Princess Mononoke follows the adventure of Ashitaka, a young prince who—cursed by the hatred of a dying boar god—embarks on a journey to seek a cure, and is plunged into an unbalanced world where spirits (kami) and humans are at war. Although 25 years have passed since its release, the film still retains much—if not more—of its original power through its characterisation of war, greed and overarching hatred.
While common in Miyazaki’s films, Princess Mononoke lacks a clear central antagonist figure. From Lady Eboshi, the enigmatic leader of iron town, to San, the feral girl raised by wolves, each character is capable of both hatred and love. They protect and care for those around them but are cursed by a powerful hatred for whomever acts against the interest of their community. What separates them is not that either one of them is bad, but that they happen to fall on opposite sides of the core conflict of the story. Through “unclouded eyes”, Ashitaka stops Lady Eboshi and San from fighting to the death, and reveals to all the true enemy of the story: hatred.
Miyazaki masterfully represents the intrinsic nature of good and evil within the very fundamentals of the world he builds, he understands the myriad of contradictions that come with life, and wields them to inspire us to move forward, regardless of how bad the world gets.

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