With delicate romances that compliment more challenging topics like environmentalism and persecution, Studio Ghibli films explore humanity alongside the surreal. Ghibli romances are achingly charming and true, whether the couple's affections are modest and unsaid, or they're long married and making a life together. It doesn't matter if the world is at war or if the hero is cursed; to love is to be human.


Ghibli couples demonstrate how real love brings out the best in humanity. Acts of love may be a balm to the spirit during difficult times, and they frequently remind individuals of what is truly essential.

10 My Neighbor Totoro

Romance does not end with romance; the family in My Neighbour Totoro depicts a couple dealing with the ups and downs of life. Yasuko isn't in many scenes because she's in the hospital recovering from a sickness, but her husband, Tatsuo, relocated their two daughters across the countryside to be closer to her.

Yasuko can concentrate on getting healthier because she fully trusts her husband to be a decent father who will care for the girls and the house by himself until she returns to assist. Though the mother and father don't say much, spectators can sense the love in their eyes as they go through this difficult time in their lives together.

9 From Up On Poppy Hill

From Up On Poppy Hill is a period romance based on Tetsuro Sayama's manga of the same name. It is set in early 1960s Japan and focuses on the impact from the Nagasaki explosion and how it affected future generations.

Despite Umi's first opinion of Shun, he is a nice, gentlemanly love interest, and Umi is kind and attentive. They both have war-torn histories. Because there are no fantasy components in this picture, the relationship between the deuteragonists takes centre stage.

8 Ponyo

Ponyo is a sweet tale of young puppy love inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson tale, "The Little Mermaid." Anderson's tale ends in heartbreak, but that's thankfully not the case for Ponyo and Sosuke.

Trading the sea for human legs doesn't come without consequences, of course. Land and water flip upside down from Ponyo's transformation. The sweetest change from the original fairy tale, however, is that Sosuke loves Ponyo regardless of what form she takes. Ponyo's wishes aren't that different from her own father, Fujimoto, who traded his human life for one with his wife, the Queen of the Ocean.

7 Whisper Of The Heart

Whisper of the Heart mixes romance with fantasy and imagination. Shizuku and Seiji are both highly creative people whose artistry brings them together. Seiji uses their mutual love of reading to get her attention in the most earnest way, by checking out as many library books as he can.

Whisper of the Heart is a love letter to romantics and bibliophiles. Though there are fantasy elements, they are sewn into the story in a more magical realist way, and the main focus is on the coming-of-age of the main characters.

6 Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki's Delivery Service isn't a romance, but it does have a couple of wholesome pairings. Tombo is fascinated by Kiki and her broom, and though she's annoyed by him at first, he grows on her, hinting at something in their future as they grow older.


Osono and Fukuo own and operate a bakery in the small seaside town where Kiki settles down, and they are expecting their first child. Fukuo cares about Kiki and Jiji, and his wife, Osono, has his heart. Osono is kind and cheerful, and Fukuo is a man of few words who lets his actions speak for him.

5 Spirited Away

Even when Chihiro thinks she is lost and alone, she is never really alone in Spirited Away because Haku watches out for her. Their connection reaches back farther than she even realizes. Their puppy love romance goes largely unspoken, but Studio Ghibli is excellent at showing devotion in the small moments and deeds.

Chihiro proves her feelings for Haku, and her true love for him frees him in a way that befits a fairytale. And though they are still young, it's not hard to believe that soon enough, they will find each other again.

4 Only Yesterday

Toshio and Taeko have the cutest cottagecore romance in Only Yesterday. The movie is understated and largely focuses on nostalgia, but the budding romance between the deuteragonists points to a sweet future.

When Taeko reconciles her past, she can then decide on a future that she wants, one that feels natural to her. And for her, that future involves a cute, genteel organic farmer. Only Yesterday is one of Ghibli's more quiet, subdued movies despite its magical realism elements, but the romance premise is like something out of the Hallmark Channel (in the best way).

3 The Wind Rises

Jiro knows that Naoko is sick in The Wind Rises, but he doesn't care. He wants to spend their lives together, whatever that looks like. Romance doesn't always have the neatest ending, but that doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile.

They have possibly one of the most romantic scenes in any Ghibli film, where Jiro rushes home to see Naoko while she's bedridden. He's frantic to kick off his shoes so he can hold her close, and when she worries over him catching ill, all he can say is how beautiful she is.

2 Princess Mononoke

In Princess Mononoke, San and Ashitaka don't say much, and throughout the majority of the film, they appear to be on opposing sides of a struggle. San does not trust Ashitaka because he is human and does not fully support Lady Eboshi. But Ashitaka notices something in San that immediately draws him in.

Ashitaka is always looking for ways to safeguard San and reach out to her. In his hour of need, San transports him to her woodland to recover. What their lives would be like after the fight is unknown, but there is no doubt about how great they are as a couple.

1 Howl's Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle is a delightful, off-the-wall fantasy romance based off of a novel of the same name by Diane Wynne Jones. Sophie takes to the wilds after she's cursed and Howl's enchanted "castle" takes her in. She bullies Howl's heart, literally, the whole time while she's at the moving castle without even realizing what she's doing.

Howl lets Sophie unpack her feelings in her own time, as he works on his own shortcomings and foibles. Howl is an utterly romantic wizard, gifting Sophie an entire field of flowers.

NEXT: The 15 Most Intense Slow-Burn Romances In Anime, Ranked