Howl’s Moving Castle was released in 2004 by Studio Ghibli, and it was a massive hit. While loosely based on a book of the same name by British author Diana Wynne Jones, Hayao Miyazaki gave the film a life of its own. Like many Ghibli films, it promoted anti-war sentiments, feminist values, and a strong message on the power of compassion.
The film not only won many awards, but it has a strong following of fans. Some love the film so much that they have commemorated it on their skin as a tattoo. With that in mind, here are ten awesome Howl’s Moving Castle tattoos. Be sure to check out the links to the talented tattoo artists as well.
10 Sophie And Calcifer
This tattoo shows a scene around the end of the film. Calcifer is weak and Sophie is going to return him to Howl since she has discovered that Calcifer is Howl’s heart and came into creation after he ate a shooting star. The tattoo was done by Alice Badger.
The art focuses on Sophie’s hands and frames it with flowers and soot sprites, which are major symbols of Studio Ghibli and appear in films like Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.
9 Feathered Howl
A major plot-point of the film is that Sophie is not the only individual that is cursed. Howl is as well, and it causes him to turn into a feathered monster-like bird-man. The design is both intimidating as well as beautiful.
Feather tattoos are common, but Howl really gives it a unique twist. The art was done by Ben Ervin.
8 Sophie And Howl Meeting
This tattoo shows young Howl meeting Sophie for the first time when she time travels and tells him to find her int he future.
The artist, Jello Talaboc, is amazing when it comes to minimalist tattoos. His work is often delicate-looking like this piece. As for the Japanese writing, the translation was not available. It may be a quote from the film.
7 The Moving Castle
The castle itself is a major icon of the film. After all, it is the title. Its design is unique, as it resembles a hybrid between an animal, a junkyard, and a castle.
It is the sort of design that takes a lot of patience for an artist to get down. However, it is a beautiful and unique tattoo. This particular one is gorgeous with how the artist used pink and blue colors or the smoke. The art was done by Seth Jordan.
6 Thigh Tattoo
This design looks like an exact screenshot of the film. In fact, it is! The artist managed to perfectly replicate a scene from the movie on skin. The image is of Howl playing Sophie to safety as the city is being bombed.
The artist for this piece is Kimberly Wall of Black Rabbit Tattoo in Richmond, VA.
5 “A Heart’s A Heavy Burden”
This tattoo is replicating the same scene as the first one on this list, but with an entirely different style. Instead of black ink, it uses color. Also, instead of flowers and soot sprites, we have flowers and turnips! The design also includes a famous quote from the film. Once Howl’s heart is returned to him, he complains about his chest feeling heavy. Sophie responds with “A heart’s a heavy burden.”
The tattoo was made by Jessica at Fallen Sparrow Tattoos.
4 Minimalist Castle
There are many different styles out there for someone who wants a tattoo that is a little more unique. This design is of the moving castle but in a minimalist style. The surroundings are also pretty cute and minimalist. You can even see the character, Turnip Head, in the background!
The design is by Liam Ashurst and this tattoo was a modified version of the design done by Brian Leebrick at Made to Last Tattoo in Charlotte, NC.
The sassy fire demon, Calcifer, is a popular tattoo choice due to how cute and colorful his design is. He is also a great example of the Studio Ghibli creativity and imagination. He actually powers up the entire castle and can be weakened or strengthened by the emotions and objects around him.
The art was done by Josie Sexton.
2 Howl Heart Frame
The character, Howl, has a lot of fans. He has a handsome design, a romantic personality, and his flaws with vanity and pride make him both funny and relatable. That may be partly why this tattoo looks like a Valentine’s card. He has all the elements suitable for a fictional character crush. Also, the Calcifer bow on the bottom is adorable.
This tattoo was made by Laura Anunnaki.
1 Turnip Head
Turnip Head is an interesting minor character of the film. There is a very subtle side-plot about a missing prince in the film. It turns out that Turnip Head is said prince, and is only released from his cursed form at the end of the film when he is kissed by Sophie.
Joshua Burd from Saints and Sinners in Portland, OR, made this tattoo.
The Studio Ghibli movie Howl's Moving Castle is beloved by anime fans. Some of those fans have even got tattoos based on characters from the film.