Home Podcasts Ichimon Japan What’s the deal with fish girl on a cliff? (Ponyo) | Ichimon Japan 05

What’s the deal with fish girl on a cliff? (Ponyo) | Ichimon Japan 05

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Today’s Question

On this episode of Ichimon Japan we ask: What’s the deal with “fish girl on a cliff?” And by “fish girl on a cliff” we mean the 2008 Studio Ghibli film Ponyo.

Topics Discussed

  • The general reception of Ponyo
  • Whether Ponyo was better received in the West or in Japan
  • The “catchiness” of the theme from Ponyo
  • A review of the major events of Ponyo
  • Ponyo’s fondness of human blood
  • The meaning of Ponyo’s name and an analysis of why Sosuke chose the name Ponyo
  • Some of the omissions found in the English dub
  • The relationship between Sosuke and Risa
  • Sosuke’s mother’s reckless driving and her carefree personality
  • Why Sosuke does not call Risa “mom” or “mother” (i.e. the prevalence of yobisute in Ponyo)
  • Some of the most memorable scenes in Ponyo
  • Random Ponyo trivia
  • The peculiar interaction between Ponyo, Sosuke, and the stranded young couple holding a baby
  • Some of the themes and possible messages found within Ponyo
  • Speculation about what the supposedly planned Ponyo sequel could have been like
  • What Hayao Miyazaki has said about what might happen to Ponyo and Sosuke after the end of Ponyo
  • Whether Ponyo and Sosuke’s relationship could be described as “romantic”
  • How we think Ponyo stacks up to other Studio Ghibli films
  • Whether we enjoyed Ponyo or not
  • And more!

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Sources, Links, Videos, Etc.

If you too want to watch Ponyo, there are a few different ways to do so. To watch Ponyo while at the same time supporting the show, use one of the Amazon affiliate links below.

Here’s the official English-language trailer of Ponyo.

Below is a link to a Japanese-language article that discusses why Sosuke addresses his parents by their first names (yobisute).

Check out episode 32 of Japan Station via the link below.

We Want Your Questions

Is there something about Japan that confuses you? Is there something about Japanese culture that you would like to learn more about? Is there something in Japanese history that you would like us to explain? We’re always looking for new questions about Japan to answer, so if you have one, please send it to ichimon@japankyo.com.

Special Thanks

Opening/Closing Theme: Produced by Apol (YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Fiverr)

Ichimon Japan cover art: Produced by Erik R.

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