Post by Old Man Dream on Sept 16, 2015 22:48:20 GMT
As one of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki's more popular works, Princess Mononoke is a movie that epitomizes many of the the typical themes to be found in a work made by Ghibli and the director associated with it. Set in feudal era Japan, Princess Mononoke is focused on a young prince named Ashitaka who is banished from his village after being cursed by a boar god turned into a demon. As he travels the land, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a hostile conflict between residents of an ironworks village led by their strong woman ruler Eboshi and the animal gods of the nearby forest trying to protect their land from man's expansion of their territory. Among the wolves of the forest is a young woman named San who was orphaned as a baby and raised by the mentioned wolves to defend their land.
Princess Mononoke employs many of the typical themes and story elements you would find within a Ghibli work with environmental themes, strong female characterization and no defined villains. The environmental themes come into effect with the preservation efforts that San and the other animals within the forest are doing against Eboshi and the ironworks village, with the destruction of the forest from the ironworks village being done to preserve its livelihood. This serves as a sort of symbolic clash between the natural environment and humanity's industrialized world that it continues expanding. The ironworks village consists of social outcasts within feudal Japanese society such as prostitutes and lepers that Eboshi had taken to her side to maintain and protect the village she governs, creating the lack of defined villains within this movie as both sides have justifications for what they are doing to preserve their livelihoods.
Female characters such as Eboshi, San and the prostitutes making up the ironworks village consist of the strong female characters that are found throughout Princess Mononoke. While willing to take action to protect the sides they support, these characters also have a good deal of depth to them exploring their mentalities and actions throughout the course of the film. This same focus also extends to Ashitaka who plays the role of neutral party within the conflict as he tries to resolve it without both sides wiping one another out, coming to understand how each group views their situation while trying to cure himself of the curse he sustained at the start of the film.
If it is not apparent from what I have highlighted in the review thus far, Princess Mononoke mixes around historical and supernatural lore with its storytelling. Outside of the animal gods, supernatural creatures like kodama and a daidarabotchi are seen regularly throughout the film. In addition, the historical elements of the film are believably depicted with villages being at war with one another to expand their territory, Ashitaka's Emishi village seen at the start of the film being on the decline and Eboshi's village being an uncommon sight for feudal Japan with its feminist-dominated society and acceptance of social outcasts.
Issues with the movie mostly come down to nitpicking. There are a few characters left rather underdeveloped like those among Ashitaka's village and Jiko-bo. While this would be forgiving for the former since they have no prominent role within Princess Mononoke, the latter only exists to push along the plot and doesn't have many defined characteristics to his character compared to major players like Eboshi and Ashitaka. Also the movie may not be appropriate to show to younger audiences as the violence is greater than average for a typical Ghibli film featuring graphic scenes like the decaying bodies of animal gods, decapitations and dismemberment.
Visually, Princess Mononoke is of Ghibli's typical excellent quality as it sports excellent scenic shots of the forest landscape, detailed character designs and fluid animation. The designs of animals make for the character design highlight with their realistic details and action scenes depict fluid and intense movements consistently throughout its run without any loss of detail or apparent shortcuts. The movie makes some use of CG animation that blends in seamlessly with the normal animation style implemented throughout Mononoke, mainly with Ashitaka utilizing the supernatural power of his curse and one of the final conflicts in the movie.
Overall, Princess Mononoke is among one of Studio Ghibli's best offerings in the execution of its normal themes that are implemented into a feudal Japanese setting with fantasy elements. This is a definite recommendation for any anime fan starting off their fandom with a love for any works made by Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki.
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
I was thinking about this show and trying think about the flaws. Anticipating things. I failed at it. Nostalgia bias on myself. I never thought about the minor characters. They were forgettable. When I rented the film 2 years ago or so, I remember remarking about how weird the CG animation was. Unless I'm wrong. Haven't seen shows where CG was good. I was one of the folks who said CG only looks good if everything is in CG.
I really love this movie. My 2nd Miyazaki or Ghibli film (confused the two) movie. Spirited Away was my first one. Princess Mononoke captured me back in middle school. Oh, I guess my art teacher didn't follow the advice of showing it to younger audiences. She wanted to show us what anime was. We were shocked at the gore at the thread. I remembered it and asked the teacher if the guy is dead. I know it sounds stupid.
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT