My Neighbor Totoro Might Have a Dark Side

One of the most beloved films to come from the Ghibli Studio in Japan is naturally My Neighbor Totoro. It is a magical tale that is written and directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, and follows the adventures of two young girls who move to the countryside with their sick mother. While there, they have adventures involving creatures and spirits in the nearby forest. These creatures are friendly and helpful to the girls, and the story even has a happy ending as the mother comes home from the hospital. However, some fans have taken to the Internet to describe a tale that’s a bit darker – actually, quite a bit darker – than what most people experience when they see the film.

Mei finds a beastly friend in the forest in Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro. Disney Video

The Dark Fan Theory

Some fans believe that Totoro is actually the God of Death, and that the only ones who can see the creature are those who are near to death. When looking at the movie through this lens, it takes on a very different tone. The theorists claim that when young Mei goes missing, she actually drowned rather than simply got lost. Her sister Satsuki goes searching for Mei and calls for Totoro to help her. By calling to the creature, it opens up the realm of the dead, and she then dies as well. She finds her sister and then both of the sisters go to visit their mother in the hospital. The only person who acknowledges seeing the sisters is the mother. She too, is going to die, so it would this too makes sense according to the theory.

There is even an urban legend that goes along with this revised theory of the movie. In the film, the action takes place in Sayama Hills, and in real life, two sisters were once found dead in the area, and the incident occurred in May. In the film, one of the sisters is named Mei, which is pronounced as May.

Not So Fast

However, even though there are some out there who are adamant that this is what the movie is really about, the studio that produced it claims otherwise. They say that there is actually no truth to these rumors and that the movie is exactly what most people believe it to be – a warm tale about two sisters having adventures while their ailing mother recuperates in the hospital. Still, it is an interesting theory and a new way to watch the film.

Resources: yukawanet, kotaku, Disney

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