Sunday, April 16, 2023

Totoro: A Perfect Character of Imaginary Mental Support

Satsuki's family moved to a new house. According to Kanta, their neighbor's grandson whose age is the same with Satsuki, it is a haunted house, because it has been so long never been occupied. Nevertheless, Satsuki and his younger sister, Mei, do not mind it, they were excited instead. "Duk, duk, duk, duk..." their quick footstep noise on the wooden-made floor were loudly heard. Their joyful screaming while traveling around the house was just like kids who are very pleased to receive their dream gift or like the type of extrovert kids in general who are extremely happy (Although, I believe, introvert kids also can make the screaming in the house, but if outside, I doubt). 

How surprised they were, when finding out groups of black small creatures with big eyes fulfilling the kitchen room in the back part of the house. They were silent watching them. 

At the same time those black creatures immediately left the room. Understanding the situation, they agreed to scream as they believe, the scream they made is powerful to drive off the ghost. "It is a smoke black", Kanta's grandmother told them, "they occupy every room that is long empty. As long as you are being a sweet girl, they will never bother you". 

Satsuki and Mei went up to the second floor, firstly hesitated, but then they collected their brave to moved upward. 

Arriving to the second floor, Satsuki approached the window in the front and opened it hastily. 

Mei caught one of the black creatures and closed it using her fist, she excitedly went down to show to her family, but when being opened, it's only left black dust on her hand. Mei were very sure about what she caught and whining hope her dad believe her. 

I guessed those black creatures are their imagination that in fact it was just a thick dense of black dust accumulated on every surface either on the floor or wall, then it created like a black smoke and once the room is opened and fresh air enters, it went away. 

Her dad is a professor in a university, he was quite busy. At the time when Satsuki was in the school, Mei had no choice but to play by herself in the garden that is located next to a hill with full of big trees. Discovering a seed in the middle of the grass, she picked it up and when she continued walking forward, she found another one, until she noticed a white cute creature (a small version of Totoro or could be called "chibi Totoro") was the one who was dropping the seed accidentally. 

Chibi Totoro was nervous, and running rapidly to the hill to avoid her. Mei kept following it, passed through the bushes that adult could not enter. She crawled along the small path, then when out from the bush, she was around a big tree that from its hole, she saw a sleeping cat-like furry big creature. 

Delightedly, she jumped into it, hugged it, played its nose and watched it sleeping. Until she felt sleepy, then she fell asleep. She knew it was Totoro. She had ever been introduced with Totoro from a book telling her that Totoro is a forest spirit that protects the forest that's why she was excited meeting Totoro.

In the evening, Satsuki and her dad were frustratedly looking for her. Satsuki went through the same bushes and found her sleeping on the ground. 

Mei insisted that she was with Totoro before, everyone just agreed. Her dad is so understanding. Satsuki did not deny, even she wished to meet Totoro as well. "If you are lucky, you might meet her", her dad told them. Then, her dad invited them to went up to the hill to pray for the Gods, say thanks for protecting the forest, and ask for protecting their family too. 

One day, her dad went work to the university, so her dad asked Kanta's grandmother to look after Mei. When Satsuki was studying in the class. Mei shouted from outside. Acknowledging her voice, she asked permission to her teacher to meet her. Kanta's grandmother told her that she was just fine at first, but now, she asked to be with Satsuki. Her teacher was so kind for letting Mei sat besides her in the class. Mei was given a paper and crayons, she drew Totoro enthusiastically. 

So bad, it was raining heavily. Satsuki did not bring umbrella. Kanta kindly lent them his umbrella, meanwhile he ran home quickly without umbrella. 

Satsuki and Mei went home safely. Before it's called for a day, Satsuki remembered that her dad also did not bring umbrella, so they walked to the bus stop waiting for her dad to bring him umbrella. Upon long waiting her dad under the rain and while giving piggyback the sleeping Mei, she peeked from under the edge of the umbrella. 

She did not believe, Totoro was besides her in the bus stop. Totoro was using a small green leave to cover its top body. Satsuki heartedly gave Totoro her black umbrella that was first purposedly brought for her dad. Totoro didn't know how to use it until Satsuki showed it how to. 

Playing with the water drops that touched the surface of umbrella was an exciting experience for Totoro so it could not stop it until the Catbus arrived. 

As its gratitude, Totoro rewarded Satsuki a pouch of various seeds. Their dad arrived, while the rain eventually stopped. 

Satsuki told them about her good time with Totoro, even before going to bed, Satsuki and Mei still had time for planting the seeds that Totoro gave. 

During the night, in their dream, Totoro and Chibi Totoros came to the garden where the seeds were planted. Totoro helped it to grow quick. Seeing them outside, Satsuki and Mei joined their ceremony. 

The seeds were unbelievably growing extraordinarily huge. Totoro gave them ride to the peak of the huge tree. 

They stared from the top the beauty of the village view with admiration. 

Not stop until that, Totoro let them flied together to surround the village. Their laughs and smiles indicated their high positive energy, they felt really content with the journey with Totoro. 

On the next day, Satsuki and Mei woke up, but the huge tree disappeared, they realized it was just in their dream, but how come Satsuki and Mei had the same dream? Anyway, they did not matter it, yet they were still happy seeing the sprout appeared from the seeds.

When Satsuki and Mei were in the field with Kanta's grandmother for harvesting corns, a post officer came to their house, so nobody was at home, including her dad that was in university. 

Kanta received the letter and gave it immediately to Satsuki. Reading the letter made her in tears, the hospital told them that her mother could not come home as scheduled, she must stay more days because she caught a flu. So her coming back home must be postponed. It was not once, but for several times her mother postponed it, Satsuki felt something strange, she smelt as if they lied, how come flu took her more days again and again. Satsuki worried if she would die. Mei cried loudly, she could not accept it, she already missed her mom for so long and she wanted to give her, the corn she harvested. Satsuki could not think properly in the middle of her insecure feeling, sad, yet angry so she scolded Mei for not accepting it and called her stupid.

In her anxious, Grandmother asked Kanta  to show her the way to the house where she could borrow for a call. Satsuki did not allow Mei for following them, but Mei was ignorant. They ran faster than Mei, so Mei lost their trace on the way. 

Satsuki successfully made the call to her dad to convey the message from hospital. 

Her dad promised to right away visit her mom. In her young age and knowing how Mei was still a toddler, Satsuki's gloomy face showed it all. They of course were not ready to be left by their mom.  

Satsuki was not in the mood

She spoke up her worries and her sad feeling if their mom would eventually die. 

Hearing the bad news, Mei ran away to meet her mom in the hospital by her self. 

Realizing Mei was not there, everyone was stressfully searching for her. Kanta told her that, people found a sandal on the lake, and everyone gathered to find her. 

Fortunately, it was not her sandal according to Satsuki, so they stopped the search on the lake. 

Satsuki frustratedly looked for Totoro, hoping that Totoro could help her finding Mei. Totoro was there, in the middle of the forest, sleeping.

Totoro agreed to help her. Totoro called the Catbus to look for Mei together with Satsuki. 

It was a correct, that Mei was in the way to the hospital but she lost the way and cried. Satsuki hugged her and understood her longing feeling to meet their mom. 

The Catbus with a kind heart inviting them back to the bus seat and move to the hospital to see their mom. 

They arrived and saw their mom from the tree, they were happy as their mom looked happy with their dad. Mei put the corn in the window of her mom's room. 

Then they went back to the house without even greeting her mom. 

The story of "My Neighbor Totoro" left me confused, whether or not their mother is successfully cured and come back home to get together with them. Regardless of it, the character of Totoro, is a perfect imaginary mental support in my opinion. 

Firstly, Totoro could grant the wish of despair kids that in reality it is impossible to be done. Thinking about flying, taking on the Catbus, those are unreal. Yet, those made the kids extremely happy. Nothing is happier for every kids, when their wishes are granted unconditionally.

Secondly, Totoro could provide them attention on behalf of distracting their worries of her sick mom. It has been mentioned by Satsuki that her mom is already sick for so long, so it is reasonable why Satsuki was really frustrated. Her cries reminded me on how hopeless I were whining to the doctor to help my mom. But, in my case, my mom could not be helped. Anyway, regardless how miserable the life is, the existence of mental support may lift the depression, though the situation could not be changed. The mental support could prevent the depression to develop to be worsen. It is a great evident how Totoro supported them mentally in their crisis. Satsuki and Mei received good times with Totoro.  

The last but not least, Totoro's character is drawn with a cat-like furry big creature. No one can resist to hug it. The warm feeling received from cuddling with it could be validated. Not only kids, even adults are craving for hugs. Because hugging could reduce the stress and improve well-being, pleasure, and moods. I do want to have a mental support like Totoro. However, it is just an imaginary, there is no huggable, friendly, cute furry big creature exists in the real world. 

Thank you Totoro for providing such imagination that life can be very fun. Providing such a hope for a good thing to be happened in the future. You are not only supported Satsuki and Mei mentally, but you are also successfully giving hope to every hopeless audience, including me. 


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