Princess Mononoke

Hi guys it’s Friday so that means it’s review time! ^^

I’m going to review to you guys Princess Mononoke today, an anime movie that I really wanted to watch for a long period of time. Princess Mononoke is by the genius Hayao Miyazaki and the songs composed for it are absolutely wonderful, done by the amazing Joe Hisaishi, once again.

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The soundtrack of Princess Mononoke is absolutely wonderful. It gives me the chills when I listen to it and I wonder to myself all over again how on earth Joe Hisaishi came up with such beautiful music. He’s a genius I tell you. Watch this video below of Princess Mononoke‘s soundtrack.

I love this guy’s music so much ❤

Okay so back to the story.

Princess Mononoke is the story about a boy, a prince from a village, who gets cursed by a boar possessed by a demon due to corruption upon killing it.

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Before the corruption spreads to the rest of his body from his right arm, he is told by the village’s wise woman that he has to leave the village and that he may find a cure in the western lands, from where the boar came from. The prince, Ashitaka, leaves the village and journeys towards the west. He meets many people along the way and after rescuing two men from the river, he sees San, the girl who he will know later as Princess Mononoke with wolves for the first time.

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He tries to talk to her but she tells him to leave and leaves with the wolves. Ashitaka goes on to carry the two injured men back to their village through a shortcut through the forest, granted passage by the kodamas. He manages to catch a glimpse of the Forest Spirit in the process.

In the village, Iron Town, Ashitaka discovers that the Head of the village, Lady Eboshi had been clearing down forests to get iron and produce weapons, leading to conflict against the forest gods. He also discovers that Lady Eboshi was the one who turned the boar that attacked him into a demon and caused its corruption.

She tells him about the girl with the wolves, whom she refers to as Princess Mononoke, that she was taken by the wolves and that she hates humans and wishes to kill her (Lady Eboshi) deeply. Well, Lady Eboshi, YOU DON’T SAY~

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Not long after, San infiltrates Iron Town and attempts to kill Lady Eboshi. Ashitaka stops them both with his weird corrupted arm and takes San before leaving the village. He gets shot, though accidentally but he walks on like Hercules with amazing willpower and strength. He even manages to push open their village gate single-handedly, something that 10 villagers is normally required to achieve. Superhero eh~

The wolves show up and Ashitaka shows them San, saying that he has their princess and that he’s returning her to them. He eventually faints from his gunshot injury but San, who regains her consciousness, threatens to kill him and end his suffering. However, she staggers back in shock when Ashitaka tells her that she’s beautiful in his weak state.

San decides to bring him back to the forest, despite protests from the forest gods. That night, the Forest Spirit comes by and heals Ashitaka of his gunshot injury. Seeing this, San decides to trust him and help him. Okkoto, the blind boar god announces that the boar clan will attack the village the following day and fight to take back their land. Ashitaka also finds out that Lady Eboshi plans to kill the Forest Spirit and take its head to the Emperor because legend says that the head of the Forest Spirit could grant immortality.

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The story goes on with San joining the fight with the boars and Ashitaka rejoining San to stay with her and prevent a fight from breaking out. Both of them manage to save the world by returning the head of the Forest Spirit after it being shot off by Lady Eboshi. Moro, the wolf god manages to tear off Lady Eboshi’s right arm in her last moments and the Forest Spirit cures Ashitaka and San of their corruption, as well as heals the land.

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With everything more or less in its place now, San says goodbye to Ashitaka who tells her that he will go to the forest to visit her from time to time as although San has come to like him, she still hates humans. We watch as Iron Town rebuilds and the kodamas come back to life (a sign of the living Forest Spirit)

– Final Thoughts –

I didn’t expect the show to be so complicated with all the supernatural and demon corruption thing but I did know what I was getting myself into when I read about this movie. I knew that it would be about a war between the forest and the humans but I didn’t expect Ashitaka to be like that. I don’t even really know which side he stands on. You could, perhaps say that he’s neutral, a pacifist and that if he could help it, he would want both sides to be coexisting in peace. But throughout the whole show, I felt that his role was quite difficult since both sides has this ‘either you’re with us or you’re against us’ mindset and were quite unrelenting.

Nevertheless, I admire Ashitaka for his steadiness and unswerving nature to stick to his decisions and trust in them. I loved that about him. Decisive, strong-minded and completely genuine.

I also liked San’s character. She’s clearly the pitiful one, being neither human, nor wolf. Moro describes San in one of her conversations with Ashitaka:

‘Humans who attacked the forest threw a baby to me in order to escape my fangs! That was San! She can’t be human… neither can she fully be a wolf! She’s my poor, ugly, loveable daughter, can you save her?’

San has a deep hatred for the humans because their selfishness and what they did to the forest. But after meeting Ashitaka, she seems to have different thoughts about him, even telling him that he means a lot to her at the end of the show. I liked her loyalty and one-mindedness about her duty.

The whole atmosphere of the movie is very absorbing, it pulls you into their world, maybe due to the wonderful music by Joe Hisaishi and I loved it. I loved the fictional world of Princess Mononoke and I liked the movie, as well as the values behind it.

I highly recommend you watch this if you want to relax and listen to amazing music as well as watch a little action in the story. It’s fantasy and a little hard to believe, but you will love Ashitaka as the unexpected hero and San as the girl willing to fight everything for her adopted family and beloved forest. Not forgetting to mention, the animation is beautiful too and Miyazaki maintains the flavour that pacifism is still his ideal. Beautiful.

Rating: 9/10 overall for this movie

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