My Neighbor, Totoro (1988)
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki
If you have not seen My Neighbor, Totoro, I will delete you as a friend. I’m joking, not really. 😛 If you haven’t watch My Neighbor, Totoro, I urge you to drop what you are doing and watch it. It’s a classic, a must-watch in your lifetime.
So last weekend, I rewatched My Neighbor, Totoro with my housemate, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the trip I took to the Philippines with my mother during the summer of 2014. The reason being is that the setting takes place in the countryside, and it reminded me of the relaxation and therapeutic factors that the countryside can do to a person.
The basic premise of this story is that a university professor, Tatsuo Kusakabe, and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei, move to the countryside in order to be closer to their sick mother. While living there, the girls encounter various spiritual creatures and have adventures with them. I think that’s as basic a summary I can make without giving away too much.
I watched Totoro numerous times, and you come to realize nothing really goes on. It’s more of a slice of life and a look into the daily lives of the characters. Yet, when the girls encounter the spiritual creature, Totoro, they are able to forget their worries (like their mother’s sickness), and instead, have fun with an imaginary friend. Henceforth, the spiritual world is a sanctuary for them to be able to let go of human attachments and problems.
And going back to the setting, I couldn’t help but be reminiscent on how the outdoors could make one feel so tranquil. In fact, when I went to the Philippines, I felt at peace with nature. I enjoyed breathing the fresh air of the countryside, staring out into the rice fields, and listening to the swaying of the bamboo.
Anyways, if you haven’t watch My Neighbor, Totoro, you MUST watch it. It’s like a rite of passage in anime.