Yeah, this honestly isn't a favorite of mine either. I've seen it probably twice since it came out, and yet nothing about it really sticks out in my mind. Comparatively, there are much more lovable Studio Ghibli films, like My Neighbor Totoro and Ponyo, as well as other films from the studio that just have better writing and better execution, like Grave of the Fireflies.
Not that its a bad film by any means, but its comparably one of the less likable films from them. It's just a more recognizable film to an American audience, and I feel like that's the reason that it got the nomination for January.