Posted on 13 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

And so begins another arc of Mononoke, though this one is shaping up to be my favorite so far. This week we get the introduction of a new spirit and a commentary of personal perception, wrapped in a fast paced episode. There is plenty to talk about, so let’s just dive in.

Starting off, the production. Visual wise, this week wasn’t particularly different from any other. There aren’t really any big set pieces in a series like Mononoke. We won’t be having someone like Nakamura coming in for a cut or two. What Mononoke did have this week though, was some fantastic pacing and direction. Really setting this arc apart from the others, simply in how fast it is. Zashikiwarashi was short, and slowly paced until the 2nd episode. Sea Bishop was long and slowly paced throughout the whole thing. Faceless Monster however is quickly paced, right out the gate. Throwing us right into the middle of the mystery, making the setup just as important as the final reveal. After the slow pace of the last arc, it’s very refreshing, and really drags you into the series immediately. As for the content itself, I enjoyed that to.

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Posted on 6 September 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

Fair readers, if the first arc of Mononoke was a Horror, this one is without a doubt a tragedy. As the Sea Bishop closes with unexpected twists, deep seated guilt and somber tune. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

This week, Mononoke closed out its second arc, the Sea Bishop. Compared to the first, it could hardly be called horror, though elements of that were there. A kind of internal horror, one of character and internal strife. Similar in ways to Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. Though much more subdued I feel, since that secondary nature really only came out near the very end of the arc. For me it felt more like a character study, or perhaps a tragedy of some kind. Without a doubt at least the Bishop’s character is a tragic one I feel, though we will get into that later. Suffice to say though, before getting into spoiler territory, that I quite enjoyed this finale. I think Mononoke did a great job with presentation, with plenty of tiny details to pick up on throughout. But enough of that, onto the meat.

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Posted on 30 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

Hello all and welcome to another Throwback Thursday that actually gets posted on a Friday, because my schedule is terrible! This week Mononoke continues it’s terrifying sea story, everyone faces their worst fears, and I get to enjoy being right for once. Let’s dive in!

Starting off I will once again gush about Mononoke’s art. Every week it shows off something a bit different. Trying something just a little new, while keeping the almost papery look. This week however, as much as I enjoyed it visually, I don’t think the horror aspect really worked. Perhaps it’s a consequence of this week being much more upfront with everything. Or maybe the more… not really actiony, but dynamic nature of it? Regardless, Unlike the first 3 episodes, this one seemed far more geared toward answer questions than creating them. Towards establishing things than scaring the viewer. This doesn’t mean there weren’t some scares of course, they were just different. If the first few episodes were jump scares, these were closer to psychological scares. Almost existential ones, taking shots at each characters core. In general though, I think the previous episodes in general worked better than this one.

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Posted on 23 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

Ah, another week, another terrifying horror arc from Mononoke. This week we meet a character who is both new and old, get to take a ride on a ship, and see some of the Medicine Seller’s hidden personality. Let’s jump in!

Starting off, lets go over the setup and premise for this arc. Instead of a brothel, it looks like Mononoke is going for more of a naval story this time. Though not without its own continued flare. Turning the entire ship into a sort of mobile aquarium, covering it with flags and such. There are no attempts to stick to reality here, because the whole thing is presented as a stage play still. The dramatization allowing it to sell everything while still keeping the horror I feel. Mononoke also setup the mystery this week rather quickly. Immediately going to the compass and the magnetic bar. No questions as to what happened, just who. What I liked about this though is that Mononoke took the time to give each character motivations. Reasons for doing so, even our lead. It’s the sort of thing a mystery thrives on.

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Posted on 16 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it.

Starting off, a quick look into the production of this week. Once again, Mononoke didn’t really “wow” in terms of straight animation, but rather with it’s style. The most obvious example of this would be the “flip book” presentation of a number of scenes. Looking at it cynically, you could argue this is to save on the animation budget. A simple paper flip effect and 4 frames. For me though, with the overlaid paper effect permeating every frame, I thought it rather clever. That’s not even mentioning the actual subject matter that was displayed. This was… incredibly evocative. I thought a lot of the presentation was clever and clear. Such as the red cloth from the babies, to the urns in which they were stored. Or what body the Proprietress had during different tellings of the story. While it may have only taken place in one room, I was impressed.

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Posted on 9 August 2019 with categories: Currently Watching:, Mononoke, Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to another season of Throwback Thursday, this time covering the 2007 Horror series Mononoke! There is a lot going on here, so fair warning, this series is going to get weird and probably a bit creepy. But if your ready to come a long for a 12 episode wild ride, then let’s get into it. And remember! This is based off the last arc of Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales, so check that out as well!

Starting off, I think it necessary to explain my mindset going into this series. You see, recently I have been burning my way through the entire Monogatari series. So expect to see a lot of comparisons between the two, with how similar the subject matter is. So much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if this inspired it. You see, Ayakashi came out in early 2006, with the first Monogatari novel releasing later that same year. Then a year later you have the offshoot of Ayakashi’s last arc, Mononoke releasing. With a style very similar to what we would later see in Shaft’s Bakemonogatari adaptation. That series finally starting in 2009. There is plenty of time between each of these for them to inspire each other in a myriad of ways. Which considering their subject matter is very interesting to me. But enough with the history lesson, onto the series.

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Posted on 12 October 2007 with categories: Mononoke


This is going to be a difficult review, simply because I want to praise this series, but at the same time it suffers from being a continuation of the third story of the anime Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror: Bake Neko. In there, a Medicine Seller exorcises the ghost of a cat that haunts a local family in feudal Japan, and it was one of the best short stories I’ve ever seen in anime. Mononoke sees the same premise, where we see five stories in which the Medicine Seller track down Mononoke (spirits) that are summoned to earth due to some grudge or regret. Obviously, it had a lot to live up to.

If you were expecting the same as Bake Neko, you’ll be disappointed. The thing that made Ayakashi ~ Japanese Classic Horror so great was its element of surprise: you never knew what was going to happen. With Mononoke, you do: Medicine Seller is going to exorcise a spirit. The amount of horror has also been toned down. Sure, it’s still there, but it’s no longer a central theme, like it was in Bake Neko. Instead, Mononoke decided to put more attention to the thought-provoking elements of its stories.

And yes, it does deliver there. All five stories are more than just ordinary ones, and a lot of attention has been put into them. The lines of good and bad are blurred in an effective way. The episodes also don’t answer every question, but assume that the viewer fills in the rest with his own common sense, and it works quite well. Especially the third and fourth story shine in this.

Another major plus in this series is that the characters are realistic, and don’t care to be moe or GAR or anything similar. Sure, there are a bunch of young girls, but by far most of the characters are all sorts of adults; quite refreshing amongst other anime, which rarely seem to have important characters above the age of 25. The dialogue is also nice and creative, and you can hear that a lot of effort has been put into it as well.

So the creators failed to trump Bake Neko. That doesn’t mean that Mononoke isn’t worth giving a look, and it’s great to see that people are still willing to go beyond the mainstream and experiment with original and different styles. Mononoke is an excellent recommendation for anyone who likes the Japanese-styled horror or similar forms of storytelling.

Posted on with categories: Mononoke


I’m not sure what roastedpekingduck meant when he said that the creators ran out of budget for this episode. Sure, the build-up wasn’t as good as the first Bake Neko, but this episode provided a satisfying if not a bit predictable ending. It’s not the best episode of this series, I’ll admit, though I didn’t sense any lack of budget.

So, in the end, the reporter was the culprit, with the Mayor being the mastermind behind everything. The others were just bystanders. The waitress often hung out with the victim, so I think that the cat wanted her to know what happened. The boy and the woman were actual witnesses, and I think that they refused to talk about what they saw because it had a major impact on them. After all, if you just saw a human body getting crushed under a train, in all graphic violence, while being alone, there’s a very good chance that you just don’t want to talk about it.

Ah well, even though it turned into something entirely different from what I expected, Mononoke made excellent use of the Noitamina-timeslot. I still like the initiative, and it’s good to see that among the countless high-school-anime, there still are people who welcome change and different ideas for series. Its current series, Moyashimon, also sparks with freshness.

Posted on 8 October 2007 with categories: Mononoke


Whoa… so everyone was hiding something! This story is probably the most horror-focused arc of the series with the arrival of yet another Bake Neko. I have no idea what the heck the Kotowari is supposed to be, and why the train-driver turned out to be the key-figure for this mystery, nor do I want to try and guess it. All I know is that I’m going to anticipate the final episode of this exciting arc. This is what I’ve been expecting from this series, and it’s going to be interesting whether this arc will be able to be as exciting as the original Bake Neko.

Posted on with categories: Mononoke


Whoa! Time-skip!

The final arc of this series, consisting out of three episodes has finally started, and I’m pleasantly surprised by the setting: we see another Bake Neko, and the setting of the series has suddenly skipped about hundred years, to the industrial age. The medicine seller however remains in the same shape as ever. Is he a Mononoke himself as well? Something tells me that this series is never going to answer that question, and leave it up to the viewer’s imagination.

Anyway, this arc has the potential to be the best one yet because of this. It all revolved around one suicide of a young woman. Somehow, her anger created the Bake Neko, who transported all important people to this mystery in the cabin of a train, who just departed from a newly built station, with lots of festivities.
– We first have a waitress who works at a restaurant where the woman often used to visit.
– Then there’s the conductor who ran over the woman, after she fell off the bridge above the train tracks.
– We also have the detective who investigated her case.
– There was also a young boy who witnessed the woman jump, along with her cat.
– And there’s her employer: a journalist.
– There’s also the mayor of the town, who gets eaten by the Bake Neko before he can tell the others what his role is.
– And to close off, there’s a mysterious widow, whose part in this isn’t quite clear yet, apart from the fact that it’s absolutely vital. Apparently, the woman couldn’t forgive the widow.

And the journalist is hiding something: he’s contradicted himself in this episode. At one time, he says that he often writes on the train, which explains how he doesn’t get sick while doing it (apparently trains back then were quite shaky), but later he claims to often work behind a desk, though he was at the station because the company he works for was short on staff. Why would he lie about something like that? I think that he, the mayor and the widow are the vital ones that need to be watched, the others sound more like unlucky bystanders who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

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