Shigesato Itoi is a name that Nintendo fans will forever be familiar with, and you may well have enjoyed some of his finest work, but we dare say there'll be a few people out there who had no idea about this particular role of his.
You'll likely know Itoi as the creator of the Mother series (known as EarthBound here in the west); he was the lead designer on the original game, and went on to serve as producer, director, and writer for EarthBound on SNES.
As it turns out, though, he also took on a voice acting role for none other than Studio Ghibli, voicing Mei and Satsuki's dad in the hugely popular and hugely successful animated classic, My Neighbor Totoro.
A quick look through the replies to Studio Ghibli's tweet shows that plenty of fans had no idea – and we're not ashamed to admit that we'd never stumbled across this juicy little fact either.
Did you already know this? If not, at least you now have a new way to show off and sound wise beyond your years in front of your friends. You're welcome.
Shigesato Itoi isn't just a game designer, he's a writer and an actor.
My favorite “surprising” role in a Ghibli film is Hideaki Anno, creator of Evangelion, voicing the protagonist, Jiro, in The Wind Rises.
Of course, he also famously animated the God Warrior in Nausicaa . I once saw a conversation between Anno and Miyazaki where Anno criticized the great director for not having enough sexy females in his films…. lol
Yes I knew that. Noticed a few years ago.
My mind is officially blown. This fact made me smile.
Mind legitimately blown.
That poll, though... you're lucky I'm a Xanth nerd, NL.😏
Also, the poll has exactly three options. Hmmmm....
Nice, I love the Ghibli Films, even went to the Museum 7 years back.
We saw the Kitten Bus Short, which is set after this film, and you can only see it if you go there
Yes I did know that, a quick Google search of “Shigesato Itoi” would have told you that.
I did not know, but at the same time, despite hearing people singing the praise of Studio Ghibli films constantly, I have not watched a single one, including My Neighbour Totoro so I don't think I would of ever found out about it otherwise, unless I looked up Itoi himself.
Well I knew that as a Studio Ghibli fan but not as a videogame fan. So I can’t answer the poll...sad catbus.
The overlap in storytelling and tone between Ghibli and the Mother series makes this little bit of trivia especially pleasing.
One of the best animated films ever made by the best animation company in the world.
Didn't know this.
Oh yeah, I remember learning about this a few years ago, but ended up forgetting it at some point. Hearing this raised my praise for a wonderful studio like Studio Ghibli even more so than before.
He also saved all the whales, did you know that?
All of them.
@iuli Hi, I feel like you need to understand now that this is the absolute worst take.
Firstly, because Takahata is indispensable to Ghibli, and Grave of the Fireflies isn't the only film of his that is worthy of mention. Furthermore, ignoring the contributions of people like Katsuya Kondō or Kazuo Oga to the Ghibli look is just plainly ignorant. Besides, this level of auteur worship denies the hard work of lower-level artists in an often exploitative industry.
Also, and most importantly, Miyazaki is the world's most cantankerous man and would definitely give you an hour-long dressing down in front of the entire company for ever airing this view.
@Bunkerneath I went and they had a different short - it was about a spider. It was really good. I'd love to see the kitten bus one sometime (though it's unlikely).
If I remember correctly, Itoi has also been searching for some long lost treasure that apparently belonged to his ancestors. He is absolutely insistent that it is exists despite never finding anything.
His treasure quest is sometimes joked about in Japanese media. For example, in the anime Samurai Champloo, there's an episode featuring a crazy treasure hunter obsessed with finding his ancestors' fortune who fanatically never wavers in his belief that the fortune is buried underneath a mountain.
Kupocake probably put it better but I think you're wrong here.
I love Miyazaki's movies but it's not right to say that he, himself, is Studio Ghibli. He is definitely massively important to what Studio Ghibli is but a studio (any studio) is always a collection of people and ideas - always a collaboration. I think it's wrong to discount that.
Also, non-Miyazaki movies are as much Studio Ghibli as his films are - I don't think it's right to brush aside Grave of the Fireflies because it doesn't fit your personal opinion of what Studio Ghibli's style is. Would you say the same for Pom Poko or Princess Kaguya?
Miyazaki has directed less than half of Ghibli's movies. The studio is much bigger than him - and it continues to get bigger as they branch into other media (games and TV). And when he does actually retire, there will still be a Studio Ghibli without him.
"Did you already know this? If not, at least you now have a new way to show off and sound wise beyond your years in front of your friends. You're welcome."
(dislikes this usage of "You're welcome." in the article)
@Diogmites Speaking of Evangelion, I couldn't help but notice that your profile pic was one of the Angels. Which one is it?
@iuli That is true!
@John_Koshiro I second this piece of trivia, and add that in Earthbound there is a bit where a man is treasure hunting in the Dusty Dunes Desert that is meant to be self referential.
@Diogmites Ah, the Third Angel. I thought it was that one.
You said it best.
I think misunderstanding that deep needs to be publicly addressed.
If you look far enough into Mr. Itoi’s personal history, you start to realise the list of things he hasn’t be involved with in some form is alarmingly small. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that he was actually, like, the seventh person on the moon, and inventor of the mosquito-repellent toothpaste.
Wow all this time I'm here loving this movie, and I didn't even know that.
Learned that thorugh the prima snes classic guide
Immensely pleased to know. My favorite animated film of all times.
I only watched the movies in English, soooooo....yeah. lol
Yeah. I remember reading in a very old website (nausicaa.net) and in the information section they mentioned that. I thought "Huh. Interesting".
Shigesato ito has done more than Earthbound, you know?
Interesting fact, particularly as I'm a fan of both franchises and my name is Lucas 😁
IKR? As if NLife did everyone a favour by providing the internet with decades old information.
@iuli Others have already gave you a good answer that Studio Ghibli is not just Miyazaki, but I have a slightly different take.
I wonder why you take such umbrage at Totoro being called a Studio Ghibli film, not a Miyazaki one? I think most people who'd seen it know who Miyazaki is. It's not like there's a conspiracy to erase Miyazaki from history. Is there really a problem here? I'm kinda baffled.
@BloodNinja Did he then redeem them for valuable prizes...?
@Diogmites Hayao Miyazaki and Mamoru Oshii also cameoed in Hideaki Anno's Shin Godzilla.
@CivilMadman He won all the prizes.
Yup. Read it awhile ago.
@BloodNinja Damnit! I suppose I shouldn't be surprised...
@Losermagnet ...no wonder he made fabulous games.
Never had a clue, love my neighbor Totoro too! One of the best studio Ghibli animes too ❤️❤️❤️
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