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As a kid, I remember watching reruns of Mighty Mouse on TV with my dad. It was a fun little show, but what made it really special was knowing that he enjoyed it when he was growing up, and that he was sharing his memories and at the same time he was making new ones with me.

Likewise, it’s been a couple decades since Japanese animation gained a steady foothold internationally, and we’re starting to see overseas fans of the medium having kids of their own. But how to pass on that anime passion to your kids? You could go the direct route and administer a severe beating each and every time they ask to watch say, Disney’s forgettable 2000 CG film Dinosaur instead of something with more artistic merit, like Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

Or, like one couple, you could go with the gentler option of painting an awesome mural of Studio Ghibli characters in the nursery, letting their quality speak for itself.

You’ve obviously got to be a dedicated parent to create a work of art of this caliber for your kids. The man who designed these murals showed an uncanny amount of zeal for his role as a father as he finished the first while his daughter was still in the womb!

The first step in this labor of love was a pencil sketch, with the characters arranged as they would appear on the back wall of the nursery.

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Once the parents-to-be finished outlining, the next step was to go to work with acrylic paints, starting with a tree branch backed by a calming blue sky and fluffy white clouds, not to mention one very familiar body shape…

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Yup, perched on the branch is everyone’s favorite forest sprit, Totoro, in large, medium, and small sizes! Of course where there’s Totoro, sisters Mei and Satsuki can’t be far behind.

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Fish-girl Ponyo from Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea and her human pal/love-interest Sosuke also grace the finished painting, as does Sen from the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away.

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But while the scale of the mural is impressive, it’s not until you get up close that you can really see how spot-on the artwork is, and how closely even the coloring and shading mirror Studio Ghibli’s originals.

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Apparently the couple’s daughter did indeed grow up to be a fan of Ghibli movies, and to celebrate her second birthday, her talented parents followed up on their painting of Totoro and Co. with another creation that sees Ponyo and Sosuke meeting the cast of Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Pixar’s Finding Nemo.

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The parents posted snapshots of their projects to the photo sharing website imgur, where they garnered the sort of praise they definitely deserve:

“This is incredible!”
“Now that’s a masterpiece.”
“Can you draw Princess Mononoke on the wall of my room next?”
“Did you post these pictures, Mr. Miyazaki?”

There is one rain cloud in this story of whimsy and wonder, unfortunately. The home where the loving parents painted these murals was a rental, which the family moved out of last year. Predictably, when the landlord came to inspect the place before his tenants left, he asked for the walls to be returned to their original, non-Ghibli state, leaving the couple with no choice but to paint over their artwork.

We think the landlord’s request may have been a little shortsighted, as we would have converted the unit into a bed-and-breakfast catering to anime fans (if it worked for the Gundam hotel room, why not Totoro?). But while it’s a shame the two amazing murals shown here no longer exist, we have a hunch that with parents like these, their daughter still has a cool room, regardless of where the family lives now.

Images: imgur (1, 2)
[ Read in Japanese ]