14 Jan

Princess Mononoke – a Reflection on Our Environment

Princess Mononoke is a refreshing addition to the genre of anime because it incorporates all the themes that different audiences expect from a movie. Princess Mononoke has action, horror, drama, romance, and even several aspects of fantasy.

This wide array of genre’s merged together into an epic adventure, is what has made Princess Mononoke the success it has been in so many countries all over the world.

Although these themes have made it a success, another viable factor to the film’s popularity is its focus on nature and how humans interact with it. It shows the true character of humans, and how they can sometimes forget about the importance of nature for their own selfish needs.

There is a clearly evident portrayal of this concept when Jiko the “monk” attempts to claim the head of the forest god, Didarabocchi. Although the forest is being destroyed around him as he runs away with the head. However, only when his own life is in danger does he make the decision to return the head to the Didarabocchi. This is the epitome of human greed, and moreover human morals.

Another example of the human versus nature theme was expressed when Lady Eboshi builds a great town (Iron Town), at the cost of the forest around her. She destroys and kills all the natural things around her to make herself and her town better. For this reason her character is often portrayed as cold as the iron she makes. When her men and injured and fall off the cliff when attacked by San (Princess Mononoke) and the wolf clan, she leaves them behind to die.

However, the hero of the story Ashitaka is able to save two of the men. Ashitaka’s role as the hero is mainly what brings in the male audience to the story. The action in story mainly revolves around Ashitaka and his “curse” which was put on him by the Tatari Gami which attacked his village. Ashitaka’s curse gives him supernatural powers which allow him to have demon-like skill with his bow and arrow.

Flying by on Yakkul, Ashitaka is able to swiftly decapitate his enemies with a single arrow to the head. Ashitaka also functions as the peace keeper between the humans and the animals. In the end he is successful in saving both Iron Town and the forest; however the forest spirit is killed during the incident.

The female audience also needs their own hook, and the author supplies this skillfully with the romance between Ashitaka and San. At first she rejects Ashitaka for being human, however as the story progresses she realizes his intentions are pure. As San infiltrates Iron Town and attacks Lady Eboshi, Ashitaka interferes and stops the battle between the two. He is able to knock both of them unconscious and leave with San.

However he is shot and falls after escaping from Iron Town. San returns the favor by taking Ashitaka to the forest spirit to heal his wounds. The forest spirit heals the bullet wound however the curse remains on his arm. San also acquires the curse as the story progresses and she and Ashitaka both must rid themselves of it.

They are able to accomplish this when Ashitaka and San return the head to the forest god the curse is lifted and they are both cured. However, the odd aspect of their romance is that at the end of the story instead of the typical Western ending, they separate and live in their own locations. San returns to the forest with the wolf clan and Ashitaka helps to rebuild Iron Town. However, Ashitaka says he will visit often.

Not only does Princess Mononoke have action and romance, but it also integrates horror themes with a blend of fantasy. For example the Tatari Gami which attacks Ashitaka’s village was an enraged boar which was shot by Lady Eboshi’s gun. Although instead of dieing the boar is covered by maggot type creatures and gains strength from its rage.

It attacks the village to gain revenge on the humans, however, Ashitaka’s tribe is quite passive with the nature around them. However, throughout the story the constant intertwining between all the different themes of action, romance, horror, drama, and fantasy is what keeps the audience interested.

Along with these themes present in the movie, there is an underlying moral imbedded as well. The idea of implying a moral into the story is not a novel idea in terms of anime. However, it was utilized extremely well in this story.

After watching the movie, the audience not only thinks about the movie itself but also about how the movie relates to their own lives. This is a characteristic of all good movies. Princess Mononoke specifically poses the question if humans are destroying nature and if they need to take a step back and actually examine what they are doing to their environment.

In essence, excellent movies make the audience ponder about their own life, and this is what Princess Mononoke is able to achieve in its own audience. Applying the aspect of a moral in the story with the mixture of action, adventure, romance, drama, and other entertaining devices is how and why Princess Mononoke is the great success it is. Lastly, since there are tons of apps that are there in the market where you can watch this it can be quite confusing and frustrating for you to choose one of them. This is where you have cyberflix tv, a free online Cartoon hd and tv shows streaming app that you can download on your mobile or PC.