The Spectacular Mundane in the Films of Studio Ghibli


  • Zoe Crombie Lancaster University



Ghibli, mundane, anime, spectacle, domesticity


This article examines how Studio Ghibli constructs the mundane activities shown in their films as spectacular. Looking at the history of the ways in which domestic and routine events are depicted in Japanese animation, I will use various methodologies, beginning with formalism and phenomenology before moving on to feminism and Marxism to critically analyse several Ghibli films as case studies – My Neighbors The Yamadas (1999, Hōhokekyo Tonari no Yamada kun), Only Yesterday (1991, Omoide Poro Poro), and Howl’s Moving Castle (2004, Hauru no Ugoku Shiro). Using these methodologies, the films are placed into a broader cinematic context, and the filmic legacy of their treatment of the mundane is explored.


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