How well do you actually remember Princess Mononoke?

ENTERTAINMENT

By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

This 1997 fantasy epic from Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli was released in the U.S. to little fanfare, but has gone on to become an anime classic. Now, test your recall of "Princess Mononoke" with our quiz!

What is the name of the warrior prince in "Princess Mononoke"?

Ashitaka, not Princess Mononoke, really anchors the movie. He goes on a classic warrior's quest.

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What are Ashitaka's people called in the movie?

Emishi is usually another name for Ainu, the indigenous northern people of Japan. But it was Miyazaki's assertion that the Ainu and Emishi were separate peoples, hence his use of this specific name.

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What kind of animal does Ashitaka ride?

Ashitaka's mount is a red elk, named Yakul. This and the fact that he uses stone arrowheads identifies him as Emishi to the monk, Jigo.

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Ashitaka is attacked by a demon. What kind of animal is it underneath?

Technically, it's a boar-god. Many animal clans are led by such gods in "Princess Mononoke."

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What does the wise woman find in the boar's skeleton that she says killed it?

Ashitaka will later learn that Lady Eboshi shot the iron ball -- it was once a slug -- at the boar god. She is at war with the creatures of the forest, because of the expansion of her mining operation.

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What does the wise woman read to tell Ashitaka his fate?

The wise woman reads the stones and tells Ashitaka that he is infected by the boar-demon's evil. It will spread and kill him, but he can "rise to meet (his) fate."

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How does Ashitaka's curse manifest itself physically?

Ashitaka's poisoned arm has new and dangerous abilities. When he fires an arrow at attacking samurai, they are beheaded or lose a limb -- not possible with simple stone arrows.

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What does Ashitaka's little sister give him before he leaves?

The other villagers don't see Ashitaka off because it is forbidden by tradition. But his little sister defies the rule to give him a going-away gift.

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What does Ashitaka try to trade for a bowl of rice?

The vendor rejects the gold, not realizing what it is. Jigo, the monk, jumps in to explain.

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Where does Jigo say Ashitaka should seek help?

The journey to ask help from the forest spirit won't be easy. Jigo says that to enter the heart of the forest is certain death for humans.

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What does the forest spirit change into at night?

The nightwalker is a westernized name for the the "daidarabotchi," a giant ghost or spirit. Some Japanese terms were changed to make them understandable to Western audiences.

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Who or what does Ashitaka rescue from the river?

Ashitaka is very altruistic, and doesn't think twice about rescuing the men, despite the urgency of his quest to find the forest spirit. This is how he gets involved with Lady Eboshi's people.

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What guides Ashitaka through the forest?

"Kodama," or tree spirits, exist in Japanese folklore. However, it was Miyazaki's original concept to portray them as little white creatures with big black eyes and tiny mouths -- much like the late-20th-century image of aliens.

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What do the inhabitants of Lady Eboshi's village make?

The people of "Iron Town" make iron from the ore in the sand. Having depleted nearby ore, they are starting to branch out into the forest.

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What two ostracized groups does Lady Eboshi use as workers?

It's explained to Ashitaka that Lady Eboshi buys the contracts of brothel girls. Elsewhere, we see lepers in Iron Town -- one of them is too sick to work and resting on a cot.

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Who was Nago?

It isn't until the middle of the movie that we learn his name. Lady Eboshi shot him, causing him to be transformed into a demon by his rage.

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What is the name of the she-wolf god?

Moro explains that she attacked a human couple who were disrespecting the woods, and they threw down their baby at her feet before they fled. So Moro raised the baby girl as her own.

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What does the name "Mononoke" mean?

"Mononoke" can mean spirit, monster or ghost. San's mother Moro is a mononoke, the spirit of the wolves, so San is a "Spirit Princess," or "Mononoke Hime" in Japanese.

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Where does San take Ashitaka after he is shot?

Iron Town is actually where he was shot. This was because Ashitaka intervened in what would have been a fight to the death between Eboshi and San.

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Who does San say told her about Ashitaka?

San can communicate with animals and learned about the prince, his village and his people from the elk. However, her decision to trust Ashitaka was also partly influenced by the forest spirit's decision to heal him from his gunshot wound.

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Which clan is determined to make war on the humans?

Since Nago's death, the boars are led by Lord Ottako. He is blind, but determined to lead his clan into a final battle.

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Who is Lady Eboshi's human rival?

Lord Asano seems to be motivated by resentment of Lady Eboshi's success. He leads an attack on Iron Town in her absence.

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What does Ashitaka give to San, near the film's climax?

Ashitaka doesn't know if he'll see San again. He throws the crystal dagger to one of the white wolves, asking it to take the weapon/symbol to her.

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Where is Yakul, the elk, shot with an arrow?

Ashitaka tries to make his injured animal stay behind after being wounded. But Yakul is loyal and follows behind Ashitaka.

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Why does the emperor want the head of the forest spirit?

Jigo has been sent to retrieve the head for the emperor. The monk says he doesn't know what the emperor believes about it, and apparently, he doesn't care about the consequences of killing the forest spirit.

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What does Lady Eboshi say is the key to killing a god?

Lady Eboshi is certainly one of the most confident characters in "Princess Mononoke." The monk Jigo is, as well, though he's more cynical than Eboshi.

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What happens to Lady Eboshi's rifle just before she shoots the forest spirit?

The forest spirit is looking intently at Eboshi just as this happens. It's implied to be a form of magic that he is working.

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What body part does Lady Eboshi lose?

Moro's disembodied head comes to life and bites off Eboshi's arm. She said earlier that a "wolf's head can still bite," but we thought she was being metaphorical!

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Who offers the forest spirit's head back to him?

Ashitaka says it's important that "human hands" return the head to the forest spirit. So, he and San hold it up together.

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In the end, Jigo says you can't win against what?

Jigo is a likable character, but out for himself. For this reason, he considers anyone acting nobly to be "fools."

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Which well-known fantasy author "anglicized" the script for the English-language dub?

Gaiman's work involved supplying Western terms for unfamiliar Japanese ones. Often, these were the names for ghosts or demons, like "daidarabotchi" becoming "nightwalker."

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Who voiced San/Princess Mononoke in the English-language dub?

Danes has successfully made the transition from teen roles to adult ones. This is clear in her success on the Showtime drama "Homeland."

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Also in the English dub, who provided the voice of Lady Eboshi?

Driver said she found the role of Eboshi complex -- a woman representing humanity's greed and environmental degradation. But she also praised the character as a "warrior" and "protector."

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"Princess Mononoke" held a record for earnings in Japan until which movie broke its record?

"Princess Mononoke" didn't hold its box-office record long. The American epic, "Titanic," also released in 1997, surpassed it in earnings.

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Was "Princess Mononoke" Hayao Miyazaki's last film?

The Japanese press misinterpreted reports of Miyazaki scaling back his hands-on involvement in his films. So a "Miyazaki retirement" rumor got started.

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