The Ghibli Gabble – Reflecting on Popularity of Films in the West

Lately I’ve been binge-watching anime films as I still haven’t seen several influential films that I probably should have by now, especially with 200+ anime series now under my belt. Specifically, I’ve started catching up on Ghibli movies, as they’re the ones I’m lacking from my anime background the most. I’m already a huge fan of Makoto Shinkai and seeing how popular Your Name. is in sales, even surpassing some classic Ghibli films, I wanted to find out why Ghibli has always been popular among Western fans while directors like Shinkai are only finally breaking into the market. While Your Name. is most likely an excellent film (please no spoilers), it’s very tonally Shinkai in both art style and narrative, yet it’s gotten so much more hype than his other works. If it is so stylistically Shinkai, then why is it that very few works of his, minus arguably Five Centimeters Per Second, are not even mentioned by most well-versed anime fans, yet almost every Ghibli film is known even to those who just dabble in Japanese animated films?

Continue reading