Mononoke 01

Mononoke

One screenshot should be enough for this scorching day

Another series that really stands out to me in the small batch of new anime is Mononoke. I have to say it’s one of the only ones that has captured my interests right at the first episode, the others sort of took time for me to take much more of liking to them – if I didn’t drop them entirely. I really liked the art direction for this one; it really looked traditionally hand-drawn and hand-colored as opposed to the other new series that make it obvious that the colors are computer-generated. And here’s the important part: the art direction fits really well with this series because a lot of the scenes look like Kaiga (Japanese paintings), which fits the time period and setting of the story. Haven’t gotten into the second episode yet, so I can’t really make a true comment on the story, but I will say say this: The Druggist is one of the most badass merchants ever. Plus, I really like the concept of a medicine merchant slaying spirits under certain circumstances. It’s all cool. (;

The series is a spin-off to Ayakashi (an anime series of three classic Japanese horror stories), which I’ve never watched. To make things clear – No, you don’t need to watch Ayakashi either to understand this series. The only character from that series that has a role in Mononoke is the Druggist, so it’s pretty much its own story. Just a little note there. (:

6 thoughts on “Mononoke 01”

  1. You don’t need to see the Bakeneko arc in Ayakashi, true, but it helps in understanding what those little odd tools mean. Geneon is releasing the Bakeneko DVD in September under the name “Goblin Cat,” and I highly, highly suggest that you buy it. Assuming that [i]The Girl Who Leapt Through Time[/i] isn’t released by the end of 2007, those three episodes are easily the best anime being put out in North America (yes, I’d say even better than [i]Mushi-shi[/i]).

    The art direction and cinematography in [i]Mononoke[/i] is amazingly high quality, I’d say up there with [i]Shigurui[/i] for best of the year, even moreso because [i]Mononoke[/i] isn’t as alienating and is better for it. The animation is great when it happens, but I’m far more impressed with the camera work — the way it flies around to gain its dramatic tension to abruptly come to a screeching halt is something that I’ve not seen in any anime PERIOD, let alone anime series.

    The first episode is somewhat scary, though where it is lacking in the second episode it is more than made up for in disturbing the viewers. The revelation of what the room is and witnessing an example of its use is simply chilling.

    And yeah, the druggist is one of the coolest anime characters out there. Did you find the “guru, guru, guru” response as amusing as I did?

  2. @HellKorn: Yeah. Had a grin on my face as they were saying that. 😛
    Guru, guru, guru, guru
    Guru, guru, guru, guru?”
    Eh, I’ll fix the tags in your comment later. I find it amusing. 🙁

  3. Actually Ayakashi has some things in it to help you understand Mononoke, it even has some characters that re-appear within Mononoke. I also think Ayakashi (the true first episode to Mononoke) Has the best story. I highly recommend you watch it before continuing to watch the anime. ^.^

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