Take a dive into the cosplay community and see how they’ve brought to life some of Ghibli’s and Miyazaki’s greatest characters!
Studio Ghibli has an incredible catalog of characters. From the adorable and sweet to the deranged and spooky, to the bizarre and incredibly whimsical, there is no shortage of inspiring protagonists and antagonists to fall instantly in love with.
But with the long history of both the studio and cosplay as a whole, it can be hard to choose the best of the best. Here, we’ll examine some of the greatest members of the costume-making community, and how they’ve all put of their unique spin on some of Ghibli’s greatest characters. So, without further ado, let’s look at 10 Stunning Studio Ghibli Cosplays That Look Just Like the Characters!
10. Mei And Satsuki From My Neighbor Totoro
For many people, My Neighbor Totoro was their first exposure to Ghibli and left quite an impact on their childhood. From the adorable protagonists to the mysteries within the forest, it is obvious how it would inspire someone’s imagination. And what is the best way to represent such an impactful element from your youth? Why, cosplay, of course!
Created by the talented cosplayers Chirimen Jakota and Tamawo, the adorable sisters Satsuki and Mei seemingly come to life. Here, you can see the glimmer that perfectly matches the characters’ energy in the animated film, along with the signature poses and facial expressions that make this duo quite the timeless cinematic pair.
9. Granmamare From Ponyo
There’s something magical about seeing a water-related spirit realized in cosplay form. And when such a character comes from a Hayao Miyazaki helmed film, then the task of getting the costume just right is that much harder. But with this Granmamare cosplay from Ponyo, such a quest is wonderfully fulfilled.
Created by cosplayer Soranosuzu, Ponyo’s Sea-Goddess mama departs the ocean depths of animation and swims to the surfaces of reality. With excellent choices in make-up, wig color, fabric, and even her jewel headpiece, every detail in this cosplay is delightfully enchanting.
8. Kiki From Kiki’s Delivery Service
Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service might be the most cosplayed character from all of Ghibli’s catalog of characters. And with her relaxing purple dress, comfy ballet flats, and red bow, it is a delightful yet easy costume to achieve. But some Kiki cosplays stand above the rest and bring that timeless whimsy of the protagonist to life in the best of ways.
Such a statement perfectly describes this cosplay by Rotemamba, who encapsulates all of the childlike magic of the young witch. It can be hard to get every element of the outfit precisely right, but here, all aspects (even down to the screen-accurate broom) are a real delight to behold.
7. Sheeta From Castle In The Sky
The first actual Studio Ghibli production, Castle in the Sky, holds a special place in many hearts for its stunning visuals, thriving adventure, and memorable characters. One such individual includes one of the lead protagonists; the mysterious and enchanting princess, Sheeta.
Bringing to life one of her most iconic outfits, Push-Sama (photographed here by Allen-Jiyu) wonderfully portrays Sheeta’s polite and reserved manner in this charming cosplay. Getting a well-handled grasp on everything from the exact colors to a graceful pose, down to the signature hairstyle, creations like this prove that the magic is in the details.
6. San From Princess Mononoke
Similar to Kiki, San from the blockbuster Princess Mononoke is among the most popular characters to cosplay from Ghibli. And with her signature haunting mask, white fluffy elements, and warrior make-up, the task of portraying such a warrior can be quite fun.
But some cosplays truly stand out from the others – and when you have a perfectly matching pup to go along with your outfit, then you win the non-existent awesome contest. That’s the case with Crystal Panda’s San cosplay. Not only does she have a movie-appropriate canine friend, but expertly crafted garments, war paint, accessories, and a striking face to match.
5. Arrietty From The Secret World Of Arrietty
It can be hard to cosplay someone who might be the size of your thumb – especially when said character has as much spirit and beauty as the beautiful Arrietty. You have to make the props ridiculous but believable, and all the rest of your elements have to be as whimsical as the protagonist you’re representing.
And when it comes to The Bird – the Bee’s take on Arrietty (photographed by Morataya), she’s got all those boxes checked and more. With her strong pose, beautiful eye make-up, and excellent prop replicas, this is one of those cosplays that sticks in your mind for its movie-quality execution.
4. Haru And The Baron From The Cat Returns
Considered by many to be one of Ghibli’s most underrated movies, The Cat Returns might be a bit more silly than the other films in the studio’s catalog, but it deserves some major love. Thankfully, the cosplay world has not forgotten this aesthetically precious flick – resulting in many beautiful costume creations.
One example of this comes from Black Shinai and their friend Cosplay Bruja, who both bring one of the most famous scenes in the movie to life. Black Shinai shows off the adventurous side of the dashing Baron, while Bruja wonderfully executes the nervous teenage girl-turned-cat energy of Haru. But when paired together, they create pure cosplay magic.
3. Chihiro From Spirited Away
In the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away, there are numerous characters to show some cosplay love to, including the leading lady, Chihiro. Though she’s at first an unlikeable protagonist, audiences eventually find themselves caring genuinely for Chihiro, even during her most intense ghostly struggles.
One such cosplayer, the incredibly talented Dinnan, brings that beautiful energy to life in her excellently executed cosplay. Though a simple outfit at first glance, the real magic in this outfit is getting the hair and the colors just right. Pair that together with some beautiful photography and artistry by Peck Photography, and you have quite the cosplay masterpiece.
2. Howl From Howl’s Moving Castle
If there’s any Ghibli boy who perfectly represents the height of glamour and style, it would be Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. Not only is he the most handsome of wizards, he’s also (obviously) the smoothest. He’s got the fashion, the looks, the heavenly voice – everything a magic-loving individual could swoon over.
So when it comes to bringing this character to life, you have to capture all of those qualities without looking too ridiculous. And when it comes to cosplayer Feeracie, they accomplish just that. Not only does Howl look like the most perfect of wizards here, but with the added cameo by Calcifer, this seems like an image straight out of the movie.
1. Yubaba From Spirited Away
Spirited Away‘s Yubaba is one witch you never want to double-cross. Sure, she might have an oversized head and wacky taste in jewelry, but she’s fifty shades of Miyazaki-created spooks. And when brought to cosplay life, the potential for creepiness is off the charts.
In this incredible piece of work by Matsu-Sotome, Yubaba leaps off of the screen in the most haunting of ways. With movie-quality prosthetic make-up, incredible wig, and a beautifully tailored dress, this cosplayer shows just how grand and epic any creation can become. And if they ever do a live-action version of this animated classic, then this talented individual needs to be involved.