Can you guess which message goes with which iconic anime film?

Over the past decade and a half, the animated works of Studio Ghibli have won the hearts of fans around the globe. Still, the amount of love the studio receives is on a whole other level in Japan, where the company’s theatrical features are treated like national treasures.

As a matter of fact, Ghibli’s films are so respected in Japan that even their advertising catchphrases become famous, spoken with reverence years after the anime they’re attached to premiere. Recently, Japanese website Goo Ranking asked 500 men and women between the ages of 20 and 39 to vote for the best Ghibli ad copy. Can you guess the film from the message used to promote it?

Slogans 17-21:
21. Kochi. Summer. 17 years-old. (1.2 percent of votes)
20. It’s precisely because you can’t see those things. (1.6 percent)
19. I love you so much. (2 percent)
17 (tie). We can’t let the humans see us. (2.4 percent)
17 (tie). Tanuki are working hard too, you know. (2.4 percent)

Movies 17-21:

21. Ocean Waves
20. Tales from Earthsea
19. When Marnie Was There
17 (tie). Arrietty
17 (tie). Pom Poko

The first batch is pretty easy to guess, with references to the non-human protagonists of Arrietty and Pom Poko being pretty clear giveaways. The toughest one here is probably Ocean Waves, given how few people have seen Ghibli’s one and only TV movie.

Slogans 11-15:
15 (tie). The princess’ crime and punishment. (2.5 percent)
15 (tie). I went on a trip with myself. (2.5 percent)
14. The girl’s love called forth a miracle. (2,6 percent)
13. Keep your head up, and keep walking. (2.7 percent)
11 (tie). The two of them lived there. (2.9 percent)

Movies 11-15:

15 (tie). The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
15 (tie). Only Yesterday
14. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
13. From Up on Poppy Hill
11. Howl’s Moving Castle

Things get trickier here, as Kaguya is but one of many princesses featured in Ghibli’s body of work, and the protagonists of both Only Yesterday and Howl’s Moving Castle appear in multiple forms during their stories.

Slogans 7-11:
11 (tie). It wouldn’t be so bad being a cat, would it? (2.9 percent)
10. I’m glad I was born. (3.2 percent)
9. At the ages of four and 14 they wanted to live. (5.7 percent)
7 (tie). This is what it is to be cool. (6 percent)
7 (tie). There are still strange creatures like this in Japan. Probably. (6 percent)

Movies 7-11:

11 (tie). The Cat Returns
10. Ponyo
9. Grave of the Fireflies
7 (tie). Porco Rosso
7 (tie). My Neighbor Totoro

Slogan number 11 isn’t hard to guess, since it’s so on the (feline) nose. Grave of the Fireflies’ advertising copy is also unmistakable for that any other Ghibli film, seeing as how the film’s story is about two children who tragically die in postwar Japan. Meanwhile, Porco Rosso exudes so much style it spreads over to its slogan, and the promotional blurb for Totoro doesn’t do anything to dispel the often-held misconception that the cuddly forest spirit is part of Japanese mythology when he really just comes from the fertile imagination of director Hayao Miyazaki.

Slogans 2-6:
6. “You have to go on living.” (6.1 percent)
5. “I’ve fallen in love with someone.” (7.1 percent)
4. “There were times when I felt sad, but I’m doing fine.” (8.5 percent)
3. “One day, a girl came down from the sky…” (8.6 percent)
2. “On the other side of the tunnel, there was a mysterious town.” (10.1 percent)

Movies 2-6:

6. The Wind Rises
5. Whisper of the Heart
4. Kiki’s Delivery Service
3. Castle in the Sky Laputa
2. Spirited Away

The entries in this final batch before the respondent’s top pick no doubt won many of their votes for their strong connection to specific scenes. Laputa’s and Spirited Away’s slogans describe the events that set their stories in motion, while those for The Wind Rises and Kiki’s Delivery Service are also lines of spoken dialogue from the movies’ finales. As for Whisper of the Heart’s strong showing, the romance between its male and female lead is generally held to be the most idealized of any Ghibli couple’s.

And now, for the top Ghibli slogan:

1. Survive. (11.9 percent)

You could use process of elimination to figure out which movie it’s for, but if you don’t have the list of all the full-length films associated with Studio Ghibli stored in your head, the answer is…

Princess Mononoke.

Literally, the original Japanese ad copy, Ikiro, translates as “Live.” However, the suffix ro, as opposed to the standard command suffix of te, gives the word a harsh, desperate, tone. Conveying both the value and difficulty of living in a single word, it’s arguably the perfect crystallization of the movie’s emotional message, and it’s little wonder to find it atop the mountain of Ghibli’s many memorable movie slogans.

Source: Goo Ranking via Otakomu
Top image: Studio Ghibli
Insert images: Studio Ghibli (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)