Among the movies of Hayao Miyazaki, 1997’s Princess Mononoke stands tall as one of his greatest achievements and as the film that brought widespread awareness of his work to America.
Now, the original version of story envisioned by Miyazaki in 1980 has been published as Princess Mononoke: The First Story, a oversize hardcover storybook by VIZ Media through its Studio Ghibli Library imprint.
The storybook features Miyazaki’s original watercolor artwork, which complements his thoughtfully written fable about man’s need to maintain ecological balance with nature that became the origin for the 1997 feature film.
As an initial version of the tale, it offers a new and significantly different perspective from the version in the film. After a long, exhausting war, a samurai lost in a forest encounters a giant wildcat – a mononoke. The beast saves his life, but at the price of his daughter’s hand in marriage.
An afterward written by Miyazaki lends further context and insights to the Mononoke story and its deep and lasting impact upon the director.
The book is available now with a suggested retail price of $34.99 in the United States and $39.99 in Canada.