Yo! Sirius here!
For the fourth day of the 12 Days of Anime 2020, I will be talking about a popular Ghibli film that I haven’t watched, Princess Mononoke.
Out of all of the Ghibli movies I planned to watch, this movie is one of my most anticipated ones. Unlike yesterday’s movie, Whisper of the Heart, I knew about this movie since I learned about the existence of studio Ghibli. Along with Spirited Away & Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke is one of the most famous films made by Studio Ghibli.
People either love this movie or hate it. Me, well, we will see which side will I be on.
When an Emishi village is attacked by a fierce demon boar, the young prince Ashitaka puts his life at stake to defend his tribe. With its dying breath, the beast curses the prince’s arm, granting him demonic powers while gradually siphoning his life away. Instructed by the village elders to travel westward for a cure, Ashitaka arrives at Tatara, the Iron Town, where he finds himself embroiled in a fierce conflict: Lady Eboshi of Tatara, promoting constant deforestation, stands against Princess San and the sacred spirits of the forest, who are furious at the destruction brought by the humans. As the opposing forces of nature and mankind begin to clash in a desperate struggle for survival, Ashitaka attempts to seek harmony between the two, all the while battling the latent demon inside of him. Princess Mononoke is a tale depicting the connection of technology and nature, while showing the path to harmony that could be achieved by mutual acceptance. (MAL)
Oh man, I love this movie.
I knew this movie would be good, after all, it is popular for a reason, but god damn, I didn’t expect it would be this good!
Princess Mononoke blew me away with its story and its message.
Uugghhh, so good.
Okay, I should stop gushing about and get on with the review.
Princess Mononoke is a movie like no other. Unlike other studio Ghibli I had seen these past days, the setting of this movie is in a faraway land, in the mountains, to be exact. It was set in the ancient times, when iron was still a new thing. We follow a prince as he enters the forbidden forest, trying to find a way to cure his curse. Through his journey, we meet different kinds of people and creatures.
Through the movie, we got to see an amazing depiction of how technology and nature clash with each other.
What I like about this movie was how open and unbiased it was when it comes to different perspectives. Both sides had points and own reasoning as to why they do what they do, but because of revenge and negative emotions, it poisons their minds into being selfish. Ashitaka, the prince, was an outsider in all of this. Rather than taking one side, he patiently listened to each side, understanding why they do what they do. In the end, he helped everyone and made them realize what really is the right thing to do.
I’ll be honest, all through out the movie, I had a hard time finding how the movie would end. I was used to stories that would end with one winning and the other would lose. This movie took the route ending less used by, and bruh, it was the best option. No one won in the end, each side lost something. But they also gain knowledge to be better.
I find it a bit funny how the movie’s title is Princess Mononoke but the story didn’t fully revolve around her, but she was just part of it. This reminds me a lot of the anime, Akame ga Kill, where the title has Akame’s name on it but the main character was a different person. Lol.
Anyway, let’s move on.
For the art and animation, it fits well with the theme. It wasn’t really amazing, looks-wise, but the smoothness of the cell animation continues to amaze me. It blows me away thinking how this amazing animation was done by hand. Damn.
Another thing though, I didn’t expect the level of violence in this movie. Damn, I was shocked. I love gore, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t expect this kind of violence in a studio Ghibli film. Lol.
For the characters, I really like the characters. From the humans to the creatures, each one of them have their own perspective on stuff and you can’t blame them for thinking that way. That’s why I can’t help but like them than hate.
I do have some comments about the romance aspect of the movie. For me, it was unnecessary. Both Mononoke and Ashitaka could just be friends, they don’t have to be in love with each other. I guess, to appeal more audience, they include romance. Ugh. Anyway, I do admit, Mononoke and Ashitaka looks cute together, but with the lack of enough time for them to bond and get to know with each other, I felt their supposed feelings as forced.
Anyway, onto the last part of my post, my overall thoughts.
I now understand the reason why this movie, Princess Mononoke, was hella popular and loved by people. It was really good, like really really good. Even though I couldn’t relate much to the characters, the story and it’s message moved me and it got me into thinking about how I approach the world, how I should handle nature and not abuse it. It’s very insightful.
This movie, definitely, is part of my top favorite anime films of all time. Damn.
That would be all for now. This has been Will Sirius and thanks for reading!