Top 10 Studio Ghibli Couples of All Time



Top 10 Studio Ghibli Couples of All Time

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Sophia Huang
These Studio Ghibli couples made our hearts soar like Kiki's broom. Our countdown includes "Spirited Away," "Princess Mononoke," "Whisper of the Heart," and more!

Top 10 Studio Ghibli Couples

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Studio Ghibli Couples.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most memorable and heartwarming couples - or at least love interests - throughout Studio Ghibli’s catalogue of films. We’ll be talking about the plot of the movies involved, so be warned: there may be spoilers!

Who makes up your favorite couple from Studio Ghibli? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Haru Yoshioka & Baron Humbert von Gikkingen
“The Cat Returns” (2002)

As a spin-off of Studio Ghibli’s “Whisper of the Heart” from 1995, “The Cat Returns” once again features Baron, a charismatic cat with the features and behavior of a kind gentleman. From the start of Haru and Baron’s relationship, it’s clear that Baron has her best interest in mind. He goes out of his way to help Haru out of her strange predicament by rescuing her from the clutches of the Cat Kingdom and he even puts himself in the face of danger for her. Given his bravery and devotion, it’s no wonder that Haru falls for him - despite his feline form.

#9: Nausicaä & Asbel
“Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind” (1984)

Though it came out pre-Studio Ghibli’s founding, it’s considered by most to be a work of the Japanese animation film studio. In this epic sci-fi fantasy, Nausicaa and Asbel are never officially portrayed as a couple, but Asbel does seem to eventually develop somewhat of a crush on Nausicaa. Regardless of the nature of their emotions, the two have a reciprocal and respectful rapport and often help each other out of difficult situations. In fact, it always seems as though they’re taking turns saving one another. Amidst the nearly omnipresent uncertainty and battles, Nausicaa and Asbel’s constant concern for each other allows their relationship to be a welcome and grounding break from the chaos.

#8: Ponyo & Sōsuke
“Ponyo” (2008)

Ponyo and Sousuke may not have officially been a couple either, but their relationship perfectly captures the sweet and wholesome essence of Studio Ghibli . Throughout the movie, it’s clear that these two inherently care for each other. Even though they initially can’t communicate verbally - other than a few choice words - the joy that Ponyo and Sousuke express when they’re reunited illustrates the strength of their relationship and the depth of their emotions. The ending, in which Sousuke tells Gran Mamare that he loves Ponyo regardless of whether she’s a human or a fish, and Ponyo finally becomes a human, signals the specialness and long-lasting nature of their bond. And it’s all sealed with a kiss.

#7: Kiki & Tombo
“Kiki's Delivery Service” (1989)

Even though Kiki wants nothing to do with Tombo at first, her relationship with him eventually blossoms into something beautiful. It remains ambiguous whether the two become involved romantically or stay good friends. Either way, there's something special going on between the two of them. Tombo genuinely admires Kiki and cheers for her even when she doubts her own powers. Despite her reservations about Tombo, it becomes evident how much she cares for him when she’s able to overcome her lack of self-confidence, which allows her to reclaim her flying ability and save his life. With their mutual interests and well-paired personalities, it's no wonder these two gradually get along so well.

#6: Madame Gina & Porco Rosso
“Porco Rosso” (1992)

As soon as cursed Porco sauntered into the Hotel Adriano during Gina’s performance, we knew they had a complex history. As individuals, both Porco and Gina have both been through their fair share of relationships, hardship, and joy. When they talk, they have the rapport of good friends and the chemistry of an old couple. So, when the movie slowly reveals Gina and Porco’s romantic feelings for each other, it’s no surprise. Although Porco never outright expresses his love for Gina, it’s evident that their relationship has progressed beyond being platonic by the end of the movie.

#5: San & Ashitaka
“Princess Mononoke” (1997)

Some movies feature romances that feel forced or unnatural, but San and Ashitaka’s relationship is like a breath of fresh air. San, the girl raised by wolves, is the polar opposite of Ashitaka and his refined ways - and yet, they fall in love. However, rather than ignoring the apparent differences in their personalities, they embrace them and learn from each other. Ashitaka’s affection and care transform San, leading her to embrace her more human side, but most importantly, Ashitaka doesn’t actively try to change San. Instead, he chooses to love her for who she is.

#4: Princess Sheeta & Pazu
“Castle in the Sky” (1986)

Some Studio Ghibli couples took their time to warm up to each other, but Sheeta and Pazu had immense chemistry from the start. From the moment Pazu caught Sheeta as she fell from an airship, we knew their romance would be anything but boring or predictable. Sheeta’s calm and somewhat reserved attitude acts as a perfect balance to Pazu’s more energetic personality, and as the two face adventure after adventure, their bond only grows stronger. Time after time, they prove their dedication to each other, like when Pazu takes on the pirates to protect Sheeta and when Sheeta bravely runs in front of bullets being fired for Pazu.

#3: Shizuku Tsukishima & Seiji Amasawa
“Whisper of the Heart” (1995)

This pair’s wholesome relationship is a classic example of enemies turned romantics and perfectly captures the innocent charm of first love. Although they start off on the wrong foot and often playfully tease each other, it’s apparent that they share similar interests and a deep appreciation for the arts. Their progression from strangers to friends to partners plays out with perfectly natural timing, allowing the viewer to become sufficiently invested in Shizuki and Seiji’s story as a couple. One of the most heartwarming aspects of their relationship is undoubtedly how they support each other's ambitions and help each other grow into the best version of themselves.

#2: Chihiro Ogino & Haku
“Spirited Away” (2001)

While relocating with her parents, Chihiro finds herself transported to a strange world - while she’s led to believe her mom and dad have been transformed into pigs. Clearly, she’s in need of help. Luckily, she meets Haku, a young boy in a similar predicament who’s able to guide her through life in the spirit world. Haku and Chihiro’s relationship is reminiscent of puppy love: sweet, innocent, and filled with good intentions. In fact, it’s their love that ultimately breaks a curse put on Haku. The river spirit eventually helps Chihiro escape and return to her parents, but the success is bittersweet because we know that they must say goodbye. Although they’re temporarily separated, their parting words about how they’ll meet again one day leaves the audience hopeful about the future of this adorable pair.

#1: Howl & Sophie Hatter
“Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)

Howl and Sophie meet amidst unusual circumstances. Both suffer from curses and have their respective personal troubles to deal with, but their love allows them to break free from the binds of their magic spells and grow together. With Howl’s help, Sophie becomes more confident and learns to stand up for herself. Similarly, Sophie takes care of Howl, and her kind behavior encourages him to look beyond himself, become less arrogant, and overcome his vanity. They bring out the best in each other, and ultimately, their love represents a nuanced, well-balanced partnership.