Like many little girls, I grew up idolising Disney princesses. Ariel was my favourite; I never took her voicelessness too literally. When I was six years old I suggested my parents name my newborn brother ‘Prince Charming’. In my young eyes there could be nothing better. They went with ‘Liam’ instead.
Once I was a little older, I saw my first Hayao Miyazaki film: Princess Mononoke. My then step-mother had given it to me, a gift from her parents in Japan. I remember being confused by it. The film was subtitled for one, not dubbed, and I found reading along difficult. The story was also unfamiliar to me. It didn’t follow the paternalistic patterns I was used to. Sure, there was a boy and a girl, but the story was about more than that. And if the story wasn’t about love, what was it about?