BySophie Atkinson, writer at
Sophie Atkinson

With their winning formula of beautiful animation and inventive plots, Studio Ghibli captured our hearts from the get-go. Now get ready to love the world-famous animation studio even more: Asian news site Rocket News 24 has pieced together a 15 point list of the best easter eggs and insider secrets in the Ghibli productions.

Without further ado, the best (in my humble opinion) 5 points from the article...

#3 – Just Stopping By

Best friendship ever? Pixar producer and Studio Ghinli's Hayao Miyazaki have been BFFs for over thirty years. They first met when My Neighbor Totoro was in production. As such, the adorable Mr Lasseter decided to give Totoro a cameo in Toy Story 3 – check it out below if you don’t believe us! The video does contain minor Toy Story 3 spoilers though, so proceed with caution if you haven't already watched it.


We say: Totoro looks even cuter in 3D!

#6 Kanji not your strong point?

At the close of Kiki's Delivery Service, Kiki pens a letter to her loving parents, mentioning her friends (tomodachi 友達). If you can read kanji, you'll notice that Kiki has missed a stroke from the second kanji letter, 達, so the word's misspelt – the guys at Rocket 24 News reckon this is done intentionally to show 'she is still young and has more to learn. That or she spends too much time texting friends and, like so many kids today, struggles to write kanji by hand...'

We say: You'd have to be eagle-eyed and competent in reading Kanji to get this, so snaps if you spotted it.

#10 – Howl of the Beast

In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the heroine must battle to protect the Ohmu, giant armoured creatures. Their cries are voiced by musical legend Tomoyasu Hotei's electric guitar. Hotei's best known in the West for his track 'Battle Without Honor or Humanity', which became the theme tune to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill:


We say: Rock out to some Ohmu!

#13 – Parusu!

This is the word from the spell of destruction that brings the city to its knees in Castle in the Sky that actually means 'peace' and 'harmony' in Turkish. When it's aired on Japanese TV, fans nationwide tweet the word at the exact moment Sheeta and Pazu say it.

We say: We love the attention to detail, Japanese Ghibli fans!

#15 – Why so serious?

Apparently, in Japan, there's a conspiracy theory about My Neighbor Totoro – people believe that the cute giant Totoro is actually a shinigami (death god), which can only be seen by children who are close to death or have already died.

The theory suggests that when Mei's sandal is found in the lake, she's already drowned and that Satsuki goes off in search of Totoro and accidentally steps into the land of the dead herself. So how come their mother can still see them at the end if they're dead? Easy dumbos, because her illness is serious and she's close to death and won't recover.

Studio Ghibli have repeatedly denied these claims, but rumors still persist.

We say: Now this is the sort of conspiracy theory we can really get our teeth into...

Want more? Check out the full list here.

Were you familiar with these factoids before? Sound off below.


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