It’s been quite a while since I’ve last reviewed anime and the reason for it is because I haven’t really found any good anime to watch lately. Hmm, apart from Acchi Kocchi, which is really funny and sweet by the way. I watched My Neighbour Totoro because of I knew of its beautiful soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi.
Back when I was in my school band, we played this song called the ‘Miyazaki Animation Medley’ and the songs in that medley were really so beautiful. It became one of my most favourite band songs to play. Not forgetting to mention that I had a solo in that medley so of course that song is special to me. That solo was the theme song of Princess Mononoke, which I will watch next ^^ The theme song from My Neighbour Totoro was the last song in the medley but it had such a cute and light tune to it, I fell in love with it too. Watch and listen to the theme song down below
I honestly wish I could play the cello now. Joe Hisaishi is so talented and at 2:39 he looks so happy playing his music. Absolutely wonderful ❤
My Neighbour Totoro is about 2 sisters who have just shifted into a new house in the countryside with their father. Their mother is sick in a nearby hospital and the family shifted to be nearer to her. The girls Satsuki and her younger sister, Mei are ecstatic and excited to shift into a new house despite the rumours that it is a haunted house.
The girls notice black little things around the house, told that they are dust-bunnies and they chase them away in their child-like innocence around the house. One night while in the bath with their father, a thunderstorm comes and in order to lift his daughters’ spirits, he tells them to laugh loudly to show that they’re not afraid. The girls do so, as do their father comically and soon enough, the thunderstorm goes away and the dust-bunnies leave the house to the nearby forest.
One day while Mei is out in the garden exploring, she discovers a strange bunny-like creature and follows it into the forest. There, she meets a larger form of the bunny creature and crawls up on to its stomach. She deduces that the strange creature’s name is ‘Totoro’ from the sounds it make and falls asleep on it.
When Satsuki comes home from school, she greets her father and both of them go searching for Mei. They find her sleeping in the garden and wakes her up. Mei tells them that she has seen Totoro and tries to take them through the route that she took but she ends up in circles and cannot find the tree that Totoro was in. Angry that her sister and father would think that she was lying, she insists angrily and adamantly that Totoro was real and that she saw him.
Satsuki and her father assures Mei that they know she isn’t lying but that perhaps Totoro will show himself again, if he wishes to. Satsuki expresses her desire to see Totoro too.
One day as Satsuki and Mei wait at the bus stop for their father to fetch him home as he forgot to bring his umbrella, Satsuki sees Totoro for the first time. She offers him one of her umbrellas and Totoro shows his happiness at the sound of raindrops falling on the umbrella. He then calls for his mysterious cat-bus and gets on. But before that, he gives Satsuki a bag of seeds.
The girls plant the bag of seeds in their garden and that night, they see Totoro and his 2 little minions do a dance around the seeds, making them grow. The girls join in and the seeds grow into a forest. Totoro takes them on a night adventure on a top as the winds themselves.
The girls awake the next morning and go to check on their seeds. Although the forest from the night before is gone, the seeds had sprouted seedlings, making the girls ecstatic.
The story goes on with the girls’ mother falling more sick, leading them to become more anxious and worried for her. Mei gets lost on the way to the hospital to visit her mother and desperate to find her little sister, Satsuki calls on Totoro for help to find Mei. Totoro obliges and she goes on yet another adventure with Totoro’s cat-bus to find her sister and then go to the hospital to see their mother.
Everything ends well and the girls return home on the cat-bus, feeling happy once more.
– Final thoughts –
Here are some final thoughts. Okay this show wasn’t really what expected it to be but I guess this anime movie being in the context of last time, this is actually pretty good for kids to watch. The music is beautiful and the personalities of Satsuki and Mei are absolutely loveable. They have a deep sister bond and Satsuki always looks out for her sister. I love any story with deep sibling bonds where the siblings look after each other. The optimism and spunkiness of the 2 girls are refreshing and they help to keep the story light. not to say that this is a dark story in any way. Maybe the only dark parts are of the worry of their mother’s poor health. I loved this story. I also liked the theme of childlike-innocence Satsuki and Mei possessed whereby as children, they could believe anything they wanted to and because they did, it became true. As children, in their eyes, anything was possible.
I highly recommend you to watch this movie not only for its beautiful music by Joe Hisaishi, but also because it will make you feel like a child again and see the magic through a child’s eyes again ^^
Rating: 9/10 overall for this movie