Nature and Human, the Coincidentia Oppositorum-Princess Mononoke

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Mentioning about Hayao Miyazaki’s animations, there’s one movie that must have-Princess Mononoke. On the other hand, this article is the last one of this series.

Princess Mononoke is considered as the benchmark film in anime. It happens in a magic world, but the theme of the story can happen everywhere when human beings find suitable places to live, what the roles our humans should play.

Princess Mononoke is an animated movie that features in a fantasy adventure of great ambition and extent, which plot is deeper and richer than anything that has emerged from the magic kingdom. It’s an epic saga, which makes it distinct from other animated pictures. And there’s also an intelligence and sophistication in the writing that one rarely finds in animated endeavors.

The story of Princess Mononoke took place in ancient Japan at the dawn of the Age of Iron, is loosely based on Japanese mythology and is fundamentally about the eternal conflict between man and nature. It begins with a hideous boar, which is the god of the beasts, is beginning to clash over the forests and their natural resources. When young Ashitaka, kills the rampageing board god, but afflicted with a curse. The curse will kill him if he cannot find a cure. So he travels away from his home to find the cause of the boar god’s curse and hatred of humans. He gets to a fortress-like town named “Irontown”, and finds that the people of the town are trying to take the resources from the forest near them, where forest is the home of the forest god, and is protected by the wolf clan and a girl name San, the Princess Mononoke. Ashitaka seeks only to find answers, but he soon finds himself in the middle of an epic struggle.

Hayao Miyazaki is recognized as a living legend. His works are high quality, but the style different from Disney’s, and it is easy to lose oneself in the magic world of imagination. The best thing of Miyazaki’s works is that they are not only anime for children. Some of the stories are an adult experience, so mostly both adults and children can appreciate those movies. So do the Princess Mononoke. It is a serious, but beautiful allegorical tale. While watching the film, the feel is earthy and the solid plot populated with interesting, well-developed characters. But the violence is considerably, and surprisingly more graphic than any of his other works.

This is a film that grabs you by the throat from the very beginning and for two hours never let go. It throws you into a feast for the senses with its top-notch animation and amazing art. The visuals are absolutely splendid and there is no low-point in terms of artistry. The rendering in the film of grassy fields, fertile valleys, and dark forests is a true work of art in and of itself, as is the almost-familiar architecture. The characters, both human and animal, are likewise exquisitely crafted and rendered.

Though I like the original Japanese version better than the English dub, the dub are doing quite well indeed. You won’t disappointed by all the big name actors such as Billy Kudrup (Ashitaka), Gillian Anderson (the wolf god), Claire Danes (San or Princess Mononoke) or other characters.

The Princess Mononoke is really an impressive film, and the artwork is on top, breathtaking beautiful, bizarre, powerful, subtle and humorous, but it is also serious, realistically violent, deep, thought provoking. The theme is heightened by the fantastic music from the incomparable composer Jo Hisaishi. The name Jo Hisaishi is synonymous with Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli productions and for excellent reason. He has under his belt many brilliantly composed scores for Miyazaki’s anime movies and Princess Mononoke is no exception. Princess Mononoke’s music is a harmonious collage of emotion and energy, resulting in a one-of-a-kind musical experience. They are available on internet.

However, some other animations from Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli, like Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service are my favorite. Hayao Miyazaki’s movies are something that you won’t want to miss if you are a huge anime fan. Enjoy!

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