The signs of Spring are everywhere – gentle rain falls in a pitter-patter, flowers burst into a kaleidoscope of blooms, and animals are coming out of their winter hideouts to enjoy the sunshine.

This season of renewal colors the world in a painterly way that reminds us of our favorite Studio Ghibli films. From the glistening dew drops resting on leaves as Arrietty explores the human world to the sunlight casting mirrors on endless waters as Chihiro (or Sen) travels to visit Zeniba, these films romanticize the beauty of the world around us. They make you take a second look at the trees on your daily walk and the tittering bird building a fresh nest for its young to see a depth you may not have noticed before.

This makes springtime the perfect time to release the audiobook for Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata (4th Edition).

audiobook cover for Studio Ghibli by Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc featuring a still image from the film Spirited Away with a young girl sitting next to a black Shinigami spirit wearing a white mask on a train car

Written by Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc and narrated by Abigail Reno, Studio Ghibli examines all of the famous studio’s major works, including Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, and Howl’s Moving Castle as well as the critically acclaimed Spirited Away and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. This updated edition also considers Studio Ghibli features such as Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-nominated masterpiece The Wind Rises, When Marnie Was There, and the recent co-productions Ronja the Robber’s Daughter and Red Turtle.

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This may be our only audiobook that is fully dedicated to the works of Studio Ghibli, but we have many others that tell similarly universal stories in a uniquely poetic way. Read on for our audiobook recommendations based on some of Studio Ghibli’s most popular movies!



The Mirror Visitor Quartet
Written by Christelle Dabos, narrated by Emma Fenney

audiobook image for The Mirror Visitor Quartet written by Christelle Dabos featuring images for all four books in the series

With a tenacious female main character full of quiet strength and unmatched bravery, it’s no surprise that this series gives us major Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Howl’s Moving Castle vibes.

Like Princess Nausicaä and the bewitched Sophie, Ophelia must harness her unique powers to navigate her strange and complex world after the Rupture. This cataclysm has shattered the planet into many floating celestial islands, known as arks. 

Ophelia enjoys her peaceful existence on her ark, Anima, communing with the souls of objects and traveling through mirrors. However, this all comes to a screeching halt when she is betrothed and must follow her fiancée to the floating capital on the distant Ark of the Pole… and into a deadly political plot.

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The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea
Written by Axie Oh, narrated by Rosa Escoda

audiobook image for The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh featuring a Japanese inspired painting of a young woman stepping into the waterIf you even remotely like Studio Ghibli, chances are you’ve seen Spirited Away at least once! Holding the crown as the first Ghibli film to win an Academy Award, this breathtaking tale features a young heroine who would do anything, including endanger her own life, for her family.

Like Chihiro (or Sen as Yubaba calls her), the young heroine of The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is put into a seemingly impossible position against powerful spirits both good and evil.

Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. In an attempt to appease the Sea God who is undoubtedly punishing them, her village sacrifices the most beautiful maiden each year to serve as his bride. When Shim Cheong, her brother’s love, is chosen, Mina defies tradition and throws herself into the sea in her place. 

As Mina travels through the Spirit Realm, she finds the Sea God trapped in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a motley crew of demons, gods, and spirits, Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all. But she doesn’t have much time: a human cannot live long in the land of the spirits and many will stop at nothing to stop her.

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Just a Pinch of Magic
Written by Alechia Dow, narrated by Renee Dorian

Just a Pinch of Magic audiobook coverWe simply cannot talk about Studio Ghibli without mentioning the heartwarmingly witchy coming-of-age film, Kiki’s Delivery Service

At the opening of the film, young Kiki is finally of age to begin her witch apprenticeship and sets off to find a town to serve of her very own. When she arrives, however, life as a young witch is not as easy as she hoped. With the help of her new-found family, the bakers Osono and Fukuo, and some friends she made on her deliveries, Kiki eventually finds her magic (and her footing) in this new life.

Listeners who connect with Kiki’s infectious desire to learn and grow will love Wini and Kal, the two “witchlings” at the center of Just a Pinch of Magic. Like Osono and Fukuo, Wini’s family runs a bakery powered by the magic of love. But when love is hard to find, Wini tries to conjure some up… creating a mess for the whole town. Meanwhile, Kal and her father open a bookstore with her mysterious grandfather who reappears after years of absence. 

When the two young girls meet, they find solace in each other’s complicated famly lives and feelings of loneliness. Together, they search for the solution to fixing the magic gone awry in their beloved town―and just maybe get their dads to go out on a date.

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The Last Cherry Blossom
Written by Kathleen Burkinshaw, narrated by Yuuki Luna

audiobook cover for The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw featuring a bright pink cherry blossom flower floating on the water along with the reflection of dark clouds or smokeStudio Ghibli is known for its light and inspiring films with beautiful settings and hopeful heroes. However, The Grave of the Fireflies by the late Isao Takahata proves that heartwrenching and tragic tales can hold just as much magic.

In it, Takahata tells the hard, but important story of two orphaned children at the close of World War II (WWII). The Last Cherry Blossom weaves a similar thread as Takahata’s semi-biographical film, warning listeners of the immense damage nuclear war can bring while reminding them that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves.

Also set at the close of WWII, this young adult historical fiction follows Yuriko after her aunt and cousin move to her home in Hiroshima. As her home life changes, the world around her buckles and breaks as neighbors who have left to fight don’t return home. When the bombs hit Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror that nuclear fallout can bring.

Based on author Kathleen Burkinshaw’s mother’s firsthand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, this story offers young listeners insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture.

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Written by Caroline Hardaker, narrated by Alan Cammish

audiobook cover of Mothtown by Caroline Hardaker featuring the disembodied head of a young boy sliced to reveal smoke and a moth hiding withinIt’s safe to say that Hayao Miyazaki will probably never truly retire, and we couldn’t be happier! His most recent return to the studio resulted in a masterpiece – and quite possibly the most expensive animated film to ever leave Japan, The Boy and the Heron

Featuring a young male protagonist grappling with family loss, crippling insecurities, and his isolating “otherness,” this latest Ghibli creation is a perfect companion to Caroline Hardaker’s otherworldly horror, Mothtown.

This uncanny audiobook follows David, an endearingly odd boy with a strong connection to his equally unique grandfather. They even have a language all their own with clicks and hums much like the bugs they both enjoy studying. But it’s not all fun family time for David… or anyone else in his town for that matter. People are going missing and soon, his grandfather does too.

Everyone else accepts he died like so many others, but not David. After years pass, David receives a mysterious letter that urges him to uncover the mysteries that have haunted him for years. Just as Mahito runs away after the death of his mother, an older David strikes out on a journey to uncover the truth behind all those disappearances… and reveals even more than he thought possible in the process.

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The Last Phi Hunter
Written by Salinee Goldenberg, narrated by David Lee Huynh

Like most filmmakers, Miyazaki and his team experiment with other genres to create stories beyond what their audience expects.

No better example of this is the dark fantasy film, Tales from EarthseaWith warlocks and dragons set in a world not unlike your last RPG, this Tolkien-esque saga follows young Prince Arren who sets off to restore balance in his kingdom after killing his father. He and a ragtag group team up to defeat the evil warlock behind all the chaos, revealing important truths about each other along the way. 

If you’re looking for an audiobook with the same exhilarating, smart, and endearing fantasy story, look no further than The Last Phi Hunter

Ex, the youngest member of the Phi Hunters Order, has spent his life slaying the ghosts and demons of Suyoram Kingdom, but his real goal is to hunt down Shar-Ala—a demon of nightmares, of madness—who has eluded even Ex’s masters. When he teams up with Arinya, a charming Muay Boran champion who happens to be nine months pregnant, things get even more complicated. 

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Looking for more fun audiobook recs?

Check out our listening suggestions for anime lovers! >