Monument unveiled by children yelling “Totoro!” plays out like a scene from a Ghibli anime film. 

One of the most popular films ever created by Japan’s world-renowned anime company Studio Ghibli is the 1988 hit My Neighbour Totoro. The animated feature follows the story of two young sisters who move to a house in the countryside, but it’s the magical characters they encounter in the forest who truly steal the show.

One of those characters is the giant Totoro, who makes a memorable appearance alongside the sisters, standing next to them at a bus stop in the rain. During that scene, they’re waiting for a bus, which turns out to be the giant Catbus, who takes the girls on board as passengers before bounding across hills in the night.

The sense of child-like wonder and carefree optimism at this moment of the film is so beloved it’s now been preserved forever, in the form of a statue that was unveiled yesterday. In charge of the unveiling was a group of local children, who yelled “Totoro!” as they pulled the sheet away from the monument to reveal the Ghibli figures.

The bronze monument has been beautifully crafted, showing Totoro with its giant leaf umbrella and the grinning, multi-footed Catbus curled around it.

Inside the Catbus are sisters Mei and Satsuki, seen with huge smiles on their faces as they live out every child’s dream of riding inside a furry Catbus.

Looking closely, you can see a touching addition to the Catbus — written on the destination sign above its head, and in between the two mouse lights, is “ところざわ” (“Tokorozawa”).

Tokorozawa, in Tokyo’s neighbouring Saitama Prefecture, is home to Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, and is also known as the birthplace of Totoro, serving as the real-life inspiration for the character. This monument has been erected outside Tokorozawa Station, suggesting that these characters have arrived at their destination — home.

The new statue can be found at the East Entrance to the station, and on the station platforms themselves Totoro jingles can now be heard playing every time a train — or Cattrain if your imagination allows it — leaves the station.

Source: NHK News
Featured image © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!