Cebuano illustrator puts a Filipino twist on Studio Ghibli art

Published February 11, 2021, 3:52 PM

by John Legaspi

‘My Neighbor Tarsieroro,’ a Facebook user comments.

It is a fact that many Filipinos are fascinated by the art of Studio Ghibli. Pinoys love it so much that Ghibli animation even serve as inspiration for their own works. The latest to showcase his love for the Japanese film animation studio’s style is Cebuano visual artist Bastinuod, as he recreates iconic Studio Ghibli scenes with a Filipino comics twist.

Through his social media accounts, Bastinuod shared his reimagined images for films “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away,” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

Bastinuod’s take on the bathhouse in ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ (below)

It is not new for him to present Filipino culture in his works and, sometimes, they even depict relevant social issues. One example of this is art featuring actress Angel Locsin, Liza Soberano, and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray as Darna, when the three ladies were being red-tagged in 2020.

“My artworks often dwell on heavy contemporary issues so I wanted to find a way to make it visually compelling enough for people to ‘look’ at the piece, then ‘see’ what it’s about. So I resorted to a style that is familiar yet doesn’t undermine the gravity of the issue being tackled,” he says in a previous interview with Clavel Magazine. “I want the use of our own indigenous culture to be part of the trend in contemporary art. I believe it is a good way of promoting and preserving our rich heritage. Plus, this may also encourage people to learn more about our own roots. Substantiate Pinoy Pride.”

Check out more of his works on Instagram @bastinuod.