Characters: Princess Mononoke
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Voiced by: Yoji Matsuda (JP), Billy Crudup (EN)
- All-Loving Hero: The voice of peace between the humans of Iron Town and the animals/spirits/deities of the forest. Without him the movie would have been much shorter and very bloody.
- Amazon Chaser: Ashitaka falls head over heels with bonafide badass and fiery San.
- Archer Archetype: While a skilled swordsman, his truly badass feats are performed with his bow. He also proves himself perfectly capable of living alone in the wilderness without other people.
- Badass Normal: Even before receiving the curse, Ashitaka manages to kill an enormous boar demon singlehandedly.
- Better as Friends: Zig-Zagged. While San does come to reciprocate his feelings, at the end, they realize that neither of them could give up their present life styles for each other, and the two part, promising to still meet each other every so often.
- Beware the Nice Ones: A kind, heroic, and respectful young man. You do not want to make him angry.
- Big Brother Instinct: 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.
- Bishōnen: See his Chick Magnet section.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: Though Ashitaka tends to favor his Bow.
- A Boy and His X: A Boy And His Elk. Yakul is his closest friend.
- Cassandra Truth: Continuously warns the people of Irontown and the forest Gods that violence won't solve anything. They all ignore him.
- Chick Magnet: All of the ladies of Irontown (sans Lady Eboshi) immediately take a liking to Ashitaka.
- Cursed with Awesome: His cursed arm causes him much pain and even made him an outcast. On the other hand, it gives Ashitaka something similar to super human strength.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Inverted. Ashitaka alters his hair at the start of the movie, due to being exiled from his village after becoming infected with a curse.
- Last of His Kind: The last prince of the Emishi.
- Love at First Sight: Towards San. He gets that "awe struck" look in his eye and calls her "beautiful" when they speak to each other for the firs time.
- Mark of the Beast: His curse manifests as a large, nasty blotch or tumor which starts on his arm and slowly spreads throughout his body.
- Martial Pacifist: Ashitaka is a pacifist in a world where humans and nature are at war. The funny thing is Ashitaka actually aims to be a Badass Pacifist, but what keeps him from reaching that is the fact that he will kill you if you leave him no other choice.
- Memento Macguffin: The crystal necklace that he gets from Kaya for good luck and so he won't forget her. He later gives it to the wolves, as a token for San.
- Morality Pet: Even though San still won't forgive the humans for what they did, San makes it clear to Ashitaka that she won't attack them for his sake and that they will always be friends.
- Nice Guy: Doesn't want a war to start between humans and forest spirits? Check. Killed a boar spirit when it head towards his younger sister, Kaya? Check. Has a deep respect for the forest spirits, that may be only second to San? Check.
- One-Man Army: A few action scenes has him take out his opponents, even though there's more of them by about 10 or more.
- Red Right Hand: An aversion: Ashitaka has the physical indications and the power, but remains firmly dominant over The Corruption.
- Scars Are Forever: Ashitaka keeps a tiny scratch under his eye by the end of the movie, since his previous injuries (which included a musket shot to the shoulder) had occurred while he was still Cursed with Awesome, but the scratch occurs after it's been lifted.
- Shirtless Scene: Gets a few: when he crosses a lake with Yakul, helps the women of Irontown, and in the climax.
- Tranquil Fury: When striding slowly in to break up the fight between San and Lady Eboshi.
- Warrior Prince: The last prince of the Emishi Clan, and a skilled swordfighter, archer, and... elksman?
- Weapon of Choice: His bow and arrows.
- The Wise Prince: He's an All-Loving Hero prince with a bad case of Cassandra Truth.
- You Can't Go Home Again: After being cursed by a forest God, Ashitaka is forced to leave his dying people, the Emishi, to find a cure, rather than dying in agony. After cutting his hair, he is banished and can never return.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Along with the above trope, Ashitaka will eventually die from the curse implanted on him. Luckily, the curse is countered by the actions of a more powerful god.
Voiced by: Yuriko Ishida (JP), Claire Danes (EN)
- Action Girl: Willing to take on an entire village of people armed with swords and guns.
- Animal Motifs: Wolves. She was literally raised by them since infancy and models part of her clothing to resemble a wolf.
- Badass Adorable: An Action Girl with a Wild Child mentality.
- Badass Princess: San doesn't control an actual kingdom, she does have her own family of wolves and fights pretty especially with a spear.
- Better as Friends: Zig-Zagged. While San does come to reciprocate Ashitaka's feelings, at the end, they realize that neither of them could give up their present life styles for each other, and the two part, promising to still meet each other every so often.
- Boomerang Bigot: Hates humans even though she is one. Justified given how she was raised by her adoptive wolf family from infancy because her parents left her to be eaten by them.
- Boyish Short Hair: Her hair doesn't even reach her chin.
- Breakout Character: San pretty much stole the entire movie.
- Facial Markings: San has three red "fang" markings on her forehead and both her cheeks.
- Forest Ranger: With her adoptive wolf family, San looks after and protects the forest from greedy humans.
- Freudian Excuse: Besides being raised by Moro, San's hatred of humans also stems from her parents abandoning her as a baby to save themselves from the wolf-goddess herself.
- Friend to All Living Things: San definitely qualifies since she's a Nature Lover and Forest Ranger. But she has definite exceptions - she's not terribly fond of the Ape Tribe. And humans are off her list.
- Happily Adopted: San even casts away her human heritage in favor of being like a wolf.
- Human Sacrifice: How her parents gave her up - after Moro caught them trespassing in the forest, they threw the infant San at her feet and fled.
- Intimate Healing: 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.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has a strong hatred for humans, but she deeply cares for her adoptive wolf family, and later Ashitaka.
- Jungle Princess: She is referred by Iron Town as "The Princess of the Vengeful (forest) spirits". She dresses the part.
- Like A Daughter To Me: To the Wolf Goddess, Moro. Despite being a human, Moro deeply loves and cherished San just the same as her two biological wolf cubs.
- Meaningful Name: "San" is Japanese for "three". She is the only daughter (adopted and human) of Moro's three children. The other two are biologically related to her.
- Morality Pet: To the Wolf Goddess, Moro. San is probably the sole human that Moro loves.
- Nature Heroine: Provides the page image.
- Nature Lover: Has a deep respect for the forest and those who live in it.
- Not Good with People: Has a distrust of other humans due to being raised in the forest.
- Parental Abandonment: Her parents literally threw her to the wolves.
- Raised by Wolves: She was raised by the wolf goddess Moro.
- Red Baron: "Mononoke Hime" means "the princess of vengeful spirits". Not knowing her real name, the villagers call San "Princess Mononoke" out of fear.
- Red Is Heroic: The red fang markings. Although, she's more of an anti-hero: While Lady Eboshi and her followers are desecrating the forest and the spirits, San's solution (general murder and terror) isn't actually fixing the problem.
- Secondary Character Title: San's nickname is the name of the film, but she's the deuteragonist.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Ashitaka is a pacifistic man who has a great respect for the spirits, and was the first human San encountered who treated her nicely. San does reciprocate Ashitaka's feelings, but they decide to stay friends in the end.
- Tsundere: Has elements of it. For example, when Moro comments that Ashitaka wanted to share his life with her, San angrily responds that she hates him like she hates all humans. A few seconds later, one of her brothers comes to give her a necklace from Ashitaka. San puts it on.
- Weapon of Choice: Always uses her spear in combat.
- Wild Child: A strong love for nature combined with a fierce looking appearance? She definitely qualifies.
Voiced by: Yuko Tanaka (JP), Minnie Driver (EN)
- Affably Evil: Quite affable most of the time. The 'evil' part becomes clearer whenever she's with Jiko.
- An Arm and a Leg: Gets her arm bitten off by Moro.
- Anti-Villain: She is overall a rather considerate leader, kind to lepers, prostitutes and the disenfranchised and has her town's best interests at heart. Her violence, arrogance and antagonism are rather understandable when you consider how she is being proverbially roasted by wild animal gods on one end and by other warlords on the other.
- Badass BoastEboshi: 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.
- Badass Normal: Able to buy up the bond of every brothel girl she meets and gives them a new and better life in Irontown. Also, she will attempt to assassinate gods.
- Big Good / Big Bad: Depending on your point of view in the film's Grey and Grey Morality. Lady Eboshi genuinely cares for the people of Irontown and they in turn look to her as a beacon of hope. But, she's also the one after the Forest Spirit.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: See her Heel Realization section.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: She kills the Spirit of the Forest with her own gun.
- Evil Brit: Voiced by English Minnie Driver (who also played Jane Porter from Tarzan).
- Heel Realization: After seeing the destructive result of her actions post-climax, she promises to change for the better and rebuild Irontown.
- Hime Cut: When she's in her battle wear, her hair is right above her eyebrows
- Iron Lady: A non-royal, power-wielding, tough-as-nails woman.
- Ironic Echo: "If you cut off a wolf's head, it can still bite you." And so it does.
- Lady of War
- Noblewoman's Laugh
- Pet the Dog: She's a Noble Demon who takes in lepers and prostitutes and people who have nowhere else to go, and defends them against the greedy ambitions of the local samurai.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: One of the palest characters in the film.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Lady Eboshi never breaks a sweat. Even after she loses her arm.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
Voiced by: N/A
- Amplified Animal Aptitude: Subverted. Yakul shows no unrealistic abilities - just the natural athleticism of a mountain beast and the affection of a well-trained domesticated animal. It might be argued that he's awfully smart for a member of the deer family, though.
- Cool Pet: A swift, agile, exotic deer/antelope who follows Ashitaka around with quiet devotion.
- Horse of a Different Color: Ashitaka's faithful red elk.
- Undying Loyalty: No matter what, whether it was being shot at or treading on sacred ground or even threatened with being eaten by wolves, Yakul always stuck by his master.
Voiced by: Akihiro Miwa (JP), Gillian Anderson (EN)
- Blue and Orange Morality: Unsurprisingly, her goals aren't concerned with human concepts of good and evil. It's still a more downplayed case than usual though.
- Crossdressing Voices: Has a male's voice in the Japanese dub, despite being female
- Face Death with Dignity: In sharp contrast to Nago and later Okkoto, who went insane and turned into a demon after being shot by a poisoned bullet, Moro is calm and accepting of her inevitable demise. Even when San begs her to go to the Forest Spirit to be healed of the bullet wound, Moro replies that she's lived long enough.
- Intellectual Animal: Moro is probably the wisest and most rational of the forest spirits.
- Killed Off for Real: She receives the touch of death from the Forest Spirit near the end of the film.
- Last Breath Bullet: Her decapitated head charges forward and chews off Eboshi's arm after she's killed.
- Mama Bear: "Give me back my daughter, you demon!"
- Multiple-Tailed Beast: Has two tails as opposed to her birth children who only have one each.
- Noble Wolf: She is a protector of her pack, of the forest, and adopted San when her parents abandoned her.
- Not So Stoic: While she is calm and collected (for the most part), she only bears her teeth when she is in combat or when she is really ticked off.
- Physical God: A Wolf Goddess... and a very big wolf at that.
- She's a Man in Japan: Kind of. In both versions she's the mother wolf. However in Japan she has a male voice, because in Japanese tradition all wolves are treated in a very masculine context.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: She has bloodshot eyes.
- Talking Animal: A very de-whimsified version. She is able talk through some type of telepathic way, since her lips don't move in sync with her words.
- Voice of the Legion: She seems to have a growl whenever she talks.
Voiced by: Kaoru Kobayashi (JP), Billy Bob Thornton (EN)
- Acrofatic: Shown to be very fast and agile, especially in his fight.
- Affably Evil: He just never stops being so pleasant and personable, even when he's vaguely threatening you. Or trying to kick your ass.
- Evil All Along: He doesn't appear to be a bad guy when we first meet him.
- Gonk: A fat, short man, with a huge mole on his face.
- Karma Houdini: He helps with getting the head away from Forest Spirit, but doesn't die from his wrongdoing.
- Nothing Personal: Reflecting the banality typical of environment-destroyers. He doesn't hate his enemies: they're just inconveniently willing to fight to the death to stop him.
- Punch Clock Villain: Jiko's harmless off the job, he just does it because the King ordered him to.
- Smug Snake: Shows shades of this when he talks to his lackey - he claims that the best way to get what one needs is to let someone else do the dirty work.
Shishigami/The Spirit of the Forest
The Spirit of the Forest
- Above Good and Evil: In this case, justified. The Spirit won't or can't aid directly in Moro's fight to save the forest: it has a very alien kind of intelligence.
- Beware of the Nice Ones: Once beheaded, he becomes a full on spirit of destruction.
- Big Good / Big Bad: All depending on your point of view within the movie's Grey and Grey Morality. For the 'nature' side, the Forest Spirit is beloved by all and seen as a sort of guardian. However, if you shoot his head off, he'll quickly become the latter.
- The Dreaded: See his section under that trope.
- Eldritch Abomination: A somewhat benevolent version until it is decapitated: then it's a walking Armageddon.
- Fertile Feet: Although the plants that sprout up where he steps will immediately die afterwards.
- Healing Hands: While he can take away life, he can also heal life.
- Kaiju: His Nightwalker form.
- Killed Off for Real: San believes so, but Ashitaka points out that, as a god of life and death, Death Is Cheap.
- The Marvelous Deer: The form he takes during the day, in keeping with his mysterious and elusive nature.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: He's the deerlike Forest Spirit during the day, and an Eldritch Abomination called the Night-Walker during the night.note
- Nature Spirit: His title is the Spirit of the Forest.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Very hard to kill. And becomes harder to kill once wounded.
- Off with His Head!: Lady Eboshi shot off his head with her rifle.
- One-Winged Angel: He becomes an Eldritch Abomination after Lady Eboshi shoots his head off.
- Physical God: When he transforms into his deerlike form.
- Pulling Themselves Together: After being decapitated it needs its head back.
- Rasputinian Death: Ashitaka explicitly states that after all that the Forest Spirit has been through, it will still live on.
- Touch of Death: How he kills Okkoto and Moro, when he knows that it is their time to depart from the world..
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Can switch from a deerlike form to a shadowy humanoid figure called the "Night-walker".
- Walk on Water: In his deerlike form, he is able to do this.
- Walking Wasteland: Turns into this after being decapitated. The uncontrolled spirit no longer brings life, only death - anything it touches is killed.
Voiced by: Hisaya Morishige (JP), Keith David (EN)
- Blood from the Mouth: After being stabbed by Eboshi's mooks.
- Body Horror: He is slowly being demonized, and San is trapped between the tentacles.. gah.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: When he realizes he's the only boar left.
- Killed Off for Real: Killed by the Forest Spirit's Touch of Death.
- Last of His Kind: The only boar spirit remaining after the fight with the humans.
- Old Soldier: He's ancient, but still leading his boars into battle.
- Physical God: A spirit in the form of a boar
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike the other boars who are ready to kill a wounded Ashitaka for being a human and ready to jump to conclusions about Nago's death even accusing the wolves of eating him, Okkoto listens to Ashitaka's story and accepts it after Ashitaka shows him proof, namely the cursed mark on his arm. He then allows Ashitaka to leave the forest in peace though he does warn him that he will kill him if he sees him in the forest again.
- Talking Animal: Like Moro, his power of "speech" is not played for laughs. He talks telepathically, and when he does it's always serious.
Voiced by: Masahiko Nishimura (JP), John De Mita (EN)
Voiced by: Tsunehiko Kamij˘ (JP), John DiMaggio (EN)
- Butt Monkey: The guy cannot get a break. For starters, he's called an idiot by Toki, gets his face stepped on by San and has his sword bent by Ashitaka.
- Dirty Coward: As implied by Toki, the first thing he does when faced with danger is flee and hide like a pansy.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He is a bit of a hot-head.
- Jerk Ass: Acts openly hostile to Ashitaka.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He does thank Ashitaka for bringing back two men deemed killed, and has every reason not to trust him seeing as he came through the forbidden forest.
- Undying Loyalty: To Eboshi.
- Walk, Don't Swim: In-universe, he's told by Ashitaka to walk along the bottom after the Forest Spirit loses his head and goes berserk seeing as he can't swim himself.
Voiced by: Sumi Shimamoto (JP), Jada Pinkett Smith (EN)