Well what we have here ladies and gentleman is a another classic version of man vs nature, except this time the nature actually talks back and fights. No blue monkeys or Indians shooting arrows at the big guys, but there’s still the guns on the side that seems to have the biggest advantage. My first question is why shoot the movie as an animation film? Well I would have to say that it’s mostly due to the Japanese culture, but also because it’s very “fantastic” in the way of myths, talking animals, spirits, gods, etc. Anyone have nerd status like me and seen the TV series on Nickelodeon called Avatar the Last Airbender (another foreign animation)? I think that there are several instances where this movie reminds me of the series because the evil “fire nation” uses its fire and machines to torch the earth. This time we see a “spirit” turned demon by the very materials pulled out of the earth. The intention to me to get this steel made is to see who has the bigger stick; either it’s going to be Iron Town or the Samurai attacking the town and Lady Eboshi is very intent on making sure she has the bigger stick. Is Ashitaka the hero? Well sure he is, but what about Princess Mononoke? Ashitaka is the hero for the town while Mononoke is the hero for the forest. I think it’s also very symbolic that after the forest spirit’s angry headless form destroys the forest, it then destroys Iron Town; without the forest there is no wood to burn the fires in the shops and therefore no steel to make. The ending is flooded with notions that things will only get bad again. Lady Eboshi says that they will build a BETTER town. Does that mean more guns or even bigger ones? Or does that mean they will build a town that isn’t so dependent on tearing down the angry forest. I don’t think Lady Eboshi will start out being a destructive force again, but who’s to say that who ever follows her won’t. Just as our very blunt monk said early in the film, “You’re under a curse so is the whole damn world”.
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