Mononoke anime series begins its 15th-anniversary campaign


The Medicine Vendor from the Monoke 2007 series
The Medicine Seller from the 2007 Monoke series. Credit: Toei Animation

The Mononoke series celebrates its 15th anniversary. Mononoke is a supernatural anime series that was released in 2007.

The TV anime Mononoke is a spin-off of the TV anime Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales. It first aired on Fuji TV in July 2007 in the Noitamina block.

Around the same time in 2008, a manga version of the series began, spanning the “Bakeneko” arc. The remaining arcs of the anime were covered by another manga that ended in 2019.

To mark the occasion, the original series will embark on a 15th anniversary project. The project will be released on June 18, 2022 with a ceremony at Fuji TV headquarters in Odaiba where more details will be revealed.

The Mononoke series begins the 15th anniversary campaign

Part of the project is the release of Mononoke: Shu, a spin-off light novel written by Hideyuki Niki. It also includes cover art by Oku. The medicine seller has to deal with a princess that appears in a castle tower near Lake Inawashiro at night, a fox spirit and a terrible yokai that appears in ancient battlefields throughout the storyline.

Publisher Kadokawa Bunko will release the light novel on June 10, 2022.

Meanwhile, director Kenji Nakamura (Gatachman Crowds: Insight), Medicine Seller voice actor Takahiro Sakurai and producer Kouji Yamamoto will attend an anniversary celebration on June 18th. It will take place at the Fuji TV Multi Theater and will be streamed live on YouTube.

Princess Monoke's 15th anniversary logo
Princess Monoke’s 15th anniversary logo. Credit: Crunchyroll

There is also a Twitter campaign where fans can tweet about their favorite “famous scene” from the film (based on the alternatives offered on the campaign homepage). Fans would enter to receive an exclusive 15th anniversary calendar. There will be 30 winners. The campaign runs until August 14th.

Director’s Comments and VA and more

Takahiro Sakurai (medicine seller)’s comments on the 15th anniversary are below:

The most impressive scene I remember during my first recording was when director Nakamura sat down on the studio floor and began a lecture. Honestly, I was confused by the commands he gave, which differed from animation recording theory I was familiar with. He asked me to do things like put some emotion into each cut on each line, sound less interested, mumble the words, and so on. All the dots were connected after watching the show when I found out about the director’s creation. A flood of whimsical and mysterious images that are at once terrifying and beautiful. I call it the madness of vivid colors. It was an intense experience. What is the 15th Anniversary Project? Stay tuned for more updates.

Takahiro Sakurai

Director Nakamura also commented on the 15th anniversary event:

Even though this was my debut work as a director, I gave it my all as if this was the last work. I was told to make a clear distinction between the background and the cell (character) but thought it might still look good even if the two were indistinguishable and organized as a single illustration. Usually when one character stops talking the next character starts talking, but in real life people start talking at their own pace so I left it that way. I remember questioning all my common sense during production.

Kenji Nakamura

Princess Mononoke staff, synopsis and more

The animation technique is similar to Gankutsuous Unmoving Plaid (albeit to a lesser extent – there are some solid colors here and there), and while it might take some getting used to, the use in the series is both beautiful and disturbing.

The narrative follows our enigmatic, nameless medicine seller as he travels and meets various people – and creatures. In order to kill any Mononoke, it must first figure out its shape (configuration). This is its truth (origin) and reason (motivation), which is often far more difficult than it appears. There are five arcs to the 12-episode series.

Toei Animation produced Mononoke, with writers Michiko Yokote (The Greatest Demon Lord Is Reborn as a Typical Nobody), Chiaki J. Konaka (Ghost Hound), Ikuko Takahashi (Healing Good Precure), and Manabu Ishikawa (Your Voice -Kimiko-) and Takashi Hashimoto (Co-Principal Animator of Gekijoban Revue Starlight) as Character Designer and Executive Animation Director.

Are you looking forward to the 15th anniversary celebration? Do you like how the Mononoke series is starting its 15th anniversary? Have you seen the Monoke series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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