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The Best (And Worst) Of Studio Ghibli


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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 61
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:12 am Reply with quote
One of these days, Rebecca is going to give something a low score because it features cilantro and she thinks cilantro tastes like soap.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:26 am Reply with quote
I agree with most of the picks and surprised that Tales of EarthSea wasn't everybody's "worst" (but some avoided it so...). Not sure I'd say The Wind Rises was a "best" but it was OK and I think the listed "worsts" were definitely near or on the bottom of the ranking I'd give Ghibli movies.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am Reply with quote
I remember starting Howl's Moving Castle one afternoon after school when it was on Encore or something, but it really not grabbing me/turning it off. I should give it a real chance.

I may love Ponyo, but I respect Rebecca's opinion on it/not wanting to watch something that's supposed to be entertainment that triggers your anxiety so bad. Though I would debate Ponyo as a "creepy fishgirl." She's a cutie!
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:28 am Reply with quote
Since this is a best-worst list, my choices are based on overall quality, not on my personal, subjective tastes.

Best: Grave of the Fireflies - this is the best anime movie I have ever watched.
Runner up: Princess Mononoke - Miyazaki's hands down best work.
Worst: My Neighbor Totoro - this is a boring movie because it is too long.
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njprogfan



Joined: 08 Feb 2007
Posts: 552
Location: A River Named Toms
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:42 am Reply with quote
Favorite - Laputa: Castle in the Sky (My first Miyazaki, and the one I can watch over and over. Such characters, such action, SUCH a robot, and that music! It hits every one of my animation buttons perfectly)

Favorite Runner-Up - Princess Mononoke (Nothing like it before and since)

Least Favorite - Arrietty (Disappointed with the ending and was overall underwhelmed, oh well, can't bat 1,000 all the time)
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
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Location: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:44 am Reply with quote
Having watched pretty much everything Miyazaki or Takahata have worked on outside of those museum shorts, I'm honestly shocked that my favourite flick is actually Yonebayashi's adaptation of When Marnie Was There. Everything, from the animation, acting and pacing was pitch perfect, while the film carried an emotional heart beyond most other Ghibli features. Even the changes from the book added an interesting twist to the characters and their struggles.

In regards to a clear runner-up, I honestly couldn't pick. I could stare in front of the likes of Only Yesterday, The Cat Returns, Totoro, Kiki, Porco Rosso, Nausicaa, Mononoke, The Wind Rises, Whisper of the Heart or Pom Poko for hours and not be able to choose one over the other. They're a collective mass as far as I'm concerned.

The only two movies I actively consider bad are Earthsea & Howl's Moving Castle, although at least I have sympathy for the reasons why the former was an dull, plodding mess. Howl's, on the other hand feels like a film that was barely invested in its story to begin with, before completely giving up midway through. I'd consider the second half of that movie the worst thing Ghibli has publicly released.


Last edited by fathomlessblue on Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:42 am; edited 2 times in total
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:04 am Reply with quote
angelmcazares wrote:
Best: Grave of the Fireflies - this is the best anime movie I have ever watched.

I'm a little surprised that this one didn't come up on someone else's entry. It would never come up on mine because, while I regard the movie as a masterpiece, I also hate it. (I can't watch it without getting supremely angry at the male protagonist.)
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Lord Starfish



Joined: 25 Nov 2014
Posts: 118
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:04 am Reply with quote
Did not expect Howl to dominate the "Worst" rankings the way it did. I mean, I will admit it's far from Ghibli at their best, but from where I'm standing I can't even call it Miyazaki's worst film. (That would be Ponyo to me, for the simple reason that it just bored me. Howl, as much of a confused mess it was, was at least fun.)

Anyway, my top 2 would be Kaguya and Mononoke, much for the same reasons that were described in the article. However, since my least favorite didn't make it onto the list in any capacity, I feel I should give some more detail on it.

In my opinion, the worst Ghibli movie is Pom Poko. Just... How did the same guy who put out Kaguya and Grave of the Fireflies make this? I guess it's technically "better" than Tales From Earthsea in that it at least manages to stay consistent with what it's about, but it's meandering to the extreme, ridiculously preachy, utterly devoid of compelling or likable characters and it's just so unbearably dull. And when you have a movie about animals with magical shapeshifting testicles, you'd think "dull" would be the last word anyone could ever use to describe it. But seriously, during what was seemingly meant to be the big standout moment (spoiler[when they use their powers to create all sorts of fantastical illusions throughout the city to scare the humans away for good]), I was on the verge of falling asleep, because the thing just went on and on and on and on and on... Oh, and I seem to recall that was like two thirds of the way through the movie and basically nothing that happened before that was of any consequence. Heck, even that moment itself was almost pointless. If I recall correctly, basically nothing the tanuki did throughout the movie before the very end, actually factored into how the story was ultimately resolved. Which, to be fair, the ending was not bad... but it would have been a lot better if it didn't literally have a character turn to the camera and go "So what have we learned today, dear viewers?"
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:04 am Reply with quote
I will go with Princess Mononoke as the best, however I would also put Porco Rosso, as it felt like Miyazaki was trying something different, and it is also good in its own right.

Last edited by MarshalBanana on Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Zin5ki
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Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:08 am Reply with quote
I second Rebecca's decision to award When Marnie Was There the highest accolade. Given that Ghibli pictures often frustrate me to varying degrees, this work was as refreshing in its uniform pleasance as it was endearing. Its cathartic sweetness aside, I am most eager to praise its characterisation. The film's protagonist is shown to be not only burdened by circumstance but morally imperfect in her behaviour, the latter trait often lacking in the perennially innocent child characters I associate with the studio. With this detail in place, I could relish in the film's set-pieces and themes—simple though they were—without my typical reservations.

My Interstella 5555th post! Music's Got Me Feeling So Free!
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angelmcazares
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:11 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
angelmcazares wrote:
Best: Grave of the Fireflies - this is the best anime movie I have ever watched.

I'm a little surprised that this one didn't come up on someone else's entry.

Takahata's movies seem to be forgotten and/or deemed unworthy when compared to Miyazaki's.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:18 am Reply with quote
While the worst Ghibli flim is far and away Tales of Earthsea for the all the reasons everyone else says it is, The best is a trickier proposition. I'd say When Marnie Was There is the best one not done by either Miyazaki or Takahata (who's best is easily Princess Kaguya) but of the ones done by the man himself.... I'd say that Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky and Kiki's Delivery Service are the best in terms of the execution of Miyazaki 's overall aesthetics and philosophical beliefs while Porco Russo andThe Wind Rises is his best on a most personal level.

Last edited by Zeino on Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 2912
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:29 am Reply with quote
Favorite Studio Ghibli film: Pom Poko. I just love it when a narrative does everything right and this movie hits every beat so perfectly by the time your mulling over the resolution of one plot point, two more are already rolling. Also, I just love that spirit scare sequence.

Runner up: Porco Rosso. An Italian pig who's not a fascist. It gets a few demerits for the purposely ambiguous ending but we all know how it ends, right? Right?

Least favorite:

The Wind Rises: Oh good, one I actively dislike... too weak of a word... one I actively hate. "I combined Jiro Horikoshi's story with that of his biographer to honor him as well." And it amazingly humanized the guy with a romantic connection while the real man was umarried, imagine that. The only part that felt genuine to the man in question, once you get past all the "flying is magic" dreams and "not his life" melodrama and "We knew Germany were bad guys all along" revisionism, was the joke he made to his group of engineers as they started to put the Zero into production at the start of the war... because it didn't match the "reluctant pacifist dreamer who is a lover and not a fighter" character Miyazaki was trying to create.

It looked nice? What a low bar...
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JacobC
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Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:29 am Reply with quote
fathomlessblue wrote:
This post feels a little incomplete in places: eg. Theron's best film entry is absent outside of the title & James' Kaguya post is accompanied by an image from The Wind Rises.


Theron wrote his post combining the two films, opted not to separate it. The image mistake has been fixed.
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fathomlessblue



Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 104
Location: Manchester, UK
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:40 am Reply with quote
JacobC wrote:

Theron wrote his post combining the two films, opted not to separate it. The image mistake has been fixed.


Ah, my bad. I read those sentences as a precursor/buffer zone between talking about Mononoke and moving on to Spirited Away, rather than the post itself. I'll remove that paragraph.
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