Anstice Sheikh

Anstice Sheikh

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


My Neighbor Totoro is a beloved animated film created by the renowned Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. One of the most iconic characters from the film is Nekobasu, a cat bus that captures the imagination of both children and adults alike. In this article, we will dive into the world of Nekobasu and explore 12 fascinating facts about this enchanting creature. From its origin and appearance to its role in the film and its impact on popular culture, we will uncover the magic behind Nekobasu and the charm it brings to the story of My Neighbor Totoro. So, buckle up and get ready to be transported into a world where cats become buses and dreams come true!

Table of Contents

The Nekobasu is a fantastical catbus.

The Nekobasu, also known as the catbus, is a whimsical character from the Japanese animated film “My Neighbor Totoro.” It is a large, cat-shaped bus with wide eyes, a toothy grin, and multiple sets of legs, resembling a hybrid between a feline and a vehicle. The Nekobasu plays a significant role in the movie, transporting characters through the imaginary forest.

The Nekobasu is a creation of Hayao Miyazaki.

The Nekobasu was conceived by renowned Japanese animator and director Hayao Miyazaki. Known for his imaginative and enchanting storytelling, Miyazaki brought the fantastical creature to life, captivating audiences worldwide with its unique design and whimsy.

The catbus has become an iconic symbol in Japanese pop culture.

Since its appearance in “My Neighbor Totoro,” the Nekobasu has gained immense popularity and has become an iconic symbol in Japanese pop culture. It has been featured in various merchandise, including toys, clothing, and accessories, and has captured the hearts of both children and adults alike.

The Nekobasu can grow and shrink in size.

One of the magical abilities of the Nekobasu is its ability to change its size. In the film, it can expand to accommodate multiple passengers or shrink down to a smaller size, depending on the needs of the characters. This ability adds to its whimsical charm and makes it a fascinating character.

The catbus has glowing eyes.

One of the most distinct features of the Nekobasu is its glowing eyes. The large, round eyes of the catbus emit a warm and welcoming glow, adding to its magical presence and making it even more endearing to viewers.

The Nekobasu’s fur is made of flowers.

In a delightful twist, the fur of the Nekobasu is depicted as being made of flowers. The vibrant petals that cover its body give it a whimsical and ethereal appearance, further enhancing its enchanting nature as a creature of fantasy.

The catbus is friendly and helpful.

The Nekobasu is portrayed as a friendly and helpful character in the film. It serves as a means of transportation for the characters, ensuring their safety and providing a source of comfort and companionship in the magical world of “My Neighbor Totoro.”

The Nekobasu is inspired by traditional Japanese folklore.

Hayao Miyazaki incorporated elements of traditional Japanese folklore into the creation of the Nekobasu. The concept of animals serving as transportation is not uncommon in Japanese mythology, and the catbus draws inspiration from those legends, adding a touch of cultural significance to its character.

The catbus has become a beloved character among Studio Ghibli fans.

Studio Ghibli, the renowned animation studio co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki, has a dedicated fan base that cherishes the catbus as one of its most beloved characters. The Nekobasu’s playful and magical nature has resonated with audiences worldwide, solidifying its place in the hearts of Studio Ghibli enthusiasts.

The Nekobasu has made cameo appearances in other Studio Ghibli films.

The popularity of the Nekobasu has led to its cameo appearances in other Studio Ghibli films. Fans of the catbus can spot it in the background of scenes or hidden within the intricate details of the animation, adding an element of excitement for eagle-eyed viewers.

The Nekobasu represents the magical and whimsical aspects of childhood.

In “My Neighbor Totoro,” the Nekobasu is a symbol of the magical and whimsical world that children often experience. It encapsulates the imagination and the sense of wonder that young minds possess, making it a beloved and relatable character for people of all ages.

The Nekobasu has inspired fan art and fan-made creations.

The Nekobasu’s popularity has sparked countless fan art creations and unique interpretations by devoted fans. Artists from around the world have depicted the catbus in various styles and mediums, showcasing their admiration for this iconic character.


Overall, Nekobasu from the beloved film “My Neighbor Totoro” is a fascinating and iconic character that has captured the hearts of many. From its memorable appearance to its whimsical abilities, Nekobasu has earned its place as one of the most recognizable cartoon characters in the world of anime.

Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering the magic of Studio Ghibli films, learning these 12 facts about Nekobasu will deepen your appreciation for this fantastic character. From its origins as a bus to its connections to Japanese folklore, there’s always something new to discover about Nekobasu.

So sit back, relax, and embark on a journey with Nekobasu through the enchanting world of “My Neighbor Totoro,” and let this lovable cat-bus inspire you with its charm and whimsy!


1. What is Nekobasu’s role in “My Neighbor Totoro”?

Nekobasu serves as a magical transportation device for the protagonists, Mei and Satsuki, taking them on incredible adventures through the forest.

2. Does Nekobasu have any special abilities?

Yes, Nekobasu can transform into a cat-like creature with multiple legs and a smiley face, making it an enchanting and unique mode of transportation.

3. How did Nekobasu get its name?

Nekobasu is a combination of the Japanese words “neko” (meaning cat) and “basu” (meaning bus), aptly describing the character’s appearance and purpose.

4. Is Nekobasu inspired by any folklore or mythology?

Nekobasu draws inspiration from the legendary bakeneko, a shapeshifting cat in Japanese folklore that possesses supernatural powers.

5. Who created Nekobasu?

Nekobasu was created by renowned Japanese animator and filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki, as part of his masterpiece “My Neighbor Totoro.”

6. Are there any hidden meanings behind Nekobasu?

As with many Studio Ghibli films, Nekobasu carries deeper symbolic meanings, representing the power of imagination and the connection between humans and nature.

7. Can you buy Nekobasu merchandise?

Yes, there is a wide range of Nekobasu merchandise available, including plush toys, keychains, and t-shirts, allowing fans to bring this adorable character into their everyday lives.

8. Is Nekobasu popular outside of Japan?

Absolutely! “My Neighbor Totoro” and its characters, including Nekobasu, have gained a massive international following and have become beloved by people all over the world.

9. Are there any spin-offs or sequels featuring Nekobasu?

Currently, there are no specific spin-offs or sequels dedicated solely to Nekobasu, but the character continues to appear in a variety of Studio Ghibli merchandise and collaborations.

10. Can you cosplay as Nekobasu?

Yes, cosplaying as Nekobasu is a popular choice among anime and Studio Ghibli enthusiasts. You can find DIY costume guides and even ready-made costumes to help you bring this iconic character to life.

11. Where can I watch “My Neighbor Totoro” and see Nekobasu in action?

“My Neighbor Totoro” is widely available on various streaming platforms and can be purchased on DVD or Blu-ray. It’s the perfect way to experience the enchanting adventures of Nekobasu and the captivating world of Studio Ghibli.

12. Will Nekobasu continue to be a beloved character in the future?

Without a doubt! Nekobasu’s timeless charm and whimsical nature ensure that it will continue to capture the hearts of audiences for generations to come.