Ghibli music cover

I’m sure many readers of our site are aware of Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki’s recent announcement that he is retiring from filmmaking. Some of you may have even seen the press conference he held in Tokyo on September 6. While some people were skeptical upon hearing the announcement, since Miyazaki had mentioned retirement several times in the past, the legendary animator started off the press conference by saying that he knows he’s cried wolf multiple times concerning retirement, but that he was serious this time.

And so it was that Ghibli fans around the world had to accept that the creator of numerous acclaimed anime films such as Spirited Away and Princess Monoke was finally putting down his animator’s pen. Naturally, the news caused a huge response across the Internet, but one video in particular posted after the conference by an obviously musically talented fan has been receiving considerable attention on the Japanese Internet. We admit it is a slightly long video at 31 minutes, but if you’ve seen any of the Ghibli films and enjoyed the experience, we think it will be well worth your time to view the musical tribute.

The video, posted on both YouTube and Niconico Douga by user ZIMUIN G, is an original piano medley of music from every feature-length Ghibli film ever produced, and it represents films released over a period spanning an amazing 29 years. (While one of the movies included, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, was technically created before the official founding of Studio Ghibli, it is widely considered a Ghibli film, and with the music from the movie being well-known in Japan, no medley would feel quite complete without it.) ZIMUIN G commented that he created the video to express his heartfelt respect and appreciation for the numerous Ghibli movies that have provided much entertainment for him over the years and that he hoped the music will bring back many fond memories for viewers. Apparently, he even played the music dressed in clothing that would be considered typical Miyazaki fashion, including an apron and chino pants.

It seems the musical arrangement of the medley is completely ZIMUIN G’s original work, which really is quite impressive. The chords in the music are recreated faithfully, and if you’ve seen many of the films (which, if you’re Japanese, you almost definitely have), you can’t help but feel a warm happiness at the familiar tunes. And if you’re musically inclined, an added bonus is that the camera films the performance from above so that the hands working on the keyboard are clearly visible, allowing you to get an idea of how the music is being played.

Many viewers have commented that the music has genuinely moved them, some to the point of tears. Well, I guess that just goes to show you that for many of us, Ghibli movies continue to hold a special place in our hearts. Of course, the genius and contributions of composer Joe Hisaishi, who created music for numerous Ghibli films and is responsible for so many of the well-known melodies, cannot be forgotten either.

So, without further ado, here’s the video that has impressed and touched many viewers with the magic of music. A list of all the songs that are played follow for your reference.

[Song List]

1. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
– Opening/Legend of the Wind
– Nausicaä Requiem

2. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
– Stroll (Sanpo)
– The Path of Wind (Kaze No Toorimichi)

3. Castle in the Sky (1986)
– Carrying You (Kimi wo Nosete)
– The Dove and the Boy/Morning in Slag Ravine (Hato to Shonen/Slag Keikoku no Asa)

4. Ponyo (2008)
– Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (Gake no Ue no Ponyo)

5. Pom Poko (1994)
– Anytime, Anyone (Itsudemo Darekaga)

6. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
– Quit Being Alone (Hitori Botchi wa Yameta)

7. Whisper of the Heart (1995)
– Country Road

8. Spirited Away (2001)
– Always With Me (Itsudemo Nando Demo)
– One Summer’s Day/The Name of Life (Ano Natsu e/Inochi no Namae)

9. Tales from Earthsea (2006)
– Therru’s Song (Therru no Uta)

10. Porco Rosso (1992)
Le temps des cerises (Sakuranbo no Minoru Koro)
– The Wind of Time — When a Human Can Be a Human (Jidai no Kaze)
– Once in a While, Talk of the Old Days (Toki niwa Mukashi no Hanashi wo)

11. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
– Home! Sweet Home! (Hanyu no Yado)

12. Only Yesterday (1991)
– The Rose (Ai wa Hana, Kimi wa Sono Shusi)

13. The Cat Returns (2002)
– To Be the Wind (Kaze ni Naru)

14. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
– Message in Rouge (Rouge no Dengon)
– Town Where You Can See the Ocean (Umi no Mieru Machi)
– Wrapped in Kindness (Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara)

15. The Wind Rises (2013)
– Airplane Cloud (Hikouki Gumo)

16. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
– Arrietty’s Song

17. Princess Mononoke (1997)
– The Legend of Ashitaka (Asitaka Sekki)
– Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime)

18. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
– Summer of Farewells – From Up On Poppy Hill (Sayonara no Natsu/Kokuriko-zaka Kara)

19. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
– The Merry-go-round of Life (Jinsei no Merry-go-round)

How cool was that? I hope you had the time to hear the entire medley, because I know I definitely felt happier after hearing the music. Now, if that isn’t magic, I don’t know what is. And we can all use a little bit of magic in our lives, can’t we?

Source: YouTube and Niconico Douga
Top Image: AMAZON JP