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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogLady Eboshi and Other Supporting Characters of Studio Ghibli

Lady Eboshi and Other Supporting Characters of Studio Ghibli

By James Lau
July 19, 2023
Lady Eboshi from "Princess Mononoke" standing with a bunch of village women in a vallry.

Studio Ghibli films are known for their memorable protagonists, but the supporting characters also play a significant role in shaping the narratives. From the strong-willed Lady Eboshi to the enigmatic No-Face, the mischievous Calcifer, the fierce pirate Dola, the wise Yupa, the mysterious Fujimoto, and the whimsical Catbus, these characters offer valuable lessons and inspire viewers of all ages!

Lady Eboshi – Defying Expectations and Pursuing Progress

In the fantastical world of Princess Mononoke, we meet Lady Eboshi. She defies societal expectations and challenges the norms placed on women. As the ruler of Irontown, a settlement built around iron smelting, Lady Eboshi earns the respect and loyalty of her people through her strong leadership skills, determination, and compassion.

Lady Eboshi is a true trailblazer, breaking free from society’s limitations on women. In a world where women are expected to conform to specific roles, she boldly takes charge and makes decisions that benefit her community. Therefore, she firmly believes in progress and uses advanced technologies to improve the lives of those around her.

Lady Eboshi from Princess Mononoke aiming her shotgun.
Lady Eboshi is a former entertainer who eventually became the rebellious leader of Irontown. Image via Pinterest

What sets Lady Eboshi apart is her unwavering determination. Despite facing obstacles and opposition, she remains steadfast in her pursuit of progress and the well-being of her society. She envisions a future that goes beyond mere survival, striving for the success and empowerment of her people.

All in all, Lady Eboshi’s character teaches essential lessons about breaking free from societal expectations and embracing our unique paths. She challenges the traditional roles assigned to women and proves they can lead and make a meaningful impact. Lady Eboshi’s strength and ambition inspire us to fearlessly pursue our goals and dreams, disregarding the limitations society may impose on us.

Calcifer – The Fiery Companion

In the enchanting world of Howl’s Moving Castle, Calcifer, a charismatic fire demon, plays a significant role as a loyal and witty companion to the main characters. Calcifer’s presence brings warmth, humor, and depth to the story, making him an endearing and empowering supporting character.

Calcifer is Howl’s moving castle’s heart and power source, but his character goes beyond mere functionality. With his sharp wit and mischievous personality, Calcifer injects the narrative with lightheartedness and a sense of playfulness. His humorous banter with the other characters, particularly Sophie, adds fun to tense situations and creates moments of comic relief.

Calcifer from "Howl's Moving Castle" a flame being wearing gold armor against a salmon pink background. He is another Ghibli supporting character, similar to Lady Eboshi.
Calcifer is a fire demon who used to be a falling star. Image via Wallpaper Access

Beyond his comedic contributions, Calcifer also represents the transformative power of friendship. Initially bound by a contract to Howl, Calcifer’s character evolves as he develops a genuine bond with Sophie and the rest of the castle’s inhabitants. Calcifer’s loyalty and selflessness are revealed as the story progresses, emphasizing his character’s depth and commitment to protecting those he cares about.

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No-Face – The Reflection of Desire

In the enchanting world of Spirited Away, No-Face emerges as a mysterious and complex character who personifies the dangers of unchecked ambition and desire. To emphasize, No-Face’s transformative journey and interactions with the main character, Chihiro, offer valuable lessons about self-discovery, empathy, and the pursuit of true identity.

Initially introduced as a lonely and unassuming spirit, No-Face becomes fascinated by the human world and its desires. As he observes the interactions at the bathhouse, he imitates the behavior he witnesses, leading to a cycle of gluttony and consumption.

No-Face from "Spirited Away" (black ghost with a white mask) standing on a bridge.
No-Face is one of the most iconic Ghibli supporting characters due to his mysterious backstory. Image via Wallpaper Access

However, it is through Chihiro’s kindness and compassion that No-Face embarks on a transformative journey. Chihiro shows him empathy and genuine connection, highlighting the importance of understanding and acceptance. Through their interactions, No-Face questions his desires and motivations, leading to self-reflection and personal growth.

No-Face’s character represents the internal struggle between one’s true self and the influence of external desires. His transformation throughout the film emphasizes the importance of self-discovery and finding one’s identity. As No-Face sheds the false personas and desires he 

Fujimoto – Mysterious Depths of Transformation

In the enchanting tale of Ponyo, Fujimoto, a mysterious sea creature, adds depth and complexity to the story. Initially portrayed as aloof and distant, Fujimoto undergoes a transformative journey that showcases his capacity for change and growth.

Fujimoto’s character is deeply tied to the sea, representing the untamed forces of nature and the unpredictable aspects of life. His initial reluctance to embrace humanity stems from a fear of its destructive tendencies. However, as the story progresses, Fujimoto learns the power of love and the importance of personal connections.

Fujimoto from "Ponyo", a man with long red hair and colorful clothing, standing at the bottom of the ocean.
Fujimoto is the Sea Sorcerer and Ponyo’s father. Image via Mobile Wallpaper (mob.org)

As the father of the titular character, Ponyo, Fujimoto’s transformation is rooted in his relationship with his daughter. Through their bond, Fujimoto experiences the profound love and joy of parenthood. This transformation humanizes his character, bringing out his nurturing and protective instincts.

Haku – The Courageous Spirit Guide

Once again, in Spirited Away, Haku is a critical supporting character who guides Chihiro on her transformative journey. Haku’s character represents courage, resilience, and the power of inner strength.

At first encounter, Haku appears as a mysterious boy who can transform into a dragon. He becomes Chihiro’s ally and mentor, providing guidance and support as she navigates the spirit realm. Haku’s deep connection to the spirit world and knowledge of its workings make him an invaluable companion on Chihiro’s quest.

What sets Haku apart is his unwavering bravery. Despite facing his struggles, he protects Chihiro and assists in her mission to save her parents. Haku’s courage inspires viewers to confront their fears and face challenges head-on, even when the odds seem overwhelming.

Haku from "Spirited Away" a young boy with dark blue hair, standing next to his dragon form.
Haku seems distant at first but proves to be a helpful person. Image via Wallpaper Crafter

Moreover, Haku’s character embodies resilience and the power of self-discovery. As the film unfolds, we learn that Haku is not merely a guide but also a lost spirit who has forgotten his true identity. Haku begins to remember his past and rediscover his purpose through Chihiro’s unwavering belief in him. This journey of self-discovery resonates with viewers, encouraging them to explore their inner selves and embrace their unique identities.

The supporting characters of Studio Ghibli films are more than just background figures. They offer valuable lessons and inspire viewers to challenge societal expectations, embrace their uniqueness, and pursue their dreams!

These characters break free from traditional roles and demonstrate the power of determination, friendship, self-discovery, and resilience! Through these empowering supporting characters, Studio Ghibli films empower viewers to believe in themselves, challenge societal limitations, and embark on their extraordinary journeys! Who’s your favorite Studio Ghibli supporting character? Did we leave them out of our list? Let us know in the comments below!

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