A Ghibli a day keeps the sadness at bay! Here’s some of our daily-provided inspiration for your #FindYourGhibliCT cosplay. Can you think of spots to recreate these images? Showcase the beauty of Cape Town with even the simplest of cosplays! You have a few days left to enter this competition to win a prize valued at about R1000! So snap your scenic shot and get tagging 😉
Take a picture of your Studio Ghibli inspired cosplay in these or any other location you think fits, tag us and share the love through the #FindYourGhibliCT hashtag. We can’t wait to see your entry!

Rules of the Comp

  • Bought/closet/handmade cosplays are all allowed.
  • Your cosplay does not need to be screen accurate. Reinterpretations, casual versions and fan art-based cosplays are allowed. The location is most important.
  • While it helps to recreate an exact screenshot from the film, it is not strictly necessary. The location must just be similar/reminiscent of the movie you are cosplaying from.
  • The Office of Consul of Japan in Cape Town will decide the winner of the online competition.
  • Winner will be declared at Japan Day and must be in attendance to claim the prize.
  • The winner will be awarded tickets to Comic Con Cape Town, FanCon and UCON. A further prize may be added at the discretion of the Office of Consul of Japan.

How to Enter the Competition

  1. Take a picture of your cosplay at a scenic/tourist spot in the Cape.
  2. Post it on Facebook and/or Instagram.
  3. In the caption, tell us which film/character you’re re-creating and where the location is.
  4. Use #FindYourGhibliCT and tag @cosplaycapetown.
  5. Attend Japan Day to see if you won!

Remember that there is a second competition at Japan Day that is also limited to only Studio Ghibli cosplays. So by attending, you have two chances to win a prize! The stage competition will have a Top 3 chosen by the crowd on the day and awarded amazing ticket prizes.

Only Yesterday

Only Yesterday is a film that yearns for rural simplicity and the past, while also beckoning a future that comes too fast. Cape Town, where the borders of nature and farmland flirts with concrete jungle, where the past is impossible to escape but doesn’t need to limit the present, touches at the heart of the film. Throw on jeans and a striped top and travel to Stellenbosch, drive along the coast or show us your favourite lookout over the city to bring this sweet story to life!

Spirited Away

Who amongst us have yet to see Spirited Away? One of the most popular films out of Japan and it even used played on ETV ! There are lots of characters to play with here, not to mention so many reinterpretations of them! Human No-Face? A dress-styled soot sprite? Let your imagination spirit you away for #FindYourGhibliCT!

Check out Pink Cotton Cosplay‘s casual Chihiro entry!

Porco Rosso

Are you ready to battle against the daily drones of life? Throw on a trench coat, your goggles or a helmet and saunter off into the sunset to recreate the adventures of Porco Rosso! Or perhaps you prefer the role of Gina or Fio? 🤔
The world of Porco Rosso easily unfolds in the streets and night life of Cape Town, with its mix of European structure and dazzling ocean scenes. Dance through the cabaret hidden off Long Street, strut through the cobbled streets near Gardens or stare pensively into seas where pirates once ruled… Where will #FindYourGhibliCT take you?

The Wind Rises

“Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you. But when the leaves hang trembling, the wind is passing through.”

The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu) is a homage to life, death, art and the cost of dreams. Cape Town is no New York, but our glorious mountains are home to plenty of dreamers, artists and aeronautical engineering. Feel the breeze on Signal Hill, dance among trees of the Tafelberg Nature Reserve and appreciate the beauty of the West Coast fields. May #FindYourGhibliCT inspire you on your own journey of creation!

“Le vent se lève!… Il faut tenter de vivre!”

My Neighbour Totoro

“Tonari no To to ro   
Totoro   To to ro   Totoro 
Moshimo aeta nara   
Sutekina shiawase ga 
Anata ni kuru wa~”
With a theme song that never fails to get you in your feels, we present My Neighbour Totoro/Tonari no Totoro! Will you do a gijinka of some of the most iconic little critters in animation? Or dress as one of the human children and go search for these forest spirits among the dancing eaves of the Vergelegen trees? Cape Town has such gorgeous gardens and forests, so take a short trip to find the magic that lingers just outside our doorstep.

Check out Potato Sack Cosplay‘s entry as Totoro!

The Cat Returns:

Today is for the cat lovers!! Though we missed Neko no Hi, we can still fall in love with The Cat Returns 💜 This visual feast is about a small act of kindness towards animals can lead to adventure and friendships. Dance with the Baron in any of our glorious castles or a ballrooms, have tea in our quaint local cafes with a roguish grin or talk to some of our iconic statues (maybe by the waterfront?) to see if they come alive! This is a movie with so many twists and new locations, you’re sure to find the perfect scene for your entry!
And remember: be creative with your entries! Fur suits would be perfect, but you can do human versions of characters (just no nightmares out of Cats please).

SquirrelMeerKat created some adorable entries for the comp for the Baron!

Howl’s Moving Castle

“When you’re old, all you want to do is stare at the scenery. It’s so strange. I’ve never felt so peaceful before.” 
If only, when we looked into the distant mountains, we could see a thundering castle walk off into the distance. Where fires can be kind and listen to you, where stars can dance on the surface of lakes, where getting rid of bombs was as easy as two sides negotiating for peace. While we may not live in the fantasy of Howl’s Moving Castle, we can still experience some of the the wonder in scenery that look straight out of the movie with this #FindYourGhibliCT inspiration. May the wildflowers of the West Coast bring joy to your heart. May the towering heights of Jonkershoek Valley inspire you. Or maybe you’d prefer to enjoy the mood of a local pub, where the superb decor and friendly crowds will remind you of Sophie’s sister? Let your heart guide you!

The Secret World of Arrietty

In life, we lose so many things that we learn not to sweat the small stuff. Lost a pin? Missing a sock? Can’t find some thread? We shrug it off and let it go. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Borrowers get you 🧐

Arrietty is a miniature human who hides in the walls, until she is forced to confront the dangers of the real world. Watch this film unfold in lush scenery and spectacular art, while the music holds sway over your heart …
Arrietty’s world is filled with colour, so stop by our famous Kalk Bay houses for a shot! Embrace the foodie culture of the Cape by finding the most vintage cafe, or the most ecclaistic one, to capture the feel of Arrietty’s mad house! Snap a pic as Sho among the flowers in the Magik Forest or take a hike to find the perfect lookout point that showcases the Mother City 🧡 Either way, our real life truly lives up to the art!

Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Family should not keep secrets. But if they must, at least let it be about the secret floating kingdom of Laputa. Watch Sheet/Lucita and Pazu go up against sky pirates, the military and other hidden enemies to find the famed Castle in the Sky in one of the first Ghibli films ever made! This movie would later be the inspiration of the cult-classic Iron Giant (or so they say).
There are plenty of castles to recreate the splendour of the kingdom, such as the Castle of Good Hope or the Lichtenstein Castle in Hout Bay. The gardens of Laputa look straight out of Durbanville Rose Garden or the Company Gardens, while wandering through the countryside might introduce you to the ruins from the movie.

Princess Mononoke

Princess Mononoke is a story about a lesson humanity has refused to learn. In a city like Cape Town, we are too close to nature to not realise the effects of unchecked greed and so-called ‘progress’ at the cost of nature. An unforgettable tale that stole even the heart of Disney, Mononoke can be recreated in so many places in Cape Town!
Consider the Silvermine Nature Reserve, or some of the other hiking trails of Table Mountain or Kirstenbosch. Have you been to Cecilia Forest? Or maybe you would like to go further up the West Coast, or visit Cederberg! Make a day of it and bring to life some of the most beloved characters in the Studio Ghibli franchise for #FindYourGhibliCT!


Inspired by the little mermaid, Ponyo is an adorable interpretation of friendship that crosses all boundaries. A little boy saves a little fish girl and together, they cause havoc with their adventures that brings them closer and introduces them to goddesses, wizards, and all the animals in the sea.
Simon’s Town, Langabaan, Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay are perfect for capturing the feel of Ponyo! Look for caves for Fujimoto, or visit the aquarium for the ocean scenes of Granmamame!

This photo of Ponyo was entered by WesJade Cosplay!

Kiki’s Delivery Service

This summer, fly with Kiki through the sea side towns of Cape Town! Just as Kiki moved to Koriko with her cat Joji, move into new spaces and see where the road will deliver you! Try the bakeries, support local businesses, or wander down to the harbour and see fishermen at work.

Check out Leyla Heylen Photography‘s entry as Kiki!

When Marnie Was There

Set in the wetlands of Japan, When Marnie was There is a mystery wrapped in gorgeous animation and feel-good friendship. What is family? Why do we keep secrets? More importantly, who is Marnie? Watch the film to unravel the truth (don’t Google the answer!), but also know it is the perfect film to recreate in Cape Town.
Look for beach houses, for the white sands of Bloubergstrand or Camp’s Bay, the marshes of Intaka Island or abandoned rooms covered in obscurity. Or go a different way and find a pretty baroque room to shoot in!

Other Films to Consider

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Grave of the Fireflies (we refuse to experience the pain again xD)

Up On Poppy Hill

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Pom Poko

Ocean Waves

Whisper of the Heart

Tales from Earthsea

My Neighbours, The Yamadas

Header credits:

Banner Design: Potato Sack Cosplay

Princess Mononoke – Kaylee Pereira, photographed by Leyla Heylen Photography in Cecilia Forest
Ponyo – WesJade Cosplay, self-photographed in Simon’s Town.

List, descriptions and details curated by Samantha Berinato and Zaynab Asmal.