Two of the cutest stars of the Ghibli and Star Wars worlds are teaming up.

Earlier this week, the official Studio Ghibli Twitter account posted a video tweet that consisted only of the Lucasfilm and Ghibli logos. It seemed to foretell of some upcoming creative partnership, perhaps one in such early stages that there was nothing more to say at that point then “We’re working together.”

We hoped we wouldn’t have to wait long for more details, and we didn’t. Actually we don’t have to wait very long for the finished product, either.

— スタジオジブリ STUDIO GHIBLI (@JP_GHIBLI) November 12, 2022

If you’ve got even a passing interest in Ghibli anime, you’ll immediately recognize those five little creatures forming an arc at the top of the drawing as makkurokurosuke, the soot sprites that first appeared in 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, and then again in 2001’s Spirited Away. And underneath them, as anyone who’s been keeping up with the extended Star Wars franchise in recent years will know, is Grogu, the scene-stealing “baby Yoda” from The Mandalorian.

So what are they pictured together? Because they’re the stars of a brand-new Studio Ghibli hand-drawn short anime, to be titled Zen-Grogu and Makkurokurosuke in Japanese and Zen-Grogu and Dust Bunnies in English (“Dust Bunnies” being what they were called in the original My Neighbor Totoro English dub).

Discover Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies, a hand-drawn animation by Studio Ghibli, is streaming tomorrow on #DisneyPlus.

— Disney+ (@DisneyPlus) November 12, 2022

Rather than a long, slow buildup to its release, Grogu and Makkurokurosuke will be available for streaming on Disney+ at 5 p.m. on November 12, the third anniversary of The Mandalorian’s series premiere. The anime short is directed by …continue reading


Mysterious tweet from Ghibli’s account suggests the two titans are working together, but on what?

Studio Ghibli’s official Twitter account isn’t particularly chatty. Oftentimes the esteemed anime house’s tweets contain nothing but a simple photograph of some art supplies on a work desk, or a close-up of plant life in the studio’s garden.

Ghibli’s latest tweet is, once again, absent any sort of accompanying text. However, it has fans of anime and movies typing out “WHAAAAAAT????” and equivalent expressions with expressions with blazing speed, because it appears to foreshadow some sort of upcoming creative partnership with Lucasfilm, the U.S. film production company best known for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.

— スタジオジブリ STUDIO GHIBLI (@JP_GHIBLI) November 10, 2022

It’s worth noting that the Ghibli Twitter account has previously given shout-outs to other media companies just because they like them. In those cases, though, there’s usually a photo of some piece of artwork related to the company being saluted that’s displayed within Studio Ghibli, like when they tweeted “Love Pixar.” Ghibli’s new tweet, though, is a video of the Lucasfilm logo followed by the Ghibli logo, both as they appear at the start of their movies, so it’s hard to see this as signaling anything other than a collaborative project between the two media powerhouses.

The question, though, is what kind of collaboration. Several Twitter commenters are predicting that this means Ghibli is going to be producing animation to be used in a new batch of episodes for Star Wars: Visions, the team-up between Lucasfilm and prominent anime creators that resulted in nine animated shorts that were releases last year.

However, given Ghibli’s unparalleled level of prestige in the anime industry, it seems unlikely that they’d be involved in an anthology project as just one …continue reading


This ranking survey from goo Ranking asked what is the most successful anime adaptations of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine’s manga.

My anime series watching is very limited, but I recently got a free year of Amazon Prime, and it’s got Demon Slayer (Kimetsu no Yaiba if you prefer) included, so I’ll have to give it a watch, once I finish with Taka no Tsume (Eagle Claw), which is 5 minutes of wonderful silliness.

Ranking result

Q: What is the most successful anime adaptations of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine’s manga? (Sample size=2,270)

Rank Votes
1 ONE PIECE 1025
2 Demon Slayer 284
3 Gintama 150
4 Haikyu!! 130
6 KochiKame: Tokyo Beat Cops 35
8 Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story 32
9 Fist of the North Star 28
9 Kuroko’s Basketball 28
11 Assassination Classroom 27
12 Yu Yu Hakusho 26
13 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure 25
13 NARUTO 25
15 Captain Tsubasa 24
17 Prince of Tennis 23
18 My Hero Academia 18
19 The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. 17
20 To LOVE-Ru 16
21 Hikaru no Go 15
22 High school! Kimengumi 14
24 Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma 11
24 Black clover 11
26 Kinnikuman 10
26 Yu-Gi-Oh! 10
29 Dr. STONE 7
29 The Promised Neverland 7
32 Nisekoi 6
32 World Trigger 6
32 Shaman King 6
35 Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo 5
35 Bakuman. 5
38 Jigoku Sensei 4
38 Yuuna from Yuragiso 4
38 Reborn! 4
41 Toriko 3
41 Eyeshield 21 3
41 Nurarihyon no Mago 3
41 Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai 3
41 We Never Learn 3
46 D.Gray-man 2
46 Buso Renkin 2
46 Whistle! 2
46 Tsuide ni Tonchinkan 2
50 NINKU 1
50 Hoshin Engi 1
50 Neuro: Supernatural Detective 1


Between the 24th of October and the 7th of November 2020 2,270 visitors to the goo Ranking site and associated properties completed a public questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

The post The most successful anime adaptations first appeared on 世論 What Japan Thinks. …continue reading


Stars from 11 different Ghibli anime take to the skies in celebratory group shot.

With Ghibli Park set to open in less than a month, fans are getting ready to make the trip to Aichi Prefecture to visit the first-ever theme park dedicated to the anime works of Studio Ghibli. But while we’re all excited about the chance to go and see our favorite Ghibli characters, those characters themselves have made a trip of their own to an unexpected destination.

This week, Twitter Japan started using a new header image for the social media network’s official account. It’s of a scene set in the sky, but it’s no mere doodle of the company’s characteristic blue bird flittering about. Instead, it’s an amazing crossover illustration of Studio Ghibli flying machines and creatures.


(ヘッダーは@JP_GHIBLI さんが特別に書き下ろしてくれました!!!)

— Twitter Japan (@TwitterJP) October 10, 2022

“The Ghibli cast came out to pick us up!” Twitter Japan excitedly tweeted, while revealing that Studio Ghibli created the artwork. In a testament to Ghibli’s amazing character and mechanical designs, it’s easy to tell who’s who, and the picture has representative from 11 of Ghibli’s anime films. At the top left there’s Totoro on his flying top, and dominating the center of the array is Spirited Away’s Haku, in his dragon form, with Chihiro riding near his head and mouse-transformed Boh being carried by Yubaba’s bird-transformed harpy.

Also present are:
Ponyo (running on Haku’s back)
Castle in the Sky’s robot
On Your Mark’s Angel
Porco Rosso’s Savoia S.21 seaplane
Kiki and Jiji, on the witch’s broom
Tales from Earthsea’s Therru, in dragon form
● The Tiger Moth, flagship of Castle in the Sky’s air pirates
Howl’s Moving Castle
● The airplane seen by The Wind Rise’s Jiro Horikoshi in his dream
Nausicaa on her glider
Pazu …continue reading


Ancient cedar trees that inspired Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli team are just one reason why this forest in Yakushima is so magical.

Our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa recently spent some time in Yakushima, an island way down south that’s perhaps most famous for two things: its pristine forests that have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and being the place that inspired the 1997 Studio Ghibli anime film Princess Mononoke.

Yakushima’s most famous forested area is Shiratani Unsuikyo, which Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki and his team visited a number of times during the making of the film. Seiji, a self-confessed anime geek, says he’s watched Princess Mononoke around 300 times in his life, and the chance to visit the real-world setting that inspired the film was the main impetus for his visit to the island, so it was a happy day when he finally got the chance to traverse the forest.

While in Shiratani Unsuikyo, Seiji had his eye on one goal in particular: hiking up to Mount Oita’s Taikoiwa (literally “Drum Boulder”), which is said to be the place where Ashitaka and wolf character Moro gaze out at a vast view of their forest world in the movie.

▼ Seiji dreams of sitting on the boulder as Moro does in the film.

Image: Studio Ghibli

Like any good anime, a trek to a boulder requires some preparation, so Seiji has some tips for others wanting to walk through the forest in the footsteps of those Ghibli greats. His first tip is to travel by car, and to stop off at this local supermarket in Miyanoura to pick up water, food, and any other essentials you might need.

▼ A-COOP Miyanoura …continue reading


But hand off the life-size Atalier Ryza figure’s thighs.

Thursday was media day for the Tokyo Game Show, and even though it was a day earlier than the event would open to the public, we couldn’t help feeling like we’d been waiting a long time for this. That’s because in 2020 and 2021 TGS was an online-only affair as part of pandemic-related health precautions.

For 2022, though, the Tokyo Game Show is back to being an in-person event, held at its traditional venue of Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture. Our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun was eager to see what sort of awesome new games are coming soon from Japan’s top software developers…so imagine his surprise when one of the first things that caught his eye was a booth from a furniture store.

Nitori is one of Japan’s favorite budget-priced home furnishings chains, sort of like a Japanese domestic market version of Ikea. But in addition to sofas, futons, and silverware, Nitori has recently started selling gaming furniture setups, and their booth had a sample room layout with a gaming chair, desk, and other understatedly sleek equipment.

Ironically, though, P.K. was about to try out a game that required him to stand up to play it.

Resident Evil Village (known as Biohazard Village in Japan) has been out almost a year now, but it’s back in the spotlight again thanks to the upcoming inclusion of a PlayStation VR2 mode to be added to the PS5 version of the game. More than any other game being shown at the show, this was the one with …continue reading


Meet the colourful cast of characters and cosplayers who brought the heat to this summer’s otaku celebrations.

This past weekend was a big one for otaku in Japan, as Summer Comiket returned to the Tokyo Big Sight convention centre for the first time in three years. The event brought together thousands of doujinshi — independent manga and anime art creators — and their fans, as well as a large number of cosplayers, some of whom were able to debut character outfits from new anime and manga series that didn’t exist at the time of the last Summer Comiket in 2019.

So the mood was electric and everyone was all smiles at the second day of the event on 14 August, when our reporter Egawa Tasuku popped by to photograph some of the best Comiket cosplayers. According to the Comic Market Preparation Committee, 552 men and 1,695 women were registered to cosplay on Day Two, with 85,000 visitors in attendance. While there were some classic characters in the cosplay area, there were a number of new faces, and a couple of hilariously surprising ones too.

So let’s get to it and take a look at some of the best characters and cosplayers from the day!

▼ R93 from Girls Frontline | Cosplayer: @eggpompom

▼ Eula from Genshin Impact | Cosplayer: Ureu Folia (no social media account)

▼ Gawr Gura from Hololive English | Cosplayer: @aico_lycoris

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Howl’s Moving Castle character designer draws a Calcifer for reminders, jokes, or however else you want to use him.

Studio Ghibli is, far and away, Japan’s most respected anime house. Their artwork is so beloved that there’s an entire chain of specialty stores that sells nothing but Ghibli goods.

At the same time, though, Ghibli can be remarkably generous. During the pandemic, they released a massive collection of backgrounds and stills from their movies to use for video chats or other projects, and on Tuesday night Ghibli handed out another beautiful piece of artwork, this time an original illustration, for fans to use.


— スタジオジブリ STUDIO GHIBLI (@JP_GHIBLI) July 26, 2022

“Please use this within the bounds of common sense, as a message board or for writing funny comments,” says the message from the official Studio Ghibli Twitter account that accompanies the picture of Calcifer, the fire spirit from Howl’s Moving Castle. If the artwork is looking especially authentic, that’s because it was drawn by none other than Akihiko Yamashita, a veteran Ghibli animator who’s worked with the company for decades and served as character designer for Howl’s Moving Castle, a role he also filled for The Secret World of Arrietty and Mary and the Witch’s Flower.

▼ If only there was a way to hug the adorable little guy without also suffering severe burns.

Ghibli’s generosity was met with cries of thanks and comments such as:

“Ghibli is just too cool!”
“So it’s a fire-proof bulletin board, right?”
“Calcifer is so cute!”
“This would be a great sign for marking the end of lines at Comiket.”
“I want to use it for tweets that I think are gonna get flamed.”

There have also …continue reading


If you haven’t read this manga yet, you should!

Have you heard about One Operation Joker? If you’re a manga fan active on Japanese Twitter, you might know all about it. It’s a Japanese manga about DC’s Joker serialized in the weekly manga anthology magazine Morning that had a moment in the Japanese social media spotlight when it went viral not too long ago. It’s written by Satoshi Miyakawa and illustrated by Keisuke Gotoh, and has even been officially approved by DC Comics in the U.S.!

If that’s not enough to convince you to give it a try, take the word of our Japanese-language reporter Ahiru Neko, who’s here to say, “Read it! Read it now!” That moment in the social media spotlight was not enough time to highlight the story’s true magnificence, he says. He especially recommends it to parents raising young children. “You won’t regret reading it!”

In Japanese, the term wanope/”one operation” refers to a single parent taking on all child-rearing responsibilities. Operation Joker, which currently has two manga volumes out, is a story about the DC villain and superhero, the Joker and Batman. Through an accident, Batman is transformed into a baby, and in a strange turn of events, the Joker decides to raise Baby Bruce into a hero of justice all by himself.

If you’re a Batman fan or know anything about the Joker, you’re probably thinking, “What the heck?” but that’s the actual story of the manga. Against the backdrop of a super high-crime Gotham City, the Joker struggles with everyday parenting issues like accidentally buying the wrong diaper size, trying to figure out how to put a sleeping baby down without waking it up, and flipping out when they get hurt …continue reading


Looks like it’s time for another visit to the Sanrio theme park!

Sanrio Puroland, the indoor theme park dedicated to the world of Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty, Pom Pom Purin, and Gudetama, is going to open its first new attraction in six years! The park, which hasn’t added any new features since Gudetama Land opened in 2016, will be adding a new Character Greeting House this July, where visitors can step inside colorful themed rooms and be greeted by their favorite Sanrio characters.

The attraction is designed to look like a luxury condo high-rise for Sanrio characters. The attraction, which will be part of Strawberry Hall, includes five different rooms, each with its own theme, plus a luxury entrance hall decorated with strawberries all around.

Room 101: Gamer Modern is a bright, colorful room filled with neon signs and what looks like a gaming PC set-up.

Room 102: Vintage Pop is a retro room straight out of the 70s, decorated with bright oranges and yellows, flower themes, a disco ball, and furniture designed like old technology.

Fans of fitness might like Room 201: Workout Style, which is a high-energy exercise room with spotlights, weightlifting equipment, mirrors, and even a protein bar.

Get into the spirit of music with Room 202: Music Base. It looks like a music studio, with instruments hanging on the walls, a stage, and huge speakers.

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