10 anime movies to watch if you are a fan of Princess Mononoke
Princess Mononoke is one of those classic Hayao Miyazaki movies from Studio Ghibli that are acknowledged as gems in the anime community and among the critics.
Replete with eco-critical commentaries, like many other Miyazaki classics, Princess Mononoke tells the story of a clan prince Ashitaka and how he gets caught up in a struggle between forest gods and humans who exploit their resources when he meets San, a girl raised by wolves.
Besides having a visual treat of a quintessential Ghibli production, the movie touches upon the theme of colonization and its impact on nature, making the film relevant even today.
In this article, we've curated 10 anime movies for you to watch if you've enjoyed Mononoke Hime.
10 movies that are similar to Princess Mononoke
1) Howl's Moving Castle
A staple when it comes to feel-good Ghibli movies, Howl's Moving Castle captures the wonders and visuals of Princess Mononoke and presents a timeless love story. This beautifully crafted fairy tale world is sure to catch your fancy.
The protagonist Sophie is turned into an older woman by the Witch of the West, and her only hope for breaking the spell is a mysterious wizard named Howl who travels in a castle with a mind of its own.
Besides having a swoon-worthy titular protagonist, the movie offers some breathtaking landscapes and an immersive story that is sure to evoke the feeling of nostalgic childhood wonders, with its magical elements and iconic characters like Sophie and Calcifer, the sentient fire.
2) Weathering with you
Makoto Shinkai is often hailed as the next Hayao Miyazaki, and this movie holds some clues to this belief. Weathering With You explores the dynamics of nature and its relationship with humanity. Like Princess Mononoke, this movie treats us to the fabled mystique of nature while painting a beautiful coming-of-age story.
The movie is about a girl named Hina who, after following a mysterious light that led her to a shrine, gains the ability to manipulate the weather. She crosses paths with a runaway boy named Hodaka and together starts a business of helping people using her abilities. But the smooth sailing is soon disrupted when Hina begins to disappear with more usage of her power.
The movie made quite the impact with its beautiful storytelling and brilliant animation, which is a treat for the eyes.
3) Nausicaa of the valley of the wind
Another gem by Miyazaki, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, is very much in the same vein as Princess Mononoke as it tells the story of a princess and her struggle with the opposing threat to her kingdom.
The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world taken over by the Toxic Jungle, a vast poisonous forest housing terrifying creatures like giant insects. A province that has resisted this geographic infection is Valley of the Wind, whose princess is our protagonist Nausicaa.
She believes that it is possible to coexist with the Toxic Jungle and its inhabitants and vows to uphold that belief when the nation of Tolmekia threatens it. Comparable to San, Nausicaa plays the part of the warrior lady who advocates fighting for her beliefs.
4) Spirited Away
The first anime to win an Oscar is a must-watch for every anime lover. The movie sealed Miyazaki's title as one of the greatest animators of all time, showcasing his genius to a global audience. A Ghibli classic, like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away excels in a plethora of storytelling technicalities, making it a treat for fans and critics alike.
10-year-old Chihiro must overcome all the hurdles thrown at her in the spirit world to save her parents, who were turned into pigs. The movie has given us iconic characters like the No Face and Yubaba.
On a deeper level, Spirited Away serves as a commentary on capitalism, human greed, and the gradual ecological disintegration done by humans.
Easily one of the sweetest love stories, Arrietty has set the bar high regarding fantasy tales with beautiful settings. Adapted from the 1952 children's novel by Mary Norton, The Borrowers, Arrietty tells the story of mythic tiny people who live secretly in human houses and take little things for their necessity while hiding from people's sight.
One day, Arrietty accidently shows herself to Sho, who is staying at his mother's house for the summer. Realizing that the myth is true, he tries to convince Arrietty that he is not a threat and would like to be friends with her. The danger for Arrietty, however, is not averted as the housemaid tries to capture her and her family.
The movie features a beautiful soundtrack composed by French musician Cecile Corbel.
6) Wolf Children
Released in 2012, Wolf Children by Mamoru Hosoda is another movie where humanity and nature come together in a fascinating way. After marrying a man who can shapeshift into a wolf, Hana conceives two children, Yuki and Ame, who are half-wolf and half-human. The movie has the theme of a dichotomy between the mystique and humanity, much like Princess Mononoke.
The story revolves around Hana and her life as a single mother after her husband is killed in an accident. As the children grow up, they are conflicted about their unusual nature and how to embrace their wolf side. A delightful watch, this movie deserves to be on your watchlist.
7) Your Name
A recent sensation in the anime world, Your Name is on its way to becoming a classic. In this movie, Makoto Shinkai proved his genius with his impeccable storytelling and brilliant display of the transcendental ability of human relationships. The breathtaking animation complementing the bittersweet story makes watching this movie a profound experience.
The fate of Mitsuha, a high school girl from the countryside of Japan, and Taki, a Tokyo boy, are entwined through space and time, as one day, they wake up with their bodies switched.
When Taki tries to meet her, he finds out that he has been communicating with her from the past and that her hometown has been wiped away by a falling asteroid. Both must figure out how to save her town and find each other in the present.
A gripping fantasy tale of faith and love, Your Name is one of the best the genre has to offer and is sure to appease Princess Mononoke fans.
8) Tales from Earthsea
Based on the plot and characters created by Ursala k. Leguin in her high fantasy Earthsea series, Tales from Earthsea is sure to delight fans of the genre. Much like Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki has shaped its fantasy world, weaving words from the book while injecting his own style, which earned admiration from the author herself.
Reminiscent of a typical hero narrative, we have our protagonist Prince Arren who lives in a world of Earthsea where humans and dragons can't coexist anymore owing to the humans' greed. Arren ventures off into the world to overcome his desolation and must navigate the unknown in search of a reason to live again.
9) Pom Poko
Here's another Ghibli movie that strongly focuses on the repercussions of humanity's treatment of nature, much like Princess Mononoke. Pom Poko tells the story of anthropomorphic raccoon-like creatures from Japanese legends called tanuki who find it challenging to secure their habitat in a rapidly developing Tokyo overtaken by humans.
Unbeknownst to humans, the tanukis are intelligent beings capable of transforming into other objects or creatures. The movie speaks of their struggle to protect their home from the humans, who have new development plans.
Like Princess Mononoke, the relevance of this movie is quite stark even today in this post-modern society that we live in.
10) My Neighbour Totoro
To call this movie iconic amounts to undermining it as the titular character is the mascot of its production house, Ghibli Studios. Miyazaki is a master at forging a mythical ambience, and My Neighbor Totoro is a fine example of the skill, as seen in Princess Mononoke.
Two sisters, Satsuki and May, discover a fantastical spirit world where they befriend a gentle rabbit-shaped spirit called Totoro. The sisters, with Totoro, then take off on a grand adventure.
The lush green palette of the countryside is characteristic of Ghibli animation, and like Princess Mononoke, the movie explores the spirits of nature. Miyazaki took inspiration from the Shinto religion for the plot, which has become a cult favorite ever since.