Did you guys know that My Neighbor Totoro is actually based on a murder of a little girl that occurred in the 1960’s? I did research for my film studies class. The whole movie is actually kinda fucked up.
Okay I just posted this this morning… Anyways, in reference to “It’s just coincidence” there are too many “coincidences” for this to just be “coincidence”. For those of you curious, it has to do with a murder called the “Sayama Incident” in May 1963. Satsuki (the older sister) is Japanese for “May”. & The younger sister’s name is Mei (pronounced May). The little black dust balls are called susuwatari, & when those (or Totoro) are seen it is said “death is close”. Totoro is actually a shinigami, or grim reaper type, meant to transport & protect the souls of young children who have tragically passed. The nekobus (the many legged cat bus) is what is used to bring the children to the next world. In the movie, the first time the bus is seen, the two destination characters read “Grave” & “Road”. There is a part where Mei goes missing & Satsuki is asked to identify a pink slipper found in the water during the village search for Mei. Satsuki denies it, but notice after this, the characters stop having shadows. This is because Mei died & Satsuki is soon to follow, once she asks Totoro to help her find her sister & he allows her to ride the Catbus.
The whole thing is tragically cool, honestly. But it does have a lot to do with the Sayama Incident, & there are WAY to many coincidences to not be noticed. I love Miyazaki & how he goes about stories. Spirited away is no different, there’s a secret meaning of how Sen (Chihiro) is working as a sex slave in a turkish bath house.
Trying to be a film major, after watching these movies you kind of notice the details. But it’s really nit-picky things people don’t notice. Why would halfway through the movie, Miyazaki decide “The character’s don’t need shadows”?
Cool read, I suggest checking it out.