Mononoke Review 10/10 + 10!

24 Oct

This review is going to be about Mononoke. This anime is the best anime I have seen so far. It delivers in all areas of an anime. This is the makings of an original anime.
MyAnimelist.net Reviews praise the anime: http://myanimelist.net/anime/2246/Mononoke

“Although the original Bakeneko tale was brilliant, Mononoke is just as enticing, beautiful and well written as its predecessor. This series lets its art tell the tales. It is not afraid to experiment and has its own distinct style. This is a truly wonderful series especially visually and thematically.”—–BakaOnna from MyAnimelist.net

“My initial impression of Mononoke was literally, “…”. After giving it a chance I am glad that I wasn’t quick to judge and saw it through. Mononoke is a collection of short stories revolving around mysterious spirits/creatures known as, from the title, Mononoke. The writing and directing of the series are excellently done and really immerse you in the story itself.”—–Red_Zealot from Myanimelist.net

“It seamlessly blends a murder mystery structure with [a] twist of supernatural and a shake of historical, peppered with plenty of stylistic experimentation.”—–Anipages Review

“It could not be dismissed as a mere experiment..[]… the story’s themes are every bit as advanced as the digital animation techniques employed.”—–Mainichi Newspaper

*THE FOLLOWING ANIME IS SEINEN AND IS MEANT FOR AN OLDER (ADULT) MALE AUDIENCE NORMALLY BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18-30, THOUGH OTHERS CAN ENJOY IT AS WELL*

For the following Review, I will discuss the story/plot elements, music and sound, visuals and art design, character development, and other adaptations.

Story/Plot Elements: The story, the theme, and the plots are very well developed. Excellent. There are about five stories, each with about 2-3 episodes to complete the story. The stories pick up where it let off in Ayakashi, the original series. Most of the stories take place in Medieval Japan, but the last one takes place in the 1920s. The history is also accurately portrayed the best in this anime. As a history major, I noticed how they represented the girl with the bob as a “modern girl” which is exactly how people saw women with short hair and short skirts at the time. Newspapers had reached their peak, along with subway stations, especially in Japan. Subways opened a little later in Japan than in America. In the older episodes, feudalism is highly present. The most interesting detail was that most common folks didn’t carry swords, so that was the reason it was odd for the Medicine Seller to carry that beautiful sword of his. There was also a school of incense that really exists in real life, that people can go to and smell the Toudaiji one of the “best” incense in the world. Many royal things exist there today. The five stories are named: Zashiki-Warashi (if you saw XXXHolic, you might have an idea…MIGHT), Umibōzu, Noppera-bō, Nue,
Bakeneko (the modern version lol, not to be confused with the one in Ayakashi). So check them out. I won’t tell you about them because it would really spoil them. All I can say is the recurring them is the Mononoke spirits, the strongest of the the Ayakashi. The main character, the medicine seller, travels throughout the land and time exorcising mononoke and revealing dark secrets that humans hold.

Characters: There are constantly new characters throughout the anime. One girl in particular showed up from Ayakashi, the servant who worked in the Bakeneko Legendary home, but other than her, a constant character is the main character The Medicine Seller. The most interesting thing about him is he has no other name. He is quite mysterious, though I found him to be direct. He isn’t complex just enigmatic. No, I changed that. The most interesting thing about him is his “monkey” sword. In order for him to reveal this sword he needs to find the Form, the Truth, and the Regret, which I didn’t get until the end. The Form is the shape of the mononoke (the kind it is), the Truth is the reason the mononoke has showed up, and the Regret is why they gathered everyone at the particular place and what they plan to do to the culprits/victims. Once he finds all three, the monkey clicks his teeth three times, and bam!, a silver haired samarai wearing gold appears, making some of The Medicine Seller disappear. It’s as if he has two bodies, two alter egos. He has red eyes, and uses his sword of exorcism and totally destroys any mononoke. Sometimes he has to fight. This “second person” will not release unless everything has been found out. His name was never explained…they also never said where the sword came from. More interesting things about him are in his “backpack”. Like he has many “scales” that, instead of weighing weight, measures the distance of a mononoke…He also, of course, has interesting medicine. One of his medicines he concocted turned into a lamp…So he’s quite an interesting man. To add, he is considered handsome, and every woman that meets him thinks he’s sexy.

Music and Sound: The sounds are quite interesting. The sounds that represent “busted” is interesting. It’s like a quick fart sound. lol The music from the soundtrack blends traditional music with modern, even adding other cultural themes. The opening song is inspired from music from Argentina. The ending song is a ballad. It’s similar to Ayakashi in this way.

Visuals and Art: Anipages Review claims the visuals and art as “boldly confrontational”. BOLD is the correct word to use here. The animation is so bright, it almost makes you dizzy when you first watch it. The direction and camera focus also seems odd, normally bringing attention to places and things that people in most animes ignore, like the artwork in the background. It might pay attention to an animal, which I think symbolically expresses the person talking. But as the show goes on, the brightness dims a bit, but the art design is still original, and still stands out among many modern anime artists of the time. This isn’t normal anime drawings. It looks like a blend of Picasso and anime. The design and look of characters are distinct and very unexpected. This is the most attractive part of Mononoke as it brings you into a 21st Century style of updated anime styles.

Adaptations: Ayakashi. That is the original anime. Check out that review in older entries.

Overall, this gets 100% from me, 10/10 +10! lol

~Over and Out~

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