My Neighbor Totoro is practically considered a national treasure in Japan, and it’s rather surprising that it has a sequel that no one seems to know about.
The sequel is called Mei and the Kittenbus, and it apparently premiered 2003. That’s right, it came out ages ago and it’s written and directed by Miyazaki himself. The story follows Mei, the younger sister from My Neighbor Totoro, as she encounters the spirits once again. The sequel even has Miyazaki himself voicing one of the elderly cat spirits in the anime.
If you’re wondering why the14-minute sequel anime never ever made it to the public eye, there’s a good reason. It was never released on home video and there’s only one theatre in the world that screens it, the one in Tokyo’s Ghibli Museum.
And you can’t just go to the Ghibli Museum and catch it either. To actually catch the short feature, takes a little planning. That’s because the Ghibli Museum theatre rotates through nine Ghibli shorts, with each playing for a month before the next gets swapped in. So unless you plan in advance, the odds of you actually catching the short sequel is going to be pretty slim.
However, if you do want to catch Mei and the Kittenbus in the near future, you might want to plan a trip to Tokyo this November.
That’s because the short feature will be playing from 1-30 November so if you happen to be going around that time, you’ll be able to catch it. Admission to the theatre comes with your ticket so you won’t have to spend extra just to watch.
Also just a reminder, you can’t just head to the Ghibli Museum WITHOUT planning in advance as tickets are limited. So make sure you book the tickets in advance before you head over.