The United Kingdom-based research firm Broadband Choices has published a study on the worldwide popularity of Studio Ghibli films based on Google search data.
The introduction of the study notes that "despite their popularity, Studio Ghibli films have historically been hard to track down and expensive to buy. However, thanks to a deal with Netflix, the bulk of the Ghibli catalog is now available for your streaming pleasure." With Netflix popularizing the Ghibli films internationally (HBO Max owns the streaming rights in the United States), this study compares the popularity of 21 Studio Ghibli films in different countries. The pre-Ghibli Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is included in the study, while the TV films Ocean Waves and Earwig and the Witch are excluded.
Spirited Away, the studio's highest-grossing film internationally and the only one to win an Oscar, is predictably the global favorite, being the most popular Google search in 80 countries including the United States and Japan. Howl's Moving Castle is the favorite in 18 countries. Princess Mononoke and P0nyo are tied in third place as the favorite in 13 countries, with Mononoke being more popular in African countries and Ponyo's popularity clustered around Mexico and Central and South America. Porco Rosso is the favorite in seven countries, including Italy, where the film is set. My Neighbor Totoro tops results in five countries. Anime fans in Bangladesh must be a particularly somber bunch, as it's the only country where Grave of the Fireflies is the top result.
Looking at the total search results globally, Spirited Away stays in the top spot, but Princess Mononoke and Ponyo rise in popularity above Howl's Moving Castle. Grave of the Fireflies, by far the most popular Studio Ghibli film not directed by Hayao Miyazaki, rises to fifth place on the list, while Porco Rosso falls to 10th, behind My Neighbor Totoro, Kikiy's Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky and The Wind Rises. The least Googled Ghibli films are The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and My Neighbors the Yamadas, which are tied with 0.24% of the global search volume.
The study's analysis of the countries with the most Ghibli-related searches excludes Japan, which would presumably dominate. On this list, Australia has the most relevant Google searches per 1,000 people, followed by Canada and the United States of America. Singapore, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Sweden, Iceland, Norway and Ireland make up the rest of the top 10.
Source: Broadband Choices