• Various/Onna Carr

Travel Companions

Updated: Nov 18

Post by Onna Carr

I do not particularly like driving a car or truck, so I do not have one at the moment:  I take my bike, walk, the bus, or Uber and so these all would I guess be considered my vehicle.  The thing that is always with me, in whatever vehicle I take is my “My Neighbor Totoro” backpack.  I was introduced to anime via my younger sibling with "My Hero Academia" and "Alice in the Country of Hearts", my best friend who is an engineer from India and has watched nearly all 900+ episodes of “One Piece,” and via my English students from Japan.  I can honestly say that anime is not particularly my thing, but I do love “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Your Name” because of the beautiful and insightful lessons they quietly teach through the films and related manga, and my backpack quietly reminds me of this and provides a good conversation starter and makes people smile--in a good way.

I love how “My Neighbor Totoro” quietly shows how a large and rather on the exterior possibly frightening Spirit of the Forrest is actually always and forever a dear and beloved character. In most films, large creatures with teeth are usually intimidating, but I love how this film features a character that is never frightening at all and teaches that we should always judge by actions and spirit rather than appearance. Ever since a child, I have always thought people are their spirit/personality, and that appearance is just a side/grace note.

I do not have very many “non-negotiable” films I feel are important to watch, okay, come to think of it the list is pretty long, but “My Neighbor Totoro” is definitely one of them. I got the backpack as well as a large decal sticker for my kitchen cabinets this Summer, and it has been fun to see people start to smile who were frowning before on the bus at the sight of a large eyed, furry bellied creature backpack sitting beside me on the bus like a fellow passenger or like a shotgun rider on my e-bike strapped to the passenger back seat or sitting in the bike trailer where a child typically sits.

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