Studio Ghibli co-founder Suzuki wants to keep this a secret between him and us.

While messaging apps like Messenger and Telegram are popular overseas, here in Japan it’s all about Line. As the number one messenger and social media app in the country, Line has over 95 million users, many of whom enjoy being able to use the vast collections of cute stamps to add extra emotion and cuteness to their messages.

▼ Three of the top stamp sets used in 2023…

▼ …and three of the top expressions (melting, straight face, and tears).

Usage peaks on New Year’s Day, when the number of stamps sent is three times more than the average in December, so to prepare for this surge, Line has now released over 1,700 kinds of “Akeome Stamps” (“Happy New Year Stamps“), featuring everything from popular anime and T.V. dramas from the past year, to characters and designs with dragons, to celebrate the upcoming Dragon zodiac year.

▼ A sample of the new Akeome Stamps for 2024.

In amongst all these new stamp sets, however, is one so special it even comes with a message from the creator, who is none other than Studio Ghibli co-founder and producer Toshio Suzuki.

The message above, handwritten by Suzuki himself, who can be seen drawing the stamps on the left, reads:

“Toshio Suzuki drew Totoro. It’s a secret from Miyazaki. Please don’t spread this on social media.”

Given the close friendship enjoyed by Suzuki and Ghibli director and fellow co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, it’s likely this message is tongue-in-cheek, especially given that this is the second collection of Totoro Line stamps drawn by Suzuki, with the first set appearing seven years ago.

Suzuki has been showcasing his own prowess with the brush in recent years, and this year’s set for Line features Totoro in a whole new series of scenarios, with the Catbus, some Soot Sprites, and a small and medium Totoro along for the ride.

▼ Left to right, top to bottom: Good Morning; Thank you for Your Hard Work; Thanks for your hard work!; Goodnight; Please, I beg of you; Yes, yes; Yeees!; Good!; Grateful; Bowing; Applause; Streeeetch.

There are 40 Totoro stamps in total, covering all sorts of emotions from joy through to shock and anger, and expressions that include “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year!

The set can be purchased for 250 yen (US$1.77) through the Line store, where you can also purchase 11 other sets featuring stamps from other Ghibli anime, including Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Source: Line Store via PR Times
Top image: Line Store
Insert images: PR Times, Line Store
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