My Influences – Studio Gibli and Princess Mononoke

One of my biggest influences in my writing is films from the Studio Gibli collection.

For those who don’t know, they are Japanese animations. My favourites among them are Laputa Castle in the Sky, Naussica of the Valley of the Wind, and Princess Mononoke. The latter has hugely inspired my fantasy world and in particular, my WIP God Slayer. Most of the connections I didn’t even realise were there until I watched the film again recently.

Princess Mononoke; San and Ashitaka

The idea of Gods and Demons is a direct influence of this film, my own Gods are originally modelled on the forest Gods of Mononoke but they grew and became their own thing. My Demons are equally as creepy and horrible as those in Mononoke.

Prince Ashitaka being pursued by a Demon

As I watched the film lots of small connections became apparent. Both my character and the main character in Mononoke have fallen into difficult situations involving multiple conflicts and do their very best to overcome them and do what’s right. The dark undertone of the imagery and stories are similar and even the way our characters care for their beast of burden.

San and the wolf God Moro
San fighting Lady Aboshi

The Gods in Mononoke inspired the Gods in a world I created a while ago. I absolutely love Mononoke and would recommend fantasy and film lovers to watch it.

What are your influences and inspirations?

Thank you for reading this article.

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7 thoughts on “My Influences – Studio Gibli and Princess Mononoke

  1. I’m also heavily influenced by anime. I love Studio Ghibli stuff, but wouldn’t say those particular films have influenced my writing. ‘Trinity’ sprang from watching Clamp’s ‘Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles’. In that series, a young man risks everything (including leaving his home and world) in order to save the life of the girl he loves; a girl who has no memory of him or their relationship. I was fascinated by the fierce desire to protect someone and from that the Guardians in the world of ‘Trinity’ were born.

    My new project (if I ever finish editing and get back to it!) is slightly influenced by ‘Fairy Tale’, which is a very amusing series. I love the feel of the magic and the camaraderie of the characters, even when they don’t always get along. I’ll have to see how influenced I’ve been as I write!

  2. An interesting and inspiring post, Ruth! I haven’t seen Princess Mononoke but you’re not the first I hear recommending it, I’ll have to check that out.

    You got me thinking about my own influences. I tend to visualize my writing a lot, so I’m heavily influenced by animation, comics and videogames at least in the daydream/plotting/imagination stage. Music also plays a big role. The writing itself, of course, is mainly influenced by books, and that’s been a bit of a problem lately as I’ve been reading several books in their original English versions, which made my writing skills with Italian a little rusty (on the other hand, of course, this was a huge help whenever I felt like playing around with writing fanfictions directly in English! ;)).

    “The Path of Blood” is heavily influenced by music: a couple of verses from “Honor Thy Father” by Dream Theater somehow triggered the very roots of the novel’s special physics, while “The Poet and the Pendulum” by Nightwish did much for the ending’s atmosphere. Aesthetics, atmosphere and some themes were also influenced by “the Phoenix Requiem”, a webcomic by Sarah Ellerton (which you can read in its entirety here: http://requiem.seraph-inn.com/) set in an alternate Victorian era. The main character for “the Phoenix Requiem” is a young woman studying to become a doctor; the arrival of a mysterious stranger at her village will lead her to question everything she knows about life, death and even love, and to fight for her own place in the world. In PoB, Erthel is a sort-of mage with weak, crippled powers in search of her disappeared mother; the novel is in many ways the story of her growth as a woman, finding her place in the world (a purpose that matters to her first and foremost, and not to others), discovering and facing a harsh truth, and even falling in love.

  3. I try writing but I don’t really lik doing it that much, I prefer to read, I find it difficult aswel. But I’m working on a couple of stories and I was more influenced by philosophy and politics and the real world. I like taking certain things in the real world and just changing them slightly thereby making massive differences. I’d like to one day write a story based on the writings of Plato, especially the Republic. Inspiration can come from all sorts of places. You should try looking more widely than things that are obviously stories like films and story books.

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