Aside from the superb storytelling and awesome hand-drawn animation, Hayao Miyazaki films are also known for the heroic female characters. If you’re a fan, you know very well of the acclaimed Japanese animator's predilection for using female leads in his movies. These protagonists may not wear costumes and capes just like your favorite superheroes, but hey, they're worthy of adulation in their own right.
They are the kind of characters both men and women we can can look up to—adventurous, intelligent, and inspiring. If you need a definition of what a hero is, look no further—these anime stars are the answer.
In celebration of Hayao Miyazaki’s return to filmmaking, FHM lists the most inspirational heroines of Studio Ghibli and what makes them champions.
1) Kiki of Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki is a great motivator and leader to everyone, always proving that hard work and determination pays off in the end. She's independent and responsible, and a good influence, just like what a hero should be.
2) Nausicaa of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
What this woman wants is to restore the bond between humanity and the earth. She’s more concerned with the people of the Valley rather than her self-serving interests.
3) Chihiro of Spirited Away
Transported to another world, with her parents mysteriously transformed into pigs, Chihiro learns to live in a strange place all on her own. From a self-centered child, she grows up to become a hardworking young girl during her adventures in the Spirit World. She can be counted on to protect her friends. She continues to persevere despite the challenges she must face. She changes for the better because she put the needs of others first.
4) Sophie of Howl’s Moving Castle
Despite being transformed into an elderly woman, Sophie still manages to be strong enough to help the wizard Howl and her new friends succeed in their pesonal missions. She does all this while there's a war brewing on the horizon. A true hero takes each obstacles as a challenge and an opportunity for growth. Sophie's courage is one to emulate.
5) San of Princess Mononoke
San, also known as Princess Mononoke or the "Wolf Girl," is a heroine who isn't afraid of death. In fact, she’ll do anything to protect Mother Nature from the selfishness of humans. In the end, those are the marks of a true heroine.