Fans in Japan left reeling after surprise revelation blows everyone’s minds.

The Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Tokyo, is home to all sorts of famous characters from Studio Ghibli films, but in amongst these familiar faces are some lesser-known Ghibli-esque personalities that we’re yet to learn anything about.

One of those personalities came to light recently, when Studio Ghibli led fans on a hunt to find the mystery hidden in the Ghibli Museum coat of arms, with a poll on Twitter that read:

The Mystery (?) Hidden in the Ghibli Museum Coat of Arms Quiz

1. The “イ” [“i”] character next to the boar [“inoshishi” in Japanese] is actually the character “人” [meaning “person”]

2. What’s poking its head out the top is not actually Totoro.

3. The three birds are Republic of Peru condors”

Fans were invited to take part in the quiz by selecting one of the above three options as the correct answer.

For those needing a refresher on what the coat of arms looks like, the studio recently shared an image of it, which is likely what brought about the discussion. The coat of arms in the photo is actually a cross-stitch embroidery donated to the museum by Loewe, the Spanish company that collaborated with the studio on a limited-edition line of Totoro and Spirited Away goods.

Two days after the studio posted the poll about the coat of arms, they posted the results, and the answer to the mystery as well.

“Thank you for the 11,725 votes. The correct answer is number 2.

It’s not a Totoro or the Catbus, but a ‘wildcat’.

In addition to the coat of arms, it’s in charge of directions to the museum.”

According to the results of the poll, 51.8 percent of the respondents guessed that number 2 was the answer, with 27.3 percent opting for Number 3 and 20.9 percent choosing Number 1.

Despite just over half of the respondents guessing the creature wasn’t a Totoro, people were surprised to hear it was actually a wildcat, leaving comments like:

“What? It isn’t Totoro?”
“I had no idea it was a wildcat!”
“So it looks like Totoro but it’s not Totoro!”
“But I was so happy to have one of these signs outside my house when I was a child because it had Totoro on it!”

“There’s a wildcat in the Inokashira Park Zoo near the museum!”

While it’s unclear whether the wildcat at the nearby zoo inspired the creation of this Ghibli Museum character, it is a possibility, as the animators at Studio Ghibli have been known to sketch images around the neighbourhood when looking to add true-to-life details to animated scenes.

▼ Although, admittedly, some artistic license has been used for this grinning wildcat.

With the mystery of the coat of arms solved, however, another one begins, as we’re now left to wonder if the wildcat may have been one of the animals that inspired the character design of Totoro.

Looks like that’s another fan theory to explore another day, like this one about Haku being Chihiro’s dead brother in Spirited Away.

Source: Twitter/@JP_GHIBLI
Images: ©OonaMcGee/SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!