No animation movie has ever left me spellbound like the ones from Studio Ghibli
I was so thrilled be when Marc of Go, See, Talk held a super interesting event called Miyazaki Madness where he made a simple battle between (almost) ALL Ghibli animations. As I have mentioned so many time, Studio Ghibli is my number one animation studio in the world, far above Disney, Pixar and any other animation studios. They keep on making great imagination and amazingly beautiful art. I really appreciate how they keep holding on with hand draw animation rather than shifting to digital animation.
Because of the love I have for Ghibli is so big, I kept commenting in Marc’s Miyazaki Madness. I didn’t know that the person with the most comment will get a DVD from Studio Ghibli. I was quite surprise when Marc told me that I won a DVD. In fact… just talking about Ghibli is already more than enough for me because I often feel alone when people start talking this and that about other animation studios that rarely awed me.
I told Marc that I want Mononoke Hime, I have seen it once and I can still remember how beautiful the art and story of Mononoke Hime. The DVD arrived last week and I was a bit shocked because it was a dubbed version….and God knows how I hate dubbed (and remake) movie. Fortunately, the special features include Japanese Language Track…よかった ね (^^)v
Now…let’s talk about the beautiful story of Mononoke Hime
Mononoke Hime is another breathtaking, mesmerizing, thought provoking and beyond ordinary imagination movie by the great Miyazaki Hayao
It took place in the time where Gods still protected the earth, where the forest was as vast as eyes could see and where spirits lived amongst us.
Ashitaka (Yōji Matsuda) lived in a peaceful village far from other village. Suddenly, a demon came charging from the forest heading to his village. He was warned not to touch it but to fight it, he had to touch it. When the demon died, it returned to its original being, a Boar God. The God had a metal bullet inside Its body. The injured Boar God had been infested with demon because of the hatred It carried inside Its heart. Having touched and the demon left Ashitaka with a curse wrapped around his arm. To lift the curse, he had to leave his village and find the Deer God.
On his way, he stopped by an ironwork village which was under the protection of Lady Eboshi (Yūko Tanaka), a powerful woman who was loved by everyone in the village. You might think that ‘here comes the bad guy’, but there was no such thing as terribly bad person or incredibly kind person in this animation. No matter how hard you try, you can never make yourself hating Lady Eboshi as she had her reasons for doing things she did.
Lady Eboshi had been Mononoke Hime’s target to kill since she arrived in the forest that used to belong to the Boar god. She was the one who shot the Boar God.
Who was Mononoke Hime anyway?
She was a girl named San (Yuriko Ishida ). She was raised by the Wolf God named Moro (Akihiro Miwa). Moro had 2 wolf children. Her tribe is not as many as the Boar God but with only 4members in the tribe, she gave more struggles against Eboshi than the Boar tribe.
Ashitaka saw things from both sides, he did not choose to stand in either Lady Eboshi’s side nor San’s side. He wished that all of them can live peacefully together, human, animals, trees and Gods.
A third party came between them. This group was led by Jiko (Kaoru Kobayashi). It was a group of skilled hunters. They wanted to cut off the head of the Deer God and presented it to the emperor.
That’s all I can say about the story. I don’t want to end up spoiling this mesmerizing animation to anyone who happened to read my review. Giving spoiler from this movie is a sin. I will leave the story telling by saying that It is a battle like you have never seen before.
What I like the most about Mononoke Hime is the vast imagination by Miyazaki Sensei.
The story is a wonderful timeless fantasy that emphasized the need to live hand in hand with nature. It was so easy to forget that I was watching an animation, it felt like watching real people with flesh and blood in a set of a beautiful forest.
The art was captivating, it was very beautiful. I did not feel like I was seeing an animation, I felt like seeing a gallery of art. Unfortunately I can’t take snapshots of my own like I always do whenever I reviewed Ghibli animation 😦 something’s wrong with my DVD-room. All the snapshots here is from Google.
I love seeing the Night Walker, so transparent and beautiful, it looks like stars are trapped inside it. The Kodama, spirits of the trees look so peculiar and yet so cute. When they all gathered on the tree to welcome the Night walker is a marvelous scene.
What I always like about Ghibli Animation is the fact there is no such enemy is truly evil and no such hero is truly angelic…they are all humans with their own desire and passion.
I give you The Japanese Trailer because it has more depth the other trailers (The US version is here)
Other Ghibli Animations: