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Sootballs (Susuwatari in Japanese) are species that appear in the films My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. They are small round balls made from soot that dwell in old and abandoned houses and leave black dirt in their wake. If the house becomes inhabited, they decide if the inhabitants are nice people, if they are, they will leave.

My Neighbor TotoroEdit

Sootballs appear at the beginning of the film when Satsuki, Mei, and Tatsuo Kusakabe first move into their new house. They are everywhere and move quickly from the light into the shadow, which they take a liking to. Mei tries to catch some, but despite this, they agree that the Kusakabe family is good and they leave to another abandoned area. When one of them gets caught, they all become dust.

Spirited AwayEdit

They work in the Bathhouse in return for small star shaped food, called Konpeitō. They are seen carrying coal to help power the boiler in Kamajī's Boiler Room. The have super strength relative to their body weight. Even Chihiro Ogino couldn't take a piece of coal without overextending herself.

Sootballs are friendly towards Chihiro. They are hopping when Chihiro leaves the Boiler Room. When Chihiro first meets Kamaji and gets rejected for a job, she helps the Sootballs carrying the coal. Soon they lay down their coal at Chihiro's feet. Kamaji gets angry at Chihiro. Sootballs try to protect her by surrounding her. After that, Kamaji helps Chihiro by sending her to Yubaba.