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San

Plot

In Muromachi period Japan, an Emishi village is attacked by a demon (祟り神 tatari-gami?). The last Emishi prince, Ashitaka, kills the demon before it reaches the village, but not before its corruption curses his right arm. The curse gives him superhuman fighting ability, but will eventually kill him. The demon is revealed to be a boar god, Nago, corrupted by an iron ball lodged in his body. The village’s wise woman (Oracle in the original dub) tells Nago that she bow down before him and pass on in peace and bear no hatred, and Nago has his last words to the villagers «Disgusting little creatures, soon all of you will feel my hate and suffer as I have suffered.» That night, she tells Ashitaka that he may find a cure in the western lands Nago came from under exile.

Heading west, Ashitaka meets Jigo (Jiko-bō in the original dub), a wandering monk, who tells Ashitaka that he might find help from the Great Forest Spirit (Deer God (シシ神 Shishi-gami?)), a Kirin-like creature by day and a giant Nightwalker by night. Nearby, a convoy returning to Irontown (たたら場 Tataraba?), led by Lady Eboshi, is attacked by a wolf clan led by the wolf-goddess Moro. Riding one of the wolves is San, a human girl. Later, Ashitaka discovers two injured Irontown men, and sees San and the wolf clan; he greets them, but they ignore him and leave. He carries the injured through the forest, where he encounters many kodama (木魂?), and glimpses the Forest Spirit.

In Irontown, Ashitaka learns Eboshi has built the town by clear-cutting forests to reclaim ironsand and produce iron, leading to conflict with the forest gods. The town is a refuge for social outcasts, including former brothel workers and lepers, whom Eboshi employs to manufacture firearms to defend against the gods. Ashitaka also learns Eboshi is responsible for turning Nago into the demon. Eboshi explains that San, whom she calls Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫 Mononoke-hime?), was raised by the wolves as one of their own, and has a deep hatred for humankind.

Soon after, San infiltrates Irontown to kill Eboshi, but Ashitaka intervenes, knocking them both unconscious. As he leaves the town carrying San, he is shot by a villager, and falls unconscious while heading for the forest. San awakens and is about to kill the dying Ashitaka, but hesitates when he tells her that she is beautiful. She takes him to the forest, and decides to trust him after the mighty Forest Spirit saves his life. San soon begins to develop romantic feelings for Ashitaka.

Meanwhile, a large clan of boars, led by the blind boar-god Okkoto (Okkotonushi) attack Irontown to save the forest. Eboshi prepares for battle and sets out to kill the Forest Spirit. Jigo, revealed to be a mercenary, intends to give the god’s head to the Emperor of Japan in return for protection from local daimyo lords. According to legend, the severed head of the Forest Spirit can grant immortality and longevity.

In the battle, Okkoto is corrupted by multiple gunshot wounds. Disguising themselves in boars’ skins, Jigo’s men trick the rampaging Okkoto into leading them to the Forest Spirit. San desperately tries to stop him, but is swept up in the corruption consuming his body. Ashitaka attempts to save her, but is also swallowed up into the corruption, until Moro attacks the fully corrupted Okkoto, and appeals to Ashitaka to use his love for San to save her, which he does. However, Ashitaka’s infection is accelerated and San is also infected. Eboshi beheads the Forest Spirit during its transformation into the Night-walker; corruption pours from its body, killing any living being it touches as it searches for its head, which Jigo has taken with him. The forest begins to decay while kodama fall from the trees and dissolve on the ground. Moro, dying from injuries sustained in the battle, uses the last of her strength to bite off Eboshi’s right arm. After bandaging Eboshi and convincing San to help him get the Forest Spirit’s head back, Ashitaka and San follow Jigo to near Irontown, where they manage to return the god’s head. Restored, the Forest Spirit falls into the lake, healing the land, and cures Ashitaka and San of the curse.

Although she tells Ashitaka how much he means to her, San still can’t forgive humans for their actions and decides to remain in the forest. Ashitaka chooses to help rebuild Irontown, but tells San he will occasionally visit her in the forest. In gratitude to Ashitaka’s efforts to save the people of Irontown, Eboshi vows to rebuild a better town and Jigo decides to give up as he «can’t win against fools.» Meanwhile, as the forest begins to grow back, a single kodama can be seen walking out of the brush and rattles its head.

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Crudup Ashitaka

(voice)

Billy Bob Thornton Jigo

(voice)

Minnie Driver Lady Eboshi

(voice)

John DiMaggio Gonza /
Additional Voices

(voice)

Claire Danes San

(voice)

John DeMita Kohroku

(voice)

Jada Pinkett Smith Toki

(voice)

Gillian Anderson Moro

(voice)

Keith David Okkoto /
Narrator /
Additional Voices

(voice)

Corey Burton Additional Voices

(voice)

Tara Strong Kaya /
Additional Voices

(voice) (as Tara Charandoff)

Julia Fletcher Additional Voices

(voice) (as Julia DeMita)

Debi Derryberry Hii-sama /
Additional Voices

(voice)

Alex Fernandez Additional Voices

(voice)

Jack Fletcher Additional Voices

(voice)

Персонажи[править]

Центральныеправить

  • Аситака — главный герой, принц племени эмиси. В начале фильма получил проклятье и был вынужден отправиться в путешествие, чтобы найти способ исцелиться. Очень добрый, отзывчивый и порядочный юноша, стремится помогать каждому встречному, а ещё отличный воин. Но при этом до последнего старается избегать насилия при решении проблем. В конфликте людей и духов занимает относительно нейтральную позицию и пытается решить всё мирным путём.
  • Сан, она же Принцесса мононоке — человеческая девушка, воспитанная волками. Эдакая женская версия Маугли, только очень воинственная и грозная. Людей презирает и ненавидит, за исключением Аситаки (и то не сразу нашла с ним общий язык). А за обитателей Леса готова отдать свою жизнь, даже если некоторые из них (Обезьяны) попрекают её за человеческое происхождение.

Железный город (Татара-ба)править

  • Госпожа Эбоси — правительница Татара-ба, одна из главных антагонистов. Руководит уничтожением Леса и его обитателей, однако, с другой стороны, она же искренне заботится о жителях своего городка. А ведь это в основном беглые крестьяне, бывшие проститутки и даже прокажённые (т.е. люди, отвергнутые остальным обществом). В общем, на полноценную злодейку не слишком тянет.
  • Гондза — верный телохранитель Эбоси. Криклив и груб, но за госпожу стоит горой.
  • Коруку — один из жителей Татара-ба, которого нашёл в лесу и спас Аситака. Немного трусоват и находится в «ежовых рукавицах» у своей жены, но всё же забавный персонаж.
  • Токи — жена Коруку, энергичная и весёлая женщина. В отсутствие госпожи Эбоси управляет заводом, а также руководит целым отрядом вооружённых женщин. Иногда ругает, но всё же любит своего непутёвого мужа.

Древний Лесправить

  • Моро — богиня-волчица. Много лет назад забредшие в Лес люди бросили там своего ребёнка, но она пощадила малышку и вырастила как свою родную дочь. К остальным же людям по-прежнему относится с ненавистью и мечтает лично откусить голову госпоже Эбоси. Тем не менее, хочет, чтобы Аситака защитил Сан. Вообще, она явно дорожит девушкой, хотя и называет её «моё милое, безобразное, любимое дитя».
  • Сыновья Моро — два молодых волка, приёмные братья Сан. Их имена не называются, но есть теория, что если имя Сан означает по-японски «три», то их, соответственно, зовут Ичи и Ни (т.е. «Один» и «Два»).
  • Лесной бог (Бог-Олень), или Сисигами — хозяин и покровитель Древнего Леса, бог одновременно и жизни, и смерти. По легенде, его кровь может вылечить любую болезнь, а голова дарует бессмертие. Днём пребывает в образе оленя с получеловеческим лицом, после заката превращается в огромного призрака, которого люди зовут Ночным скитальцем. Именно в момент трансформации Бог-Олень максимально уязвим.
  • Оккотононуси, или Оккото — бог-кабан, возглавляющий многочисленное стадо вепрей. Очень старый и мудрый, но, тем не менее, атаку его племени на людей иначе, как «самоубийственной», весьма трудно назвать.
  • Наго — другой бог-кабан, ставший жертвой проклятья ненависти. В начале аниме, уже став демоном, напал на деревню Аситаки и им же был убит.
  • Обезьяны — жутковатые мартышки с красными глазами. По ночам сажают деревья, в надежде, что срубленные участки вновь зарастут. Требовали у Сан и её братьев отдать им на съедение Аситаку.
  • Кодама — бледные духи деревьев, слегка напоминающие маленьких детей. Совершенно безобидны, несмотря на жутковатый вид. Помогают главному герою и его спутникам пробраться сквозь дебри.

Остальныеправить

  • Дзико-Бо — странствующий буддистский монах, императорский наёмник. По виду простодушный толстячок с красным носом, а на деле умелый манипулятор и большой любитель загребать жар чужими руками. Рассчитывает получить награду от императора, преподнеся ему голову Бога-Оленя, которая якобы дарит бессмертие. По виду, неплохо относится к Аситаке, но в критический момент готов напасть и на него.
  • Князь Асано — феодал, жаждущий заполучить богатства города-завода. В кадре лично не появляется, но его воины в отсутствие Эбоси и мужчин нападают на Татара-ба.
  • Якул — ручная антилопа Аситаки.

Themes

A central theme of Princess Mononoke is the environment. The film centers on the adventure of Ashitaka as he journeys to the west to undo a mortal curse inflicted upon him by Naga, a boar turned into a demon by Eboshi. Michelle J. Smith and Elizabeth Parsons said that the film «makes heroes of outsiders in all identity politics categories and blurs the stereotypes that usually define such characters». In the case of the Deer God’s destruction of the forest and Tataraba, Smith and Parsons said that the «supernatural forces of destruction are unleashed by humans greedily consuming natural resources». They also characterized Eboshi as a business-woman who has a desire to make money at the expense of the forest, and also cite Eboshi’s intention to destroy the forest to mine the mountain «embodies environmentalist evil».

Two other themes found in the plot of Princess Mononoke are sexuality and disability. Michelle Jarman, Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Wyoming, and Eunjung Kim, Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the disabled and gendered sexual bodies were partially used as a transition from the feudal era to a hegemony that «embraces modern social systems, such as industralization, gendered division of labor, institutionalization of people with diseases, and militarization of men and women.» They likened Lady Eboshi to a monarch. Kim and Jarman suggested that Eboshi’s disregard of ancient laws and curses towards prostitutes and lepers was an enlightenment reasoning and her exploit of using disability furthered her modernist viewpoints.

Dan Jolin of Empire said that a potential theme could be that of lost innocence. Miyazaki attributes this to his experience of making his previous film, Porco Rosso, and the wars in the former Yugoslavia, which he cites as an example of mankind never learning, making it difficult for him to go back to making a film such as Kiki’s Delivery Service, where he has been quoted as saying «It felt like children were being born to this world without being blessed. How could we pretend to them that we’re happy?»

Storyline

While protecting his village from rampaging boar-god/demon, a confident young warrior, Ashitaka, is stricken by a deadly curse. To save his life, he must journey to the forests of the west. Once there, he’s embroiled in a fierce campaign that humans were waging on the forest. The ambitious Lady Eboshi and her loyal clan use their guns against the gods of the forest and a brave young woman, Princess Mononoke, who was raised by a wolf-god. Ashitaka sees the good in both sides and tries to stem the flood of blood. This is met by animosity by both sides as they each see him as supporting the enemy.
Written by
Christopher Taguchi

Plot Summary
|
Plot Synopsis

Production

In the late 1970s, Miyazaki drew sketches of a film about a princess living in the woods with a beast. Miyazaki began writing the film’s plotline and drew the initial storyboards for the film in August 1994. He had difficulties adapting his early ideas and visualisations, because elements had already been used in My Neighbor Totoro and because of societal changes since the creation of the original sketches and image boards. This writer’s block prompted him to accept a request for the creation of the On Your Mark promotional music video for the Chage and Aska song of the same title. According to Toshio Suzuki, the diversion allowed Miyazaki to return for a fresh start on the creation of Princess Mononoke. In April 1995, supervising animator Masashi Ando devised the character designs from Miyazaki’s storyboard. In May 1995, Miyazaki drew the initial storyboards. That same month, Miyazaki and Ando went to the ancient forests of Yakushima, of Kyushu, an inspiration for the landscape of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and the mountains of Shirakami-Sanchi in northern Honshu for location scouting along with a group of art directors, background artists and digital animators for three days. Animation production commenced in July 1995. Miyazaki personally oversaw each of the 144,000 cels in the film, and is estimated to have redrawn parts of 80,000 of them. The final storyboards of the film’s ending were finished only months before the Japanese premiere date.

Inspired by John Ford, an Irish-American director best known for his Westerns, Miyazaki created Iron Town as a «tight-knit frontier town» and populated it with «characters from outcast groups and oppressed minorities who rarely, if ever, appear in Japanese films.» He made the characters «yearning, ambitious and tough.» Miyazaki did not want to create an accurate history of Medieval Japan, and wanted to «portray the very beginnings of the seemingly insoluble conflict between the natural world and modern industrial civilization.» The landscapes appearing in the film were inspired by Yakushima. Despite being set during the Muromachi period, the actual time period of Princess Mononoke depicts a «symbolic neverwhen clash of three proto-Japanese races (the Jomon, Yamato and Emishi).»

Princess Mononoke was produced with an estimated budget of ¥2.35 billion (approximately US$23.5 million). It was mostly hand-drawn, but incorporates some use of computer animation during five minutes of footage throughout the film. The computer animated parts are designed to blend in and support the traditional cel animation, and are mainly used in images consisting of a mixture of computer generated graphics and traditional drawing. A further 10 minutes uses digital paint, a technique used in all subsequent Studio Ghibli films. Most of the film is colored with traditional paint, based on the color schemes designed by Miyazaki and Michiyo Yasuda. However, producers agreed on the installation of computers to successfully complete the film prior to the Japanese premiere date.

Two titles were originally considered for the film. One, ultimately chosen, has been translated into English as Princess Mononoke. The other title can be translated into English as either The Story of Ashitaka or The Legend of Ashitaka. In a Tokyo Broadcasting System program, televised on November 26, 2013, Toshio Suzuki mentioned that Hayao Miyazaki had preferred The Legend of Ashitaka as the title while Suzuki himself favoured Princess Mononoke. Suzuki also mentioned that Miyazaki had created a new kanji to write his preferred title.

Appearance and Personality

San is a beautiful young woman of average build who wears ragged clothing and a cape made of a wolf’s fur, and has what appears to be amaranth red war paint on her face. She wears a head necklace with a single small gem in her front. She also bears short, straight, earthy brown hair and has dark blue eyes with bangs slightly parted in the middle. She has a medium necklace with three fangs tied across her neck. She wears long, dangling, oval shaped earrings during the whole film. She is also very agile, fast, fairly strong and appears to be really good at using daggers and spears. She wears a mask which is her iconic feature. The mask is red with ears and white wavy lines and three sunshine yellow holes for a mouth and eyes. 

Albeit a literal warrior-princess, San is fundamentally defined by her appreciation of nature. Being adopted by the wolf goddess Moro when she was but an infant, the «Wolf Girl», as expected, develops a wild personality. However, despite her (justified) coldness towards humans, she is highly capable of compassion. 

This is initially a quality she only exhibits towards the inhabitants of the forest (animals, gods, and other beings), but as later shown throughout the movie, by the slow and gradual, but real progress of hers and Ashitaka’s bond, she is also able to accept and develop admiration, and even affection for a fellow human — a process that also helps her accept her own humanity. 

She is stubborn, short-tempered, courageous, and protective, her primary concern being to protect the forest and animals she lives with. At first, San rejects her own humanity and seems to be quite misanthropic, also thinking of herself only as a wolf. Despite this, she eventually falls in love with Ashitaka, who was the first to fall for her.

Reception

Princess Mononoke received extremely positive reviews from film critics. As of March 2014, the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 93% approval rating based on 101 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9/10. It offers the consensus: «With its epic story and breathtaking visuals, Princess Mononoke is a landmark in the world of animation.» On Metacritic, the film achieved an average score of 76 out of 100 based on 29 reviews, signifying «generally favorable reviews.»

The Daily Yomiuri’s Aaron Gerow called the film a «powerful compilation of Miyazaki’s world, a cumulative statement of his moral and filmic concerns.» Leonard Klady of Variety said that Princess Mononoke «is not only more sharply drawn, it has an extremely complex and adult script» and the film «has the soul of a romantic epic, and its lush tones, elegant score by Joe Hisaishi and full-blooded characterizations give it the sweep of cinema’s most grand canvases.» Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times called Princess Mononoke «a great achievement and a wonderful experience, and one of the best films of the year.» Ty Burr of Entertainment Weekly called the film «a windswept pinnacle of its art» and that it «has the effect of making the average Disney film look like just another toy story.» However, Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post stated that the film «is as spectacular as it is dense and as dense as it is colorful and as colorful as it is meaningless and as meaningless as it is long. And it’s very long.» Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said that the film «brings a very different sensibility to animation, a medium views as completely suitable for straight dramatic narrative and serious themes.»

Roger Ebert placed Princess Mononoke sixth on his top ten movies of 1999. It ranked 488th on Empire’s list of the 500 greatest films. Terry Gilliam ranked the film 26th on Time Out’s 50 greatest animated films. It is also number 26 on Total Film’s 50 animated movie ranking.

Did You Know?

Trivia

When the English dubbed version was screened at TIFF, Hayao Miyazaki introduced his film to the audience, saying: «With Princess Mononoke, I intentionally threw out all the rules of entertainment movie-making, which is why it will take some time for a true evaluation of this film to emerge. I hope you will enjoy all of the ridiculously long 2 hours and 13 minutes.» See more »

Goofs

While Eboshi and Jigo are speaking to each other in Irontown, Captain Gonza is seen standing directly behind Eboshi. The next scene shows a close-up of Jigo. The scene after that pans back to Eboshi and shows Gonza has been replaced with a man in a hat. See more »

Quotes

Narrator:
In ancient times, the land lay covered in forests, where, from ages long past, dwelt the spirits of the gods. Back then, man and beast lived in harmony, but as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed. Those that remained were guarded by gigantic beasts who owed their allegiances to the Great Forest Spirit. For those were the days of gods and of demons…
See more »

Alternate Versions

The original Japanese version places a brief text narrative at the beginning of the film; the English-dubbed version replaces it with a verbal narrative explaining the setting to viewers. See more »

Интересные факты[править | править код]

Срезание волос в феодальной Японии означало, что их владелец мёртв, так что Аситака, срезав свой хвостик, показал, что он мёртв для жителей его деревни и что он больше никогда не возвратится.
Имена двух других детей богини-волчицы Моро не упоминаются. А вот имя Сан означает «Три», из чего следует, что имена волков, возможно, «Ичи» и «Ни» — «Один» и «Два»

«Мононокэ» можно перевести, как «мстительный дух».
Плащ Госпожи Эбоси — это плащ, который носят мужчины, а не кимоно; плащ показывает ранг госпожи и её важность.
Девочка в деревне Аситаки не была его сестрой. «Старший брат», как она к нему обратилась, означает знак уважения

Видимо, она была его невестой.
Самураи, напавшие на Аситаку, приняли его за высокопоставленного воина, потому что только они могли носить шлемы, а капюшон Аситаки напоминал шлем.
На самом деле, у Моро два хвоста. Вы можете увидеть это, в моменте атаки волчицы на караван (четко видны два задранных хвоста), а затем — когда Сан ласкает бок Моро прежде, чем запрыгивает на другого волка и говорит: «Беги».

Release

The film was extremely successful in Japan and with both anime fans and arthouse moviegoers in English-speaking countries. Miramax Films, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, purchased the film’s distribution rights for North America. Miyazaki met with Harvey Weinstein, Miramax’s chairman; Weinstein demanded that edits should be made to Princess Mononoke. In response, Toshio Suzuki sent Weinstein a katana with a message stating «No cuts.»

The English dub of Princess Mononoke is a translation with some adaptation by fantasy author Neil Gaiman, author of The Sandman. The main changes from the Japanese version are to provide a cultural context for phrases and actions which those outside of Asia may not be familiar with. Such alterations include references to mythology and specific names for groups, such as Jibashiri and Shishigami, that appear in the Japanese version, which are changed to more general terms, such as Mercenary and Forest Spirit, in the English version. The rationale for such changes is that the majority of non-Japanese viewers would not understand the mythological references and that the English language simply has no words for the Jibashiri, Shishigami and other terms.

Miramax chose to put a large sum of money into creating the English dub of Princess Mononoke with famous actors and actresses, yet when they released it in theatres there was little or no advertising and it was given a very limited run, showing in only a few theatres and for a very short time. Disney later complained about the fact that the movie did not do well at the box office. In September 2000, the film was announced for release on DVD in North America exclusively with the English dub. In response to fans’ requests to add the Japanese track as well as threats of poor sales, Miramax hired translators for the Japanese version. This plan delayed the DVD release back by almost three months, but it sold well when it was finally released.

Box office

Princess Mononoke was the highest-grossing Japanese film of 1997, earning ¥11.3 billion in distribution receipts. It became the highest grossing film in Japan until it was surpassed by Titanic several months later. The film earned a domestic total of ¥14,518,798,588.39 ($148,000,000.)

It was the top-selling anime in the United States in January 2001, but despite this the film did not fare as well financially in the country when released in December 1997. It grossed $2,298,191 for the first eight weeks. Although it showed more strength worldwide where it earned a total of $11 million with a total of ¥14,487,325,138 ($159,375,308).

Home media

In Japan, the film was released on VHS on July 26, 1998. A LaserDisc edition was also released by Tokuma Japan Communications on the same day. The film was released on DVD on November 21, 2001 with bonus extras added, including the international versions of the film as well as the storyboards.

Role in the film

When San was a baby, the wolf goddess Moro attacked her parents, who were found damaging the forest. Her parents threw San to her feet and ran away. Moro raised San as her own daughter, and in turn San treats Moro as her mother and Moro’s two natural pups as her siblings.

San’s primary concern is protecting the forest and the animals she lives with. San rejects her own humanity and even thinks of herself as a wolf. She has suicidal thoughts and attempts to assassinate Lady Eboshi of Irontown many times, as San believes that Eboshi’s death will result in the end of Irontown and human growth into the surrounding, untouched forest. It is only by Ashitaka’s affection to her that she slowly comes to acknowledge her human side as well.

After the battle for the Forest Spirit’s head, San tells Ashitaka that he is very dear to her. However, she cannot forgive the human race for what they have done to the forest and will continue to live apart from them. San returns to the forest while Ashitaka remains in Irontown. Before separating, Ashitaka promises that he will always be near and he will visit her in the forest whenever he can. San reciprocates his declarations and leaves.

Музыка[править | править код]

Интересный факт из истории озвучивания фильма. Выбор исполнителя чувственной композиции «Mononoke Hime» был сделан Хаяо Миядзаки во время поездки на автомобиле. Случайно услышав необычный голос по радио, мэтр был заинтригован и решил использовать его в своем произведении. Это был контртенор Ёсикадзу Мэра. Поначалу Хаяо не планировал включать песню в свое произведение, но, посоветовавшись с Хисаиси, изменил свое мнение. Текст был написан самим Миядзаки — когда Мера спросил мэтра, как ему стоит исполнить композицию, Хаяо ответил — «Это слова, которые Аситака шепчет Сан в своих мыслях».

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Фильм переносит зрителей в Японию позднего периода Муромати, когда в Японии появляется первое огнестрельное оружие. Деревня людей эмиси, в том числе главного героя, юного принца по имени Аситака, подверглась нападению Наго, гигантского вепря, одержимого ненавистью, что превратило животное в демона. Защищая деревню, Аситака вынужден был убить его, однако во время сражения демон успел коснуться правой руки принца и передал ему свое проклятие. Мудрая колдунья раскрывает принцу причину одержимости вепря и предсказывает ему смерть от нанесенной раны. Он отрезает себе волосы и покидает деревню вместе с Якуру, верной рыжей антилопой.

В дороге он наталкивается на самураев, убивающих безоружных жителей деревеньки. Кое-кто из самураев решает напасть на Аситаку. Отражая их атаку, принц обнаруживает, что рана дает ему сверхъестественные силы

Избавившись от нападавших, он въезжает в городишко, где привлекает внимание странствующего монаха. Сначала монах помогает Аситаке выйти из затруднительного положения, когда тот пытается заплатить за рис чистым золотом, а позже помогает скрыться от грабителей, привлеченных видом драгоценностей

На привале Аситака рассказывает проницательному монаху о своем несчастье. Утром они расстаются. Продолжив путешествие на запад в поисках исцеления от своего недуга, принц невольно становится участником противостояния Людей и Зверей, которые представлены Железным Городом под рукой расчетливой и целеустремленной госпожи Эбоси и Древним Лесом — богами волков и кабанов Моро и Оккотононуси (Окко́то), приемной дочерью Моро, человеческой девушкой по имени Сан (она и есть принцесса Мононокэ) и Духом Леса (Сисигами).

Богиня Моро, Сан и двое огромных волков (детей Моро) нападают на караван с рисом, идущий в Железный Город. Они хотят убить госпожу Эбоси, чтобы отомстить за вырубку леса и добычу железной руды. В сражении гибнут люди, быки, летят в пропасть бочки с рисом. Моро рвется к Эбоси, но той удается ранить волчицу из огнестрельного оружия и избежать смерти. Сразу после боя караван спешно продолжает путь и не пытается подобрать сорвавшихся с обрыва людей и скот. Двоих серьёзно раненых мужчин находит Аситака и пытается помочь им добраться домой. Именно в этот момент он впервые видит Сан и двух волков.

Аситака помогает раненым добраться в Железный Город, пройдя с ними через лес, полный богов и духов. Именно здесь он встречает Духа Леса, которого называют «богом жизни и смерти». В Железном Городе Аситака понимает суть конфликта между Моро и Эбоси. Во время очередного нападения Сан и двух волков на Эбоси Аситака не позволяет женщинам убить друг друга, но сам получает смертельную рану от телохранительницы Эбоси. Демонические силы помогают ему вынести из города Сан и уйти самому. Дойдя до леса он теряет силы, но его спасают Сан и Дух Леса.

Тем не менее, Аситака так и не избавлен от проклятия и продолжает выполнять роль миротворца. В это время становится ясна роль странствующего монаха: ему нужна голова Духа Леса, которую он выменяет у императора на богатое вознаграждение. Эбоси берется помочь монаху добыть голову Духа. В это же время в лесу собирается армия кабанов под предводительством мудрого и старого Оккотононуси, желающего на исходе жизни отомстить людям за вымирание своего племени.

Атака оказывается неудачной и израненный Оккотононуси в сопровождении Сан идет на встречу с Духом Леса, чтобы тот излечил его. За ними следуют люди, которые с их помощью хотят найти дорогу к Духу Леса и обезглавить его. Попытка Аситаки остановить их приводит к тому что Оккотононуси и Сан начинают превращаться в демонов ненависти. Появившийся в этот момент Дух Леса пытается исправить положение, но Эбоси удается отстрелить ему голову и отдать монаху. Обезглавленный Дух Леса превращается в сеятеля смерти. Он тянется к своей голове и умерщвляет все на своем пути. Напуганный, но уверенный в благополучном исходе монах и трое его помощников упрямо продолжают мчаться в надежде убежать. Их догоняют Аситака и Сан. Они силой отбирают голову Духа Леса и возвращают её ему. Дух Леса снова становится «богом жизни и смерти». Лес начинает возрождаться. Аситака, Сан и прокажённые люди Эбоси оказываются исцеленными, а жители разрушенного Железного Города и сама госпожа Эбоси понимают, к чему вела их прежняя жизнь и собираются создать новый город.

В фильме представлены некоторые сцены сражений, он ориентирован на возрастную категорию 13+; к тому же, разворачивающаяся на экране экологическая притча и взаимоотношения главных персонажей достаточно сложны.

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