Studio Ghibli has numerous female protagonists, and when it comes to heroines, it is probably the best one out there!

The animation film studio's founding day was June 15th, 1985. So, to mark the occasion, the Netolabo Survey Team decided to find out who is everyone’s favorite Ghibli heroine.

They conducted a survey asking around 3228 people in Japan who is their top heroine from Studio Ghibli’s animated masterpieces.

As all the female protagonists are fantastic, I suppose it was a difficult choice for everyone, but here is the list with the final results:

  • 10. Madame Gina (マダム・ジーナ) from Porco Rosso with 65 votes
  • 9. Satsuki Kusakabe (草壁サツキ) from My Neighbor Totoro with 66 votes
  • 8. Chihiro Ogino/Sen (荻野千尋・千) from Spirited Away with 125 votes
  • 7. Shizuku Tsukishima (月島雫) from Whisper of the Heart with 166 votes
  • 6. Sophie Hatter (ソフィー・ハッター) from Howl’s Moving Castle with 167 votes
  • 5. Rikako Muto (武藤里伽子) from Ocean Waves with 171 votes
  • 4. Kiki (キキ), the main protagonist of Kiki’s Delivery Service with 223 votes
  • 3. San (サン), the heroine of Princess Mononoke with 349 votes
  • 2. Sheeta (シータ), the female protagonist of Castle in the Sky with 387 votes
  • 1. Nausicaä (ナウシカ), the main heroine of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Sheeta seems to have won the heart of many people because of her kind and graceful nature, while Nausicaä earned the first spot with no less than 1030 votes, which is more than 30 % of the votes! Her skills, love for nature, courage, and strong yet sensitive personality make her the perfect heroine.

Personally, what surprised me the most is that Arrietty from The Secret World of Arrietty (40 votes; placed 15th), Umi from From Up On Poppy Hill (61 votes; 11th), Haru from The Cat Returns (32 votes; 16th), and Taeko from Only Yesterday (12 votes; 21st) had such low scores.

Anna, from Marnie Was There, came in last (22nd), with only six votes.

When it comes to Studio Ghibli's heroines, I also believe that Nausicaä is hard to defeat. However, I also have a soft spot for Umi (From Up On Poppy Hill) and Taeko (Only Yesterday). 

In Taeko’s case, it might also be because of the uniqueness of the character, and maybe because our ages are similar, and it makes it quite relatable to the almost 27-year-old me.

Only Yesterday is also among one of my favorite Ghibli animations! It also features the Romanian folk song "Fluttering Green Leaves Wedding Song" (Frunzuliță Lemn Adus Cântec De Nuntă), written by the Romanian Master of Pan Flute, Gheorghe Zamfir, and the beautiful sound of the Nai, the Romanian pan flute. As a Romanian, it made me feel happy and proud, also even more attached to the movie and the main character.

Please let us know which Studio Ghibli heroine is your top choice!

By - grape Japan editorial staff.