10 Studio Ghibli movies to watch on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day isn’t just the time to watch romantic comedies like Notting hill or watch modern romantic anime masterpieces like your name. Now is also the time to visit Studio Ghibli films which have established themselves as some of the best animated films ever made.

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Some of them don’t focus on romance as much as others, but they all have a compelling romantic storyline that’s perfect for setting the right mood on an occasion like this. Plus, all of these movies are family friendly, which means they can also be watched by couples with kids for everyone’s enjoyment.


ten From Up There on Poppy Hill (2011)

From up there on Poppy Hill

From up there on Poppy Hill may not be the studio’s best-known film, but it has gained a fan base of its own in the decade since its release. At its core, it’s a light coming-of-age story that also contains a teenage love story.

Set in 1963, it follows two young people from Yokohama, Japan, who decide to save their school’s clubhouse from demolition for redevelopment.

9 Only yesterday (1991)

Only yesterday

Another of Studio Ghibli’s lesser-known works, Only yesterday is a very romantic film in many ways, although the animation style is somewhat different from the style Ghibli is best known for.

Designed especially for adult women, this is a realistic drama about a twenty-seven-year-old office worker who decides to travel to the countryside as she recalls her childhood in Tokyo.

8 Arrietty’s Secret World (2010)

Arrietty's Secret World

Unlike most of the movies on this list, Arrietty’s Secret World has a somewhat unusual romantic story – it’s more of an emotional bond Arrietty forms with the human boy than a romantic bond.

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From the 1952 novel Borrowers, it tells the story of a small family of people who live within the walls of the house of normal humans while borrowing items from them to survive.

7 Porco Rosso (1992)

Porco Rosso

Among the works of Miyazaki, Porco Rosso stands out a lot because of its connection to the director’s obsession with flight and the theme of aviation which he then revisited in another of his works.

Set in 1930s Italy, it follows a veteran World War I pilot who is cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig. Due to its clearly political themes, it might not be as entertaining for small children, but it’s still worth a look.

6 When Marnie Was There (2014)

When Marnie was there

When Marnie was there is often seen as both a romantic and tragic story despite the fact that it actually follows a very close friendship between two young girls, so there is no clearly defined love story.

Based on the 1967 novel of the same name, it tells the story of a twelve-year-old girl named Anna who suffers from asthma and stays with her loved ones in the countryside. There, she befriends a mysterious girl named Marnie.

5 The Wind Rises (2013)

The wind picks up

As Porco Rosso, The wind picks up was the product of Miyazaki’s fascination with flight and, in particular, aviation. This movie is very inspiring while the romance is a nice bonus which makes the story even more interesting to follow.

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Adapted from the manga of the same name by Miyazaki, it is a fictionalized account of the life of Jiro Horikoshi who was the designer of Japanese fighter jets during WWII.

4 Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Kiki's delivery service

Kiki’s delivery service isn’t the Studio Ghibli movie that comes back when it comes to romance, but it actually features a very sweet “young love” storyline.

Based on the 1985 novel of the same name, it follows a young witch named Kiki who moves to a new town and tries to live independently by creating her own delivery service.

3 Whisper of the Heart (1995)

Heart murmur

Heart murmur is by far one of the most romantic Studio Ghibli movies of all time, with many fans calling it their staple when they’re in the romantic mood.

Adapted from the manga of the same name from 1989, it tells the love story between a young girl named Shizuku who loves to read books and a boy named Seiji who has already read all the library books she chooses.

2 Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Howl's Moving Castle

As for the larger works of the studio, Howl’s Moving Castle is the one that comes up in the conversation more often than many others. It’s a fantastic story that has a unique relationship at its heart.

Based on the 1986 novel of the same name, it follows a young woman who is cursed by a witch for having an old body. Fortunately, she meets a young magician who lives in a Howl’s Moving Castle and who can help her break the curse.

1 Far away (2001)

Abducted as if by magic

Abducted as if by magic is by far the best known of Studio Ghibli’s creations and loved by audiences of all ages and backgrounds around the world. It’s a coming-of-age story that also features a relationship that feels like a very special friendship that might even turn into a romance.

Chihiro is a ten year old girl who finds herself trapped with her parents in the spirit world. After her parents are turned into pigs, she must work for the evil witch Yubaba to save them and herself.

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