[[quoteright:225:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/20864.jpg]]

-> ''"[[BlatantLies I'm just a simple medicine seller.]]"''

Not to be confused with ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'', the Miyazaki film.

A spin-off of the third installment of ''Anime/AyakashiSamuraiHorrorTales'', made by Creator/ToeiAnimation. Unlike its predecessor, these ayakashi have merged with powerful human emotions to become mononoke, which are even more dangerous and hard to combat.

The story follows our [[InexplicablyAwesome mysterious]], [[NoNameGiven nameless]] medicine seller in his travels and the various people -- and monsters -- he encounters. To slay each mononoke he must first discover its Shape (form), Truth (origin), and Reason (motive), which often proves far more difficult than it sounds. The [[TwelveEpisodeAnime 12-episode]] series is divided into five arcs.

The animation style is done in UnmovingPlaid similar to ''Anime/{{Gankutsuou}}'' (although to a lesser extent--there are actually some solid colors here and there, for example), and though it may take some getting used to, the way the series utilizes it is both beautiful and chilling.

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!!''Mononoke'' contains examples of:
* AffablyEvil: The Mayor in ''Bakeneko''. True, he [[spoiler:WAS extremely shady in building the railway]], outside of that and his ''time'' with [[spoiler:the Café Worker]], he seemed like a halfway-decent guy, even expecting [[spoiler:Setsuko's boss to just talk to her, not mug and murder her.]]
* AlienGeometries: In the Zashiki-Warashi arc.
* AmbiguouslyHuman[=/=]NotQuiteHuman: While the Medicine Man claims to be human, his FacialMarkings, PointyEars, CuteLittleFangs, demonic sword, supernatural powers, long lifespan and alter-ego suggest otherwise.
* AnachronismStew
* AnimalMotif: Thanks to his face paint, ears, and fangs, the Medicine Man is the spitting image of a traditional Japanese representation of a fox spirit.
** CunningLikeAFox
* ArtInitiatesLife: Several screen paintings come to life in the Nue arc. Also a pair of sparrows on the wall of Cho's home in Noppera-Bo spread their wings and fly away.
* AssholeVictim: Cho's husband and in-laws.
* BagOfHolding: How many scales can he fit into one of that backpack's single, small compartments?
* BatmanGambit: The Medicine Man is implied to be behind the events of both the [[spoiler:Noppera-Bo arc]] and to some extent the [[spoiler:Nue arc]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: If someone is initially presented as wise, patient, or kind, odds are they're actually behind the whole thing.
* {{Bishonen}}: You can see why ladies ''love'' the cool and graceful good looks of the Medicine Man.
* BittersweetEnding: To almost every arc.
* {{BFS}}: The Medicine Man's sword looks so... stunted in its little case, but once he gets his Shape, Truth and Reason, it can grow as long as a building.
* BlandNameProduct: Zeiko watches in the Bakeneko arc.
* BlackEyesOfEvil[=/=]RedEyesTakeWarning: Played with. The Medicine Man's other form has red irises and black sclera; while he isn't "evil" per se, if you're a mononoke you had better stay well clear.
** [[spoiler:The Bakeneko in the last episode, made particularly scary by the fact that the eyes are seemingly sketched-in and ''swirling around her eye sockets''.]]
* BlatantLies: Just look at the page caption.
* BlueAndOrangeMorality: The mononoke, as explained in the manga.
* BodyHorror: So very much. One word - fishbaby.
* BrotherSisterIncest: A major motivation for [[spoiler:Genkei]], and was the reason for the creation of the mononoke in the Umi-Bozu arc.
* CallBack: Kayo, the girl who worked for the family haunted by the Bakeneko in ''Ayakashi'', is a main character in the Umi-Bozu arc. What seem to be reincarnations of her and that entire family also show up in the last arc, [[GainaxEnding mainly for the purpose of planting]] EpilepticTrees.
* CatchPhrase: "Tada no kusuriuri desu yo," or "I'm just a simple medicine seller."
* CatsAreMean: Very much averted. Cats are sweet, innocent creatures who only want to help, and even ''Bakeneko'' only become what they are because of human cruelty.
* CelibateHero: For all intents and purposes, the Medicine Man appears to be happily married... to his 'job'.
* ClosedCircle: About once an episode, often due to the Medicine Man closing off all the exits to prevent the mononoke attacking and/or escaping. Additionally, the Umi-Bozu arc is set on a boat and the Bakeneko arc in a train carriage.
* CuteLittleFangs: The Medicine Man, very subtly.
* DarkSkinnedBlond: The Medicine Man turns into this after unsheathing his sword.
* DeadAllAlong: [[spoiler:Every human exclusive to the Nue arc]].
* DeadpanSnarker: The Medicine Man is shown to possess a brutally dry wit, especially when it concerns people who annoy him or get in his way (like the idiotic samurai from the original Bakeneko arc).
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Much of the Nue arc; the backgrounds are all like this and only certain important aspects of characters are coloured. However the Medicine Man is in full colour, and after he takes down the mononoke the rest of the colour returns, though it's [[MindScrew a little hard to tell if that's real or not.]]
* DerangedAnimation: Oh ''yes''. Keeps things interesting whenever a Character Filibuster occurs. Notable examples being the reveal of the Umi-Bozu, and the Bakeneko's finale in episode 12, among numerous others.
* DramaticPause: The... Medicine... Man... loves... this trope.
* DramaticWind: The Medicine Man seems to be affected by this even when he's ''indoors''. Plus, it's sparkly.
* DrivenToSuicide: Cho's husband's first wife -- or so it is said.
* DroneOfDread: Generally when something creepy is about to happen.
* DueToTheDead: At the end of the Bakeneko arc, the train's passengers are seen placing flowers and praying at the spot where Setsuko died.
* DullSurprise: The unflappable Medicine Man. If he's wearing this expression, expect all the other characters to be completely freaking out.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness[=/=]CharacterizationMarchesOn: In ''Ayakashi'''s Bakeneko arc, the Medicine Man is less stoic and more overtly snarky than he is in this series, where he is eternally unruffled and limits his snark to the slightest of knowing smirks regarding events surrounding him.
* EditorialSynaesthesia: Artistically utilized in the Nue arc.
* EmpathicWeapon: The demon sword, which seems to have a mind of its own and even speaks or screams occasionally ('''''"TOKIHANAAATSU"''''').
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Well, [[NoNameGiven what else are you going to call the Medicine Man]]?
* FacelessMasses: Done very stylishly. The exact specifics depend on the arc, but they'll have clothes, weird skin tones, and usually something... abstract instead of a face.
** ''Zashiki-Warashi'': While the background characters have hair and clothing, their skin is blank white or black with spinning flower motifs. This is especially unsettling when they are being intimate with normal-looking characters.
** ''Noppera-bo'': The abusive in-laws' faces are never shown on camera; if one of their heads is shown, the face is covered with a demonic mask.
** ''Bakeneko'': Anyone who isn't connected with the Bakeneko's revenge is a half-dressed ''fashion mannequin'' [[spoiler:during any action that takes place in the Bakeneko's illusion or in a flashback. Again, it's very strange to see a normal, non-insane woman in bed with a blank-faced mannequin. And one person even turns from a mannequin into one of the main characters, perhaps to represent the audience suddenly realizing that character is important.]]
* FacialMarkings: And they [[MarkedChange change]] when he draws his sword.
* FateWorseThanDeath: In ''Bakeneko'' [[spoiler: The titular Mononoke subjects anyone who steps outside the train car (or simply waiting until they give an important clue) to offing them with invisible cats and leaving them in a perpetual state of rot in its illusion. However, once her killer (her boss) - and therefore her Regret - is revealed, she lets everyone aside from him go.]]
* FetusTerrible: A whole army of them in the Zashiki-Warashi arc.
** And an illusionary one in the Umi-Bozu arc.
* FlyingDutchman[=/=]WalkingTheEarth: The Medicine Man's purpose is to wander the earth eternally, exorcising mononoke; but it's quite difficult to figure out whether he does this out of choice or whether he has been forced to do so and is taking it ''really'' well.
** In fact, the series ends with an arc set in the 1920s, whereas the other arcs take place during slightly different time periods from before the Meiji restoration.
%%* GenreSavvy: The Medicine Man -- ''incredibly'' so.
* GhostlyGoals: Each mononoke has something it died wishing to accomplish.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: Almost nothing is seen of the Bakeneko except its huge, round, burning yellow eyes.
* GoOutWithASmile: The zashiki-warashi, [[spoiler:since it has finally found the mother it always wanted]].
* GreyAndGreyMorality: The entire series has this as its basis.
* GroundhogDayLoop: [[spoiler:The Nue arc.]]
* HeelFaceTurn:[[spoiler: In the finale of ''Bakeneko'' on both sides with different levels (though [[GainaxEnding it's a little unclear in motivations and plot; and it can be interpreted in many ways]]) the Bakeneko might have realized that even if the people were not entirely good They weren't ''entirely'' to blame and were really just bystanders who didn't really deserve a punishment (that honor goes to her boss, who directly caused her death; and the Mayor, who is put on trial for his dubious actions) and lets them all go back to reality. On the other side, almost everyone becomes a better person, either helping the testimony, or paying their respects. The mayor is let go because he simply thought the boss was going to convince her not to run the article that would ruin him.]]
** [[spoiler:The Detective, who dismissed her death as a suicide out of laziness, looks into her death way better than his initial investigation.]]
** [[spoiler:The Train Operator, who fell asleep at the wheel and didn't notice her until it was far too late, cooperates with the Detective on his investigation.]]
** [[spoiler:The Café Worker, who prostituted herself to the Mayor and lied about it being a suicide to become famous; the Delivery Boy, who was a witness to the killing; and the Widow, who wanted her dead for being more successful and pitying her, bring flowers to the site of her death and pay respect (and may have testified).]]
* {{Henohenomoheji}}: In a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for the Medicine Man in the Noppera-Bo arc.
* IKnowYourTrueName: The mononoke's "katachi" (which can mean "name" or "form") is one of three factors that must be known to the Medicine Man before he can draw the Sword of Exorcism.
* ImplausibleHairColor: The Medicine Man, Genkei (even though his sister has black hair), Shino from the Zashiki-Warashi arc... not to mention some characters who look like they're of African descent, complete with afros to match.
* InexplicablyAwesome: Kusuriuri. We have no idea who he is, where he comes from or how he got his powers, only that he kicks mononoke butt for a living and looks fabulous while doing it.
* ItCantBeHelped: In the first episode, the elderly innkeeper gets tired of arguing with the pregnant foreigner over how there's no room in the inn. She just gives up, says it can't be helped, and lets her sleep in the abandoned room in the attic.
* JidaiGeki: Though it frequently jumps throughout different eras.
* JumpCut: Used deliberately and frequently, the better to increase viewer confusion.
* KabukiSounds: Used to punctuate the eye catches and endings.
* KansaiRegionalAccent: The characters from the Nue arc speak with a Kyoto dialect, since the story is set around the old capital.
* KarmicDeath: It's either this or nothing! [[spoiler:Genkei from the Umi-Bozu arc manages to escape, though narrowly, by repenting for his sins.]]
* LargeHam: The minstrel and the minstrel-like-fish-demon-thing who appear in the Umi-Bozu arc. To be fair, the latter ''was'' voiced by NorioWakamoto.
* LetsGetDangerous: What happens whenever the Medicine Man appears on the scene, as by this point the mononoke has made its move.
* LiteralSplitPersonality: Or something along those lines. It's implied that the Medicine Man's normal and demon-slaying personas are two separate entities who switch places as necessary, and at one point the normal persona passes the demon-slayer a mirror to shield himself with.
* LivingMemory: The mononoke can manifest as this.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: The Medicine Man's normal form is the 'shoulder-length hair' type, while his mononoke-slaying alter-ego has [[RapunzelHair much longer hair]].
* LuminescentBlush: Standard female reaction to the Medicine Man's appearance.
* {{Malaproper}}: The Medicine Man ends up mangling a Japanese idiom (or to be exact, mixing two idioms together) regarding fish, in the Noppera-Bo arc.
* MarkedChange: When the Medicine Man switches into mononoke-slayer mode.
* MaskPower: The Fox-Man in the Noppera-Bo arc, though his physical resemblance to the Medicine Man causes a MindScrew. Masks also play an important symbolic role throughout the arc.
* MindScrew: And how!
* {{Mukokuseki}}: Mostly averted, with the obvious exception of the Medicine Man. However, Shino and Genkei both have blond hair and blue eyes; Genkei's pass without comment, but the innkeeper's servant seems shocked to see Shino's hair color after she removes her head scarf, suggesting that she might really be a foreigner. There's also the fact that said inn is run by two black people...
* MusicalAssassin: With a biwa!
* MyBelovedSmother: Cho's mother from the Noppera-Bo arc.
* MysteriousPast: No-one really knows anything about the Medicine Man; his past, origins, intentions, motivation for slaying mononoke, true personality and ''species'' all remain an enigma throughout.
* NoblewomansLaugh: Princess Ruri in the Nue arc.
* NoNameGiven: Well, no one bothers to ask for it either...
* NotSoStoic: Sasaki Hyouei in the Umi-Bozu arc normally speaks in a quiet CreepyMonotone, but completely loses his shit when trying to attack something [[spoiler: or being attacked by his greatest fear.]]
* {{Obake}}[=/=]{{Youkai}}: Rather than being interchangeable, mononoke are defined as a specific kind of being.
* ObnoxiousInLaws: Taken UpToEleven in the Noppera-Bo arc. You almost don't blame Cho for wanting them gone.
* OlderThanTheyLook[=/=]ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: It's implied the main character has been around a ''long'' time. Even in the Bakeneko arc, set about 200 years later than the others, he still retains his youthful looks.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: The Medicine Man even says that his job is just to defeat the mononoke, and he has no obligation to save the people involved. Given the series' GreyAndGreyMorality this makes sense.
* MonsterOfTheWeek
* PantyShot: A particularly disturbing example in the Bakeneko arc, as Setsuko's underwear are clearly visible while [[spoiler:her boss strangles her.]]
* PaperTalisman: The Medicine Man uses these frequently and he has a TON of them hidden up his sleeves.
* PointyEars[=/=]UnusualEars: The Medicine Man, which make him look vaguely elf-like.
* PowerLimiter: The Sword of Exorcism can't be drawn until the Medicine Man solves the mystery. (See Rule Of Three below.)
* PsychologicalHorror
* TheRashomon: Absolutely ''no one'' tells the truth the first time they're asked for their story. A lot of the time they pay for it, too.
* RedStringOfFate: A variation involving a red cloth between and unborn child and their parents. A much more traditional example appears in the OP, with a red string tied to the pinky finger.
* {{Reincarnation}}: Implied. The mononoke in the final arc (episodes 10-12) is a Bakeneko, and the characters seem to be reincarnations of the people from the original ''Ayakashi'' arc (where the enemy was also a Bakeneko). [[ContrivedCoincidence Funny the little coincidences, eh?]]
* RuleOfThree: The Medicine Man needs the mononoke's Shape (形 ''katachi''), Truth (誠 ''makoto''), and Reason (理 ''kotowari'') in order to purify it.
* SadBattleMusic: "Kanashige", the BGM for mononoke-slaying in the Umi-Bozu arc.
* SceneryPorn: Oh hell, is there ever! The scenery is so rich, detailed and colourful it's like going on a (''very'' beautiful) acid trip.
* ShoutOut: The painting on the boat in the Umi-Bozu arc is reminiscent of the 1907 artwork "The Kiss" by Klimt. There is also a Matisse "Blue Dancers" reference in the Nue arc and a Picasso in Bakeneko.
* SillyMeGesture: The Medicine Man in the ninth episode with plenty of sarcasm, when he 'realizes' that he's given poisonous oleander to one of the characters.
* SituationalSword: Why exactly it needs to empathise with the mononoke before slaying it is never explained.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Very much on the cynical end.
* SmokingIsCool: The main character definitely gets points for smoking a pipe at the end of the Noppera-Bo arc.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Officially, it's ''Mo No No Ke''.
* StarCrossedLovers: [[spoiler:The Noppera-Bo and Cho.]]
* StepfordSmiler: Cho refusing to escape her abusive mother and husband and insisting she loves them [[spoiler:eventually turns her into a mononoke.]]
* TheStinger: Right when you think you've more or less got an arc figured out, its stinger will show up and confuses you to hell and back.
* TheStoic: The Medicine Man's emotional range is, at best, "somewhat bemused" and "fighting a mononoke". He showed much more emotion in the original ''Ayakashi'' arc.
* StoryArc: Zashiki-Warashi, Umi-Bozu, Noppera-Bo, Nue, and Bakeneko. However, aside from featuring the Medicine Man doing his job, they're unrelated.
* SurrealHorror
* ThemeNaming: All the tracks on the OST are written in katakana and end in "怪" (''ke''/''ge''), just like "Mononoke".
* ThemeTuneCameo: The radio plays the instrumental mix of the opening theme in Setsuko's room while she's writing in the Bakeneko arc.
* ThisIsUnforgivable: The Bakeneko's [[CatchPhrase only first-hand dialogue]].
* TimeSkip: The Bakeneko arc takes place in the 1920s while the rest appears to be set in the Edo Period, but the Medicine Man himself hasn't changed at all (besides having some new jewelry). There are arguably small hints in each arc that time skips forward about 50 years in between ''each'' of them.
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:Genkei and Cho; they're actually the mononoke and don't realize it.]]
* TransformationSequence: The most ''AWESOME'' one ever animated. And it gets mixed up a ton, too. Never, ever boring; always super pretty.
* TwelveEpisodeAnime
* UnmovingPlaid: Further emphasizes the generally odd art style.
* UnreliableNarrator: ''Everyone''.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: The Medicine Man, who amongst other things is blond and blue-eyed. Particularly in the Bakeneko arc, when in addition to being a guy with pointy ears and red markings all over his face in the middle of a Japanese cast, he's also dressed a good 100 years out of date. (Even in the other arcs, his manner of dress is pretty bizarre, mixing male/female styles and gaudy aristocratic fabrics despite his humble profession, as well as allusions to Ainu culture.) At least he explains that people who seek folk remedies expect their seller to look exotic.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Cho and her [[MyBelovedSmother domineering mother]] have this kind of relationship.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: The "regret" of some of the mononoke could make them this, especially the [[spoiler:Bakeneko in both ''Ayakashi'' and the final arc of Mononoke, as well as the Noppera-Bo.]] The Medicine Man even ends up ''apologizing'' to the mononoke before slaying it in [[spoiler:the manga]].
* {{Workaholic}}: It's even implied in episode 4 that should the Medicine Man be unable to exorcise a mononoke (or conversely, should all mononoke cease to exist) he'd ''disappear from this world''. So it's quite difficult to figure out whether he's truly devoted to his duty or whether he has no other choice -- though going by his frequent displays of enthusiasm and interest in the mononoke and their histories, he seems to be genuinely fond of 'work'.
* WorldOfSymbolism: Pretty much the only way to make sense of the series... especially the Noppera-Bo Arc.

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