Studio Ghibli has been entertaining audiences all around the world for years, becoming an iconic symbol of nostalgia for many people, and sowing the seeds of memories for younger generations. With seventeen feature films and more on the way, Ghibli delivers an array of loveable characters, from the plump forest spirit, Totoro, to the fierce woodland warrior, San. These adventures inject a sense of whimsy and mysterious enchantment, a breed of storytelling only Studio Ghibli can deliver.
Princess Mononoke, taking the Muromachi period of Japan and injecting the element of fantasy and supernatural into it, is a fan favorite in the Ghibli lineup. San, one of the main protagonists, lives to protect her wolf family and the forest surrounding them. The humans of Irontown pose a great threat to her world, and with the help of Ashitaka, there’s hope for peace between the two sides.
Donning a thick pelt and dagger in hand, cosplayer, Lovely Orange, portrays the strong willed Princess, San, and looks incredibly brave doing so! Tattered skirt and top, tribal mask, and giant fangs that hang around her neck, she has never looked more vibrant and determined.
Photography by FallingFeath
Some of the most unique cosplays are original designs. For non-humanoid characters, creating clothing and accessories showcasing the notable features and colors of them, otherwise known as creating a ‘gajinka’, often results in breathtaking costumes. Kudrel Cosplay turned the mystic Forest Spirit into an incredible ensemble. Her stunning horned headpiece and two toned mask are easily recognizable, and her detailing throughout is absolutely whimsical!
Castle in the Sky
The very first film that Studio Ghibli released and produced was Castle in the Sky. It’s heroine, Sheeta, is the Princess of Laputa, the mythical sky castle. Hot on her trail are pirates and government agents, each with their own heinous agendas. Sheeta alone holds the key to many of Laputa’s mysteries, that even she doesn’t understand just yet. With the help from her newly founded companion Pazu, secret’s will be revealed!
Out of the handful of outfits Sheeta wears, the cutest has to be the gathered cap sleeved top and puffy pink pants. Cosplayer, The Creators Creation, couldn’t have made her costume anymore adorable! With her Aetherium pendant and lovely long braids, this Sheeta exudes sweetness!
Photography by II2DII.
The Secret World of Arrietty
In one of the newest Ghibli installments, an adaptation of the well known tale, The Borrowers, comes the Secret World of Arrietty. The film stars the Thumbelina esque heroine, Arrietty, who stands only inches tall. Her and her family live in the dwellings of humans, and scavenge for food and supplies while doing their best to keep a low profile. That is, until Arrietty is found out by a young boy, Shawn. Lucky for her, the two become friends!
This little leading lady is beautifully recreated by the talented Samantha The Bird. All dolled up with her makeshift pin sword and giant hair clip, this cosplay is utterly charming! She even managed to find a leaf big enough to make her look super teeny! That is a great find for this awesome photo shoot! For being such a tiny character, Samantha sure makes her a big success with her wonderful costuming skills!
Photography by Morataya.
My Neighbor Totoro
When Satsuki and Mei move out to the country with their father, they are in for a big surprise! Well, big and small. From tiny soot sprites, portly Totoros, and a huge fluffy cat bus, the sisters take off on unbelievable adventures with their new forest friends.
Niicakes and Sydney cosplayed the sweet young sisters with astonishing accuracy! They even play the roles of the two so well in their photo shoot. They look as carefree and joyous as they do in the film! It’s downright darling!
Photography by Kenjiko.
The curious Ponyo got herself into quite a situation when she became trapped in a bottle. While exploring the shore, five year old Sosuke discovers her and sets her free, unknowingly fixing himself up with a new buddy. Being that Ponyo is the daughter of a wizard, she has the ability to transform herself into a human! Unfortunately for her, this spell puts the world in danger, and now it’s up to her and Sosuke to remedy the situation.
The love struck little Ponyo couldn’t be any more precious here! Cosplayer, Love My Mudsy, got together those white bloomers and the dainty red dress, and is seen here sitting pretty for the camera! The salmon colored wig is feathered and styled to perfection, and those milk dud eyes are overwhelmingly delightful!
Photography by Honosuke.
Ponyo’s beautiful mother, Granmamare, was excellently executed by the skilled costumer, Yiji. She captured the essence of the mystical sea Goddess by braving an underwater photo shoot with Saelle! That’s some incredible dedication! The water plays with her wig beautifully, coiling out around her in a divine fashion, and the hues of the water mesh perfectly with her satin blue gown.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
In the fifth Studio Ghibli film, the thirteen year old witch in training, Kiki, embarks on an adventure to a new residency, where the last of her witchy preparations will take place. Once she arrives in the lovely Koriko with her feline companion, Jiji, she starts up her own delivery service, which unfortunately begins with a rocky start. Shortly after that, her powers slowly come to a halt, and she’ll need the help of a new friend to rediscover herself.
Evil Uke Sora has been wowing the cosplay scene for years with a wide variety of characters in her repertoire. Her take on the young witch, Kiki, is masterfully done! Her lovely red bow sits atop her head with cartoony elegance, and she totes one heck of a cool broom around with her! Evil Uke Sora’s smile is as cute as could be and captures the charming personality of Kiki to a ‘T’!
Photography by RoteMamba.
Howl’s Moving Castle
The kind hearted Sophie quietly worked in her father’s hat shop, until one fateful day crept up on her. The Witch of the Waste put a curse on the poor girl, turning her into an old woman. Miserable with her situation, Sophie wanders out of town hoping to find the mysterious Howl, who may be able to help lift her ill fated ailment. She comes across a strange moving castle, where she meets a curious creature, Calcifer. The two hope to help one another break their individual binds.
The beautiful Verity Niwa stuns in her Sophie cosplay! She chose to dazzle with braided white hair, tied neatly with a sweet pink bow. Her neatly constructed and pressed blue dress looks ever so elegant, with dainty lace trim around the collar, and matching petticoat. Her Victorian styled boots pull the whole outfit together, for a prim and demure guise!
Photography by Fiathriel.
When a family move goes terribly wrong, Chihiro and company find themselves in the spirit world. Chihiro, not long after, is by herself and feeling quite frustrated. That is, until she meets Haku, a strange boy who aids her in this strange new place. The grotesque witch, Yubaba, however, has other plans for the poor girl, and keeps her in the bathhouse to work. It’ll take getting help from Haku if Chihiro will ever be able to escape and save her family.
With a moody backdrop of eerie train tracks, surrounded by rubble, Ryeain and her friend Bob bring Chihiro and No Face to life. With the dismal setting and melancholy expressions, Ryeain portrays the, at the time, moody ten year old, cartoony blush and all! Even No Face towers calmly over her, cloaked in solid black. Without a doubt, this is a really great team cosplay!
Photography by Blur.
The Cat Returns
The unassuming Haru never would have guessed her love for cats would get her into a situation as strange as actually being forced to wed one. On a very fateful day, a cat was almost ran down in the street, but Haru leapt into action and saved its life. This cat was none other than the Cat Prince himself! Now what???
Bizria exudes sweetness on a usual basis, so it comes as no surprise she would cosplay as Haru! The half transformed girl looks darling in her school uniform and knee high socks. Donning her cat like accessories and even painting her face, whisker spots and all! Listen Haru, we really want you to break this cat spell, but at the same time, you’re sort of adorable…
Photography by Sakura Graffiti.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
In 1984, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, made a huge splash into the realm of animation, and soon after, led to the birth of Studio Ghibli. The gripping tale of Nausicaa takes place in the future, where man struggles to survive. The dangers of a toxic jungle and it’s intimidating creatures loom over the remaining population. Princess Nausicaa decides she would rather try to understand the goings-on rather than simply destroy the jungle. She faces much opposition, but stands firmly by her beliefs.
The courageous and bold princess, cosplayed here by Masher, is carried out splendidly! The costume itself, created by Naga Zmeyuka, pops with its solid color palette, in the sunny surroundings. Zmeyuka’s bold wig looks incredible against the golden backdrop, and her calming expressions make the entire scene completely enchanting.
Photography by Duo Maxwell. Masher, Naga, and Duo are part of a cosplay team that can be found here!
Written by Guest Contributor: Skirtz