[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/princess_mononoke_2060.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9BBwR3z82g "All of your sorrow, grief and pain, locked away in the forest of the night."]]'']]

->''In ancient times, the land lay covered in forests, where from ages long past, dwelt the spirits of the gods. Back then, man and beast lived in harmony. But as time went by, most of the great forests were destroyed. Those that remained were guarded by gigantic beasts, who owed their allegiances to the Great Forest Spirit. For those were the days of gods and of demons...''
-->-- '''Opening Narration'''

''Princess Mononoke'' (もののけ姫 ''Mononoke Hime'') is an acclaimed 1997 film from famed Japanese director Creator/HayaoMiyazaki, with a rather dark, serious plot and ambience (compared to most of his other works), yet lacking none of the trademark stunning visuals of a StudioGhibli production. The score was written by Joe Hisaishi. Also worth noting that NeilGaiman adapted the film's English dub.

The story is set during the 15th or 16th century, and begins in a small village of the Emishi, the indigenous inhabitants of Japan who by this time have mostly been conquered or driven into hiding in remote corners of the east. The village's peace is shattered by the attack of a terrible demon; their last remaining prince, Ashitaka, is injured during the fight against it, and even worse, the mortally wounded demon is revealed to be a powerful spirit -- a giant boar that curses the Emishi with its last breath and reveals that the wound Ashitaka suffered will kill him too. The village elders decide, with much reluctance, that Ashitaka must leave the village before the curse takes full possession of him, and [[WalkingTheEarth travel west]] in [[TheHerosJourney search of his destiny]]. Ashitaka leaves immediately, with only his trusted [[HorseOfADifferentColor red elk]] Yakul. The young prince follows the demon boar's trail of destruction with the only clue he has about what transformed it into a demon: an iron ball found embedded in its body.

Ashitaka travels through the war-torn countryside, discovering that his curse has also [[CursedWithAwesome imparted superhuman strength]] along the way. He eventually comes upon Irontown, a mining settlement on the edge of the wilderness that's in the midst of a three-way war between the strong-willed Lady Eboshi (who protects the town through the use of firearms), the spirits of the forest (who want to stop Irontown's expansion to protect their homes from destruction), and an influential {{samurai}} warlord (who wants to seize the town for the wealth it generates). In Irontown, Ashitaka tries his best to create some peace between the various sides, cure his curse, and pursue a relationship with San, a human girl who was {{raised by wolves}} and fights alongside the spirits as events seem to be heading towards an inevitable disaster.

Not to be confused with the anime ''Anime/{{Mononoke}}''.

----
!!This film contains examples of:

* ActionGirl: San is the foremost example. Lady Eboshi also has a place here. Toki and the other gun-wielding girls, too.
** ActionDuo: Ashitaka and San.
* AffablyEvil: Jigo.
** Lady Eboshi is as close to this as an IronLady can be (having Creator/MinnieDriver as your English VA helps a lot).
* AluminumChristmasTrees: Yes, there were quite a lot of firearms in pre-Edo Japan (first appearing in the form of Chinese cannons in the 13th century); even after unification, the shogunate maintained gunpowder-weapon arsenals in case of rebellion.
* AnAesop: War, greed, and hatred only escalate, corrupting everyone in the process.
** GreenAesop: {{Reconstructed|Trope}} - see the entry below.
** SpaceWhaleAesop: [[GreenAesop Respect nature]], or [[GaiasVengeance it will attack you with elder nature gods!]].
** FantasticAesop: Don't shoot elder nature gods if you don't want them to turn into {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* AnArmAndALeg: "MY AAAAARRRRRRRM!" as well as [[spoiler: Lady Eboshi getting her arm bitten off.]]
* AnimalMotifs
* AnnoyingArrows: Justified and averted. The Gods shake them off (justified), Ashitaka's demonic strength makes his arrows far deadlier than they would usually be: he can easily decapitate people, and how about hitting the hilt of a mook's sword causing the poor guy's arms to fly off? Ashitaka is also seen [[ArrowCatch catching an arrow]] as it shoots by him (with his demon arm), spinning it around and notching it, then [[CatchAndReturn firing it back]] in the space of about three seconds. Normal arrows aimed at non-gods or non-demon-possessed characters are treated as as lot bigger deal than usual; one of them cripples Yakul near the climax.
* AntiHero: San.
* AntiHumanAlliance
* AntiVillain: Lady Eboshi.
* ArcherArchetype: While a skilled swordsman, Ashitaka's truly badass feats are performed with his bow. He also proves himself perfectly capable of living alone in the wilderness without other people.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Eboshi is shown to be gray, but her samurai opponent, Lord Asano, is only described as "A greedy bastard". To be fair, Asano was described as such by Jigo, while he was sucking up to Lady Eboshi -- that and he chuckled about it immediately after.
* ArrowCatch: Ashitaka not only can catch an arrow, but use it to fire back at the attacker. He also cuts arrows in half mid-air.
* AttackItsWeakPoint: Ashitaka is instinctively shooting his arrows into Nago's eyes which turn out to be his weak spot.
* AudibleSharpness: Many blades make a distinct sound-effect, even when swung through the air. At one point, San swings a blade towards Ashitaka's throat, and creates a particularly sharp "metal on metal" sound despite only air being in its path.
* {{Badass}}: Ashitaka doesn't brag about it, but boy, can he act the part! Lady Eboshi, San and Moro more than fit the bill too.
** BadassAdorable: Even if she [[RaisedByWolves doesn't act like one]], San is still a cute young girl.
** BadassNormal: Applies to Lady Eboshi in particular. Her enemies are the gods themselves, but it is they who fear her. Ashitaka himself applies; even before receiving his curse, he's able to defeat an enormous boar demon singlehandedly.
* BadassBoast: Lady Eboshi. "Now watch closely, everyone. '''I'm going to show you how to kill a god. A god of life and death.''' The trick is not to fear him."
* BadBlackBarf: In both instances where a boar is turned into a demon, they start to bleed and drool dark purple/black slime. In addition, the Forest Spirit starts releasing massive gobs of toxic black glop that instantly kill everything they touch.
* BandageMummy: Most of the lepers are wrapped up head to foot, which is probably what would have happened to them in RealLife.
* BeautifulDreamer: Ashitaka takes some moments to watch San sleep after he [[UnfamiliarCeiling wakes up in the cave]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Ashitaka is very kind, helpful and polite to those he likes, and would rather promote peace than fight. But when he's serious ''nothing'' can get in his way.
* {{BFS}}: Gonza's nodachi. During his UnflinchingWalk, Ashitaka bends it into a circle with his demon-infected arm when Gonza tries to stop him.
* BigBrotherInstinct: During the demon attack at the beginning of the film, Ashitaka the pacifist is initially very reluctant to attack and spends quite a while trying to pacify Nago. When he sees the demon boar charging towards Kaya, however, he doesn't hesitate to shoot it square in the eye.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Lady Eboshi is a rare well-intentioned version of this.
* BittersweetEnding:
** Ashitaka and San fall in love, but they [[DidNotGetTheGirl do not get together]] because San is unable to forgive other humans. Ashitaka promises to stay close enough to see San on a regular basis.
** Despite Irontown being destroyed, the inhabitants decide to start anew, this time being closer to nature rather than opposing it.
* BloodFromTheMouth: Okkoto.
* BodyHorror: Rather mild examples, as body horror goes, but the fates of both Nago and Okkoto are not for the faint of heart [[spoiler: particularly when San is trapped inside Okkoto's demon-flesh]].
** Ashitaka's right arm, which is slowly going rotten from the curse and often moves against his will, contorting itself into weird and extremely painful-looking positions.
* BrokeYourArmPunchingOutCthulhu: While killing the boar-demon, Ashitaka receives a curse on his right arm, which grants him [[SuperStrength superhuman strength]] but will eventually kill him.
** Also, [[spoiler:Lady Eboshi succeeds in cutting off the Deer God's head, and shortly after loses her arm. And then [[FromBadToWorse it gets worse.]]]]
* CatchAndReturn: With an arrow!
* CanisMajor: The wolf deities are huge.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's]] [[AnAesop Aesop]]: Courtesy of Jigo -
-->"So you say you're under a curse? Well so what? So's the whole damn world."
** And later, also by Jigo.
-->"Look, everyone wants everything, that's the way the world works, but I might actually get it!"
* ChekhovsGun: "Cut off a wolf's head and it still has the power to bite."
* ChickMagnet: All of the Irontown women think Ashitaka is gorgeous and fawn over him constantly, and even San seems attracted to him.
* CoolHorse: Yakul, despite being an elk.
* CoolMask: San wears one during her attacks.
* ComfortingComforter: When Ashitaka goes back to the cave to sleep off his injuries San wakes up setting up the perfect opportunity for him to tuck her in with his blanket. Ashitaka wakes up the next morning with the blanket on him. D'aww.
* CooldownHug: Ashitaka gives one to San after [[spoiler:she stabs him in the chest]].
* TheCorruption: The plot begins when Ashitaka is attacked and infected by a corrupted boar-god. While WalkingTheEarth, he discovers that his infected arm has supernatural strength and a [[EvilHand will of its own]].
* CraniumChase: The film plays this for horror with [[spoiler:the Forest Spirit]], whose body [[spoiler:turns into an enormous EldritchAbomination draining life from nearly everything in sight]], seeking reunion with its severed head, which can still move.
* CrapsackWorld: Face it...this world ''stinks''. To the especially negative, it's a frighteningly accurate thematic representation of man and the modern world- how, despite the philanthropic intentions of respectable and powerful people, there is no balance between man and nature, and that nature is rapidly losing its struggle to resist urban development and stay a habitable place for non-humans.
* CrossPoppingVeins: Gonza is prone to this when angry.
* CurbStompBattle: The animals get slaughtered whenever they try and attack the humans head on. Asano's forces also seem to be on the receiving end of this, due to Iron Town possessing gunpowder and the enemy only having conventional weapons. Despite this, they do manage to break into the city near the end.
* CursedWithAwesome: Sure, whatever Ashitaka has will kill him, but, while he's still alive, he's strong enough to decapitate people with arrows or single-handedly open gates that normally take ten strong men. He doesn't consider this a good thing though, and mainly uses his powers to do good.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The most violent Miyazaki movie to date, only rivaled by ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind''.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Lady Eboshi.
* TheDeterminator: One of the reasons the land suffer so much is that Okkoto, Moro, and Lady Eboshi are all implacably determined. Then a new Determinator shows up...
** Not even getting shot through the lung slows Ashitaka down.
** Moro spends most of the film with a bullet lodged in her chest and absolutely refuses to give up despite being paralyzed at one point. She may be a god, but she's getting on in years. She still bites after [[spoiler: ''her head was cut off''.]] It doesn't get much more determined than that.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: San cannot bring herself to leave the forest and live with Ashitaka because she hates the human race.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Less blatant than many examples, as Gods and spirits are shown to be more vulnerable than in most stories, but still obvious at points.
-->'''Eboshi:''' He's a god, you fools -- it'll take more than one shot.
* DisappearedDad: Neither of Ashitaka's parents are ever even mentioned in passing, which seems odd as his father would be the leader of the Emishi. For that matter, the father of Moro's wolf cubs is never mentioned either.
** The original language seems to hint that just as the women want to avenge their husbands, San has come to avenge her own tribe — sounds like there were more wolves before.
* DramaticIrony: When Ashitaka intervenes in the fight between Lady Eboshi and San, Eboshi exclaims that she's tired of Ashitaka's cursed right arm, before shouting "let me just cut the damned thing OFF!". Later in the film, Eboshi [[AnArmAndALeg loses her right arm to Moro]].
* DramaticSlip: Early on, one of the girls slips when being chased down the hill by Nago. Cue a BigDamnHeroes moment for Ashitaka.
* DramaticWind: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]] -- rather than merely being a dramatic convention, this effect seems to signal the presence of magic in action - usually the actions of the Deer God or of Ashitaka's curse.
* EldritchAbomination: Any of the ''tartari-gami;'' they don't drive people mad, but they can lay a death curse on anything they touch. [[spoiler: The Forest Spirit]] becomes one after it gets decapitated.
** There's also [[spoiler:Nago, the initial boar demon]], and later [[spoiler:Okkoto]].
* EpicMovie: The movie was the top film ever in Japan when it came out, features an all-star cast of characters in a dark and serious mythological setting, and cemented Miyazaki's reputation as Disney's partner overseas.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Ashitaka is established as TheHero early on when saving the village from Nago. San is introduced as a WildChild when she and Ashitaka [[MeetCute meet by the river]] and he watches her SuckOutThePoison.
* EvenEvilHasStandards/EveryoneHasStandards: When San is told by the apes they plan to [[ImAHumanitarian eat Ashitaka]] in order to become as powerful as the humans, she tries to tell them that would just make them into something far worse than humans.
* EverythingsBetterWithSamurai: Averted; practically every samurai in the movie is a murderous asshole, which according to some historians is a [[TruthInTelevision much more accurate depiction]] than what we normally get in pop culture.
* EvilBrit: In the English translation, the ''only'' person who speaks with a British accent is the AntiVillain aristocrat Lady Eboshi.
* EvilHand: Ashitaka has one due to the infection.
* {{Expy}}: Lady Eboshi for [[Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind Princess Kushana]].
* EyeScream: Ashitaka [[AttackItsWeakPoint shoots a demon in the eye]] early in the film, which happens to be its [[AchillesHeel only weak spot]].
* FacialMarkings: San's distinctive red wolf-fangs.
* FertileFeet: Te forest god's footsteps don't ''just'' make plants bloom; they immediately wither away as it passes. The deity gives life ''and'' takes it away, and in the end, rot is just fertile material for new growth.
* FeudingFamilies: It has an element of this as part of the main plot. Who started the vicious cycle of disrespect? Eboshi by not asking if they could clear a way to the mountainside, or Nago for refusing to listen to a human? After all, the boars ''are'' a "proud race", according to Moro.
* FoeTossingCharge: Played with - simply put, it's rare to see one that's pulled off with TranquilFury.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: "Cut off a wolf's head and it still has the power to bite", Lady Eboshi tells her men in one early scene. [[spoiler: Much later, she finds herself on the receiving end of this, courtesy of Moro.]]
* FromBadToWorse: Pretty much the entire plot. The [[BittersweetEnding ending]] is a minor deviation from the general trend. Things still suck, they just suck a bit less.
* FullBoarAction: Cranked UpToEleven; this isn't any old boar, it's the ''boar kami'' (god).
* GaiasVengeance: The situation that Irontown has found itself in.
* GambitPileup: The human world is filled with these.
* GhibliHills: Well, it's by that studio... and the whole movie seems to be set there.
* TheGhost: Lord Asano, the man besieging Irontown, despite being referred to at several points, is never seen on screen.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: The wolves have these at night, due to eyeshine. However the apes seem to keep their bright red eyes at all times.
* {{Greed}}: This is Jigo's main motivation. It also plays a role with Eboshi as well, though ambition is clearly the stronger influence in her case.
* GreenAesop: It might seem like that at first glance, but Miyazaki uses the "humanity vs. nature" theme to thinly veil the other major message: a blatantly pacifist one that, in particular, shuns the "us vs. them" mentality so commonly seen in society, as clearly evidenced numerous times throughout the story. Additionally, it shows that, while technology has a tendency to pollute and corrupt the natural world, it also allows people to become strong.
* GreyAndGreyMorality: Everyone has their own reasons for fighting, and AudienceSurrogate Ashitaka finds it hard to blame anyone completely. Heck, San hates all humans...but she can't bring it in herself to kill anyone but Lady Eboshi, who has hurt her. Lady Eboshi meanwhile indeed sets out to kill gods and animals who get in her way, but it seems to be out of a genuine desire to help (human) people: the lepers say she's the only one who looked at them as human and she regularly buys women from brothels to give them a home and work.
** It is interesting to note that Eboshi initially favors the ''smooth'' method to assert the domination on humanity on nature - it is when Jigo threatens her that she turns to more drastic ways.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: [[spoiler:Okkoto [[FreakOut freaks out]] when he becomes the only survivor after the battle between boars and humans. And the Assassins disguised as boars to kill him [[FromBadToWorse don't help]].]]
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Inverted with the enigmatic Lady Eboshi. She's "saving" her people from the gods, though, not vice versa...
* HappilyAdopted: San is so happily adopted that she fully believes herself to be a wolf, and that HumansAreTheRealMonsters.
* HappilyMarried: Toki and Kohroku, although she does give him a bit of a hard time.
* HanlonsRazor: Ignorance on both sides is a bigger cause of violence and suffering than outright maliciousness.
* HeroicSecondWind: Ashitaka gets one in the movie's climax. See ThePowerOfLove.
* HesAFriend: Inverted.
* HistoricalFantasy
* HonorBeforeReason: The boars are a proud warrior race and would rather fight and die than than to make deals with the humans about the usage of the forest. [[spoiler: They all die in a final CurbStompBattle.]]
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Former hookers, anyway. Toki and many (if not all) of the other women in the town used to work in brothels. They are very kind, if sarcastic, and all bravely take up arms and defend Iron Town from the invading samurai.
* HopeSpot: After the climax, it seems like a BittersweetEnding, until [[spoiler: you see one of the little kodama walk to the water and rattle its head. Take into consideration that Ashitaka had earlier stated that they were a measure of the health of the forest...]]
* HorseOfADifferentColor: Ashitaka's faithful [[CallASmeerpARabbit red elk]], Yakul. In addition, San often rides one of her wolf brothers into battle.
* HumansAreBastards: Played with. Most humans are normal people, and Eboshi has a lot of good as well as bad. Some others, however...
** Moro tells Ashitaka that San's parents abandoned her when facing the wolf gods just so they could get away faster, which cemented her opinion of humans.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters: Averted. Where most other GreenAesop movies make complete caricatures of both humanity and nature, ''Mononoke'' goes to great lengths in [[GreyAndGrayMorality humanizing "villains" like Eboshi and Jigo and highlighting the shortcomings of the nature-themed characters]], such as San's immaturity (her first spoken line is "Go away!") and the barbarism of (some of) the nature spirits.
* HypercompetentSidekick: Yakul gives off vibes of this, despite having only slightly AmplifiedAnimalAptitude.
* IdealHero: Ashitaka has no flaws whatsoever. He always does everything what's right, the ladies fall for him, he's a great fighter, he's smart, wise, charming, handsome... just all-around perfect.
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Ashitaka is shot through the torso this way.
* ImmortalitySeeker: Jigo's attempt to take the head of Shishigami/The Forest Spirit for the Emperor, who believes that it will grant immortality.
* {{Immortality}}: What the Emperor believes the head of the Forest Spirit will grant him. While this is never proven, it at least [[spoiler:heals Ashitaka's curse]]. But only after [[FromBadToWorse making it a hundred times worse.]]
* ImportantHaircut: A symbol of Ashitaka's eternal banishment from his people. It's odd because the gesture is samurai in nature and Ashitaka's people quite clearly belong to the ancestors of the Ainu, who lived in Japan before the arrival of the modern Japanese people. The [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolism]] must have been too hard to pass up.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Eboshi's matchlock-men, all things considered. Especially since their "guns," as opposed to the actual ''muskets'' used by her guardswomen, more accurately resemble small cannons on the end of polearms and are much harder to aim. The only reason San wasn't blasted ten times over was that she's supernaturally agile ''too'', but every single shot was a close call, and even she couldn't avoid ''all'' of the shots.
** Eboshi takes the cake. She got [[spoiler:Nago]], and [[spoiler:Moro]], and [[spoiler:''two Samuraï generals from a very long range'']], and [[spoiler:the Forest Spirit, in the head, ''twice''.]] Her full name is probably Lady Eboshi [[StarWars Amidala]].
* InformedSpecies: Yakul is referred to as a Red Elk. Yakul really looks more like a wild sheep or antelope.
** CallASmeerpARabbit
* IntellectualAnimal: Moro; the elder boar Okkoto.
* IntimateHealing: When San feeds a wounded Ashitaka, who is too weak to even chew, by chewing up the meat for him and then transferring it from her mouth to his.
* JerkassGods: The nature gods are ''seen this way'' by the humans because the gods hate them and the gods hate them because the humans ''seen by them'' as a threat.
* KarmaHoudini: Jigo precipitates a plot that destroys an ecosystem and pretty much gets away scot-free.
** Lady Eboshi [[spoiler:turns two gods into demons and kills two other gods, including the god of life and death himself. She is also as responsible as Jigo for the destruction of the forest and preferred to continue hunting for the Deer God instead of returning to defend her people. Possibly hundreds of people died after she shot the Deer God's head off. She suffers - she's maimed and sees the beloved town that she built demolished - but the punishment could still be considered light considering her crimes.]]
* LadyOfWar: Lady Eboshi, quite literally. Though her favored weapon is a very unladylike gun.
* LargeAndInCharge: The most powerful gods, such as Moro, Okkoto and Nago are all huge, whereas their subjects are smaller. This makes sense as they're the oldest, and it's implied that as time goes by and the gods lose power, they become smaller.
** Eboshi is also a very tall woman, and leads the ladies of Irontown.
* LastOfHisKind: Ashitaka is the [[TheWisePrince last prince]] of the Emishi. Without him, his people face a dark and uncertain future.
* LipLock: Not really, but the gods seem to have the ability to speak without moving their mouths. There are animal noises in the background of them speaking, which sync up with the mouths just fine. Presumably there's some sort of TranslationConvention at work.
* LosingYourHead: PlayedForDrama and UpToEleven; the body of the Forest Spirit goes on an omnicidal rampage to reclaim its head.
* TheLostWoods: Where the Forest Spirit dwells.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Ashitaka for San. It's especially striking because her face was [[MoodDissonance covered in blood]] at the time (above picture).
* LoyalAnimalCompanion: Yakul. (The wolves are more like [[RaisedByWolves relatives]]).
* MadeOfIron: Flaming arrows don't affect the boar gods at all, and Moro is seen to be mostly unhurt after being set on fire and thrown off a cliff.
* TheMagicGoesAway: Despite everything, the Forest Spirit is killed and the elder gods have died. Earlier on, Okkoto had bemoaned the fact that the spirits were getting smaller and stupider, and would eventually devolve into dumb beasts. It isn't ''completely'' gone though, as in the final shot, a single kodama appears.
* MajorInjuryUnderreaction: Ashitaka gets shot through the chest, but doesn't collapse until he's pushed open an impossibly heavy gate, lifted San onto Yakul, gotten on himself, and ridden away. Possibly a result of his IronWoobie or TheDeterminator nature, possibly the fact that the demonic curse won't let him die by mundane means.
** Ashitaka seems more distraught by the fact that his girlfriend said she hated him than by being stabbed. (Granted, that dagger's blade is tiny.)
** Eboshi [[spoiler:gets her whole arm ripped off]], and not even a scream (though she does pass out). Her only reaction was "I told you it can still bite..."
* MarkOfTheBeast: Ashitaka's curse manifests as a large, nasty rash or tumor which starts on his arm and spreads throughout his body.
* TheMarvelousDeer: The Forest God, at first.
* {{Mascot}}: The kodama (tree spirits).
* MeaningfulName: San's name can mean "three", which would make sense as she is technically Moro's third child.
* MementoMacGuffin: The crystal necklace. It's almost an {{orphans plot trinket}} since Ashitaka gets it from Kaya for good luck and so he won't forget her. He later gives it to the wolves, [[TheLadysFavour as a token for San]].
* MilkyWhiteEyes: Okkoto has these, being old and blind.
* MoodDissonance: The LoveAtFirstSight moment between Ashitaka and San, mixing MeetCute with {{Gorn}}.
* MrFanservice: Arguably Ashitaka, the one young, attractive male in the cast who frequently performs feats of great {{badass}}ery and/or [[ShirtlessScene takes his shirt off]].
* MultipleTailedBeast: Moro, the female Wolf God that raised San, has a two-pronged tail.
* {{Multishot}}
* NatureHero: Despite being the Princess in the English title, San is much closer to being this than a JunglePrincess.
* NatureIsNotNice: San starts out as brash and intractable, the boars are bloodthirsty, and the apes are psychotically superstitious. [[GreyAndGrayMorality The human characters aren't much better.]]
* NatureSpirit: Lots of 'em, including the kodama (mentioned above) as well as several ''deities''.
* NoArcInArchery: Ashitaka's arrows are almost like medieval cruise-missiles. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that this is [[CursedWithAwesome due to the super strength provided by his curse]]. Non-powered humans can't do this.
** Also, it's implied to be averted. A later battle shows characters holding umbrellas up to protect themselves from arrows.
* NoblewomansLaugh: Eboshi.
* NoOntologicalInertia: At the end of the movie, the Forest Spirit restores everything to its initial state by creating a WorldHealingWave which lets the forest grow back at once, and Ashitaka and San are both [[UnexplainedRecovery instantly cured of their infections]].
* ObliviousAdoption: San never questions that she's not a wolf. She knows that her species is human, but she identifies with wolves.
* OneManArmy: Ashitaka. It's already established he has the strength of ten men, but then he takes on [[spoiler:the forces of Irontown, Lord Asano and Okkoto]] ''all at once''!
* OpeningNarration: The original Japanese version places a brief text narrative at the beginning of the film; the English-dubbed version replaces it with a verbal narrative explaining the setting to viewers.
* PetTheDog: Eboshi gets a number of these moments, such as when it's shown that she gives shelter and work to lepers. The movie is unusual for GreenAesop stories in that the traditionally evil HumansAreBastards representative gets several chances to PetTheDog, while the environmentalist side represented by San is more often [[KickTheDog kicking it.]] See HanlonsRazor; it's shown that both sides are capable of quite a bit of good, and the source of their conflict stems entirely from their refusal to coexist.
* PhysicalGod: All the gods are physical. In fact, "god" in this movie essentially means "sentient animal". The exception is the Deer God, who lives up to both parts of his name quite well.
* PoisonedWeapons: Poison arrows are being used at one point.
* POVBoyPosterGirl: Ashitaka is the POV protagonist and TheHero, while San is the wild Princess Mononoke who serves as the movie's titular character and poster girl.
* ThePowerOfLove: During the climax, Ashitaka gets knocked out and is slowly drowning in the lake while San is trapped inside Okkoto's demon-flesh. At this point Moro calls on to Ashitaka's love for San which then gives him a HeroicSecondWind. He comes back up to the surface and manages to pull San out of Okkoto's flesh.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: Okkoto and, supposedly, Nago. The boars in general are a proud warrior race.
* PunchClockVillain: Jigo is the most villainous character who actually appears in the movie. Despite that, he's also one of the most likable. Basically he's a sort of PunchClockVillain who's motivated mostly by greed.
* RaisedByWolves: Literally for San, albeit the wolves are gods that can speak.
* RampageFromANail: The boar at the beginning of the movie is crazy/evil because of a bullet.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: Eboshi, fitting for a lady of high status.
* RedBaron: "Mononoke Hime" means "the princess of vengeful spirits". Not knowing her real name, the villagers call San "Princess Mononoke" out of fear.
* RedRightHand: Ashitaka, in a more literal sense than usual.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Downplayed, as several characters learn better without dying, although most are faced with near death or life changing injuries first.
* ReverseGrip: How San holds her knife most of the time. In this case, it also makes it easier for her to block.
* RoofHopping: San does this at one point to get to Lady Eboshi, with Ashitaka following her.
* RousseauWasRight: Most of the major characters are generally good people, and from their point of view are totally justified in their actions to protect their way of life from outside forces.
* SayMyName: "SAAAAAAAAAN!" "ASHITAKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
* SceneryPorn: Oh so very much of it! Ashitaka's journey west in particular is full of this. Shortly followed by SceneryGorn as [[FromBadToWorse everything goes to hell.]]
* SecondaryCharacterTitle
* SmugSnake: Jigo.
* ShirtlessScene: Ashitaka steadily loses more and more of his clothes throughout the movie, until he is running around in just his pants and his... sleeves?
* ShownTheirWork: It isn't amiss to call this movie an animated Shōgun. There are quite a few elements from Japanese history and culture that aren't obvious to American audiences:
** The movie is set in the ''Muromachi'' period of Japan, when the central government was weak, local warlords (the shogunate) were powerful and bands of samurai were not at all above sacking and massacring peasant villages in their paths.
** The Emishi tribe was a real ethnic group until around the 9th century, when they were wiped out by the shogunates; the presence of a holdout village in the 14th century was RuleOfDrama, however.
** The presence of both Shinto ''kami'' (gods) and ''yōkai'', including one ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daidarabotchi Daidarabotchi]], the ''Night Walker,'') well known example from Japanese folklore. Moro's two tails, much like a kitsune ''yōkai's'' multiple tails, are a sign of her age and power. The "demons" are actually ''tartari-gami'' - curse-gods; they can either be ''kami'' or ''yōkai'' completely overtaken by rage. Etc.
* SilenceIsGolden: There are several times in the movie where the dialogue and the score are absent, leaving only the animation and occasional sound effects.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Apparently, San and Ashitaka can communicate with the animals of the forest and with Yakul.
* SuckOutThePoison: San tries this with Moro's bullet wound. It apparently didn't work, as Moro later says the bullet is still inside, slowly killing her.
* TalkingAnimal: The animals of the forest talk to another and to Ashitaka and San. Yakul cannot speak but still seems to be able to communicate with the ActionDuo.
* TapOnTheHead: Ashitaka ends the fight between San and Lady Eboshi by knocking them both out with a couple stiff shots to their respective abdomens. To be fair he is imbued with superhuman strength.
* ThisMeansWarpaint: Just before the boars attack the mining town, there's a sequence of them using their snouts to warpaint each others' faces with mud.
* TheTimeOfMyths: When the [[TheLostWoods great forest]] covered all the land... "For this was the time of gods... and of demons."
* TooLongDidntDub: "Mononoke".
* TranquilFury: Ashitaka when striding slowly in to break up the fight between San and Lady Eboshi.
** When Eboshi tells him how she plans to defeat all the gods with her new guns, he is noticeably angry, but then his right arm moves to attack her ''by itself''. He holds it back and calmly states that he would kill her with his left if he thought it would solve anything.
* {{Tsundere}}: Toki is this toward her husband; loving but also gives him a hard time. San has elements of it.
* UnbrokenVirgil: After Ashitaka awakes the day after his gut shot, San mentions that he should thank Yakul who [[LoyalAnimalCompanion hasn't left his side]] the entire time while he was asleep.
* UnconsciousObjector: [[spoiler:The detached head of wolf goddess Moro wiggles across the ground and bites the arm off of her ArchEnemy, Lady Eboshi]].
* {{Understatement}}: "A little crisis and they panic!"
* UnexplainedRecovery: Averted. [[spoiler: Eboshi tells Ashitaka earlier in the film that it is said that the blood of the Forest Spirit could potentially grant immortality, heal her lepers and cure Ashitaka's curse. It could be said that the Forest Spirit's blood has the power to heal all things, and it ties into the aforementioned 'power to give life/take life away'.]]
* UnfamiliarCeiling: Ashitaka gets two of these moments in the aftermath of his gut shot injury. First he wakes up under a tree by the forest lake, tries to get up but falls back because he is too weak. The next time he wakes up is in San's cave.
* WaifFu: San's fighting style.
* WalkDontSwim: Ashitaka recommends this to non-swimmer Gonza.
* WalkingWasteland: Nago became this when he turned into a demon. Also, [[spoiler:the Forest God after losing its head]].
* WalkOnWater: A habit of the Forest Spirit. After the first time he's shot, he briefly sinks into the water, then begins walking on it again as if nothing happened.
* WarIsHell
* WeAreStrugglingTogether: The animals all want Iron Town gone, and united they could probably wipe it out fairly easily, but that whole "predator-prey relationship" issue creates friction.
* WellIntentionedExtremist:
** Moro, and Eboshi as well. San, being Moro's adopted daughter, is also this. Sure she hates humans, but the only one she really ''wants'' to kill is Eboshi.
** The boars came to the forest to fight for it, but Moro can hear how the woods are screaming under the disturbance their presence causes.
* TheWisePrince: Ashitaka, who is also a prime example of a WarriorPrince.
* WhyCantIHateYou: San on her opinion of Ashitaka. "I hate him! I hate all humans!" Then when she gets Ashitaka's necklace, "From Ashitaka? For me?... [[DistractedByTheShiny Pretty...]]"
* WildChild: San. She can speak, what with being raised by wolf ''[[IntellectualAnimal gods]]'' rather than mundane wolves, but she otherwise fits the bill.
* WorldHealingWave: After [[spoiler:reattaching the god's head.]]
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask: Lady Eboshi.
* WorthlessYellowRocks: Some of the characters do not recognize gold. This is justified by the fact that peasants are extremely unlikely to have seen gold up close before and would be hard pressed to recognize it.
* WretchedHive: Completely subverted, as in the case of the Ironworks the first impression from a distance is highly misleading.
* WouldntHitAGirl: Ashitaka subverts this in order to stop a fight between Lady Eboshi and San.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Ashitaka.
* {{Youkai}}
* YourDaysAreNumbered:
** Ashitaka is told his curse will eventually kill him, and that his chances of finding a cure are ''very'' slim indeed.
** Moro to some extent. She tells Okkoto that she's dying from Eboshi's bullet.
* ZergRush: The boars' primary method of attack. It works really well at first, until the humans get firearms. In the climactic battle, the humans have the high ground AND are armed with grenades and bombs, so it... doesn't work out very well for the boars.
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