AniBlogger Secret Santa: Mononoke Hime

I do feel pretty bad about Secret Santa this year. I had absolutely no interest in any of my shows and I myself rec’d a show that they couldn’t possibly finish (well they could, but also technically not). Still, I’m no quitter. Though I told myself I would never pick a movie if I was recommended one from my Secret Santa. It seems a little fitting since I watched Howl’s Moving Castle earlier this year and fell in love with that.

My choices were FLCL, Escaflowne and this. All are good choices, of course. Still I was disappointed. I realize these are all shows I should watch. I was hoping for a show I might not normally consider, such as my choice last year. I vow to watch Escaflowne in 2013 though.  I remember it being on when I was a really little kid around the time CCS was on. All I remember from it is Merle and Hitomi’s bloomers.  No matter how long it takes or however disinterested I am in it, I’ll complete it for sure.

I had seen a little of this movie when I was a kid but was always bored by it. I remembered it as kind of brutal. Even now, all of the Ghibli movies I’ve seen have been lighthearted so a lot of scenes in this really came as a complete shock to me.

The OST was really wonderful and made some scenes seem so grand and majestic. I think Howl’s was good too but I don’t remember being impressed by Arrietty or Poppy Hill’s soundtracks. I guess comparing this to the other Ghibli movies I’ve seen isn’t that good of an idea. It’s pretty different from the other Ghibli movies I’ve seen.

I opted for the dub because, well, I just prefer dubs in general. Especially Ghibli ones because they always have such big names. Unfortunately  most of the acting was really lackluster with the exception of a few characters. I guess it fits because the movie is serious and all but it made a lot of the dialogue heavy scenes really dull. Would I have enjoyed the movie more if I had watched it subbed? I think that is a definite maybe.

To be honest, I found it hard to find the main characters really that interesting. San get’s a free pass because she’s cool and mysterious so that makes her interesting by default. Both she and Ashitaka lack personality though. I ended up liking the comic relief character more because at least when he talked he spoke with some emotion. Same goes for his wife.

Eboshi was a genuinely interesting character though. She’s so conflicting. I wanted to dislike her for her disregard for nature but her compassion for humans made it difficult. She wasn’t bad, but she wasn’t good. Or she was, just in a different way. Which is the point of the move I guess. Right and wrong isn’t always black and white.

I feel bad admitting I really had to force myself to watch this. I thought I would appreciate it now years later as an adult but I was still incredibly bored by it (thought it was not as boring as Poppy Hill was). Infact, I’m sure there are some people who would flay me alive for finding this movie dull but loving Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo.

The movie picked up a bit when a second demon was born. The demon design is just really cool. Then when the forest started to die, that whole scene was really cool. The music was kind of different in that scene so I think that was a big part of it.

This was a very pretty movie with a very pretty soundtrack but I just didn’t enjoy it. Maybe I am lacking in good taste. That’s likely. This movie just wasn’t for me.


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