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  1. Bran Luke Blackwood
    March 17, 2019 @ 5:59 pm

    To piggyback on this video, I see in this scene the power of magic to reveal the realness of potential, as a refutation of the assumption that potential reality is somehow less “real” than what we can see and touch and taste right now.

    Their mother will get well and the tree will grow, and they know the tree will grow because they saw it grow, and they still see it growing. The giant tree wasn’t just a dream; it’s still there, it’s just waiting to manifest—latent and unseen, yes, but no less real.

    So too with their mother’s health; just because her health is not what it was does not mean it will not come back—in fact it will come back, and in time she will be fully healthy and the tree will be fully grown; why wait until then to celebrate?

  2. K Håland
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:01 pm

    Feel free to make lighthearted stuff whenever you want, this was delightful and I loved it.

  3. Callum Goodall
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:01 pm

    It’s very symbolic, he’s taking it way too literal, it’s supposed to be mysterious

  4. SamWallace Art
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:02 pm

    You have access to the Japanese audio version … and yet you still mispronounce Totoro’s name.


  5. Joe Zawinul Reviews and Reactions
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:03 pm

    This is why I subscribe to your channel big Joel, love this type of content

  6. Alamda Ali
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:05 pm


  7. Leopard-King
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:06 pm

    This is spiritual parallelism. The language is different, but the message is the same. Once you can discern it’s alphabet, you can begin to construct a meaning that corresponds with the world of material imposition. Now keep in mind this is not some childish inability to delineate dream states from waking ones. In certain cultures, and in different times, the young and aged alike understood this link. I will give an example.

    Genesis 37:3-10

    Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

    And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

    And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.

    And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed:

    For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

    And his brethren said to him, SHALT THOU INDEED REIGN OVER US? OR SHALT THOU INDEED HAVE DOMINION OVER US? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

    And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

    And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? SHALL I AND THY MOTHER AND THEY BRETHEREN COME TO BOW DOWN OURSELVES TO THEE IN THE EARTH?

    I love how no one had to interpret the dream for them. The already had a spiritual grammar that they shared with their child Joseph. They took offense showing they understood theses dreams to be spiritual forecasts. They did not dismiss the visions of slumber from real life events. The west hast lost hold of its symbols. We no longer are spiritually literate.

  8. Envy West
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:07 pm

    The chalk zone !! I haven’t thought about that series for years

  9. Chris Smith
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:08 pm

    why didn’t I get notified of this video? I love you and Sargon is beneath you.

  10. Henric. Klein
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:08 pm

    stop mocking my favorite movie stop mocking my home town and stop critising my home town in japan we believe in this and its the way its going to be
    Idiet your a very stupid critic I like the movie and your ripping it apart

  11. AniMerrill
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:09 pm

    I think most of this take is pretty sound and valid, although I think the one thing lacking from the analysis is an examination of the cultural symbolism at work in Totoro. This movie is very much about the power of a child’s imagination, as a lot of Miyazaki work is, but it’s also very specifically about Shinto concepts that get lost in translation and non-Japanese viewers who aren’t familiar with Shintoism. For the longest time, I thought Totoro was like… literally some giant bear-cat creature that lived in the woods and there was some magical reasons the kids couldn’t always find him, but the reality is that Totoro is supposed to be like either a regional forest god or maybe literally the spirit of the tree he lives in. There’s a lot of traditions based around the idea that, instead of the materialistic view that acorns just fall from trees and sometimes they germinate and become new trees, that there are little tiny spirits or elves or whatever that go around planting them. That’s where the imagery for scenes like the ones in this video, or the ones where Mei is running around after the little ones dropping acorns, etc, that’s the sort of traditions they’re rooted in.

    So it would seem to me that there’s probably some reflection in Totoro not only about the imagination of a child, but how a child would view these colorful legends about forest spirits and regional gods that play in the background of their life. There is probably some license to not make concrete logical sense because, with a lot of these old traditions that don’t deal with a monotheistic god, the borders between things- even dreams and reality, which is a big concept in Buddhism which Shintoism borrows from -are not always clear cut. Life in these traditions are about balance and allowing the world to flow through you, making sure to drink in miracles while you can.

  12. Mandalorian crusader
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:11 pm

    You are great, Big Joel.

  13. Anthony Hauser
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:11 pm

    Miyazaki’s films explicitly care about their own logic, which is part of why I love "Kiki’s Delivery Service". We see that confidence has sway over a witch’s magic. Kiki starts being confident, she starts being exponentially better at her flying. She loses that confidence and loses the ability to fly and her ability to talk to my bro Jiji.

    As to the scene, as a gardener and biologist the fact that the sprouts grew that much over one night was an explicit proof to me that Totoro’s adventures were real. Sure that it wasn’t the full giant massive tree may be cause to question the magnitude of the magic’s power. But that the sprouts grew as they did lends power to the magic, power that it wouldn’t have if the beans didn’t sprout.

  14. YumLemmingKebabs
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:13 pm

    The way you describe the movie makes it sound like some sort of non-denominational religious propaganda. Like, you’ve basically made an argument against the concept of science itself… I don’t think that was intentional, but it was pretty amusing. The most religious thing about it is the implication that this way of thinking is somehow uncommon and rebellious when it’s actually the basis for the way the majority of people in the world think… they just don’t acknowledge it.

  15. Naram-Sin of Akkad
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:13 pm

    Wow didn’t expect a chalk zone reference. Well done here.

  16. Jesse Sierke
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:14 pm

    I took it for granted that there are two worlds, an ordinary one and a magical one, and that Totoro is able to bring elements of these worlds together so that they temporarily overlap.

  17. Simon Olnesen
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:14 pm

    But…but.. what about my dark and morbid fantheories that justify my interest in cute movies for children?

  18. AngelOfTheLord67
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:15 pm

    The conclusion of this video is interesting to me because as a kid, that was definitely my interpretation of the movie’s events. I didn’t wonder what was real, I just took the girls’ reactions at face value, and until now I hadn’t even thought of how it could make a viewer question the reality of the movie. (So after the first couple minutes of this video, I had to do the whole internal "wait wait wait fuck is May really okay at the end????" and I’m glad you dismissed that theory quickly because I don’t want to turn my enjoyment of this movie into Edgelord Sadness Time.)

  19. Brent Black
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:16 pm

    1) Good video! Made me think.
    2) I’ve never heard Satsuke rhyming with "Trotsky" ?

  20. MothmanGhost
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:16 pm

    I’d love to see essays on other Ghibli movies!

  21. yeahhowabout no
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:16 pm

    It’s about expectation, and what it means to use fantasy to justify what happens to you in life. For a child who’s got a lot of pressure sitting on their lap people develop the tactic of using fantasy as a way to come into terms with the real world. Good things and bad things happen no matter what you think, but if we turn to "magic friends" as a reason for the things happening it makes it a bit bearable. The final scene is like every other scene, a fantasy occurs when we’re in trouble, and even if things don’t happen magically as we’d like them to be, things still happen and life goes on in its own way.I always cry a little bit when I think of Totoro too much.

  22. jmlkinc
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:18 pm

    Any Sargon fans here to try and brigade and mass flag again?
    Why not stop? It doesn’t have to be like that. Let’s talk about meaning in Totoro.
    You’re all capable of so much better.
    We’re all rooting for you to be better.

  23. Ming Mongo
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:20 pm

    I think that the magic world and the "real" world start off being incompatible, and slowly sync up, and the children, especially the youngest, accept it first.

    I have no evidence.

    Fight me!

  24. Tero Kourula
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:21 pm

    I kind of thought of them, Totoro and the girls, uh… weaving? the life of the tree, if that makes sense? Like the tree we see is what it will one day become.

  25. Otre X
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:21 pm

    That’s something that I always found curious about the movie. Is totoro (the sprites, and the catbus) actually real? How come when he planted the tree, then the tree wasn’t there? Then I saw inception (that Leo DiCaprio/dreams film) and I got it. Totoro is a magical spirit, he lives in the real world, and the dream world. In the real world he is less powerful and needs the catbus to go here and there, but he has the power to connect dreams. In the dream world he can do whatever he wants (fly, grow trees, etc), and what he does in dreams has minor repercussions in the real world. That’s the interpretation I gave it

  26. Aidas Ale
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:21 pm

    Unrelated to the video, but just wanted to check:
    Was there like a mass-reporting by Sargon’s fans since he posted that response video?
    Is that why the video about Anita has been taken down??

  27. Jessica James
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:22 pm

    I just don’t think there is a need for proof of reality because they both have a child like sense of imagination because they are *drumroll* both still children, so Totoro is real in their world and their reality is proofed to them because they did plant the Acorns in reality and they grew.It’s not a giant one like in the dreams but still real.The movie would be too depressing if they went to the hospital and the mom was gonna die.The bus is a escape from a sad reality, they are still alive and the entire community is worried about them, so even if the mother was to die, it’s supposed to reassure you that despite this loss there is still hope and the community is there to help them.The story is taking place back in the day too, so people were more concerned and close-knit in those small villages in the country. Miazaki probably grew up in a similar place and included this theme in the movie. To be honest, even without Totoro or psycidellic kitty busses, I would have loved to have such a wholesome and beautiful childhood. The way we view the world is jaded because we gradually lose our naivety as we age because the realities of surviving in real life take over our once vivid imagination. We know there is no real magic in the world, but that’s why I love Miazaki’s vision.He makes us, the viewers see the world as a child would and trying to apply adult logic to it would ruin the movie.

  28. Matthew Lucas
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:22 pm

    Honestly it was good but when it comes to adventure/action/fantasy films it usually the reason why people talk about those movies

  29. Adrian Elicegui
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:23 pm

    Just started the video. Honestly, my answer is that the question "what’s real" is irrelevant. The kids believe its all real and their experience is all influenced by that whether it really happened or not. Even the father within the movie demonstrates this by honoring mei’s experience when she claims to have seen totoro. It all carries the same weight whether its in the real world or confined to the mind. This applies to everyone but especially in the world of children.

  30. Jessie Fox
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:26 pm

    I would think that Soskue would be about 11 or 12 years old.

  31. Emily Fredrickson
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:26 pm

    Well, how I’ve always seen it through the lense of child and the way children see positive changes.
    Little miracles through a childs eye are MAGIC. Their mother getting better, despite odds. Their trees are growing. They are miracles to them.

  32. Mathieu Leader
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:27 pm

    I find it maddening that apparently my neighbour Totoro was rumoured based on a brutal killing called the Sayama Incident which the movie supposed referenced although the studio has latterly debunked.
    The incident is:
    The victim was a sixteen-year-old girl by the name of Yoshie Nakata who disappeared when she was returning home from school on May 1. A ransom note was later delivered at their home. The note demanded that they bring 200,000 yuans (which was the equivalent to $556 US dollars at the time) to a place nearby her house. Yoshie’s sister (whom committed suicide) brought counterfeit money to the desired place and the police soon arrived. She later met a man who ran off before the police could catch him. On May 4, the body of Yoshie was found underground. The police implicated that she was also raped. A man that committed suicide in the same neighborhood had the same blood type as the suspect. Though it was determined that he was not the culprit since he had ED.
    At a pig farm called Ishida Youtonjo, police arrested a Burakumin man named Kazuo Ishikawa for an unrelated crime. Although he denied committing the murder, by the time of June 20, he cracked from the pressure and admitted to the kidnapping and murder. People complained about the police pressuring him into giving what they believed was false information, however. He was then sentenced to death, but this was changed to life in prison. He was then released in 1994 and was still trying to find the real murderer and clear his name. He’s still considered guilty, however. According to human rights activists and lawyers, they believed that the court didn’t give Ishikawa a fair trial since he was a Burakumin.

  33. Luis Dias
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:28 pm

    Watch The Big Fish, that’s all.

  34. Fif Gallag
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:30 pm

    lol i did not expect that ChalkZone reference outta nowhere

  35. whats happen
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:32 pm

    If we believe the experience that they had was all unreal, the fact of the both girls had the same dream, in the same night, it’s really weird.

  36. Tony pop 100
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:32 pm

    The e-corns 0:20

  37. dieserlenny
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:36 pm

    very nice

  38. dumbsquared girl
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:37 pm

    I remember watching this movie as a kid and extremely disappointed with the little sprouts at first. But when I saw that two girls were happy I was happy. Idk why that memory makes me feel oddly happy.

  39. m_betan
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:38 pm

    I always thought that Totoro growing the tree with the girls did happen but was just temporary– a glimpse into the future of the sprouts. Only the girls see Totoro and the things he does, while adults don’t so I think there’s rules about who can see what and why and that’s why Totoro didn’t really grow the tree

  40. Adam Eason
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:40 pm

    im still not quite getting the point… So did the giant tree just fall back into sprouts because the whole growing thing was temporary? was it like a dream state where things can happen that affect the real world just not as much as it appears? so like they saw their mother well, but they were sleeping, just sort of that "astral projection" sort of thing, right?

  41. hps362
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:41 pm

    tbh you kinda get that feeling without knowing why, and you just explained it to me.


  42. Jacoby Goodson
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:42 pm

    what are the totoro flute songs called

  43. SamWallace Art
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:42 pm

    The tree growing in the night is significant of a spiritual reality: "This tree is a thing that exists now and will exist in the future". A promise, so to speak. However, it takes time for the mundane reality to catch up with the spiritual. So though the tree is as good as already-existent in the spirit, right now in the mundane we can only see the first step to that. Emphasis on first step. Once the kids saw that the seeds had grown, they knew that the tree would someday exist physically as it did spiritually; whereas if the seeds failed to open, then the spiritual promise would be doomed to fail before it started. So seeing the seeds open is confirmation that the process is underway and will indeed meet the final image some day.
    I get the distinct vibe that whenever Totoro is onscreen, you are seeing spiritual reality. So what looks like a big tree in the physical is actually Totoro’s house in the spiritual. When Totoro chooses to be hidden, so too is the spiritual reality; leaving the tree (Totoro’s home tree in the beginning, i mean) as being just a tree when Mei leads her father there.
    I think the movie’s point is that both the spiritual and physical reality, while not necessarily matching exactly, can coexist in a symbiotic relationship. The spiritual promise activating the mundane seed; the mundane routine of caretaking and farming protecting the progression of the spiritual process.
    I’m not well versed in Japanese religion but this seems to line up with a lot of the Japanese traditional values so far as I can observe it. No doubt my Christian viewpoint on how destiny works has given me a bias that I can’t fully delineate.

  44. Tyler Schoenhofen
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:44 pm

    Can’t get behind this man after how clowny he was in the Anita video. I tried to come back but you’re just a meme to me now.

  45. Van Illustration
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:47 pm

    This will be a forest someday.
    Please wait.

  46. sugaraugarcandypop
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:48 pm

    u suck eggs man ,this was boring as shit

  47. Peter Coffin
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:49 pm

    I always looked at it like Totoro’s "work" as having the same relationship to the world he exists in as a children’s book which explains something real but exaggerates to make the concept easier to understand. That is to say it’s real, just not necessarily exact. The point isn’t that the trees are big, it’s that they exist. What they did definitely happened, we just end up seeing the "everyday" result of the extraordinary action taken – because actually doing it is extraordinary.

  48. FangirlOtaku_Geek星
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:53 pm

    My teacher puts on an studio ghibli movie for us to watch every year

    I fricken love her

  49. Noah Gorecki
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:54 pm

    That audio quality though

  50. literallyalesbian
    March 17, 2019 @ 6:54 pm

    I always thought the magic in this movie is real but it manifests in different ways and it’s rooted in a way a kid rationalizes it and Shinto interpretation of nature. Like it’s how when you grow up you see less magic in the world. The magic is still there, and kids see it but to an adult’s perspective things that seem magical and otherworldly are mundane things to us.