Studio Ghibli: 5 High Shock Value Films

12 Days of Anime

Studio Ghibli is a name that rings bells in the anime industry.   Their work is top tier and has been a benchmark for excellence for over 20 years.  Titles like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro being at the forefront.   So how can I put my two cents into the conversation without sounding cliche?  A favorites list, it too predictable and a kinda difficult.  I thought of the next best thing. A list of High Shock Value Films.


5. Pom Poko

Pom Poko 平成狸合戦ぽんぽこ is a 1994 Japanese animated film written and directed by Isao Takahata.  This movie follows a group of tanuki as they lead resistance to protect their habitat from humans looking to redevelop the area.

Pom Poko is intense, playful, and pretty damn entertaining. But the reason you should check out Pom Poko is because of tanuki themselves. You’re in for several surprises, and you may or may not see them coming.


4. Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke ののけ姫 is an animated fantasy film written and directed by the g.o.a.t Hayao Miyazaki. The story follows a prince named Ashitaka’s after he was banished from his home after being cursed.

Princess Mononoke is heavy, fast paces and will keep you on your toes.  With this movie, you get blood, wolves, and some really dope fight scenes- missing limbs.   Some interesting characters and a great story. This studio can really do it all, and this movie helps solidified that. 


3. From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill クリコ坂から is an animated drama directed by Gorō Miyazaki and written by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa.  Tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, and Shun Kazama, high school students who join forces to save their school clubhouse, after a business has plans to demolish it.

Up on Poppy Hill sound simple enough, and it is until it isn’t.  You’re hit with one hell of a possibility that can make or break this story.  They lay it on thick, and you really don’t know what to believe. Until the answers come at the end.   I wasn’t ready.


2. When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There 思い出のマーニー is about a girl named Anna Sasaki who is sent to Hokkaido to spend the summer with relatives and befriends this mysterious girl named Marnie. When Marnie Was There was written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.

This movie floored me, and I loved every minute of it. The animation was top-notch,  the story was thrilling and packed a punch.  Things were a little messy for Anna, and when it all becomes clear.  I was in awe. The twist at the very end made everything worthwhile.

  1. Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies 火垂るの墓 was written and directed by the late Isao Takahata.  This movie tells a story of two siblings, Seita and Setsuko, and their struggles during the ending of World War II.  This movie is unfortunate. Emotional in everywhere possible.  But beautiful at the very same time.  If you really wanna understand the power of Ghibli storytelling, this is the movie that gets it done.