The Miyazaki Theory

Last week, we talked about the Pixar Theory as a precursor for addressing the Miyazaki Theory. But now, it’s finally time to delve into the Miyazaki Theory. Before we start, I would like to ask you to keep the Pixar Theory in mind.

The Beginning: Porco Rosso


The picture from the cover of Porco Rosso featuring Gina (right) and Porco Rosso (left).

The picture from the cover of Porco Rosso featuring Gina (right) and Porco Rosso (left).

Porco Rosso, set in the time period before World War II, introduces the scene by showing the relationship among spirits, animals, and humans. The film features a man named Marco Pagot who fought in the Italian air force in World War I. It is said that he was supposed to marry an Austrian woman named Gina, but once the World War started, he couldn’t bring himself to betray his country. However, when he was at war, the atrocious events that happened made him question his decision and his inner turmoil caused him to become cursed with a pig’s face. Because of this, he changed his name to Porco Rosso, which means the Crimson Pig.


Another World War: The Wind Rises

The shared dream between Caproni and

The shared dream between Caproni (left) and Jiro (right).

The Wind RisesĀ features the designers of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter during World War II. Although the events that happen in this movie don’t really contribut

e much to the Miyazaki timeline, it does reinforce the idea of spirits and humans interacting with each other. This is due to the scene in which two of the main characters, Jiro and Caproni, share a dream together, which would be classified as a supernatural event.

Enter the Spirits: Spirited Away


Haku (right) feeding Chihiro (left).

Haku (right) feeding Chihiro (left).

Spirited Away was the first movie in which humans and spirits freely and openly interacted with each other. It features a girl named Chihiro who winds up getting lost in the spirit world. During her time there, she must work in a bath house to gain her freedom. She meets many spirits during her time there and their interactions exemplify the tension between humans and spirits. This conflict isn’t explained in the previous movies, but it is clear that the relationship between the two are pretty bad. In fact, when Chihiro first wanders into the spirit world, she is immediately taken by someone who was once in the same position as her, but had his memories erased. This boy, Haku, immediately tells her that her presence must not be noticed or else the spirits would try to eat her.


Friendly Spirits: My Neighbor Totoro

From left to right: Totoro, Mei, Satsuki, and Totoro's helpers.

From left to right: Totoro, Mei, Satsuki, and Totoro’s helpers.


My Neighbor Totoro tells the story of two sisters who interact with friendly spirits who live in the forest. One of these spirits, Totoro, provides refuge for the younger sister, Mei, when she gets lost. Another spirit, the Cat Bus, brings the two sisters two their mother who is being hospitalized. The bond that the two create with the spirits is so strong that they eventually become inseparable.



The Apocalypse: Ponyo

Ponyo (left, a water sprite), and her friend leaving their house.

Ponyo (left, a water sprite), and her friend leaving their house.

Ponyo is about a man who is so convinced that his daughter has been kidnapped that he sends massive waves of destruction throughout the world. This gargantuan flood destroys thousands of cities, but it is said that it didn’t cause enough damage to eradicate life on earth. Instead, several sections of the Earth are completely wiped out and are forced to start civilization from the beginning again, particularly in areas near bodies of water. These events mark a turn in the history of the Ghibli timeline.

Princess Mononoke who was raised by wolves.

Princess Mononoke who was raised by wolves.

A New Beginning: Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke is said to have taken place on a small island that was completely devastated by the flood from Ponyo’s father. The people who survived were forced to build up civilization from scratch again. However, they wanted to tear down the forests in order to further their development. This created tension between the humans, the animals, and the forest spirits, which later led to a war.

The Redevelopment of Civilization: Castle in the Sky

One of the floating castles created to sustain life.

One of the floating castles created to sustain life.

Castle in the Sky features floating castles and cities which were said to have been developed after the flood destroyed everything. The people who survived decided it wouldn’t be efficient to stay on the ground where all of their resources were depleted, but instead thought it would be better to build sustainable, flying chunks of land that they would be able to restart on. All of this wouldn’t have been possible without the technology that these people would have had access to by means of other cities that were not destroyed or by the advanced aircrafts that were also left relatively intact, unlike inĀ Princess Mononoke in which they were completely isolated on a small island.

So What’s Next?

Unfortunately, unlike the Pixar Theory, the Miyazaki Theory will likely not have any more movies added onto it. This is due to the fact that Hayao Miyazaki retired a couple of years ago and would also not be able to confirm nor deny the validity of this theory. But that doesn’t stop the fans from speculating.

In my next blog post, I would like to finally delve into one of the top grossing movies in Japan, Spirited Away, and its own conspiracy theory.


2 thoughts on “The Miyazaki Theory

  1. zae5019 says:

    I am normally not interested in film theories as they get too complicated and fabricated over time, but your explanation of the Miyazaki theory is really fascinating! I can definitely see how it corresponds to the Pixar Theory as it connects different universes that seem to have no similarities at first glance. I may actually get into Studio Ghibli to get more info on this theory. I can’t wait to hear about spirited away and its own theory. Great Post!

  2. amh6802 says:

    I really enjoyed this blog! I thought it was interesting because I was familiar with the Pixar movies in your previous blog, but the only one I had heard of before is Ponyo. The descriptions of the different films were informative and again make me want to watch them! Are they available on streaming sites such as Netflix?

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