Princess Mononoke and My Love Hate Relationship

>> Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The first time I saw this movie I think I was 14, it was summer, and I was not too impressed with the show, but I kept watching because there were a lot of big names doing the voice overs. Little did I know that my years of watching my brothers playing RPG’s would lead me to a new addiction, Anime.

The story was poignant and sad, it did not end happily, like all other American films I had witnessed up to that time. Instead, there was an alluring beauty to the unigue new ending, where love was not the highest form of happiness, where dying for love, protecting nature and not being with the person you love, was put in a higher column than the cliché boy wins girl ending.

Lately however, with a husband dying to be an animator, I’m still drawn to the anime world, where the animation is like art.

But Princess Mononoke, like an entry drug, remains unviewed in years.

A good friend of mine in High School told me that I loved to hate the sad ending, and that in fact, I had no proof that the boy does not still see the girl after the ending. He has a point, but my insane desire for closure makes the ending very final, and so my brain is not allowed to see another ending.

I’ve watched other Miyazaki anime’s, but not Princess Mononoke and Ryan has no desire to watch it. So here I am twiddling my thumbs as I abstain from the desire to watch a movie that changed my young little life. The movie makes me insanely sad, cry and makes me ache for days. And yet, the desire has been burning as of late and I can’t seem to quench the flame, except for watching the movie.

Most Japanese anime’s, video games, movies have the same affect, oh and I am a sucker for them, insanely so.

But, the beauty of man versus nature, man versus magic, the end of one magical world and the beginning of an industrial world.

Very epic. Like Beowulf, as man must learn to live in a foreign new world, with unmystical beasts. Like Robin Hobb and Orson Scott Card. No wonder fantasy fascinates me. It speaks to me on a whole new level than pop culture. Its enchantment weaves its spell and only when the end is reached is there a huge feeling of loss, but those are the types of things I like to involve my mind with. No one said it was healthy, in fact it probably isn’t at all. But I am determined to do it to myself and so I will.

Someone asked me if I had read any of the books on the New York Bestseller list, I was nice to them about it, but I don’t think people really understand that it does not rate the level of writing, just the popularity, and with the above in mind, I think I don’t fall into the New York Bestseller reader category. I will say that there are always engima’s that appear, but for the most part its all garbage.

Not to attack writers, but its rare for a popular book from that list to be written by a well educated writer. In fact its rather depressing, that opportunity will knock for the mediocre, but not for the really brilliant. Why are we punishing genius?

Anyway, what is wrong with being different, enjoying that difference and believing that mainstream media should have a higher bar to achieve, to be more of an experience other than mindless entertainment? What is wrong with demanding more from media, to have it achieve some sort of epic standing?

I had a brilliant latin professor who challenged that movies are our modern day myths, personally I’d like to demand more if that is the case. She was brilliant published in very reputable books, we watched Seven Bride’s for Seven Brother’s version of the Rape of the Sabine women. Genius! But it seems all screenwriters are trying to achieve is a bigger paycheck by attracting the masses with trite material.

What would be so awful about a return to man really interacting with nature? With magic? The symbolism alone should be enough to quiet those people who think it paganistic. Not only that, it would inspire imagination, not the imagination killing Disney marketing schemes. What is wrong with wanting someone to pretend? To think for there self? As opposed to dolls from a film where you already have a story in mind…its frustrating. Poor mindless lemmings, and the worst part is they don’t know; it isn’t fair to take one’s ability to think outside of the box away from someone.

Well, we will see what we can do to return to the innocence of epic.


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