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Inspirational Lines From Studio Ghibli Featured Films


Studio Ghibli.

I never thought I would be inspired and amazed by the world of Ghibli films.

For the longest time, I was only familiar with “Spirited Away,” but even then, I didn’t know that such a tale came from an entire family of magical worlds.

Nonetheless, I am incredibly grateful for having the opportunity to watch all of the featured films, and I am very excited to watch their new story coming out in 2023!

If I had watched these as a kid, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to grasp the deeper meanings behind the stories, and so in a way, I’m glad that I got to watch them for the first time as an adult. I was not only amazed at the insanely beautiful illustrations, but I was able to reflect back on my own life and change up some belief systems I’ve had due to the realistic, but innocent approach that the studio portrayed with many of the critical social, environmental, and emotional challenges that many of us still encounter to this day.

There are dozens of lines from the characters that have struck home with my own reality, and a lot more that have inspired a more open way of thinking and seeing things.

A Bit of Studio Ghibli History

Studio Ghibli Inc. is a Japanese animation studio founded on June 15, 1985, by directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, and producer Toshio Suzuki. It is currently headquartered in Koganei, Tokyo. The studio is best known for its animated feature films, and has produced a number of short subjects, tv commercials, and one television film.

Its mascot has been the giant catlike spirit, Totoro, from their 1988 anime film My Neighbor Totoro.

In 2014, Studio Ghibli went into a temporary suspension following the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki. The studio made a comeback with its 2020 feature film, Earwig and the Witch, which was directed by Miyazaki’s son, Gorō. And, currently, the studio is in production for their 2023 feature film, How Do You Live? directed by Hayao Miyazaki, a movie intended to be his last one.

Any word or phrase in brackets “[]” is originally scripted with pronouns (it, he, she, they). Therefore, to understand the line better, I replaced the pronouns with the actual subject that they were referring to.

Ghibli Characters Once Said

1. "We had such a weird, mysterious, spectacular day.” -Satsuki Kusakabe, My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

2. "There's nothing to fear." -Nausicaa, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

3. "I want nothing. Stay with me, brother. Don't leave me. Stay with me!" -Setsuko Yokokawa, Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

4. "Complete freedom to do anything at all...But when you have it, what do you do with it? I wouldn't know what to do." -Takashi Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

5. "If I'm going with you, I'm going to help you." -Shizuku Tsukishima, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

6. "You set out today across the oceans of life with the wind in your sails and boundless prospects on the horizon. But life, as they say, has its ups and downs. It may seem easy when the waters are calm, but at times the waves will taunt you, tossing you in their swells. Take heart and don't get discouraged." -Shige Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

7. "You cannot move into the future without first knowing the past. Destroy everything old, and you dishonor those who lived and died before us." -Shun Kazama, From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)

8. "You are a first-class fire demon. I like your spark." -Sophie Hatter, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

9. "Even a noble princess must sweat, and sometimes want to laugh out loud! Surely they want to cry! Or get mad, and want to scream!" -Princess Kaguya, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

10. "To be a butterfly, a caterpillar has to become a chrysalis first, even if it never, for a moment, wanted to become one." -Taeko Okajima, Only Yesterday (1991)

11. "If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a quitter!" -Captain Dola, Castle in the Sky (1986)

12. "Always believe in yourself. Do this, and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear." -Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, The Cat Returns (2002)

13. "No one should expect perfection when they're first starting out." -Shirō Nishi, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

14. "It's still just the heart of a child." -Calcifer, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

15. "Honesty is always best. Don't you forget it." -Shige Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

16. "You cannot alter your fate. However, you can rise to meet it if you choose." -The Wise Woman, Princess Mononoke (1997)

17. "A king without compassion does not deserve a kingdom." -Sheeta/Princess Lucita Toelle Ur Laputa, Castle in the Sky (1986)

18. "At times like that, you know what I do? Paint. That gets rid of my frustrations. Then I just stop. Take long walks, look at the scenery, doze off at noon. Don't do a single thing. Then, suddenly, I'm able to paint again." -Ursula, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

19. "Forests were cleared, the earth was leveled and the construction zone grew bigger every day. The raccoons watched with anger and sadness as their forests were stripped bare." -Narrator, Pom Poko (1994)

20. "[Marnie] lived life with a smile, determined to be happy." -Hisako, When Marnie Was There (2014)

21. "[This hair tie] will protect you. It's made from the threads your friends wove together." -Zeniba, Spirited Away (2001)

22. "Age comes before wisdom." -Narrator, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

23. "Nobody decides who I am but me.” -Haru Yoshioka, The Cat Returns (2002)

24. "When you first become an artist, you are like that rock. You're in a raw natural state with hidden gems inside. You have to dig down deep and find the emeralds tucked away inside you. And that's just the beginning. Once you've found your gems you have to polish them. It takes a lot of hard work. Oh, and here's the tricky part: look at the crack in the Geode. You see the big green crystal there? You could spend years polishing that and it wouldn't be worth much at all. The smaller crystals are much more valuable, and there may be some even deeper inside that we can't see which are even more precious." -Shirō Nishi, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

25. "It's fun to move to a new place. It's an adventure." -Yūko Ogino, Spirited Away (2001)

26. "I can't run away...not anymore." -Princess Kaguya, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

27. "Things far away loom large whereas things near at hand appear small." -Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

28. "Studying is not about what's worth it. Classes that seem worth it may turn out to be not worth it, and therefore not worthwhile. But sometimes the things that are worthless may actually be worthwhile, worthless or not. So, it's not about whether or not something is worthless or not." -Takashi Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

29. "You're only five, but you're very smart. Sometimes, we take a leap. Be brave. You can do it." -Lisa, Ponyo (2008)

30. "Staying in this room is what'll make you sick." -Chihiro Ogino/Sen, Spirited Away (2001)

31. "No matter how many weapons you have, no matter how great your technology might be, the world cannot live without love." -Sheeta/Princess Lucita Toelle Ur Laputa, Castle in the Sky (1986)

32. "I'm alive! I'm alive! Look, I'm free! Free! Free! I'm alive!" -Calcifer, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

33. "However tough life gets, it can't be helped. This may sound a bit pessimistic, but repeat it like a mantra, and you will never be defeated in life." -Takashi Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

34. "Too much fire gives birth to nothing. Fire can reduce a forest to ashes in a day, while it takes the water and the wind 100 years to grow one anew." -Gol, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

35. "Well, one nice thing about getting old is nothing frightens you." -Sophie Hatter, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

36. "[My grandpa] always says that seaplane pilots are the most honorable and trustworthy fighters in the world. Every time they fly, both the ocean and the sky purify their hearts. So they're braver than any pilot in the sky, and they are mightier than any sailor in the sea." -Fio Piccolo, Porco Rosso (1992)

37. "I can't help being a woman, but I guarantee you I have the talent." -Fio Piccolo, Porco Rosso (1992)

38. "I know what I want to do, but I don't know if I'll get to do it. I fight with my parents about it every day. Even if I get to go, it doesn't mean that I'll be any good at it. I'll just have to do my best and find out." -Seiji Amasawa, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

39. "When I was your age, I'd already decided to become an artist. I loved painting. So much that I couldn't sleep. Then one day, for no reason, I became unable to paint. So I just kept on painting anyway, but still, it was no good. I realized that I was just imitating other painters. Just copies of paintings I'd seen somewhere. I swore I'd paint my own pictures." -Ursula, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

40. "I respect a woman who stands up for herself. Even if she does like to stick her nose in other people's business.” -Muta/Renaldo Moon, The Cat Returns (2002)

42. "Isn't it funny how great ideas seem to come right when you need them most?" -Earwig, Earwig and the Witch (2020)

43. “We cannot be stuck in the past forever.” -Kiro Honjo, The Wind Rises (2013)

44. "Just follow that heart and keep smiling." -Kokiri, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

45. "I only fly for myself." -Porco Rosso/Marco Pagot, Porco Rosso (1992)

46. "Life is precious because we know we're going to die! You're not afraid of death. You're afraid of life! You want to live forever, then you say nothing matters. It's the same thing! You're afraid to live the only life you have!" -Therru/Tehanu, Tales From Earthsea (2006)

47. "As you sail across the ocean of life, what should you fear most? Wild storms? Treacherous currents? No, the truth is that the ocean of life is most dangerous when it's calm and there's hardly a ripple in sight. When the waters are rough any family can weather the wildest storms if they join hands and pull together. But life is different when the ocean is calm. The wind dies down. You sigh and relax. And you forget to hold onto each other." -Shige Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

48. "I'm not being rebellious. I'm going after my dreams." -Shizuku Tsukishima, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

49. "Everybody, try laughing. Then whatever scares you will go away." -Tatsuo Kusakabe, My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

50. "Don't hover over the food. Take it with purpose. Commit." -Takashi Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

51. "It's just a bit rough, dear, like Seiji's violin. What I read was raw and heartfelt. You should be very proud for all your hard work. You've dug inside your soul and found some real gems. Next, you'll need to polish it, which will also take a lot of work. There's no need to be upset. Just have a little patience." -Shirō Nishi, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

52. "The Forest Spirit gives life and takes life away. Life and death are his alone." -Moro, Princess Mononoke (1997)

53. "When there are no challenges to share, it is all too easy for a family to drift apart." -Shige Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

54. "I wasn't wrong to save a cat. No matter what happens, I believe in my decision. I believe. I believe." -Haru Yoshioka, The Cat Returns (2002)

55. "Whenever someone creates something with all of their heart, then that creation is given a soul.” -Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, The Cat Returns (2002)

56. "Your father was impulsive, but he always did what he thought was right." -Ryoko Matsuzaki, From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)

57. "Inspiration is more important than scale. Inspiration unlocks the future. Technology eventually catches up." -Giovanni Battista Caproni, The Wind Rises (2013)

58. "It doesn't matter if you like it or not. You have to eat! You need to, so you can grow." -Seita Yokokawa, Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

59. "If you use up all the trees, the mountain's ruined. But if you leave the mountain its power, and go on a journey, it comes back to life. Trees need a good 10 years, then you can work them again...Everything comes back eventually...Sure [Spring] will [come back again]. It's like a circle. Just when you think one ends, another begins again. You can always count on it." -Unknown Character Name, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

60. "[The Forest Spirit is] life itself…He's here right now, trying to tell us something, that it's time for both of us to live." -Ashitaka, Princess Mononoke (1997)

61. “You forgot that all life is connected. Life can't be hoarded, it can only be given! Deny death, and you deny life!" -Prince Arren/Lebannen, Tales From Earthsea (2006)

62. "It’s never easy when you do things differently from everyone else.” -Seiya Tsukishima, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

63. "No man nor anything in this world lives forever. But only to us is it given to know that we must die. And that is a precious gift. This life that is our torment and our treasure does not endure. It is a wave in the sea. Would you force the sea to grow still, to save one wave? To save yourself?" -Ged/Sparrowhawk, Tales From Earthsea (2006)

64. "The forests of Tama Hills are our home. So you can't keep destroying them all. This plea is from every living creature in the forest." -Oroku, Pom Poko (1994)

65. "I think I can handle it." -Chihiro Ogino/Sen, Spirited Away (2001)

66. "That's my own personal blend of tea. It's a little different each time, so I can't guarantee the taste." -Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, The Cat Returns (2002)

67. "It's not really important what color your dress is. What matters is the heart inside it." -Kokiri, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

68. "You must live, darling. You must live." -Nahoko Satomi, The Wind Rises (2013)

69. "That building is more than just a building...We all love it and it makes us feel connected to our past, like we belong to something." -Umi Matsuzaki, From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)

70. "Women are great. Don't be such a pig." -Mr. Piccolo, Porco Rosso (1992)

71. "I've never seen a fire with more spark." -Sophie Hatter, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

72. "Life is suffering. It is hard. The world is cursed, but still, you find reasons to keep living." -Osa, Princess Mononoke (1997)

73. "If today is bad, then tomorrow will be better. And if tomorrow's bad, then try a little harder." -Taeko Okajima, Only Yesterday (1991)

74. "A warrior's determination is a very powerful thing." -Princess Kaguya, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

75. "Life's beautiful, isn't it?" -Nahoko Satomi, The Wind Rises (2013)

76. "In the organic, you encourage the life force that all living things have naturally. We simply assist in the process. It's a very cool way of farming. Only that "simply assisting" bit is never so simple." -Toshio, Only Yesterday (1991)

77. "Beauty is fleeting. Life is long." -Narrator, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

78. "If you're so hell-bent on demolition, demolish your short-sighted thinking." -Shun Kazama, From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)

79. "Look at that. The ocean is at our door." -Sosuke, Ponyo (2008)

80. "Without the cycle of death and rebirth, there is no life!" -Ged/Sparrowhawk, Tales From Earthsea (2006)

81. "If you find yourself troubled by something mysterious or a problem that's hard to solve, there's a place you can go where you always find help. You just need to look for it." -Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, The Cat Returns (2002)

82. "Sometimes it's best not to go looking for danger." -Pod, Arrietty (2010)

83. "One thing you can always count on is that hearts change." -Prince Justin/Turnip Head, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

84. "If you completely forget [your name], you'll never find your way home." -Haku/Spirit of the Kohaku River, Spirited Away (2001)

85. "They say that the best blaze brightest when circumstances are at their work." -Sophie Hatter, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

86. "Not every raccoon can transform into something else. That's why, if our woods disappear, we'll have nowhere to go." -Raccoons, Pom Poko (1994)

87. "We are Borrowers and we'll make do. We always have. As long as we have each other to live for, we'll keep on living." -Arrietty, Arrietty (2010)

88. "We fly with our spirit." -Kiki, Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

89. "The earth speaks to all of us. And if we listen, we can understand." -Uncle Pom, Castle in the Sky (1986)

90. "Repetition is the key to learning." -Takashi Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

91. "Anybody who'd choose me would be pretty unusual, but a normal family would be even worse." -Earwig, Earwig and the Witch (2020)

92. “Airplanes are beautiful dreams, so I’m going to make beautiful airplanes.” -Jiro Horikoshi, The Wind Rises (2013)

93. "First you steal the boar's forest from him and then transform him into a demon. Now you're making even deadlier weapons! How much more hatred and pain do you think we need?" -Ashitaka, Princess Mononoke (1997)

94. "Out in the countryside, nature connects people." -Taeko Okajima, Only Yesterday (1991)

95. "We never judge others by their looks." -Lisa, Ponyo (2008)

96. "It's funny how you wake up each day and never really know if it will be one that will change your life forever." -Shō, Arrietty (2010)

97. "[Earth is] not impure! There is grief and sorrow here. There is also joy and happiness. All who live on this earth experience them in different shades. All feel compassion." -Princess Kaguya, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013)

98. "We wish that we could save our forests without harming any humans...Our forest is near and dear to us." -Tsurukame Oshō, Pom Poko (1994)

99. "There's no job that isn't tough, so you do what you have to do, and in the end, somehow you get by." -Toshio, Only Yesterday (1991)

100. "Just for the record, I admire a young woman who speaks from the heart.” -Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, The Cat Returns (2002)

101. "Even if we should fall in the heat of battle, our deaths will not be in vain, our sacrifices serving to rally our brothers to fight on until the day of victory. That is the kamikaze spirit!" -Raccoons, The Kamikaze Motto, Pom Poko (1994)

102. “Wherever there is darkness, there also you will find the light.” - Prince Arren/Lebannen's Shadow, Tales From Earthsea (2006)

103. "Sometimes you have to stand up and fight for the things that are worth fighting for.” -Arrietty, Arrietty (2010)

104. "Many of you have probably heard someone on the news saying how animals are disappearing because of development. I don't think that's quite accurate. It's true that some raccoons can transform and disappear, although, what about things like rabbits and badgers? They can't transform, so where do they go?" -Ponkichi, Pom Poko (1994)

105. "Today's gonna be great." -Shizuku Tsukishima, Whisper of the Heart (1995)

106. "I see why this family gets along so well. Because all three grown-ups are certifiably insane!... If even one of you were remotely normal, things would fall apart!" -Noboru Yamada, My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)

107. "Life without death is not life! Refuse death, and you refuse life as well!" -Ged/Sparrowhawk, Tales From Earthsea (2006)

108. "Once you've met someone, you never really forget them. It just takes a while for your memories to return." -Zeniba, Spirited Away (2001)

109. "In this world, there's an invisible magic circle...There's an inside and an outside...Those people are inside the circle. And I'm outside. But it doesn't really matter." -Anna Sasaki, When Marnie Was There (2014)

110. "When you're old, all you want to do is stare at the scenery. It's so strange, I've never felt so peaceful before." -Sophie Hatter, Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

111. "To get what they need from nature, farmers have to do a lot of different things to make sure that nature will continue to provide forever. It's sort of a joint venture between people and the earth." -Toshio, Only Yesterday (1991)

112. "When you're little and have to sit next to someone you hate, you don't even want to go to school. The problem is, your world is too small. If you have something other than school like piano lessons, people you dislike aren't a problem." -Shimizu Akiko, Ocean Waves (1993)

113. "You sure spend a lot of time thinking about strange things." -Asbel, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

114. "I've gotta get out of this place. Someday, I'm getting on that train." -Lin, Spirited Away (2001)

Let's Chat!

What is one (or some) Studio Ghibli line(s) that you use as a mantra(s), or will start using as a mantra(s)?

Keep being inspired and take care always,


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