Review: The Whole Hog Theatre’s「もののけ姫」(Princess Mononoke) Stage Adaptation

7 thoughts on “Review: The Whole Hog Theatre’s「もののけ姫」(Princess Mononoke) Stage Adaptation”

  1. I was curious about what you might think about it after reading the one up on AUKN and I’m happy to see you rated it pretty high as well. It seemed like a pretty hard undertaking due to the scale and fantastical nature of the original (top three Ghibli for me) with all of the creatures (I have to admit I did a double-take when I saw the picture with Yakul. “Wait! That’s a guy with an elk’s head!”) and forest scenes but it has paid off. It would be interesting to read what Japanese fans think. As for myself, I think I’ll just settle for the movie.

    1. The tickets are all sold out anyhow, so you can only settle for the movie.

      Yes, a guy with an elk’s head, but I swear I could only see Yakul! That’s why I also felt I had to praise the actor, even though all he did was breathe (and carry other characters).

      There are things that could be worked on and improved (as I indicated in the review), but they weren’t the things I expected beforehand at all, and the things I thought that might be difficult they pulled off surprisingly well.

      And I just loved loved loved the puppets the second I stepped into the theatre. Maybe because I know how much work they took. At uni, a friend of mine created puppets like that… a 3-metre size dragon. But they were still puppets, hanging from the ceiling, these moved and that’s quite a feat. I did see that some of the other reviews described them as ‘simple’ or their movements elementary, but I disagree. I think they worked wonderfully – they were never meant to be sophisticated, sleek creations anyhow (you’d need CGI for that!), not even in the movie (remember how the wolves talked!).

      Of course, it could be that some well-established theatre company with a bigger budget could have pulled off more impressive puppets, but these worked fine for me. You know, kind of like you can give a kid a box of colour pencils or an i-Pad today – you can probably do more with the latter at this point, but use your imagination and the colour pencils can create the most awesome work as well!

      No idea how Japanese audiences will take to it… they have to watch with subtitles (or probably surtitles), which might be a quite novel experience for them.

  2. Thank you so much for this! I’m glad you got to see the show! For some reason I didn’t think you were coming until June.
    Do you mind if I reblog this on my blog?

    1. Hi Jack! No, somehow, on a hunch, I bought a ticket for the April performance before sales went all crazy. 🙂

      I don’t mind if you reblog it, so long as you link back to here and state that I’ve given you explicit permission to do so.

      I hope you guys have a fabulous time in Japan, I wish I could see the performance there as well! がんばって! (Ganbatte!)

  3. Reblogged this on Sketches, Scratches and Scattered Thoughts and commented:
    This is a reblog of a great review of our show Princess Mononoke, from fellow blogger Alua, from Otherwhere. Otherwhere is an excellent blog for anyone interested in world, and specifically Japanese and Korean, cinema. Definitely go and check it out!

    Reblogged with permission by the author! Thanks again!

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