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Markl (マルクル , Marukuru) is a character in the film, Howl's Moving Castle. He is a disciple of wizard Howl and a close friend of Sophie. He is voiced by Ryūnosuke Kamiki in the original Japanese version.


Markl is small child of average build, with messy tangerine orange hair and peach skin. He looks after the castle for his master, granting customers requests for spells and magic. Every time a customer comes in, he's disguised as a wizard's disciple.[1]


Markl is an obedient, albeit messy apprentice working under wizard Howl. He is initially wary of Sophie, particularly when she cleans out the entire castle, but grows to appreciate her through the course of their adventures.


Markl gives pointers to Sophie when she first arrives on Howl's castle, making sure to keep her out of trouble. He even accuses her of being a henchman of the Witch of the Waste. However, Sophie is patient with him and ss time passes, he grows to like her very much.

He often plays with Heen and Turnip Head.

Behind the Scenes

Supervising animator Akihiko Yamashita elaborates on Markl's design, "Once the storyboards were finalized, he ended up being a very obedient boy, but initially he was more a rascal in the character designs. On a subconscious level, I'd incorporated some traits of Boh from Spirited Away into markl's character design - his eyes were small and wide apart, and his legs ended up being short. This design would have made him look odd interms of his physical proportions compared to other characters. So I adjusted his proportions, making him taller and more human so he wouldn't look out of place."


  • In the original novel, Markl's name is Michael Fischer and he is 15-years old.
  • In the novel, Markl was found by Howl as he slept in front of the door step of Howl's castle, Howl told him to get inside but has never really asked him to leave nor to stay, and rumors spread that Markl is an orphan in Porthaven.


"Don't leave, Sophie! I love you. You have to stay..."


  1. "The Art of Howl's Moving Castle", p.86