Hey there, fans! Time for another edition of Happy Fun Thursdays, where I bring you what’s happening in the world of animeé, manga, and Japan in general. This week, a milestone has been set by one of Hayao Miyazaki’s most beloved films, Tonari No Totoro or, as it’s known here in the United States, My Neighbor Totoro, as it sold its millionth copy in Japan. According to a report released by Oricon, through the Anime News Network, the DVD sold its millionth copy right about last week.
However, what’s interesting about this piece of news is how long the movie has been out in the market:
The 1988 film first shipped in Japan on September 28, 2001. It has remained in the top 300 of Oricon’s weekly DVD ranking charts ever since. By contrast, the 2-Disc Special Edition of Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest has also sold one million copies in Japan, but has only ranked on the weekly charts 26 times.
This means that My Neighbor Totoro has actually kept up its sales going for roughly 440 weeks, which is a relative eternity for most media; hardly a week goes by in the US where a torrent of new releases doesn’t rearrange any blog’s, newspaper’s or store’s bestsellers list, and it goes double for movies, as the medium itself allows for its rapid consumption and short shelf life.
But, then again, it comes to no surprise to me, as a huge Miyazaki fan. The film is a classic, both in the realm of movies and anime, and Totoro himself is used in Studio Ghibli’s logo (and why shouldn’t he be, being one of the most recognizable anime characters out there?). Watching the whimsical and, dare I say it, adorable adventure that the two heroines go through in the picturesque landscapes of 1950s rural Japan is akin to suddenly losing all the pretenses of being a mature and upstanding adult and regaining the sheer wonder childhood that brings. It brings out a joy in me that no other film can, except those from Studio Ghibli’s biggest fans. In any case, the movie’s a classic, a great way to cultivate start a love of anime or animation in general in children, and will make you believe furry transportation.
Speaking of which, here’s a clip of the second most beloved character in that anime: