Princess Mononoke is arguably Hayao Miyazaki’s largest film by scale since 1984’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and it is also his second greatest achievement as a director. There aren’t many animators who bring so much life to their worlds quite like how Hayao Miyazaki does it, but for every bit as imaginative as these movies can get, the impressiveness of how immersive these films are is reflected beautifully through their real-world parallels. In Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki finds himself taking upon a very complex moral standing through a war being waged between nature and humanity – and every moment of it is as beautiful as one could ever hope for it to be.
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The words “Hayao Miyazaki’s swan song” should be enough to get a fan who was so closely connected to his works (speaking merely for myself in this case) even before having seen The Wind Rises. As a child, together with watching Pixar movies regularly in theaters, I would also find a way to access the films of Studio Ghibli, for they had opened my eyes to watching anime. I remember having seen Spirited Away at the age of 6, and nearly ten years after my first viewing the experience still retains the magic I remember from that moment, and I’ve become a big Hayao Miyazaki fan ever since. It was then, I found how watching The Wind Rises at such a late point after his retirement (I only saw it for my first time last year), it made me feel I wasn’t a fan dedicated enough. It was a beautiful swan song, it really felt like a fitting way for a great artist to tell his followers a heartbreaking goodbye, and the thought of it still brings me to tears. Continue reading →