Princess Mononoke ののけ姫 is an animated fantasy film written and directed by acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki. The story follows an Emishi prince named Ashitaka’s after he was banished from his home. Due to a bunch of unforeseen circumstances, he finds himself being pulled into a war between a group of humans and Forest Gods who inhabit the area.
Princess Mononoke is one hell of a ride. It was released over 22 years ago, and it still looks impressive. It was excited and as compelling to watch as if it was my first time. This story was very intense, and everything was met with urgency. Easily one of my favorite Ghibli films, and it was quick to remind me why.
Humanity vs. Nature was a strong theme throughout this movie. Scratch that, it was the movie. Survival of the fittest at its very core. When Ashitaka rolls into the picture, he presents the third perspective, and initially, I was on his side. War isn’t the answer, and I still agreed with that sentiment. The former Prince wanted everyone to co-exist, and only now do I realize how naive that really sounds.
But that who he was. He was young, kind-hearted, and strong-willed. Even though life had dealt some pretty shitty cards, the world has yet to leave him jaded. Ashitaka was about his word. When he said something, he meant it. If he made a promise he was gonna make sure he kept it by any means, that’s super admirable.
But now, I’m on the side of the animals. Let’s face it, people really aren’t shit. Humanity destroys everything they touch, and that’s been proven over and over again. This is literally a matter of life and death for them, so how could I not roll with the pack.
San is high-key, the best thing about this movie. She’s young, wild, free, and was raised by wolves. Not just any pack, but a pack of GAWD’s. My little Ruggish Thuggish Bone. She wanted all the smoke. The Princess was as on sight, as one can possibly be. We got to see that side of her, it wasn’t all bravado or mouth. San was really bout it.
Lady Eboshi is a badass. It was nice seeing such a well-rounded villain with clique plans. She wanted to control everything and was willing to slay a God to do it. She as evil as shit.
Princess Mononoke has some really cool battle sequences. Like when Ashitaka takes off both arms of an enemy with one arrow. There several moments with popping limbs. Or San’s movements when she invades Iron Town. I couldn’t help but laugh but definitely memorable.
I really love this movie. Shout out to Joe Hisaishi for his music score.
What did you think of Princess Mononoke? Am I the only one confused at the fact that San can speak to people? Let me know in the comment section below.