4 Characters That Made Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro A Masterpiece

4 Characters That Made Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro A Masterpiece

My Neighbor Totoro is a light and funny story about two sisters, Satsuki & Mei, who have just moved into the countryside. While exploring the area they end up meeting the lovely forest spirits. Mei ends up naming the spirit Totoro. And then begins this journey filled with magical adventures with Totoro. My Neighbor Totoro characters have genuine realistic character flaws that make the animated film a masterpiece.

1. Satsuki

a young women discussing something with the farmer

The 10-year-old girl Satsuki in My Neighbor Totoro is this young probably 10-year-old girl who is Mei’s older sister. She is responsible, caring, and very mature for her age. The mother of the girls is sick and has been in the hospital for the entire movie.

Probably the mother is away and the fact that she has to take care of her younger sister has made her who she is. It was absolutely beautiful to see how she wished to be like her mother.

With her boys like hair and a dress with suspenders, Satsuki truly made her way into my heart. Not once did she seem to worry about her mother's health or the responsibility of her little sister, only until the very end, where once she got a little angry with Mei.

2. Mei

a young girl walking in the trail

The jumpy, active and very curious Mei is Satsuki’s younger sister, who I would have to say is probably around 3 years old, since she doesn’t attend school yet. But boy is she brave for her age. Walking around with her hands on her waist all ready to scare away dust mites. It’s her curiosity that leads her down a path where she ends up meeting Totoro, the forest spirit.

3. Totoro

young girls and a big creature standing at the bus stop

Totoro is the funny-looking bear-like character in My Neighbours Totoro. Mei spots one of them around the house and realizes it’s this little creature that keeps dropping the acorns around.

She follows him and later spots another. It’s while chasing them down that she enters the forest and ends up falling on Totoro’s tummy while he is asleep. He lets her sit there and isn’t bothered by her presence at all. Later the two sisters meet Totoro at the bus while they are waiting for their father.

That's also when they spot the magic bus, that is shaped like a cat. Not only is it shaped like a cat, but it also has cat-like fur too, and well, believe it or not, is actually a cat!

Totoro, who may be big but doesn't seem scary, with his weird quirks ends up making the girls laugh. It’s also towards the end when Mei gets lost that Satsuki turns towards Totoro for help and he lends her the cat-like magic bus to find Mei.

3. Mr. Kusakabe

a man cracking a joke

Mr. Kusakabe is the father of the two little girls, who are not only kind but also very loving. He takes great care of them while the mother is in the hospital. Seeing how well-mannered the two girls are just going to show how wonderful a father he must be.

What I found truly amazing was how he did not hush them away when they talked about Totoro. He believed them and even did a praying ritual with them to thank the forest spirits. It’s absolutely wonderful to see that because having people truly let you be you in your essence is what love really is, isn't it?

4. Kanta

a young boy making weird faces

Kanta happens to be this boy who stays in the house next door to the Kusakabes. He is probably the same age as Satsuki but for some reason is terrified to talk to the girls.

Initially, Satsuki and Kanta seem to not get along and tease each other but one day when it's raining he lends them his umbrella. He may have come across as a naughty boy who seemed to have trouble talking to them but deep down he too was a wonderful boy who always meant well.

It’s just a reminder of how people may have tough exteriors but deep within they all got hearts of gold. Well, what could I say about My Neighbor Totoro? It’s a story that makes you think about the world beyond what we see.

It also makes you think about how we are never really alone and there’s something out there taking care of us. The My Neighbor Totoro character's development is unmatched as you really feel that the characters grow with the journey.