Conspiracy theories in Studio Ghibli anime: the study of Japanese urban legends, culture and religion


“Vietnamese ghosts aren’t that scary as long as you know what it is that they want. If it isn’t staying dead then there’s probably a reason, and all you have to do is give the ghost the thing that it’s seeking – revenge, redemption, a resolution” – Violet Kupersmith.

Many of Vietnameseghost storiesrevolve around powerful, ancient spirits of nature who require recognition and appeasement (Sutherland, G.H 2013). Early years of my childhood were spent listening to those myths and urban legends, though some might have rooted from actual encounters with the unknown entities. Thus, from the young age, I have unconsciously established a connection to theories and narratives about the demonic in Buddhism. Perhaps it has been the memories of hiding under a table or covering my ears whenever the story climbed to its climax and followed by sleepless nights reminiscing the horror once told.

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