- Ashitaka taking out the Tatarigami (Demon) that attacks his village, scoring a hit in its left eye with an arrow, while mounted and travelling at full gallop, is awesome enough. Then he mortally wounds the deranged boar by driving the shaft of his first arrow even deeper with his second shot's pin-point accuracy.
- The Journey to the West.
- Lady Eboshi and Gonza having the sheer courage to stand still in the path of a charging Moro‑no‑kimi as she decimates their rice convoy. They let her get just close enough for Eboshi to plant a would-be-fatal bullet in her chest and Gonza to blast her over the cliff edge with his flamethrower.
- This doesn't kill her.
- One of many near-silent scenes in the film is the iconic introduction to our deuteragonist and it is breath-taking.
Yakul: (his ears perk up as his master lays down the two injured men he's dragged from the river)Prince Ashitaka: (noticing his mount's wariness, he puts up his balaclava, rushes up behind a large boulder on the rapids and peeks through the branches of a fallen tree. His eyes widen as he sees three massive white wolves on the river's far side. The largest, the two-tailed Alpha-female is wounded but this is not what draws his attention, riding on the back of one of her cubs is a spry young girl clad in a pelt of her own)San, The Mononoke Hime: (she dismounts and runs to her adoptive matriarch and immediately begins to suck the bullet out of the wound in her mother's chest, along with a full mouthful of blood and expectorates founts of the poison without a care)Moro, The Wolf Goddess: (who has remained silent and still as her daughter administers to her, growls lowly, she has picked up a stranger's scent)San: (turns her head in a flash, her earrings chime and tingle as she locks gazes with the spying banished prince)Ashitaka: (he can't break from her stare; he's been hit by a Sicilian Thunderbolt)San: (rises, spits one last jet of crimson as a statement, before she wipes her mother's blood from her maw messily with the back of her hand)Ashitaka: (emerges from his hiding place, taking off his kerchief to address them) MY NAME IS ASHITAKA. I'VE TRAVELLED FAR FROM LANDS TO THE EAST. ARE YOU ANCIENT GODS AND HAVE I COME AT LAST TO THE REALM OF THE SPIRIT OF THE FOREST?San and Ashitaka: (they both gauge the measure of their hearts and souls)
- Lady Eboshi. She buys up the bond of every brothel girl she meets and gives them a new and better life in Iron Town. Also, she kills gods.
- How about taking a bunch of lepers and turning them into military engineers?
- Keep in mind, we have no idea who Eboshi was or why she decided to defend Iron Town. This woman just showed up with a bunch of warriors and started fighting off forest gods. All without breaking a sweat.
- The Princess Mononoke busting into the village by herself, with a little help from her siblings; her Le Parkour is animated so fluidly it's just incredible.
- She also survives a shot from Eboshi's new rifles. Keep in mind, these are the same matchlock muskets meant to pierce samurai armour like paper, and it shatters her mask made of clay—but all it does is knock her out cold.
- Then she's up, fighting (and leaping five metres) in twenty seconds of recovery time.
- On the flip-side, Lady Eboshi manages to calmly take on a screaming girl who literally ran through her village's men like they weren't even there; and took out her right-hand man with two blows, with a Smug Smile on her regal face to boot.
- San taking on Eboshi, who's armed with a much more far reaching sword and a needle in her off-hand; all with just a bone dagger. And holding her own.
- Ashitaka is just made of these. In particular, when he opens the great timber portcullis that takes the strength of ten men to lift, while carrying San and with a good two or three pints of his blood pouring from a gunshot wound through his torso.
- Which was really just the final moment in a chain of awesome. Starting with tossing a ripped-up massive beam of wood to keep the townsfolk from attacking a stunned San, and reaching a pinnacle as he ploughs through the crowd, all tranquil fury, to break up said fight. Like a boss.
- Let's not forget the build-up to said scene. A wind rustles around the young man from the east. His curse seems about to take over, but Ashitaka masters it this time and purple wraith shadows of Nago's curse tendrils engulf his right arm in a coruscating display of power.
Gonza: Traitor... You're a spy for the wolves, aren't you?! (brandishes his six-foot Ōdachi at the oncoming boy)
[Ashitaka walking ominously towards him.]
Gonza: Stay back! (Ashitaka grabs the tip of the blade between his thumb and two fingers and begins to bend it back as if it was made of thin cardboard, all while the larger man sweats and puffs as he tries to resist the boy's unnatural strength) H-Halt!
Ashitaka: [turns the sword into a loop of bent steel that just stops before the samurai's face] Step aside.
- Ashitaka's defining moment is halting Eboshi and San from their fight to the death, all while summing up the Gray and Gray Morality of the film.
Ashitaka: Look, everyone! This is what hatred looks like! This is what it does when it catches hold of you! It's eating me alive, and very soon now it will kill me. Fear and anger only make it grow faster!
- Ashitaka has just been shot and is bleeding heavily. Even so, he doesn't stop walking out of Iron Town with San and Yakul.
- Our first sighting of the Nightwalker.
- Yakul making two enormous leaps, one over a Ronin's naginata attempting to slice the mount's legs out from under him and the second carrying him and his master about five metres into the lake. And people say this Miyazaki film has no flight sequences, pfft!
- Ashitaka cutting the arrows out of the air they send after him, while he's swimming through said lake.
- One for the fact that San and Ichi survived the massacre of Okotto's tribe.
- The Tataraba men turning on Jigo's monks when they attempt to kill Ashitaka with blow-pipes for freeing San's younger brother.
- "STAY BACK OR YOU DIE! THEN ALL IN THIS FOREST WILL SEE WHAT YOU TRULY ARE!"
- Nii jumping out of the trees about fifty feet downwards onto a dolmen while he and Ashitaka (who's on his back) race to save their loved ones, then bounding outwards another thirty feet on the landing.
- Ashitaka ripping through the demonic tendrils with his bare hands to reach a trapped San, regardless of the cost to himself.
- Moro, running on what little strength she has, fights a demonized Okkoto in order to save San. Also counts as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and a Tear Jerker.
Moro: GIVE ME BACK MY DAUGHTER, DEMON!
- "Now, watch closely, everyone. I'm going to show you how to kill a god."
- Moro, having just used the last of her strength to pull San free from Okkoto and her head being melted from her body by the death slime, opens her eyes when she hears Lady Eboshi's voice and her newly severed head propels herself along the ground before diving towards Eboshi and biting off her entire right arm in revenge.
- Toki showcasing leadership skills in the siege of Iron Town and when the Nightwalker attacks.
- When Jigo tells San and Ashitaka about how everybody wants to possess heaven and earth and how he's finally going to get what he's wished for in an attempt to convince the couple to just let the Night-walker disappear and for him to get away with the head. Ashitaka quietly come to the end of his enormous tether and say: "please don't make me kill you." in an "I've tolerated your two-faced nonsense long enough" tone of voice.
- Jigo putting up a fight with Ashitaka is also surprisingly epic, especially with his small stature.
- San gets attacked by a burly monk with a knife; she effortlessly dodges his strikes and knocks him out with two jumping kicks to the noggin.
- When Ashitaka is trying to persuade a now trapped Jigo to give the Forest Spirit his head back, Jigo still tries to make excuses... only to have San step in and ask (no, snarl) "Why are you wasting your breath talking to him?" If you look closely, you notice Jigo makes a sheepish smile at her condemnation, as if to say: "yeah, listen to your woman, Ashitaka, she has a point."
- Just when things are at their worst, San and Ashitaka raise the head of the Forest Spirit to return it and the clear green gloop the head is exuding accelerates the curse marks on both San and Ashitaka to flare up all over and for one horrible moment we think our heroine and hero are about to die. This makes their triumph even sweeter.