Princess Mononoke (about the film)

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From the press kit on the Ghibli Home Page: (dead link)

13 years since "Nausicaa", the violent passion of the genius, Hayao Miyazaki, storms the world! Today, when we think of an action adventure story, we think of American movies. They use huge amounts of money to create impressive scenes, and American heroes save the day. The Japanese just watch them. Since when have things become like this? Also, with the progress of digital technologies, Hollywood action movies these days have become more and more like a show. A highlight scene just for the sake of a highlight scene. It might give us temporary excitement, but could it truly move us!?

"Mononoke Hime", the latest movie scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is an ambitious work which boldly challenges such a situation. The past Miyazaki movies such as "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" and "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" were adventure action movies. However, they were all fantasies with no nationality. The stage which Miyazaki Kantoku (director) has chosen for "Mononoke Hime" is indeed this "Japan". Can an action adventure story take place in Japan? This film, which required twice the time and money of the past Ghibli films, is a big entertainment historical adventure story made by the Japanese, which the Japanese movie industry has been long missing.

The Story, Cast, and Song

The story takes place in a confusing era, when the system of the medieval era had collapsed and society was moving towards the modern era. At that time, although the population had increased and many virgin forests had been cut down, there still remained many ancient forests which refused humans. In dark, black forests of evergreen trees, animals such as mountain dogs, boars, and deer were huge and wise, and could understand human language. They were fighting against humans who invaded their sanctuary, and were feared as Raging Gods. The protagonist is Ashitaka, a descendant of a Royal family of the people who had been defeated by the Yamato government and had been living in a hidden mountain village in Northeast region for hundreds of years. He was put under a curse of death by the Boar God who had become "Mononoke", called "Tatari God" (Curse God) out of anger and hatred. He started on a journey to solve the mystery of the curse, and in the Western country he visited, he was dragged into a heroic battle between the Raging Gods and humans.

Eboshi Gozen was leading the Tatara iron making group, and wanted to get rid of the Gods of the forest to turn the forest into a rich land for people. She assembled women who had been sold and men who had been oppressed, and had created a humanistic society, making iron. On the other hand, although she was a human, Mononoke Hime, San, had been raised by a mountain dog who could understand human language. With the Gods, she was fighting against the Tatara group. Each side believed that their own belief was just. Eboshi Gozen cut the forest down so that humans could live, and the Gods tried to protect their land so that they could live. Ashitaka wasn't sure which side he should take. Further, Samurais who were after the head of the Shishi God which had the power of eternal youth, entered into this battle. It is now a three-way battle.

The boy and the girl met in the middle of this tragedy, and exchanged their feelings, but the fighting over the mountain became more gruesome, and mass killing started. The Raging Gods became mere wild animals. San tried to calm the God who became the Tatari God, but she was swallowed by the Tatari. Ashitaka tries to rescue her, risking his own life. And among the confusion, the story dashes towards the end...

The voice cast includes MATSUDA Youji as Ashitaka, and ISHIDA Yuriko as Mononoke Hime, San. TANAKA Yuuko plays the calm and composed woman Eboshi Gozen, the leader of the Tatara group, who are going to fight against the Mononoke most violently. For her men, KAMIJOU Tsunehiko as Gonza, NISHIMURA Masahiko as Kouroku. And as an old medium, MORI Mitsuko. As the mysterious monk who is after the head of Shishi God, KOBAYASHI Kaoru. This is the cast filled with great actors. And for the voices of the Raging Gods who will have violent fights with humans, we have a great ensemble of MORISHIGE Hisaya (a 500 year old Boar God, Okkotonushi) and MIWA Akihiro (a 300 year old female Dog God who raised San).

The music is by HISAISHI Jo, who is essential to Miyazaki anime. And the song "Mononoke Hime", which "depicts the heart of Ashitaka" (according to Miyazaki Kantoku), will be sung by MERA Yoshikazu, a worldly famous countertenor (a male singer who sings in higher key than tenor, using falsetto).

A message from Japan

Towards the 21st Century, which certainly will become more confusing, Miyazaki Kantoku says the following: "We are not trying to solve the global problems. There can not be a happy ending to the fight between the Raging Gods and humans. However, even in the middle of hatred and killings, there are things worth living for. A wonderful meeting, or a beautiful thing can exist."

"Mononoke Hime" is an epic saga which Miyazaki Kantoku depicts in a most radical and unprecedented scale, with all the passion he has. This movie, which will be distributed worldwide by Disney, is also a message to the world from Japan.

Translated without permission for personal entertainment purposes only. The translator is solely responsible for any mistranslation or misunderstanding due to it.

( ) is added by the translator to supplement the words to make things easier to understand.

This is not, by any means, an accurate word for word translation. The translator simply does not have the capability, the patience, or the dictionary for that (excuses, excuses ^^;;).