During this segment, I take a fandom and give out my recommendations on what you’ll like if you liked the fandom! These will be primarily Webtoon recommendations, but I will also try my best to include a book or TV show recommendation too.
Anyway, since this is a movie studio, I am not going to be doing recommendations based on specific movies, there are too many! But I will say what to read or watch if you watched a specific Ghibli movie.
Particularly recommended if you liked: Whisper of the Heart, Howl’s Moving Castle, When Marnie was There, The Wind Rises
Annarasumanara begins in a way similar to a Disney movie: a poor girl (Ai Yun) who has been abandoned by both her parents and left to raise her little sister has become disenchanted with the world, especially since she has to balance school, work, and her home life alone. There are also rumors of an insane magician who lives at the local amusement park. But when Ai has a chance encounter with the magician, she can’t get it out of her head, and almost against her will, remembers her childhood dream; to become a magician. She asks the magician to give her magic lessons. But what starts off as a bittersweet but whimsical story starts to darken as reality sets in, much like a Ghibli movie. I recommend this Webtoon for ANY Ghibli fan; it feels almost exactly like one. This seems like a story they would adapt, as it fits their style, and is beautiful in every way, from the story to the dialogue to of course, the art.
Recommended if you liked: Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro
The author of this Webtoon, Stephen McCranie, has admitted that Miyazaki and Ghibli movies in general have been a major impact on him, and I can see why. The themes are very reminiscent of a Ghibli movie. Space Boy focuses on themes of friendship, wonder, imagination, love, and wonder. It’s about a girl from a space mining colony named Amy. When she has to be out in cryogenic freezing for a move to Earth, she’s mostly upset about moving away from her friends. But once she gets to Earth, she quickly adapts with her friendly nature and her synesthesia, which makes her see people as different “flavors”. But then she meets a mysterious boy named Oliver who has no “flavor”. He turns out to be afraid of the “Nothing” of space. He basically has a really bad existential crisis. But as Amy helps to push him out of that state, more dangerous things begin to happen, and Amy is determined to help Oliver.
Link: Space Boy
Recommended if you liked: Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle,
This starts out very sweet and fun, with twins Dani and Dorian missing the bus to magic school. Scared of returning home, they decide to find a wizard to apprentice under instead. But as this series goes on, it progressively gets twistier and darker, involving a prophecy about a King of Witches that has to do with Dani and Dorian. To say more would give away a good deal of plot twists, which I don’t want to do; they are very good twists. But this also has a lot in common with Ghibli, such as their use of magic, friendship, love, and beautiful, detailed art.
Recommended if you liked: Howl’s Moving Castle, When Marnie was There, perhaps The Wind Rises
It is very difficult to explain why I think Ghibli fans would like this. Maybe it’s because Ghibli likes to do more “realistic” love stories, even with a fantasy setting? Maybe because they like bittersweet stories and likable, fleshed out characters? Who knows. Anyway, Yuri So has gone through her whole life seeing ghosts. Due to a bad experience, she typically ignores them. But when she finds out the house she just moved into is haunted by a ghost named Jun, she can’t exactly ignore him. This follows their day-to-day lives together, so to speak. It doesn’t have a solid story, but the excellent character work and the art feel like something Ghibli would do.
Link: My Boo
A Budgie’s Life:
Recommended if you like: Any of them. Really.
I think the picture says everything. The author, Muffin Girl, is a major nerd, and she especially loves Ghibli movies. A few of the references she’s made are Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and others. It’s a charming series filled with cuteness, adorable characters, and plenty of nerdy references (not just Ghibli! There’s a nerd reference in every chapter, I think.)
Link: A Budgie’s Life