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Title (English) Princess Mononoke
Title (Japanese) Mononoke Hime

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes Movie, 120 min approx, 1997
A.k.a "Princess Ghost".
Classification -
Synopsis Set in medieval Japan, this has as major characters a young man, Ashitaka of the Emishi clan, descenant of a defeated royal house, and a woman, Eboshi Gozen, leader of a group of ironworkers, whose fortified community is under attack by giant white wolves led by Princess Mononoke.
Review Mononoke represents, obviously, the embattled forces of nature under threat from man's activities.
Although the movie has to date been released theatrically in Japan only, with no video release yet, I have seen it in a Cantonese dub version (don't ask) and can confirm that the medieval setting is so detailed that the movie looks rather like a Kurasawa epic, and the fight scenes, in which Mononoke bounds about as though on springs, are a bit reminiscent of a Hong Kong action movie. It's all rather bloody, and the ending, which I shan't reveal, is quite weird.

It's not typical anime, though looks like it was aimed principally at children. Great on medaeval Japan settings, looks rather like one of those Kurosawa live-action epics. The battle scenes are a bit reminiscent of Hong Kong movies, all acrobatic leaps. Definitely an epic, and I hope to watch it again. It has by turns the feel of a historical live-action epic, a fantasy movie, a romance, and an ecological parable. Not a typical anime at all, but deserves every yen of its huge success in Japan.

Note Despite their quality, most of the Miyazaki movies remain unreleased in the West. However, world copyright has been acquired by the Disney Corporation, thus making distribution of "fan copies" illegal. If this deters you, you can either wait till Disney release them, or acquire (expensively) the original Japanese laser-disc editions.Info.

Release Jap:VHS, US:DVD, Can:DVD
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1997
Production Studo Ghibli
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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