How will your favorite leading lady from Studio Ghibli’s library stack up?

If there’s one thing we can count on Studio Ghibli for, it’s a strong leading heroine. The girls of Ghibli films are determined, flawed, and all the more interesting for their funny quirks and adorable expressions. Whether your favorite is the somber Kiki, the resourceful Arrietty, or the wild wolf child San, you’ve got to appreciate just how many great girls populate the Studio Ghibli roster.

▼ Witch Kiki is an obvious standout.

But forget about favorites for a moment—which Ghibli heroine do you feel best reflects you, as a person? Take a moment to think it over. Then see how your results compare to those of a recent online survey held by streaming-guide service 1Screen, where 300 men and women aged from their teens to their sixties were quizzed on which heroine they relate to the most.

Let’s count down!

11. Naoko from The Wind Rises and Umi from Up on Poppy Hill (tie)
10. Marnie from When Marnie Was There
9. Haru from The Cat Returns
7. Sheeta from Castle in the Sky and Arrietty from The Secret World of Arrietty (tie)
6. San from Princess Mononoke
5. Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle
4. Shizuku Tsukishima from Whisper of the Heart

Moving on to the top three, the first girl to make the cut is Chihiro from Spirited Away.

▼ Congratulations on third place, Chihiro!

Those who filled in the survey could leave comments, and here are a few from the people who picked Chihiro as the most relatable of the lot.

“I felt like I had lots in common with her since I’m not especially perfect; I’m not always strong and I cry a lot, too.”
“I’ve thought that Chihiro had a lot in common with me—a lanky, fraidy-cat beanpole of a kid—ever since I first saw her in the movie theater on opening day. I really admire how she gained a dignified strength through her adventure, and practically became a different person.”

Next, in second place, is Kiki from Kiki’s Delivery Service!

The hardworking witch girl got her share of gushing comments too:

“I felt like the way she persevered through her first time out in the city, her first job, her first encounters with people, and how she strove to do her best even while getting her feelings hurt resonated a lot with my own life.”
“I really related to seeing her strike out on her own, struggling to work hard and make a living for herself. I remember thinking that I’d also believe I’d lost all my worth if I lost my ability to fly.”

So who is the most relatable Ghibli heroine of all?

Here she is…

Satsuki from My Neighbor Totoro!

Plucky Satsuki is always trying to keep her little sister Mei out of trouble, and apparently she struck a chord with elder siblings throughout Japan. Take a look at some of these reasons for picking her:

“I was the eldest daughter so I also had to be firm and put up a stern front, but whenever I did want to spoil [my younger siblings] I felt an affinity with Satsuki’s way [of spoiling Mei].”
“Everything. From when I discovered Totoro with my little sister back when I lived in the countryside, to when I got lost and my parents scolded me.”
“When I went to see My Neighbor Totoro, my own mother was sick in the hospital. I really felt a kinship with Satsuki for being in the same situation as me. I also thought it was really admirable how she did everything to protect Mei, despite being afraid!”

Though some firm female fixtures like Princess Nausicaa are absent here, you can still feel the strong emotions tied into these choices. Something about Ghibli heroines just makes you want to see them succeed, and hopefully everyone who responded to the survey managed to succeed in their own pursuits as well!

Related: 1Screen
Source: PR Times
Top image: Studio Ghibli
Insert images: Studio Ghibli (1,2,3)
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