Sewing Ghibli

Hello all!

Its been far too long since my last post! But I am determined to start writing more and expressing my Ghibli opinions (and other musings) to the world.

In the past year I have rediscovered a passion for designing and sewing. It all started with my friend who wanted some bunting making. So armed with my trusty sewing machine, I got to work, and was taken aback with how much I enjoyed these little projects. A year later, I have started my own online shop, and sold my handmade items to people around the world!

So with this new found passion, I decided to combine this with my all time favourite love; Studio Ghibli. I hope you all like them!

If you want to check out my shop, or even want a lovely Ghibli treasure for yourself, dont hesitate to get in touch!

My Etsy online shop!

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Totoro 21st birthday madness

Well recently it was my 21st birthday, and as i’m getting old I decided to have a little kiddies party, complete with homemade Totoro cake :] It took ages to make and I was so pleased when I had finished it!

My Totoro cake!

Ocean Waves UK Release

Finally, the 1993 Ghibli film ‘Ocean Waves’ (aka. ‘I Can Hear The Sea’ and ‘Umi ga Kikoeru’) has been released in the UK! The simple story of a blossoming romance between two college students within Japan, is not like any other fantastical Ghibli film. Even still, it portrays just as much beauty as another other.

DVD cover 'Ocean Waves'

The film, number 16 in the collection, has taken its time wriggling its way into the Tokuma/Disney deal, but thankfully it is here at last! Here is the trailer :]

Mei and the Kittenbus

During my time at the Ghibli museum I got the chance to see one of the short films that was made especially for it. I had always hoped that it would have been Mei and the Kittenbus, as for years I have been eager to see it. So I was thrilled to learn that it was on during the Easter times!

The short film focused upon the younger sister of the Totoro story, Mei, after one day she discovers a strange gust of wind that is trapped inside the house. She tries her hardest to capture it, and finally after a few attempts, the kittenbus is revealed.

The Kittenbus

The Kittenbus

To tempt the kittenbus into playing with her, and to stop it from running away,  Mei gives it some of her caramel candy, and from here their friendship is sparked.

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From here, the kittenbus takes Mei on a journey to the forest near their home. While they are flying through the air, you see all of the other catbuses taking other silhouetted Totoros to the same forest.

Catbus and Kittenbus

Catbus and Kittenbus

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The kittenbus then shows her the biggest Catbus that lives there. He is like a home for all the other Totoros, a place where they all gather.

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And in the final part of the story, Mei sees a familiar umbrella coming through the crowds of other silhouetted Totoros.

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No doubt one of the cutest short films that I have ever seen. It brings with it the recognisable warm feeling that most Ghibli films come with, and for Totoro fans, it is a must. The only negative part is that the film was made specifically for the museum, so the only way you can see it is by taking the long trip to Japan and watching it for yourself!

Studio Ghibli Museum!

In April 2009, I received the incredible chance to travel to Japan on a scholarship with my University. For two weeks I had to work for a Japanese “Cram School”, helping the students learn to speak English.

During my stay I finally got to visit the Studio Ghibli Museum! Here are some of the photographs that I took throughout my day :]

Ghibli Museum bus stop!

Ghibli Museum bus stop!

This is where the famous yellow Ghibli bus picks you up from, outside the train station!

Ghibli Museum

Ghibli Museum

The first view of the museum as you step off the bus. You can see the Laputa robot peering over the rooftops, and the spiral caged staircase that leads up to him.

My film cell ticket

My film cell ticket

My ticket was a part of the film cell used in Howls Moving Castle, where the main character Sophie is making hats at the beginning of the film.

Dessert at the Straw Hat Cafe

Dessert at the Straw Hat Cafe

This was the incredible dessert than me and my Japanese friend had at the Ghibli cafe. It came complete with a Jiji saucer and flag on top!

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My favourite photograph from my entire trip! This is me and Yukari after spending nearly ALL of my yen in the ‘Mama Aiuto Gift Shop’. I never realised that the robot was so big either! :]

Giant Totoro at the Entrance

Giant Totoro at the Entrance

This was the HUGE Totoro that waits for you at the entrance, we only found him at the end of the day, but I’m glad we did in time 😀

Ninokumi- Studio Ghibli

Not only can Studio Ghibli produce amazing pieces of film and television, they have gone one further to encorperate their work into a new video game. Ninokumi- The Another World is an RPG, set to come out on the Nintendo DS, and will contain animated shorts created by Ghibli with music by veteran Joe Hisaishi and is due for release in Japan later this year.

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Tales From Earthsea

When Goro Miyazaki, the son of Hayao Miyazaki, announced in 2006 that he would direct a new film through Studio Ghibli, there was lots of speculation and anticipation to see whether he could follow in his fathers footsteps. Adapted from the fantasy series by Ursula K. Le Guin, Tales From Earthsea (Gedo Senki) is a story about Archmage Sparrowhawk, a powerful and loyal wizard trying to find the reason for Earthseas decline in balance and its agricultural failure. He is joined by the young and troubled Prince Arren, who is a mysterious character throughout the entire film. Sparrowhawk and Arren go on a dangerous journey to restore the balance of Earthsea, by trying to discover what or who is the cause behind the lands downfall.

Arren and Sparrwohawk find themselves in Hort Town, a beautiful yet dark place, where slaves are sold and the evil wizard Cob resides. Within the town, Arren finds himself saving a young girl from Cobs henchmen, who instead of thanking him runs away. This leads Arren and Sparrowhawk to visit the Archmages old friend Tenar, for a place to stay. Which also happens to be the home of the young girl Arren previously saved (Therru).

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During the film we see the characters reveal secrets and mysteries, which makes for a very good watch. Unlike any other Ghibli film, Tales from Earthsea is darker and more sinister, with it perhaps scaring younger audiences rather than enticing them. If you have seen any of Hayao Miyazakis films you will know that this is far from any film that he has directed. However, don’t look at it from this angle, if you compare, then you may have a negative view on Earthsea. As an over view, it still is an amazingly beautiful film. The idilic and perfect scenery of the towns and villages proves once again that it is a stunning Ghibli film (see poster below). Even though Goro isn’t as experienced as his father, he still makes an exceptional film in the shape of Earthsea. Don’t let anything put you off, as it is definatley a good choice for the Ghibli collection.

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Porco Rosso- The Crimson Pig

Studio Ghibli, in 1992 announced that they were bringing out yet another stunning film, by the name of “Porco Rosso”. Unlike many of Miyazaki’s films, the protagonist was a male, and also not human. But instead the head of a pig, the heart of a man. The film is set in Italy after World War 1, where Porco was originally a human pilot for the Air Force.

After Porco is turned into a pig, he decides that an animal shouldn’t work for the Italian forces, and decides to become a bounty hunter. Here he guards the Adriatic sea from bandits and sea plane pirates, while trying keeping a semi-peace between them. In the middle of this tale, we see Porco’s main love interest, Gina. Gina is the owner of the Hotel Adriatic, and one of the most beautiful women in Italy (as said by everyone who sees her). She is one of Porco’s dearest friends, and has known him since he was young, and still human.

The story then escalates to where Porco’s amazing red plane has been shot down by an American pilot (who the sea plane pirates have hired to “kill the pig!”), by the name of Curtis. He is a very vain young man, who seems to instantly fall in love with any pretty girl that catches his fancy, but this all makes for the comic factor of the film.

With Porco’s plane shot to pieces, he has to leave for Milan. To Piccolo’s garage, where his old friend can fix his plane for him. Here he meets Piccolo’s cute granddaughter Fio, who is only 17 years old. She is also an engineer, like her grandfather, and insists on helping fix Porco’s plane. There is yet another love story shown between Fio and Porco, as she falls for Porco and his charms, even though he doesn’t have an interest in her with her being so young.   The relationship between Fio and Porco is sweet, with him being like an older brother figure, and looking out for her. The way that he treats her shows us a great deal of respect still remains in him, even though he is still a pig.

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However, when Porco’s plane is fixed, he has to fly back to the Adriatic to fight Curtis to prove that he is still alive. At this point, Curtis is already proposing to Gina in his hasty ways, while she laughs and knocks him back. I won’t spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but towards the end, audiences are caught up in a very public dog fight between Curtis and Porco, and it is certainly worth a watch.

The film is one of those which makes you smile throughout, and I do class it to be one of Ghibli’s most amusing features, just for the comedy value. The witty script and jokes within do make you laugh out loud, and are definitely worth it. With the characters being a perfect reason to view in themselves, from cute and adorable Fio, to the rowdy and brave sea plane pirates, this is a definate one to watch in the collection.

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