Studio Ghibli actively crafts iconic male characters like Hayao Miyazaki, Asbel, Kamajī, Ashitaka, No-Face, Totoro, and River Spirit.
These male protagonists, as well as the supporting cast, consistently display honor and kindness.
The creators at Studio Ghibli fashion their characters with such sweetness and handsomeness that you find yourself yearning to see more of the male leads on screen.
So, which male leads from the Studio Ghibli universe capture your heart as the most handsome and memorable?
Tombo (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
In “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” Tombo, often called Kopoli, stands out as a 14-year-old aviation enthusiast. Captivated by Kiki’s flying prowess, he seeks her company. While Kiki initially dismisses him, labeling him a “clown,” their bond strengthens, blossoming into a deep friendship.
According to character designer Katsuya Kondō, “We already had a clear concept for Tombo, so drawing him was only a matter of execution. His hairstyle resembles the kind you see in foreign films. It seemed for work for Tombo.”
Jiji (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
Jiji, a cute creature from Kiki’s Delivery Service accompanies Kiki throughout her witch training journey. Once, to help with a boy’s birthday gift, he posed as a stuffed cat since the real toy, bearing a striking resemblance to him, got lost in the forest.
Along the way, Jiji falls for a white cat named Lily. By the end credits, the two proudly welcome a litter of kittens. Jiji accompanies Kiki throughout her witch training journey.
Shun (From Up On Poppy Hill)
In “From Up on Poppy Hill,” Shun Kazama plays the role of the deuteragonist, capturing Umi’s interest both as a friend and romantic prospect.
He actively contributes to the school’s journalism club. Umi first spots her poem about raised flags in the school’s “Latin Quarters Weekly” newspaper.
Their initial meeting occurs under daring circumstances: Shun’s audacious stunt leaves Umi less than impressed. However, drawn by curiosity, Umi later visits the Quartier Latin, the historic building housing the high school’s clubs, alongside her sister, Sora, to secure Shun’s autograph.
Fukuo (Kiki’s Delivery Service)
In “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” Fukuo, recognized as Osono’s Husband and a notable Studio Ghibli male character, stands out as a dedicated baker married to Osono. While he maintains a quiet demeanor for much of the film, it wasn’t until the fourth book in the original series that he was officially named “Fukuo.”
Fukuo, though predominantly reserved and earnest, occasionally displays a light-hearted side. His profound love for his family is evident, and he extends this affection to Kiki, even crafting a unique logo for her delivery service entirely from bread.
Lord Yupa (Nausicaä Of The Valley Of The Wind)
In “Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind,” both the manga and movie, Lord Yupa emerges as a prominent figure among Studio Ghibli men. Renowned as the world’s most skilled swordsman, he’s also a dedicated scholar. For years, he has journeyed across lands in pursuit of the legendary “Blue Clad One.”
His debut in the story is marked by a thrilling chase, with an incensed Ohmu on his trail. Initially, his identity remains concealed, as he dons a Shohki Mask to shield himself from the Toxic Jungle’s miasma.
Howl (Howl’s Moving Castle)
Born in modern-day Wales, Howl Jenkins hailed from a typical family, but he was far from average. With an innate aptitude for magic, he dove into its study.
During his college years, he penned a thesis on magical spells and charms, and aligned himself with a talented cohort of Earth’s magicians.
Sho presents himself as a reserved and exceedingly courteous young man. Despite this demeanor, he grapples with profound desolation and skepticism regarding his upcoming operation. His outlook is bleak, overshadowed by the inevitability of life’s end and compounded by the slim odds of his procedure’s success.
As the film unfolds, Sho travels with his aunt to her residence, intending to provide him with a tranquil setting before his impending surgery. Though submerged in despair, a glimmer of hope surfaces when he crosses paths with Arrietty.
Jiro Horikoshi (The Wind Rises)
As the film kicks off, Jiro confidently scales his roof, dreaming of soaring over Japan in an airplane. Yet, this vision crumbles when he learns that nearsighted individuals can’t pilot planes. His spirits lift once he encounters Caproni, a renowned Italian airplane designer. Caproni assures Jiro that while he might never fly planes, he possesses the potential to design them.
Fuelled by this newfound passion, Jiro delves into the intricacies of airplane design and often dreams of Caproni, who becomes his ethereal mentor. As time progresses, while en route to Tokyo Imperial University, the devastating Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 strikes.
Seiji Amasawa (Whisper Of The Heart)
In “Whisper of the Heart,” Seiji Amasawa stands out as a 14-to-15-year-old violinist who shares a school with Shizuku Tsukishima. He passionately crafts violins in the workshop situated beneath his grandfather’s antique store, where they conduct violin-making lessons.
Seiji shares a deep bond with his grandfather, the antique shop’s owner, who champions his violin-making aspirations, contrary to his parents’ views. As the story unfolds, his relationship with Shizuku deepens, culminating in Seiji confessing his love and envisioning a future together with her.
Tatsuo Kusakabe (My Neighbor Totoro)
Tatsuo Kusakabe, one of the best Studio Ghibli male characters, balances his roles as an archaeology professor at a college and the loving husband to Yasuko Kusakabe, also being the doting father to Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe.
At the onset of “My Neighbor Totoro,” Tatsuo, alongside Satsuki and Mei, relocates to a new residence, an event showcased during their journey in a moving truck.
Upon hearing his daughters’ suspicions about their new home being haunted, Tatsuo cheerfully confesses his long-standing wish to inhabit a haunted house. As the tale unfolds, Mei’s adventurous spirit leads her to establish her ‘flower shop,’ entrusting Tatsuo with its supervision.
Pazu (Castle In The Sky)
In “Castle in the Sky,” Pazu emerges as a central protagonist and quickly forms a deep bond and romantic connection with Sheeta upon her arrival in his mining city. Pazu, representing the resilient spirit of Studio Ghibli men, resides solitarily in a modest hut on Slag Ravine’s hilltop.
While the story remains silent about his mother, it illuminates his father’s legacy as an enthusiastic aviator.
Despite skepticism from many, Pazu’s father once captured the elusive floating kingdom of Laputa on camera. Inspired by this legacy, Pazu is determined to locate Laputa and validate his father’s claims.
If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli films, you likely already have an inkling of Miyazaki’s brilliance. Once again, he presents a cinematic gem that promises to captivate new admirers.
Fujimoto, a prominent Studio Ghibli male character, exudes a demeanor that commands respect, yet can easily become rattled. Transitioning from a human to the guardian of the sea, he harbors disdain for humanity due to their polluting ways.
Although Fujimoto values order and control, he isn’t heartless. Granmamare often reminds him that sometimes relinquishing control can bring joy to others, like his daughter Ponyo.
Haku (Spirited Away)
On the Studio Ghibli male characters list, when in his human form, Haku dons a traditional white robe reminiscent of a Kariginu. This is complemented by a lavender sash, indigo-dyed Sashinuki (a variation of kuribakama) underneath, and beige sandals. A hint of a darker blue Hitoe peeks out from the robe’s sides and shoulders.
The narrative brims with imagination, setting it apart from typical Hollywood offerings with its profoundly unique and quirky characters and animations.
The engaging journey of Chihiro within the bathhouse captures our attention. She encounters various captivating characters, striving to restore her parents’ humanity and find her way back to the human realm.
Prince Ashitaka (Princess Mononoke)
In the movie’s opening, Ashitaka, a striking studio Ghibli male character, showcases long hair neatly tied into a bun. However, after the village instructs him to depart, he trims his hair into a layered cut, leaving untamed bangs above his eyebrows.
During the Muromachi Era in Japan, in the tranquil town of the Emishi tribe, young Prince Ashitaka, one of the notable Studio Ghibli male characters voiced by Yôji Matsuda and the last Emishi royal, suffers a wound while defeating a surprise demon attack.
The tribe’s wise-woman warns Ashitaka that this wound bears a hate-filled curse that will ultimately claim his life. Determined to find answers, Ashitaka journeys westward to uncover the demon’s origins.