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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogKodama and More: The Cutest Creatures From Ghibli!

Kodama and More: The Cutest Creatures From Ghibli!

By Devon Lord-Moncrief
July 28, 2023
A painting of the kodama from "Princess Mononoke".

With so many fantastic films to their name, it’s only natural that Studio Ghibli also has some of the most adorable characters in all of anime in their films. Studio Ghibli has no shortage of super cute characters, from kodama to talking fires and adorable cats. So come and read on and see if your favorite made the list!

Kodama (Princess Mononoke)

The kodama from Princess Mononoke are small tree spirits that watch the adventures of Prince Ashitaka and San. Diminutive and curious little spirits, the kodama resemble small humanoids with large misshapen heads. Lacking finer details, the kodama’s faces have only black spots for their eyes and mouths.

The kodama from "Princess Mononoke", resting in a tree.
The kodama are the forest spirits. Image via Wallpapers

The kodama might appear creepy, but they are harmless observers of the film’s events, shaking and rattling their heads from afar. Peaceful and friendly, they make excellent companions to sit with under a large tree and pass a leisurely afternoon.

Jiji (Kiki’s Delivery Service)

Kiki’s Delivery Service tells the story of a young witch named Kiki who ventures out into the world alone. All on her except for her best friend and companion, Jiji the Cat. No witch is complete without her trusty black cat; that is precisely what Jiji is: kind, compassionate, and loyal. What makes Jiji so cute is his love for Kiki and how he never thinks twice about doing what’s best for her. Being a tiny little black cat that would be perfect to snuggle with makes him cute.

Jiji, a black cat from "Kiki's Delivery Service", hanging on the shelf. He's cute just like the kodama.
Jiji the Cat is Kiki’s closest ally! Image via YouTube

Beyond comic relief, Jiji serves as a source of comfort and advice for Kiki during her times of doubt and uncertainty. As she faces challenges and self-doubt, Jiji reminds her of her strength and abilities, encouraging her to keep moving forward.

Throughout the film, Jiji’s bond with Kiki is a heartwarming portrayal of friendship and loyalty. His presence symbolizes the deep connection between humans and their animal companions, highlighting the power of genuine friendship in times of joy and adversity.

Ultimately, Jiji’s significance in “Kiki’s Delivery Service” extends beyond being a cute and amusing character. He represents the unwavering support and encouragement that friends can provide, making him an integral part of Kiki’s magical coming-of-age journey.

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Turnip Head (Howl’s Moving Castle)

In Howl’s Moving Castle, a kingdom is at war, and there’s an arrogant wizard in a mobile castle. The story follows a young girl cursed with a spell. It’s a magical adventure with vibrant and memorable Studio Ghibli characters.

Turnip Head from "Howl's Moving Castle".
Turnip Head is a friendly scarecrow! Image via Wallpapers

One is Turnip Head, a scarecrow with a turnip for a head. Despite his condition, he’s charming, harmless, and always ready to help. Turnip Head is an unlikely but endearing character on this list. If you know Turnip Head, you understand why he’s here.

Catbus (My Neighbor Totoro)

When people think of My Neighbor Totoro, they think of the titular character himself. Big, gentle, and kind, Totoro is an easy choice as a cute Studio Ghibli character. But there’s another character in My Neighbor Totoro that’s super cute, and it’s a giant multi-legged bus.

The catbus from "My Neighbor Totoro".
The Catbus makes sure everyone gets there safe! Image via Highxtar

A cat bus, to be exact. Totoro is cute, but the cat bus is a giant cat! Imagine petting and playing with a giant cat with ten legs, whose eyes light up at night, and who can give you rides across the country. That sounds amazing, and being able to pet and cuddle with such a bus makes it cute.

Soot Sprites/Susuwatari (Spirited Away)

Deep at the heart of the bathhouse where ten-year-old Chihiro finds herself working is a great furnace. The heat warms the waters where all spirits bathe. Among the bathhouse spirits, the cutest are the soot sprites.

The soot sprites from "Spirited Away"
The susuwatari help keep the onsen waters warm! Image via Zerochan

Moreover, they live by the furnace and have big round eyes. Soot sprites love to eat colorful star candies. They are the literal definition of cute. Hanging out with them would be delightful, despite their potential mess.

Studio Ghibli’s adorable characters, like the kodama from Princess Mononoke and the soot sprites from Spirited Away, enchant us with their cuteness and bring magic to the films’ worlds. All in all, these lovable creatures leave a lasting impression and make the movies even more enjoyable! Which of these characters do you think is the cutest? Let us know in the comments below!

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