I was obsessed with the unkindness of the anime ‘Mononoke’. What is the significance of reviving in the era of Reiwa?

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A Japanese- style monster animation work “Mononoke” was broadcasted on Noitamina (Fuji TV) in 2007.

This anime, whose predecessor is one episode of the original anime “Kai ~ayakashi~”, “Bakeneko”, is an omnibus-style work in which a mysterious man, commonly known as the “medicine seller”, confronts various monsters.

With its stylish and avant-garde animation expression, and the mysterious and gorgeous visual beauty that perfectly matches the Japanese horror taste, this work has received a great response from the time it was aired. It is also known for its presence that sets it apart from other anime, and it has continued to be supported by many fans for many years even after the end of the broadcast.

This year, 2022, “Mononoke” will celebrate its 15th anniversary. In the anniversary project that started to celebrate it, the two major news of the movie adaptation and the stage production decision in 2023 were also revealed. Fans who have been waiting for new work for many years will be very pleased with this news.

“Mononoke” still enjoys enthusiastic support even after 15 years since the start of broadcasting. Above all, I feel that the fact that this new story is being spun in this era of Reiwa is of great significance.

This is because, in a positive sense, this work called “Mononoke” is definitely an “animation that cannot be produced in modern times”.
This is because it seems like an anime that would never have been born in a different era, and that it would never have been possible to see it in the current Reiwa era.

Modern entertainment prefers “easy-to-understand”
In recent years, it has become a hot topic that not only anime but also entertainment works such as movies, manga, and dramas that entertain a large number of people can see a certain tendency in common. That trend is the need for “easy to understand”.

Specifically, it is said that the number of works that explain everything with dialogue is increasing so that the content can be understood in a short time.

Among them, “Devil’s Blade” is often cited as an example. This work is a manga that is often pointed out as being characterized by the fact that the main character Tanjiro’s lines and monologues explain the situation very politely.

This is one of the reasons why it became such a social hit, so it is by no means the weak point of the work.

However, it seems that some of the people who regularly come into contact with various entertainment work such as movies, anime, and manga have the opinion that “explaining everything in words is too emotional.” Leave room for interpretation and opinion in the unverbalized part of the work, and supplement that part with various considerations.

There is no doubt that that is one way to enjoy entertainment works. Various mysteries remain… “Mononoke” with little explanation is an unkind work

From that point of view, this anime called “Mononoke” can be said to be a work that clearly “does not have enough explanations”.
A man who sells medicine and is the main character of this work. From the beginning to the end of the work, various details about his identity have not been revealed at all.

In addition to his real name, why does he live as a monster exterminator and drug seller? Who is the other person who manifests during the extermination? Where did the man come from and where is he going?

Without revealing anything, he appears aloof, exterminates the Mononokai that are present, and then wanders away. To put it simply, the animation of this work is nothing more than a story about a man who sells medicines and repeats them indifferently.

In addition, no detailed explanation is given in the work about the existence called Mononoke that he confronts.

The only thing that is clear is that only when the Mononokai’s form, truth, and reason are all in place, the medicine man can cut it down with his exorcist sword. , only that.

Including them, the story of “Mononoke” has a lot of unsolved mysteries from the start of broadcasting to now. In a sense, it is a very “unkind work” for viewers, with many points left unexplained.
I want it to be a mystery. Overwhelming originality overturns everything

This is such a work, but as a result, its many mysteries may paradoxically become a hook that continues to capture the hearts of many.

The world of Mononokai, and above all, the mystery of a man who sells medicine. While I hope that they will be unraveled someday, even if a new work comes out, I still want everything to remain a mystery. It seems that there are many fans of this work who continue to have such complicated psychology.

Also, even if various mysteries remain, the story structure of the anime itself is very simple.

Each episode has a different ending, some of which may be resolved cleanly, while others may leave a bittersweet feeling.

However, as a general rule, the story is devoted to the synopsis of “Mononoke extermination by a man who sells medicine”. The fact that it is based on such simplicity is probably one of the reasons why this work is supported even though there are many things that are difficult to understand.

Another reason why “Mononoke” continues to be loved by so many despite being such an “unkind work”. This is probably because it is a video work that breaks down the existing framework of the animation and incorporates many original and unique expressions.

Throughout the film, the video expression based on Japanese modernism incorporates a variety of eye-catching colors and angle of view compositions, such as rich colors and dark colors with clear shading.

In addition, various art techniques and expressions of homage to historical artworks appear in each episode. The image, which is closer to a work of art than anime, has the power to strongly attract everyone who sees it and leaves a strong impression.

In addition to the visual beauty, the performances of the voice actors, including Takahiro Sakurai, who plays the main character, a drug dealer, are also unique.

The choice of words and phrasing of the lines, and above all, the characteristic pauses and atmosphere. Regarding this, Mr. Sakurai himself commented on the official Twitter on May 13 when the 15th-anniversary project started, “I still remember the scene at the time of recording” and “It was an order that did not fit the theory so far”. is announced. From there, you can see how this work was not an anime-like work.

Enjoy the feeling of looking at a kind of “artwork”
In various elements such as images, words, and stories, “Mononoke” is a powerful and powerful work that makes extensive use of techniques and expressions that greatly overturn the assumptions of animation.

Its originality and innovative taste are not limited to the framework of anime, and there are probably many people who enjoyed it as a kind of art work or as if they were looking at a work of art.

Movie version “Mononoke” special video / 15th-anniversary project ban PV
In the modern entertainment world, which emphasizes “easy to understand”, this work may have never seen the light of day.

But that’s because this work was made 15 years ago and was a very innovative and avant-garde anime even at that time. In this way, it continues to stand out as a long-lived work that has been loved by many people to this day.

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