After I found this wonderful tag created by Kate and, you know, how can one not do this? I absolutely love Ghibli and its heroines, and the questions for this tag are great! The first Ghibli movie I watched was Laputa, I think. Or it was Spirited Away, but I was so terrified during the pig-scene that we had to turn it off… Glad though that I watched it a few years later :’). And you can’t ask me of my favorite, that’s just cruel.
- Please pingback, rather than link to her as Kate@Melting Pots and Other Calamities. She will only know if you’ve done this tag if you pingback.
- Tag as many people as you want. Ghibli movies aren’t as popular as Disney or Pixar, so be careful that those you tag are at least somewhat familiar with Ghibli.
- You can use examples from books, movies, TV shows, anime/manga, and webcomics.
- As this tag celebrates heroines, please name either a piece of fiction or a female character, if you’re able.
- Have fun!
Nausicaa, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: (Even though this isn’t technically Ghibli, it’s still marketed that way). Nausicaa is a princess in a post-disaster world. She is compassionate and brave, a daring explorer who is capable and selfless. Name a strong female leader.
Aliena of Shiring in Ken Follett’s historical novel The Pillars Of The Earth is no doubt one of (or the) most inspiring character. Already as a young girl she shows signs of a strong woman inside of her. Despite all the horrors and struggles she goes through the years, she always stays/becomes a strong leader.
Sheeta, Castle in the Sky– Although Sheeta may have a quieter demeanor than other Ghibli heroines, she is not a damsel in distress. She’s royalty, but doesn’t stay on the sidelines; she is involved, kind, and despite a sad past, hopeful. Name an inspiring member of royalty.
Princess Sarene from Elantris by Brandon Sanderson arranges herself a marriage to strengthen her home-country politically. But when she arrives to find said prince ‘dead’, she doesn’t just sit around and wait for someone else to fix both her old and new countries problems.
Satsuki and Mei, My Neighbor Totoro- Before Anna and Elsa, before Lilo and Nani, there was Satsuki and Mei. Satsuki was incredibly young when their mother was hospitalized, and wi their father at work, she has to take care of Mei. And Mei is only four, with a big imagination. Name a pair of siblings (or two friends who act like siblings).
Raptor Red and her sister from Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker may be different and not always on agreeable terms, yet they love each other will always choose to stay together.
Kiki, Kiki’s Delivery Service– Kiki has to go off on her own to live alone, as is the custom among witches. She goes through many things that newly independent young adults face, like money problems, finding a place to stay, job searching, and loneliness, before finding her way thanks to her special abilities. Name a female character who has supernatural gifts.
Door from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere has probably one of the most unique and coolest powers I’ve ever read about. She can actually open doors to anywhere. How cool and useful isn’t that?
Gina and Fio, Porco Rosso- Gina and Fio are both heroines in this film, and they couldn’t be less alike. Gina is a young woman who is very feminine, a singer and a restaurant owner. However, she is very resourceful and capable. Fio is a teenage mechanic who is independent, goes against the flow, and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. She may be one of the best mechanics of her time. Name two inspiring heroines; one who is unabashedly feminine, and another who is more of a tomboy.
Blushweaver from Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson is proud of being an attractive woman, plus resourceful and clever. Vasilisa from The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden is in her society’ standard a tomboy.
Angel, On Your Mark- On Your Mark is a music video that Ghibli helped a music group with. It may not have much of a story, but it’s beautiful and interesting, and not may people are aware of its existence. Name an underrated heroine.
Oh you know, for a question like this you could just start rambling up plenty of characters. But I decided to go with Faith from The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge. Seriously, more people need to talk about this book. Not only is the whole concept great, but Faith is such a wonderful character and I loved to see her grow and not to mention when she learns to view the world and people differently. Plus, this book has a wonderful feministic message that I actually did not see coming at first.
Shizuku, Whisper of the Heart– Shizuku is an eighth grade student who can’t quite focus on school as much as on her favorite books. However, through encounters with an ambitious boy who seems to have a likely chance at meeting his goals, a cat who rides trains, an antique shop owner, and a cat statue called The Baron, Shizuku is determined to meet her own goal and become a writer. Name your most relatable character.
Shallan Davar from The Stormlight Archive – series by Brandon Sanderson is one of my all-time favorite characters. For example, we both share a love for science and are considered ‘silver-tongued’ thanks to our brother(s). And I also just relate to everything she does and says.
San, Princess Mononoke- San has been raised by wolves her whole life. When humans begin to invade her home forest to make towns and use the resources for themselves while killing the spirits and animals within, San refuses to let it be. She takes a stand and becomes the village’s greatest obstacle. She is such a force to be reckoned with that they even give her a name; The Princess Mononoke. Name a female character who is physically strong.
The person that immediately popped up in my mind was Clarisse La Rue from the Percy Jackson – series by Rick Riordan. She’s a great character who starts off as a bully, but shows more and more depth as the book progresses and grows as a character thanks to the support of people around her (but also learning to support others).
Chihiro, Spirited Away– At the beginning of Spirited Away, Chihiro starts off as a whiny, spoiled ten year old girl. However, during her time working at the spirit’s Bath House, she discovers parts of herself she didn’t know she had. The story is about her finding the strength she already had but was unaware of. Name a character who has an amazing character journey.
Okay how could I not mention Malta Vestrit from The Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb for this one? In the beginning she acts spoiled, whining and immature. But just like Chihiro, she finds herself in a situation that makes her not only grow as a person, but also find the strength in herself.
Haru, The Cat Returns– Haru is a typical high school girl; kind, clumsy, and a little forgetful. But she soon finds herself involved in events that are out of her control. In a way, it is because of her normalcy that she can find her way out of her situation and become stronger because of it. Name a female character who may not have any supernatural abilities herself, but is memorable anyway.
In a world of gods and metal benders, Steris from the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson may not have any specific powers herself nor being some kind of kick-ass fighter. But her peculiar personality will make you remember (and love) her. She is just crazy prepared for everything, quote (or as much of it as I remember) “If you asked her to kill a fly, she would burn down the house to make sure the job is done”. No doubt one of my all-time favorite female characters.
Sophie, Howl’s Moving Castle– Sophie doesn’t think much of herself for a lot of the story. She doesn’t think she’s pretty or memorable, especially when compared to her younger sister, Lettie. It gets even worse when she’s cursed to look like an old woman. When she finds a new life that involves the mysterious wizard Howl, a fire demon, Howl’s apprentice, and many others, she is shown to be resilient and intuitive. Name an emotionally strong character.
Irene from The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman always stays professional and focuses on the task ahead (despite the many predicaments she finds herself in). Plus, she may recognize her feelings, like an attraction, but won’t let them get the best of her (and saves the reader from an instalove or unnecessary romance subplot).
Ponyo, Ponyo- Ponyo is one of the youngest Ghibli heroines at only five years old. But she still gets a lot done, including becoming human, discovering things, finding a best friend, and saving the world. Name a hero who happens to be a child.
The wonderful children’s classic The Snow Queen by H.C. Andersen (who also wrote the book Ponyo is loosely adapted from) has little Gerda who goes on a journey to find her best friend Kai, who had been taken by the snow queen. She’s the ultimate innocent cinnamon roll of all cinnamon rolls.
Arrietty, The Secret World of Arrietty- Arrietty is a Borrower; she is tiny and survives by stealing small things that humans won’t miss. Yet she’s curious about the human world, and does braver things than most humans would be incapable of doing, despite her tiny size. Name an unlikely hero.
For this one, I pick a certain woman in Joanne Harris’ Runemarks, who through the first part of the book is kind of just a ‘statist’, background character. That is, until she gets tired of how she is treated and steps up to take something back that belonged to her. Unknowingly, that action lets her stop the villains and save the heroes.
Nahoko, The Wind Rises- Nahoko has tuberculosis during World War 2. However, she doesn’t allow this to cripple her, and enjoys life to the fullest anyway, which includes painting and falling in love. Even being placed in a sanitarium doesn’t break her. Name an inspiring character with some sort of obstacle.
Samirah Al Abbas from Magnus Chase and The Gods Of Asgard series by Rick Riordan struggles with the prejudices people of all worlds have of her. In the ‘mortal’ world, or Midgard, she faces islamophobia because of her religion, while in the other eight worlds (especially Asgard/Valhalla) she faces prejudices from people because of Loki being her father. Yet, she stays strong and holds on to her dreams. She even shows forgiveness for the people that want her to fair ill.
Kaguya, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya- in a time where women were expected to follow social norms such as blackening teeth, shaving eyebrows, and being forced into arranged marriages, Kaguya refuses to play along. She would much rather be outside, dance, and play with friends. Name a female character who challenges social norms.
Caris from Ken Follett’s World Without End, which takes place in the 14th century, who dreams of being a doctor and fights the patriarchy with her every breath. She’s smart, quick-witted, kind and just a wonderful and strong woman.
Well, that’s that :D! Agree, have any opinions on the answers? Don’t forget to comment!
I tag (yes, I will actually start tagging people);