The Kusakabes appear in the film My Neighbor Totoro as the leading characters. There are four of them altogether: their father, Tatsuo Kusakabe, their mother, Yasuko Kusakabe, their eleven-year-old daughter, Satsuki Kusakabe, and their four-year-old daughter, Mei Kusakabe. In the beginning of the show Tatsuo, Satsuki, and Mei move to a new house as Yasuko is still in the hospital recovering from spinal tuberculosis, or wasting disease.
Mr.Kusakabe is the father of Mei and Satsuki. He works as a professor at a university and stays home on work days writing paperwork. His voice is played by Tim Daly in English and by Shigesato Itoi in Japanese. He is not one of the main cast and never meets either Totoro or the catbus, though he plays an important part in the Kusakabe's daily life.
Tatsuo is a cheerful and hard working father. He never doubts either of his daughters' words and knows just what to say to them to cheer them up.
Mrs.Kusakabe is the mother of Mei and Satsuki. She is in the hospital recovering from spinal tuberculosis. Her voice is played by Lea Salonga in English and by Sumi Shimamoto in Japanese. She is not one of the main cast and never meets either Totoro or the catbus, although she is the cause of the climax of the story.
She is kind, she is patient, she is long suffering, and she loves her daughters who love her back.
Satsuki is the older sister of Mei. She goes to school in Montsugo along with her best friend, Misuko. Her voice is played by Dakota Fanning in English and by Noriku Hidaka in Japanese. She is one of the main cast and meets Totoro three times and the catbus twice.
Mei is the younger sister of Satsuki. She stays home on week ays or is looked after by the neighbor Nanny. Her voice is played by Elle Fanning in English and by Chika Sakamoto in Japanese. She is one of the main cast and meets Totoro three times and the catbus twice.