Princess Mononoke turns 26 this year. Released in 1997, this film is a classic for any Anime fan out there. If you've heard of Studio Ghibli, then you've definitely heard of Mononoke. But why should you watch it?
16 years to design and 3 years to produce, a "lot of work" going into this is merely an understatement. It broke all records in Japan when it was released, also becoming the third most popular anime, only next to Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, all directed by Hayao Miyazaki.
The animation and artwork is absolutely breathtaking, with every scene reflecting and accurately depicting the mood, theme and values of the film.
The film leverages the Japanese aesthetic period of Muromachi and the characters, design and style are heavily based on it. The colors, feel and tone really get to you - connects with you in a way very less films do.
The Characters & Story
Princess Mononoke is definitely aesthetic, but at the same time a very deep and complicated film showing a lot of conflict right from the very beginning. The plot is such that it makes the viewers look at both perspectives equally, and isn't one sided.
On one hand there's human settlers and on the other we have the forest spirits. And then there's the internal conflict of the Prince himself, trying to find a cure for his curse in this story.
It also showcases one of the most popular and important values in Eastern society - The philosophy of Yin and Yang.
A Strong Female Backed Plot (that's actually good)
Lastly, but definitely not the least, the film is a beautiful depiction of strong, badass and independent female characters. From San, to Lady Eboshi to the women of Irontown, they're all... just the kind of feminism you want to see in a film. Bear in mind, this is from 90s - and they still managed to convey it amazingly. Often much better than today tbh.
Well, that ought to make you want to watch it! Go give it a try. And while you're at it... How about you check our brand new Mononoke designs? ;)