Essential Life Lessons I Learned From Studio Ghibli Films
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Essential Life Lessons I Learned From Studio Ghibli Films

4860
Essential Life Lessons I Learned From Studio Ghibli Films
Disney Wikia

From the breathtaking magic of Spirited Away to the light-hearted nature of My Neighbor Totoro, Studio Ghibli is renowned for its beautiful, artistic films. Its directors are also well known, especially Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Each film carries its own message and the audience can easily relate to each of the characters in their own way. Growing up with Studio Ghibli, I am happy to say that I have learned a lot about art, music, and life itself in general. Here are some of the essential life lessons I have learned by delving into the many worlds Studio Ghibli has released into our own.

Keep believing in yourself.

While this theme may seem cliched, the way the films reveal this theme is not. Many of the characters in the films recognize that this is not the easiest thing to do, just like some of us. They struggle to find themselves. But the way they slowly grow to trust themselves and re-establish their purpose truly reveals the importance of knowing that we can do anything as long as we believe in ourselves.

For example, Kiki, from Kiki’s Delivery Service, starts to doubt herself and her life purpose, thereby losing her power to fly as a witch. While she is ready to give up, support from her friends and her own willpower to not succumb to her hardships lead her to slowly start believing in herself again, thereby leading her to slowly regain her powers as well.

In The Borrower Arrietty, Arrietty teaches her human friend Sho that he must believe in himself and continue to keep living despite him having heart problems and eventually needing surgery to correct it. She shows him how life is filled with the unexpected and if he doesn’t continue to believe in himself, he will never be able to know what life holds in store.

You don’t need anyone to save you. You can save yourself.

This goes hand in hand with the first lesson. Nearly all of the leading female characters, who are sometimes the main characters in the entire movie, achieve their goals by themselves with some degree of help from others. They get themselves out of tough situations as well as others. Some examples would be….

Naussica from Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind (she saves her kingdom’s people from enemies in a post-apocalyptic world almost single-handedly)

Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle (who, despite being cursed into an old lady by a witch, manages to stand up to the king’s magic advisor, breaks a wizard’s curse and breaks her own curse by accepting who she is)

Mononoke (San) from Princess Mononoke (who, with the help of Ashitaka, an exiled prince, is able to restore balance to the natural, spiritual and human worlds).

Family matters.

No matter where you go or who you are with, family is your top priority. They are worth fighting for and sticking with up until the end. Seita and Setsuko from Grave of the Fireflies and Satsuki and Mei from My Neighbor Totoro all stand by together when they are faced with a life crisis. When their parents are killed in the warfare caused during World War II, the siblings Seita and Setsuko desperately fight for their lives and try their best to create a decent living. As a warning, this film will certainly leave you in tears and will definitely convey the message of what it means to be a family as well as the value of life and living. On the other hand, on a lighter note, are the siblings Satsuki and Mei. When Mei finds the forest spirit Totoro, she shares her adventures with him with her older sister. While they do have their typical sibling fights, in the end, they reveal that they truly care for one another and they cannot imagine themselves without the other.

Not being afraid of facing the unknown means growing as an individual.

In essence, it is okay to feel out of place from your comfort zone. By stepping out of your comfort zone, you learn about new ideas, go to new places and can meet new people. Sure, it may be highly intimidating at first, but once you accept this life challenge, you will discover more than you expected to.

Chihiro from Spirited Away is one of the characters who realizes this. She is reluctant to move to a new place with her parents but when a short stop at the side of the road goes wrong, Chihiro finds herself not only in a new place but in a new world entirely. By accepting her position and ready to face whatever challenges she must solve in order to get home, Chihiro is able to make new friends and learn the meaning behind the saying “life is an adventure.”

The worlds produced by the artists and directors of Studio Ghibli will always be an adventure filled with magic and lessons, no matter how many times you have visited them. Go and explore! You'll never know what you will take away from these artistically crafted works.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

71080

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1558221

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

971053
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

896450
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

583095
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

371197
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

490623

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments