Only the most beady-eyed and Japan-savvy of Ghibli fans could have spotted this one!
My Neighbor Totoro has been delighting fans since its 1988 release, and is a firm favorite amongst non-Japanese anime fans and casual Western Ghibli-watchers as well as Japanese fans. But, as is often the case with Japanese media, little details can get lost in translation. For example, did you know that the Catbus which appears in the film has the name めい “Mei” written on its destination board when it takes Satsuki to find her big sister, Mei?
めい (@55bbfr) November 07, 2016
It’s a detail which Japanese viewers of all ages can’t miss, especially as it’s written in hiragana, which even young children can read. However, there’s another little hidden message which has actually whizzed right over the heads of even Japanese viewers for years. After a recent airing of My Neighbor Totoro on Japanese TV, the broadcast channel’s official Twitter account pointed out a super cute little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it detail!
サツキとメイを自宅に送り届けた後のネコバスの行き先表示板に、何が書いてあるかご存知ですか？ 書いてあるのは…「す」。サツキとメイの大冒険を見届けたネコバスは、この後自分の巣に戻っていくんですねー 😆❤️ #ネコバスの巣… twitter.com/i/web/status/7…—
スタンリー＠金曜ロードSHOW! 公式 (@kinro_ntv) November 04, 2016
After the Catbus finishes helping out the movie’s protagonists, the word on its destination board changes from “Mei” to the hiragana character す “Su”. In Japanese, “su” means “nest”, which means that the Catbus is heading back to wherever it lives!
Aromatisse (@annflxral) October 14, 2016
Japanese fans responded to the tweet by saying: “I’ve seen this movie so many times, but I never realised this. It’s somehow touching!”
まみこ (@0831Ma) November 04, 2016
And some brought out their best puns: “It’s true! How satisfying! No matter how many times I watch this movie, it always makes me feel warm inside. It’s so interesting deSU!”
@kinro_ntv 本当だ！大満足でした。何度観てもじんわり温かい気持ちになりますね。面白かったで 巣—
⭐彩夏 (@doraraaaan) November 04, 2016
Now that we’ve found out about the Catbus’s homeward-bound destination, we can’t stop wondering what the furry creature’s home might look like. What do you think Catbus’s nest is like?