• Anime Underground

There's Totally a My Neighbor Totoro Sequel, But You Can Only See It At The Ghibli Museum

Picking your favorite Studio Ghibli movie is like trying to eat a single potato chip: You can't stop at just one. Even so, for nostalgic anime lovers, the 1988 Ghibli movie My Neighbor Totoro ranks as one of the Hayao Miyazaki's best efforts, and it's not hard to see why.

The beautifully animated film flaunts an adventurous, childlike attitude, and showcases a range of extraordinarily imaginative creatures. No matter who the viewer is, everyone can identify with the protagonists' desire to find a magical world hidden in their neighborhood. 

While the film is unarguably beloved, far fewer fans know about the sequel to My Neighbor Totoro. Titled Mei and the Kittenbus, the film is actually surprisingly hard to come by; anyone who wants to see it will have to start looking for a plane ticket to Japan. 

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  • The Film Features The Totoro Voice Actor's Final Performance

    Mei and the Kittenbus features the last performance of Hitoshi Takagi, AKA Totoro. Takagi — who also provided the Japanese voice for Yoda in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Snorlax in the Pokémon anime — reprised his role as Totoro in the My Neighbor Totoro sequel. He died in February 2004 due to ischemic heart failure. 

  • The Sequel Puts A Horrific Fan Theory To Rest

    Mei and the Kittenbus serves as a continuation of My Neighbor Totoro, and officially puts to rest the theory that Mei and Satsuki Kusakabe end up dead in the original film. 

    According to the theory, Totoro is actually a shinigami (a Japanese death god), and Mei drowns midway through the film, as is suggested when her sandal is found floating in a nearby lake. Satsuki loses her life while searching for her little sister in the "land of the dead." To complete the macabre tale, the childrens' mother only recognizes them in the end of the film because she's nearing her final breath.

    Thankfully, Mei and the Kittenbus takes place two months after Mei and Satsuki's mom returns, so it's safe to say that the death theory is debunked. On top of that, Studio Ghibli itself has denied the theory's validity.

  • In Addition To The 'Totoro' Sequel, There Are Plenty Of Reasons To Visit The Ghibli Museum

    If you visit the Ghibli Museum, chances are good that you won't be disappointed. In addition to seeing the My Neighbor Totoro sequel, you'll also be treated to other amazing films from the Studio Ghibli library. An official listing of the Ghibli movies being screened can be found here.

    In addition to the rich anime history, the very spectacle of the museum is nothing short of amazing. There's a 15-foot-tall robot from Castle in the Sky waiting outside the museum to greet visitors, along with a giant plush Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro

  • 'Mei And The Kittenbus' Isn't The Only Ghibli Sequel

    In 2002, Hiroyuki Morita directed The Cat Returns, a sequel to the 1995 Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart. While the original romantic drama was pretty down-to-earth, it featured a brief fantasy scene involving a precocious feline named The Baron. Although The Baron wasn't an original Ghibli creation, he became so popular that he garnered a sequel of his own.