Houston Coley’s review published on Letterboxd:
Really, really, really enjoyed seeing this for the first time - and in a theater, lucky enough! I’ve been playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the past few months, and it was pretty interesting to see the ways that game is actually heavily inspired by this film, and Ghibli in general.
What I love about Princess Mononoke is the way nothing feels shallow or one-dimensional - every character we meet along the way is interesting and complex, not always likeable but consistently memorable. The protagonist serves as our mediator, seeing the good in all sides and refusing to fall into the extremes and absolutes of each tribe. In addition to the depth of the characters, the richness of the locations and setpieces explored makes them feel like more than just backdrop; they’re living, breathing environments, the likes of which we really haven’t seen before. The animation here is, of course, totally stunning as well...I didn’t know this came out in 1997 until after I was finished watching, and there was nothing keeping me from thinking it was a recent release! Not a single element feels dated or irrelevant.
I think this movie and Your Name have definitely convinced me: I’m gonna be making up for lost time and watching A LOT of anime in the near future. There’s just nothing else like it.