The meaning behind the movie “ My neighbor Totoro” (となりのトトロ)

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Through the 2 videos about “spirited away” and “howl’s moving castle” are quite interesting and well-received so this time Askkpop will also introduce to everyone more about Ghibli’s movie with the theme: Ideas the meaning behind the movie “My neighbor Totoro”

    My Neighbor Totoro is one of those rare films that both children and adults find enchanting. The Studio Ghibli production, which was written and directed by legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki, debuted in Japan in 1988 under the title Tonari no Totoro before making its way to the U.S

     My neighbor Totoro still holds true to the Ghibli film production line with a gentle rhythm, easy to enter. It can be said that the film is a privilege exclusively for children because there Miyazaki has painted another magical world in which only children’s eyes can see. A movie with no villains. There was no fight scene. There are no evil adults. There was no fight between the two children. There are no scary monsters. There is no darkness before dawn. A benign world. A world where if you meet a towering creature in a forest, you’ll curl up on its stomach and take a nap. “My Neighbor Totoro” has become one of the most beloved home movies without much introduction.

   The story of the movie is about Kusakabe’s family moving to the countryside to live. The house they were about to move to was rumored to be haunted by the villagers. At the newly moved house, Satsuki and Mei befriended a kind neighbor named Nanny and a boy Kanta, the same age as Satsuki. During a run into the woods near her home, Satsuki’s 4-year-old sister Mei came across a giant beast. Mei is not only not afraid of the giant beast’s huge body, but also climbs on its huge belly and plays playfully on it. She named this strange animal Totoro. Totoro, though on the outside, has a big appearance, but on the inside, she has an innocent, innocent mind like a child.

     The image of a giant animal happily rejoicing when he first heard the sound of rain dripping on the tiny umbrella given by Satsuki. The details seem small but contribute to a close Totoro closer, more lovely than its looks. What makes viewers excited about this giant giant is the miraculous miracles that Totoro can bring. These miracles can have a great power that can conquer the heart of any child.Here are the stories and details of the meaning behind the plot of the movie “My Neighbor is Tororo”




     The Sayama murder case is the famous tale of a 16-year-old girl snatched, raped and murdered on her way home from school in the Sayama Prefecture region, Japan. The gruesome attack took place on May 1, 1963 and controversy surrounds the suspect that was eventually arrested and charged with 31 years in prison  

    On May 2, Yoshie’s sister brought the ransom to the meeting point, followed by the ambushed police. However, the perpetrator became suspicious while talking to her sister, and quickly escaped.

    On the morning of May 4, Yoshie’s body was discovered, she was raped and killed. The older sister, because she was so sad and tormented by the death of her sister, committed suicide shortly after.

     So, you might be wondering, how the link Ghibli’s most famous cuddle cat to the brutal rape and murder of a schoolgirl? The first clue comes in the protagonists’ names, Satsuki (Japanese for ‘May’) and Mei – both of which reference the attack date. Then there are numerous clues suggesting the film takes place in Sayama, including a tea shop labelled ‘Sayama tea’ This Sayama is the name of the town where the crime was made, and the damaged Yoshie was on a tea field. And a hospital whose name translates almost exactly to an IRL hospital located in the city.


  • Death omen from adorable soot (Makkuro kurosuke)


     At first glance, some people will think the soot balls are pretty cute. The animated black balls were scattered in the shadows in the movie and have now been turned into kawaii toys in Japan.

Many people believe that the adorable soot (Makkuro kurosuke) is the omen when only Satsuki and Mei find it. This becomes valid when not a single adult (like the father and the neighbor), not even the boy Kanta can see.

  1. Bodhisattva statues  

    When Totoro and Satsuki found Mei, the girl was sitting holding a cornflower next to the Bodhisattva (Ojizousama) statues. In Japan, Bodhisattva is considered the protector of deceased children. In some forums, a picture of one of these bodhisattvas has been engraved with the word “Mei” on her feet and the image of Mei crying under these statues is actually just her soul.





    Near the end of the movie, Satsuki reaches for Totoro for help. At first, Satsuki didn’t see Totoro, but then saw and talked with Totoro.

Totoro then took Satsuki onto a cat bus ride. Before setting off to somewhere, the sign above the bus will jump to that landmark. When Satsuki got into the car and took the cat bus to Mei, the words “墓道” meaning “Gnosticism”, implying this was a trip to the cemetery. And here the two sisters found each other and hugged each other very happily.

     Understandably, when Satsuki came to ask Totoro to help me find her sister, in fact asked to go to heaven with her. Many people think it is similar to the fact that Yoshie’s older sister committed suicide to die after her sister.


     Seeing this cat reminds us of the Cheshire cat in the movie / story: “Alice in the Wonderland” Especially these cats often grinning.

Next is the number 5 


  • The scene where two sisters are taken by Totoro to visit their mother lying at the hospital.


    The two girls went to the hospital to see their mother’s illness but did not enter the room but sat on a tree branch, at this time the mother in the movie said a sentence: “Looks like I just saw Satsuki and Mei sitting on top laughing. The tree is out there ”, then looked out the window but could not see her two children sitting on a tree branch … This means that the mother may also be dying, so I saw two the daughter, because the mother is seriously ill in the movie. 


And finally the character “Totoro”





     Totoro may be Ghibli’s most loveable yet enigmatic mascot, but it doesn’t appear for just anyone. It seems throughout the film that the two girls are the only characters that can actually see Totoro – why? The song verse states he’s only visible to children but Kantu, another kid, cannot see the vision, debunking this theory.

     Instead, the cat is apparently a death god only visible to the deceased. Of course, there’s deeper meaning behind the accusation – this theory insinuates that Mei actually drowns in the river and Satsuki herself dies on the hunt for her missing sister. There’s a parallel between this and the Sayama case, namely that the 16-year-old victim had an older sister who responded to a ransom note by showing up at the desired location with a stash of fake banknotes. After she learned that her efforts had been in vain, she committed suicide herself.


   The greatest meaning of “My neighbor Totoro” is simple and simple praise for human love, the scene where the father and son of Kusakabe ride a bicycle to the hospital to visit their mother, the innocent laugh of the Satsuki sisters, Mei under the full moonlight as they played with Totoro, the joy of Nanny and the boy Kanta when Satsuki found Mei safe …. All of them exuding cuteness, magic that always happens every day of the game. The miracle in the movie is not too far-fetched and showy as other cartoons. All details are gentle, simple but profound as the discreet, profound style of the East in general and the nation. Japan in particular.

     That’s what Ghibli films are. The stories are so light that, although there are no peak climaxes, it is easy to enter people’s hearts. Watching Ghibli’s movies, people not only see the beauty of the content, but also the connotations, deep life messages conveyed through each movie. Film is like a high-speed train that takes us back to our childhood.


      Lastly, for those of you who haven’t seen this movie, I encourage you to give it a try. The film is both entertaining and has a huge humanistic meaning.

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