Top 5 Most Iconic Studio Ghibli Characters

Top 5 Most Iconic Studio Ghibli Characters

The world of Studio Ghibli characters is not only very dynamic in nature but also very connected to the idea of the human. These iconic Studio Ghibli characters are basically the life force behind the entire narration of the fantastical world that the plots entail and are therefore very integral to the narrative. They establish a bridge between the viewer and the narrative and help us connect with their realm of dreams and fantasies in a very real sense of being.

In this article, we will look at the Top 5 most iconic Studio Ghibli characters and how they have shaped the idea of the industry over the years.

Top 5 most iconic Studio Ghibli characters (Ranked)


5. Kiki in Kiki’s Delivery Service

Top 5 Most Iconic Studio Ghibli Characters
Kiki in Kiki’s Delivery Service. (Image credit goes to Studio Ghibli)

Kiki is a young witch who embarks on a journey of self-discovery. With her talking cat companion, Jiji, she sets up a delivery service in a new town. Kiki’s coming-of-age story, filled with ups and downs, resonates with audiences as she learns to navigate independence, friendship, and finding her own path in life.

  • It’s possible that “Kiki’s Delivery Service” is among the finest films about growing up ever created.
  • As is customary for witches in her world, Kiki, the main heroine of the book, must now fly away from her parents and live independently as she has just reached 13 years old.

She is self-conscious about her limitations and doesn’t have any really impressive magical skills beyond the fundamentals of flying, but that talent is more than enough to amaze everyone in town who isn’t magical, and she utilizes it to start a delivery service.

4. San in Princess Mononoke

Top 5 Most Iconic Studio Ghibli Characters
San in Princess Mononoke. (Image credit goes to Studio Ghibli)

A strong and independent warrior princess, San, also known as Princess Mononoke, takes center stage in the film of the same name. Her fierce loyalty to the forest and her determination to protect its inhabitants make her an unforgettable character. Princess Mononoke challenges traditional gender roles and highlights the importance of preserving nature.

San in Princess Mononoke may be human, yet she personifies the violent aspect of nature, complete with righteous anger. She aggressively denies her humanity because she was raised by wolves, therefore she is highly perplexed by Prince Ashitaka’s desire for global peace as well as his apparent fondness for her. San’s side is the more sympathetic one in the story’s main confrontations, however,ย this isn’t always something that can be assessed morally.

3. Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle

Top 5 Most Iconic Studio Ghibli Characters
Howl’s Moving Castle. (Image credit goes to Studio Ghibli)
  • Known for his striking appearance and complex personality, Howl is the captivating wizard from Howl’s Moving Castle and is undoubtedly Studio Ghibli’s most handsome male character.
  • With his flamboyant style and mysterious allure, he has become a favorite among Studio Ghibli fans. Howl’s journey of self-acceptance and his fight against dark forces resonates with audiences around the world.

He’s the kind of magical drama queen that, if someone messes with his hair color floods the area with repulsive black muck. He is narcissistic and immature but, even though he improves, the whole “giving your heart to a demon” scenario would emotionally cripple anybody. He is a character that is simple to love and care for despite having severe flaws since his horrific change throughout the conflict threatens to slowly kill him.

2. Chihiro in Spirited Away

Top 5 Most Iconic Studio Ghibli Characters
Chihiro in Spirited Away. (Image credit goes to Studio Ghibli)

Chihiro is a young girl in Spirited Away who finds herself trapped in a spirit world filled with strange creatures and powerful gods. Her transformation from a timid and uncertain girl to a brave and determined protagonist has made her an enduring symbol of resilience and self-discovery. When her parents are changed into pigs and she is forced to work in a bathhouse for spirits to save them, her initial objections about coming to a new town definitely look quaint.

  • A character who first comes across as an entitled and bratty girl demonstrates that she is courageous, resourceful, and compassionate to even the scariest of spirits.

While some have complained that Miyazaki over-idealizes and exaggerates his female protagonists, including fellow anime director Mamoru Hosoda, we would point to Chihiro in Spirited Away as a fantastic counter-example of a female protagonist who seems like a genuine person, someone who’s marred by doing her best.

1. Totoro in My Neighbor Totoro

Top 5 Most Iconic Studio Ghibli Characters
My Neighbor Totoro. (Image credit goes to Studio Ghibli)
  • Totoro, the fluffy forest spirit from “My Neighbor Totoro,” is one of Studio Ghibli’s most recognizable characters.
  • With his wide grin and iconic umbrella, Totoro represents the magic and wonder of childhood, bringing joy and comfort to those who encounter him.

Totoro, a huge fuzzy forest spirit who looks like a cross between a cat and an owl, emphasizes and amplifies the joy that Mei and Satsuki already feel over the little things in life. The titular character of “My Neighbour Totoro” has relatively little screen time, yet every scene in which he appears, from waiting for the bus in the rain to growing enormous trees, is instantly recognizable and has some of the greatest animation ever created.

Anyone who wants the bobble-headed spirits to make this list can technically consider this a duplicate inclusion as Miyazaki has said that Totoro developed from the final Kodama that was still alive at the conclusion of “Princess Mononoke.”


The Top 5 most iconic Studio Ghibli characters are not only the most well-known of the lot but also the most human. This human agency is reflected in their attitude towards the environment that surrounds them and they are simply the flagbearers of a reality that exists in relation to human thoughts and emotions, including conflict and confrontation as well. While we are subscribed to an idea of anime that is in itself distant from humans, Studio Ghibli provides a common ground for human dreams and non-human entities to coexist.

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