Hard-edged action anime all-star spots something cute, cuddly, and cold.

Japan’s been getting a lot of snow this winter, creating good skiing conditions on the country’s mountains. At the same time, the weather has also been great for those who choose to enjoy the snow in a creative, rather than athletic, way, since there have been ample materials for building snowmen.

These two winter pastimes recently intersected along the side of a ski slope in Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture. But with Japan being a nation with an unabashed soft spot for cute animated characters, the creator of this particular snow sculpture didn’t build a snowman…

…but a snow Totoro!

“I encountered this subspecies of Totoro on a ski slope in Furano,” says Japanese Twitter user @G1_BARI, who was enjoying a winter vacation in the Hokkaido ski mecca when he came across the titular star of Studio Ghibi director Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. And while you might be impressed that he was able to spot the snow Totoro while presumably zipping down the slope, @G1_BARI’s eyes are probably trained to notice the presence of Japanese animation icons, since @G1_BARI is, in fact, a famous anime director himself: Masami Obari.

▼ You know your visual style leaves an impression when they name an entire anime pose after you.

Obari is best known for his hard-hitting mecha and martial arts anime, and his character design work is about as emblematic of the angular mid-‘90s aesthetic as you can get. His appreciation of the snow Totoro shows that he’s not incapable of appreciating a softer and cuddlier art style, though, and fans and followers reacted to his photo with:

“That’s some serious craftsmanship. You can tell whoever made it really loves Totoro.”
“It’s pretty much life-size.”
“Does Totoro’s fur turn white during the winter?”
“When I was still a kid, I could see Totoro clearly, but looking at this photo as an adult, I can’t see his color anymore…”

With Obari spending most of his time these days in Okinawa, it’s a surprise to see him all the way on the other side of the country, and in much colder weather. Stay warm out there, Obari, and if the elements get to be too much, remember that your wife has a very enjoyable indoor hobby she’d probably be glad to share with you.

Source: Twitter/@G1_BARI
Top image: Studio Ghibli
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he says the Masami Obari-directed “Red Eyes” is the best episode of Bubblegum Crisis.