My bad neighbor Totoro? Man says anime inspired him to steal

Hayao Miyazaki's 1988 classic My Neighbor Totoro is loved around the world for its animation style, its embrace of the wonders of childhood and the beauty of nature, and of course its cuddly characters. However, the anime may have a secret dark side that influences criminal behavior.

According to Rocket News24, a man was arrested Sunday in Taichung, Taiwan, after he allegedly walked into a convenience store, and then ran out with a shoplifted umbrella. He fled down the street and straight into a waiting Catbus police officer.

Asked why he swiped an umbrella rather than something more valuable, the suspect reportedly insisted he was inspired by My Neighbor Totoro -- specifically, the scene in which Totoro and sisters Satsuki and Mei perform a midnight ritual to make their planted acorns grow. They mime pulling on the sprouts, with a grunting Totoro gripping, yes, an umbrella.

The man allegedly told police he might be able to change his luck if he also had an umbrella, although it's unclear why he couldn't simply buy (or even borrow) one. The good news is the umbrella does seem to have changed his luck. The bad news? It's probably not in the way he'd hoped.

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