Manga in 200 Words: Princess Mononoke
Premise: A young prince is cursed by a demon when he kills it to defend his village. He must set out into the world alone in order to find a cure for his suffering, but he’ll end up finding a war between mankind and nature.
Format: I’m reviewing both of these at once, so comparison is impossible to avoid. The manga is beautiful when compared to other manga art initially, but it’s limited by the film’s footage, so the layout isn’t as dynamic as ones you’ll find elsewhere. In addition, perspective on the fantasy creatures is harder to get in a 2D medium.
Environment: It’s a pretty clear-cut battle between technological progress and traditional balance with nature. Technology is bad in Princess Mononoke, because you can’t develop it without killing off guardian beasts, apparently.
Characters: The manga version focuses on the humans, because a lot of the characterization of spirits is sound or motion-based in the original film, and that’s lost here.
Overall: The art is great, but a lot is missing because of the conversion. Princess Mononoke makes a decent manga, but given a choice, I would watch the film instead. Hands down.
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