Two Hayao Miyazaki Films for the Must-Watch List

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro

It will be hard to find a fan of Japanese animated movies who has not heard of Hayao Miyazaki. Widely considered as one of the greatest animation directors in Japan, he is known for a lot of iconic works that continue to delight people of all ages not just in Japan but across the globe. So if you are looking for ideas on what to watch for some holiday anime binge, here are some of his unmissable works you need to watch.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
You have to see the movie to understand why it has become one Hayao Miyazaki’s work. The story, which is set in a time after the war in Japan, may seem simple enough. A father with his two daughters named Satsuki and Mei moved to a village in a rural area. This was so they can stay closer to where the children’s mother is hospitalized. And it is where that Satsuki and Mei’s adventures began as they discovered the natural world around them and the adorable, magical creatures they encountered. From Totoro to the catbus and all the other mythical beings they came across, My Neighbor Totoro is a wonderful tale that will make you fall in love with Japanese anime.

Princess Mononoke (1997)
Princess Mononoke is widely-considered as Miyazaki’s greatest masterpiece. Like My Neighbor Totoro, it also features supernatural beings but with a more serious undertone. Set in Japan’s Muromachi period, it tells the story of Emishi prince Ashitaka who set out on a journey to find a cure to the curse he got from the boar god consumed by rage. It focuses on the mythical creatures who protect a forest, the people who are slowly destroying it as they use up its resources, and Princess Mononoke – the daughter of a wolf gold.