Totoro, the other story.
We have all seen this movie right?
If so, enjoy a new perspective.
If not, stop reading and watch it asap.
It is amazing.
A plot summary here if you need to refresh your memory.
So, have you heard of the other story.
First, do check out this case.
Keep that case in mind as we move forward into the story.
First off, remember these?
In some legends, when they are near, death is close.
Now back to the main story.
According to the movie, their mother is ill but we have no real knowledge of what her illness is.
According to the story, her mother is in a ward for the terminally ill.
According to the legend, Totoro is a messenger of death and whoever sees him will die soon after.
This means Mei would be the first.
Mei goes missing and her slipper is found in a pond which Satsuki lied about it not belonging to her sister, out of denial and continues searching for her.
In tune with the Sayama Incident, the younger sister goes missing.
Also, according to reports from the incident, the older sister was frantically searching too.
Now Satsuki pleads Totoro and also, the cat bus to bring her to Mei.
According to Japanese folk lore, cats are known to bring the recently deceased back to the realm of the dead.
This is also further backed up by the cat bus as the destination is not the location of where Mei is but rather Mei herself.
Also, the cat bus mentions that no one can see them, further proving that Satsuki is now dead and the living can now no longer see her.
Now, the hospital scene.
They arrive and sit outside the window, watching their parents talk.
Why didn't they just go inside instead?
How did the parents not see them?
Why did they leave the corn?
According to the legend, they are already dead at this point and because of that, the parents can't see them.
Leaving the corn was the only way they could interact with their parents.
Now, for the final scenes that show the family back together.
If they were all dead, wouldn't that be impossible?
According to the legend, the final scenes seem to be a happy epilogue, but they in fact happened "before" the major events in the movie.
Some more facts to further the legend.
The sister does not have a shadow late in the movie, after she supposedly dies.
Remember the scene with the huge tree. The children sit atop this huge tree (which umbrellas the small house) playing flutes with the Totoros. The father looks out to see this, smiles happily and continues his writing. The suggestion is that he is writing about his deceased daughters doing exactly what they are shown doing.