Mononoke-hime

  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producers: Toshio Suzuki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki, Neil Gaiman
  • Genres: Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Actors: Yoji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Kaoru Kobayashi, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Minnie Driver, Billy Bob Thornton

Set in feudal Japan, a time of upheaval of samurai and isolated villages, Princess Mononoke follows the journey of the last Emishi prince,[2] Ashitaka, and his attempts to make peace between the human settlement, Irontown (Tataraba in the original Japanese), and the creatures living in the forest that surrounds it.

The film begins with Ashitaka receiving a curse during a battle with a demonic giant boar called Nago which is threatening to destroy his village. During the fight, Ashitaka receives a wound on his right arm; the cursed wound will spread to the rest of his body and eventually kill him. Ashitaka resolves to journey to the boar’s origin, the lands to the West, and find a cure for the curse. He cuts his hair, signifying his permanent departure from his village,[3] and rides out with his steed Yakul, his loyal red elk. On his journey, Ashitaka passes by a village suffering a samurai attack. Some samurai attack him, and Ashitaka defeats them with the supernatural strength of his cursed arm. In a nearby town he meets Jigo, a wandering monk impressed by his feats of arm, who informs Ashitaka that the god of the forest in the mountains of the west may be able to help him.

In the ensuing battle, Irontown successfully sets a trap for the boars, devastating their army. Jigo’s hunters also succeed in corrupting Okkoto in the same way as Nago, and San becomes entangled in Okkoto’s demonic tentacles. Moro, also badly wounded, saves San, and then is killed, along with Okkoto, by the Forest Spirit, in mercy for their suffering. Eboshi then succeeds in shooting off the Forest Spirit’s head while it is transforming into the night-walker. Jigo collects the head while the body is transformed into a god of death covering the surrounding land with a lethal black ooze that completely destroys all life and turns the land barren. The hunters scatter before the ooze and the population of Irontown moves into the surrounding lake, leaving Irontown to destruction. Ashitaka and San manage to take the head from Jigo and return it to the Forest Spirit. It collapses into the lake and the land becomes green again. Ashitaka and San part, vowing to see each other occasionally while Ashitaka, finally freed of his curse, helps rebuild Irontown. Eboshi survives, albeit without an arm, and vows to rebuild Irontown along more harmonious lines. The film ends with a kodama appearing in the rejuvenated forest.