Categories Animology Feature

The Gloomy Realisation Of Their Life In Ghibli’s Protagonist

The anime industry had been on a rough journey portraying their uniqueness when Hayao Miyazaki’s creation, Ghibli movies blew the entire world with their wonderful music tracks and dazzling animation years ago.

Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki’s popular studio has created many romantic movies imbued with fantasy elements and drama all in one captivating the audience with their charm and fun adventures along the way. However, all of Ghibli’s protagonists experienced lots of hardships and torments throughout their journey to solve their problems or simply live their lives in the world.

The protagonists often went through several misfortunes that caused them to shape their characters into a different yet stronger version of them. Hayao Miyazaki gives them a strong reason to overthrow their beliefs and begins searching for their only soulmate— the female lead who can potentially save the story arc. 

Courtesy of CNN Indonesia

Ghibli has also gained lots of fans around the world which lets them introduce Japanese culture to non-Japanese audiences. Furthermore, one of the ways that Studio Ghibli sets itself apart is by making films that appeal to a wide audience. While adults value the films for their sophisticated ideas and striking cinematography, children love the immersive adventures and unique world-building that broaden their creative imaginations.

Some examples that the protagonists in Ghibli experienced hardships in their story are:

Sophie in Howl’s Moving Castle

Courtesy of Sportskeeda

Sophie is a young, plain woman who lives with her sister Lettie in their hat workshop. Sophie works as a hat maker and pointed out being a very serious and ordinary woman who seems to be older than her actual age. When Sophie gets cursed by a witch to be an old woman, she ventures off to find a cure and accidentally goes inside Howl’s unusual castle. Sophie becomes entangled with Howl’s life and eventually learns more about Howl and his unique behavior along with his companions. Thus, this makes them a newfound family altogether.

In the movie, Sophie sacrifices a lot for them which requires her to banish her comfort and safety. Being a young wizard, Howl is bound to make multiple mistakes by angering the witch and seeking to punish her. Howl also begins to help Sophie find the witch and seek the cure as well for her sake. Protagonists are bound to have a rough journey, but the sacrifice by the protagonists is part of the story development where the conflicts of them travelling through the world are presented before they beat the witch by dismissing Sophie’s curse. Nonetheless, this incident makes Sophie regain her confidence and self-discovery as well. 

Grave of The Fireflies

Courtesy of CNN Indonesia

Seita and Setsuko experience struggles in their wartime era that make them unable to fend for themselves. After their house gets ruined by the war, they venture around to feed themselves and find shelters that could lead them to a happy life. They worked together to live a longer life and suffer from the days when the war happened randomly in unknown places.

Spoiler alert, Setsuko becomes sick due to malnutrition and Seita is forced to leave her by herself to find the cure. They also have no money or proper shelter to make Setsuko’s sickness die down. Nevertheless, those intense challenges are bound to happen due to its setting about war graphics that are very upsetting to anime watchers.


Courtesy of IMDb

A 5-year-old boy called Sosuke saved a creature look-alike fish called Ponyo. Ponyo has been thrown to the mainland and became attached to her lifesaver. She followed Sosuke to his house and his mother served warm noodles to her. 

Though having discovered that she had been taken from her home, she also discovers that her father also seeks her and becomes infuriated when Ponyo doesn’t want to come home willingly. Thus, he creates a flood that could eat Sosuke’s life. and others living in the land to die. It is up to Sosuke whether he can save the land by letting Ponyo into the sea or defeat her father once and for all.

That is all about the harsh realities of being Ghibli’s protagonist. Each of them certainly encounters misery that could ruin their whole life, but rest assured because their story will not end devastatingly as their special person will help them by their side throughout the story. Even strong emotions may make them act out differently based on the situation.

Graciella Aurelia Tjan
IG: @graciellaaurl

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