When I was in middle school there was a large group of girls in my grade who were obsessed with this new movie named "Ponyo". I did not understand their obsession and refused to watch it as I believed that books are better then movies and always would be. Over the years my opinion on movies vs. books has changed. When I moved to Vancouver, all of the friends I made told me that I NEEDED to watch all of the Studio Ghibli movies ASAP! Or at least listen to the soundtracks. I brushed them off because I believed that I didn't have time and they were not available on any digital streaming services (okay the soundtracks were but I want the full experience when it comes to movies). Recently, Netflix added a selection of Studio Ghibli movies to their roster and made them downloadable (so that you can watch them offline).
A couple of weeks ago, my Dad was driving me back to my hometown for the week and I decided that I would watch Studio Ghibli's "Howl's Moving Castle" and it changed my life. Every single frame of the movie is a work of art. The music is written to perfectly accompany the movie, Joe Hisaishi is a compositional genius! Above all, the story line is fantastic, the way the writers developed the romance between Sophie and Howl is like nothing I have watched before. After completing the movie, I was literally at a loss of words. I began messaging all of my friends who had told me that I needed to watch the movies and asking which one I should watch next. They were all so excited that I have finally started my Studio Ghibli adventure. I only wish I had started sooner.
I actually made my Mom watch "Howl's Moving Castle" with me shortly after. While watching it a second time I made the discovery that although I am a hopeless romantic and pine for my own Howl, deep down I have the same characteristics as Howl. Perhaps this is why I found his character so attractive.