

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