One of Studio Ghibli’s most popular and wholesome movies, My Neighbor Totoro is iconic for several reasons, not least the enigmatic titular forest spirit who graces the title card of every movie by the anime studio. The pleasant storyline along with magnetic characters kept viewers hooked, and these lovable characters align well with star signs.
Be it Mei’s tendencies of being the unintentional center of attention, or Satsuki’s need to grow up earlier than other little girls to accommodate her mother’s illness, all the characters had the unique traits of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
12 Aries: The Forest
The forest around the Kusakabes’ home was quite an entity in itself, alive with moving trees, forest spirits, and Totoro’s tree. This magical place was electric with life and had built its own unique ecosystem and community, much like Aries are likely to do.
The forest mimicked the cosmic ram’s positivity and playfulness, which kept Satsuki and Mei enchanted for hours everyday while they coped with their mother’s ill health.
11 Taurus: Kanta’s Father
Young Kanta’s father was a farmer who lived and worked in the bucolic village where the Kusanabe family had moved. Like Taurus, he clearly liked serene, peaceful environments where he could enjoy his life and also work hard for his loved ones.
Dependable and helpful like the earth sign, Kanta’s father assisted the village with the search for Mei when she ran away after hearing that her mother was sick and couldn’t visit them.
10 Gemini: Michiko
Satsuki’s new friend Michiko may not have been a main character, but she was instrumental in providing joy to Satsuki during a trying time, and her sociable nature and kindness resembled the ease with which Geminis communicate and make new friends.
Geminis are also adept at adjusting to change, which Michiko did really well by taking Satsuki under her wing so she could have a friend and adjust at her new school sooner.
9 Cancer: Granny
The perennially kind Granny was a lot like the most empathetic signs of the zodiac, Cancer. Gentle, compassionate, and maternal, she not only cared for Mei and Satsuki, but for Kanta and the rest of the village as well.
The celestial crustaceans love creating safe spaces and sanctuaries for themselves and others, which is what Granny did by cooking, caring for, and cleaning for the kids so that they felt comfortable and Tatsuo could work and visit his wife.
8 Leo: Mei Kusakabe
Exuberant, bold, and absolutely unforgettable, Mei was the center of attention in My Neighbor Totoro, and she enjoyed the limelight from a young age, much like Leo. She was consistently loyal to her sister and family, following Satsuki around and imitating her all the time.
Courageous and brave like the zodiac’s lion, Mei never feared Totoro, the Catbus, or even running away to look for her mother. She was a feisty young girl, but she also had deep emotions, which showed in the ending of this Studio Ghibli movie.
7 Virgo: Susuwatari
The soot sprites, or “susuwatari” have been spotted in many Studio Ghibli movies, even being one of the most likable Ghibli non-human characters in them. They resided in the family’s creaking, old house before they occupied it.
Like Virgo, the sprites were methodical, practical, and helpful. Once they had made sure that the Kusakabes were good people, they left the premises of the house to go somewhere else and not trouble them. Even in movies like Spirited Away, they were happy to help with work in the bathhouse, much like this hard-working sign.
6 Libra: Yasuko Kusakabe
The matriarch of the movie was away for most of the time because of her illness, but like Libra she sought to achieve balance and harmony in her family, so that Satsuki wouldn’t be burdened by the pressures of house work and child care too early.
The scales of the zodiac are known to work best with a partner, and Yasuko definitely excelled at being a good wife when she could with Tatsuo, and they thrived together because of their teamwork.
5 Scorpio: Catbus
Enigmatic and enticing, the Catbus was a strange hybrid between Cheshire cat and vehicle, and his nature was mysterious, just like the watery sign Scorpio.
Intuitive and all-knowing, Catbus could travel through land and air and get Totoro, Satsuki, and Mei to different places, and being magical himself, he had the wisdom and maturity of a Scorpio which he shared with his old friend Totoro.
4 Sagittarius: Tatsuo Kusakabe
A college professor of archaeology, Tatsuo was always in the pursuit of knowledge like Sagittarius, and he didn’t box himself into scientific or logical learning either. When Mei and Satsuki told him about Totoro, he believed them and told them about forest spirits.
He was adaptable for his family, moving from city to village for his wife and children, which resembles Sagittarian traits well. He was also the source of the best quotes in My Neighbor Totoro.
3 Capricorn: Satsuki Kusakabe
Independent and mature, young Satsuki acted a lot older than her age and handled larger responsibilities along with school and play to care for her little sister and make up for the absence of her mother.
Hardworking and resilient, she was just like the astrological mountain goats who withstand extreme conditions but stay focused when they need to be. She was also intelligent and a great role model for Mei, making her one of the best female characters of Studio Ghibli.
2 Aquarius: Totoro
Mystical and full of the magic of the forest, Totoro was a kind and gentle soul who took a shine to Mei and Satsuki, and tried to heal and help them as much as possible. Distinctive and like nobody else, Totoro stood out with his adorable but novel appearance, making him a lot like the freewheeling Aquarius.
Free-spirited and not bound by earthly norms, Totoro did as he pleased, playing with and growing acorns into full trees, becoming friends with a Catbus and getting fascinated with umbrellas.
1 Pisces: Kanta Ogaki
Known for their empathy, kindness, and innocence, Pisces is the sign that matches shy little Kanta perfectly. The young boy wasn’t the most articulate, but he was eager to help Satsuki and Mei when they didn’t have an umbrella, even taking a shouting from his mother for “losing” the umbrella.
Kanta’s sensitivity showed when he understood Satsuki’s frustration and escorted Mei to Granny himself, and when he joined the search for the little girl when she disappeared, much like the celestial fish.
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