It’s not an easy question to answer, but of all the strong, cute and mysterious ladies from Studio Ghibli’s beautiful animated feature films, who is your favourite? This was the question put to 230 men aged 20-40 in a recent on-line poll.

With so many Ghibli girls to choose from, there had to be at least one that tugged on the hearts of men. So who came out on top?  We bring you the top five below:


Number 5Fio Piccolo from Porco Rosso, awarded the fifth spot for her “strong-minded actions and spiritedness”

As a 17-year-old seaplane engineer and friend to a flying pig, this girl literally flies against convention.

Comments from respondents ranged from: “I like her bravery and spirit”, “she has a tomboyish appeal”, and “she’s spunky” to “she’s an obliging person” and “I like that she’s less-than-average in the looks department”. Ouch!


Number 4:  Spirited Away’s Chihiro, chosen for her “naïve cuteness”

Chihiro wants to return to her original world and struggles to get her parents back after they were turned into pigs. Contracted to work in a bathhouse by a witch, despite being only a fifth-grade elementary student, she gradually loses her name and becomes known as Sen, the alternative reading of the first kanji character in her name.

The majority of comments in her praise were in regard to her cute naivety but other comments included: “I like her bravery”; “she has a cute character”; “she never gives up”; and “I admired her strength in a foreign, fantasy world”.


Number 3Sheeta  from Laputa: Castle in the Sky voted for being “self-reliant and good at cooking and housework”

It seems that the heroine from Ghibli’s very first studio release speaks to the more traditional man. Sheeta is a cute girl with a complicated past and two long plaits of hair.

Many people chose her as their favourite because: “it’s wonderful that she’s grown up so strong” and “she is very determined”. She also inspired an array of more fascinating comments, including: “she’s independent and she’s a good cook”; “it’d be fun if we were together”; “I want to protect her like a princess”; and “she has a great personality and you can rely on her to handle the housework flawlessly.”


Number 2: Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service voted for because “She’s a bit soft in the head but she tries hard.”

Kiki is a witch who leaves home with her cat buddy Jiji on the day of her independence, determined by witch law to be the day she turns 13. Kiki’s trademark look is a plain black dress with a big red hair ribbon.

Comments for Kiki included: “she’s earnest and positive”; “she has a cute naivety”; “she’s tidy and humble”; and “she’s serious and hard-working and I like that she’s a bit ditzy”. Aw, Kiki, we love you.

And now for number 1 (Drum-roll please… )!


Nausicaa from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind takes the top spot because “She envelops people with a motherly kindness and strength”

At number 1 we have Nausicaa, a peace-loving eco-warrior with the unique ability to communicate with animals. This charismatic heroine won hearts with her love and kindness and strong leadership skills.

Many votes were cast because of her cuteness. (Some comments were too erotic to publish.) Other reasons included: “She has the perfect combination of kindness and strength and a great personality”; “her kind heart is never shaken”; “she’s cute and girly but cool at the same time”; “she has a profound compassion”; and “I like her desire to protect nature”.

Really, guys? No love for Princess Mononoke!? You surprise me.

Sources: Text-relations Jin (Japanese)