Although studio Ghibli anime is often aimed at children, due to its multifaceted characters, metaphors and unusual storytelling, they attract people of all ages as such. This is not to mention the fact that in his works Hayao Miyazaki, in principle, raises many universal topics, such as relationships between people, the harmful influence of man on nature and the ability to understand their feelings.
This makes fans revisit these cartoons more than once and find new and deep meanings in them. And as is often the case, fandom tends to go overboard and see things that are too crazy. We've put together some weird fan theories about Studio Ghibli anime for you. Most likely, they are all contrived lies, but why not. It's never too late to scare off another fandom delusion.
My Neighbor Totoro Theories
Analyzing strange theories from Miyazaki's cartoons, let's first go through the most famous works. The first is "My Neighbor Totoro".
Totoro - God of Death
The history of anime is set in the 50s. The father, with his two daughters named Satsuki and Mei, moves to the outback, closer to the hospital, where their mother is being treated for a serious illness. The girls discover that many friendly spirits live in the forest near the house, and one of them is a big cat named Totoro. At the end of the film, Mei disappears, but thanks to Totoro and other spirits, she is found.
Some fans think this is a reference to the Sayama incident. In the 60s, a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl was killed and raped in Sayama on her way home, and her older sister subsequently broke down and committed suicide. The great minds of the Internet associate events with the cartoon for the reason that the heroine of the anime is called Mei, and the murder took place in May. May=May and everything ...
It is believed that after learning about the fate of her sister, Satsuki committed suicide and the Catbus actually took their souls to the underworld at the end, and Totoro himself, who acts as the God of death, accompanied them there ....
"My Neighbor Totoro" is another interpretation of "Alice in Wonderland"
Less depressing theory, but more interesting one says that "My Neighbor Totoro" is a kind of interpretation of the tale "Alice in Wonderland" through the prism of Miyazaki's vision. And, in principle, there is a grain of common sense here, because we observe anthropomorphic animals and various manifestations of miracles.
Other fans believe that this is more the story of two children who came up with a bright world in their imaginations in order to more easily cope with the sad thought that their mother is in the hospital. Therefore, it is more appropriate to say that Lewes Carroll's fairy tale was rather one of the sources of inspiration for the director of the picture. How much truth in this is unknown, but at least there are no murders here.
Spirited Away Theories
Banya Yubaba is a brothel
Another crazy theory based on Miyazaki's cartoons, besides the most famous one, says that Yubaba's bathhouse is a brothel, and the whole cartoon is one big metaphor for prostitution.
The spirit world in its appearance corresponds to the Edo period. At that time, all the baths were used to cover brothels, and the women who ran them were called Yubabs, also called the film's main antagonist. Chihiro signs a contract with Yubaba and she takes her identity. So, in real brothels of that time, girls lost themselves there.
After this information, it is completely different that the Faceless is chasing Chihiro and trying to give her money. From this point of view, he is trying to buy sexual services from her ...
Here we will nevertheless say that the author did not include such motives and metaphors in his work, the symbolism of "Spirited Away" is completely different. Also, fans of this theory like to refer to a certain interview with Miyazaki, where he says that it was a metaphor for the fact that the sex industry is more developed in Japan, but no one ever cites a single reference to his words.
The Faceless is also a person stuck in the spirit world
The Faceless is one of the most mysterious characters in the cartoon. In our eyes, he manages to become both a hero and a villain when he arranges a pogrom in the bathhouse. However, its true essence is still a mystery. There is a theory on Reddit that the Faceless is actually also a person stuck in the spirit world.
Allegedly, he spent too much time in a foreign world for him and in the end turned into a vessel of negativity. That is why he is attracted to Chihiro, as he sees in her a kindred spirit. The author also refers to the fact that the Faceless's magic is too weak, and this also distinguishes him from other creatures of the spirit world.
Chihiro's new strength
Some fans believe that due to her long stay in the spirit world, Chihiro was still able to acquire supernatural powers, which helped her understand that her parents were not in the herd of pigs.
In 2016, at a studio conference, a fan asked why her parents turned into pigs. He was told that it was a subtle metaphor for Japan's economic bubble, for the greed with which he was inflating. Allegedly a message - if you behave like a pig [I mean absorb and devour] in the end it and become.
As for the moment at the end, she realized that her parents were not in the pig pen because she had gone through a mental transformation, grew up in other words, and just used the brain. Therefore, the theory about power is definitely not true.
Theories on "Ponyo on the cliff"
Ponyo is an angel
Something fans Ghibli have a particular fondness for theories about death. The anime "Ponyo Fish on the Cliff" tells how the boy Sosuke pulled a small fish out of a can where it was stuck. In the future, this special fish was able to become a man. Quite a sweet and light-hearted story. But no ...
Some Japanese fans believe that everyone in the village where the boy lives with his mother died due to the flood. All who survived sail in boats in the same direction, and this is an analogy to how in Buddhist mythology, people sail along the Sanzu River [alternative to the Greek River Styx] into the afterlife.
There they are finally led by a tunnel through which Ponyo and Sousuke pass at the end of their journey. Therefore, it can be a story about how an angel leads a little boy to another world ... Or it’s just a cute story about children in love, you decide for yourself.
Sousuke and Ponyo are the Bakery Owners of the Witch Delivery Service
At the end of the anime, Ponyo and Sousuke are left alone [how long is unknown, because they are only five years old]. Many forward-thinking fans believe that they stayed together until the end of their days, and are very similar to Ason and Fukuo - the owners of the bakery where Kiki, the main character of the movie "Kiki's Delivery Service", works.
In fact, they really are quite similar to our familiar children. Fans speculate that they eventually moved to another city and opened a bakery there. And everything seems logical, if not for two but. First, Ponyo on the Cliff came out 19 years after The Witch's Delivery Service, and the author was hardly so far-sightedly planning such a reference.
And secondly, well, seriously, these bakers are called differently! What other theories could there be?
Princess Mononoke Theories
Sun carries his sister's corpse on his shoulders
In "Princess Mononoke," Sun is raised by wolves after her own parents abandon her to escape the Moro wolves. At least, this is what Moreau says in her own words: “I caught her human parents desecrating the forest. They threw their child at my feet as they ran away. ”
However, one cannot fail to notice that Sun is wearing the skin of a killed wolf on his shoulders. How is this to be understood? Fans believe that "desecrating the forest" means that Sun's real parents hunted Moro's puppies and killed one of them. When Moro punished them and decided to spare Sun, she gave her the hide of her murdered child, so that it would be easier for her to adapt to life with wolves. So, we can say that she carries on her shoulders the corpse of her wolf sister [or brother].
Leprosy depicted in "Princess Mononoke"
Another popular theory is that the disease depicted in the cartoon is the personification of leprosy. And Lady Eboshi's hideout is the refuge of the infected, who had to become outcasts, because they had nowhere else to go.
Miyazaki himself confirmed this theory in 2016. In essence, Iron City is based on a memory of a visit to a sanatorium in western Tokyo, which the director described as a place where "deep suffering has accumulated." Speaking of his bandaged characters, he said, "I wanted to portray people who lived with what was said to be an incurable disease caused by bad karma." Japan has a long history of stigma towards the disease, and patients were still separated from society until 1996.
Other theories about Studio Ghibli cartoons
Dolla is a matured Pippi long stocking
Dolla is the daring pirate queen from Lapputa Sky Castle. Some believe that this is how the director portrayed the matured "Pippi Long Stocking". What the impudent character and characteristic red pigtails indicate.
This theory even has a background. At one time, Miyazaki wanted to film the story of Astrid Lingred, drew up concept art and even went to Sweden for negotiations, but the author of the work refused to film it. In the original story, Pippi often went on sea adventures in her fantasies. Therefore, it is quite easy to imagine her in the role of the matured pirate captain. Perhaps Miyazaki really wrote off the character with a petty mischief.
"Whisper of the heart" drives people to suicide
Ahead of the 2013 release of The Wind Rises, television stations in Japan have begun rebroadcasting Studio Ghibli films, including Whisper of the Heart. The 1995 film is a love story between Shizuku and Seiji, two passionate, creative teenagers with a bright future, based on the manga of the same name.
After that, on the forums, someone created a thematic conversation "Whisper of the heart: the center of suicide." There allegedly gathered people who became depressed from watching the film and agreed that they were going to commit suicide. Again, nowhere is this confirmed, and even if it really was, the film cannot be connected with it in any way.
All Studio Ghibli films are linked
It's not hard to guess that some of Studio Ghibli's films may be related. After all, if Pixar, Quentin Tarantino, Night Shyamalan and many others can create their own universes, why can't Ghibli? The studio often leaves Easter eggs behind and cites their work, making fans think that all of their films are set in the same universe. For example, creatures that look like black suvatari pellets, or black nigella, appear in both Totoro and Spirited Away. And in Whisper of the Heart, on one of the bookshelves, there is a book with Totoro. Fans even draw up charts that explain the general chronology of the Ghibli world ...
The Curse of Studio Ghibli
And finally, here's the most trashy theory about the curse of Studio Ghibli. It is believed that after each premiere of the studio's films on TV, the economy will decline in the country and this is directly related. One financial analyst even calculated that in 28 out of 35 cases after the broadcast of the films Ghibli the next day, the Japanese currency or the US dollar fell in value ...
After reading many of these theories about Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki's cartoons, I feel like saying, "Stop the world, I'll go down," but I'd rather stay, laugh and watch any Japanese animation.
The Topic of Article: Strange fan theories about Studio Ghibli anime.