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Cult classic anime Mononoke returns with a new film next summer

Meantime, catch the original 2007 series on Netflix

Toussaint Egan is an associate curation editor, out to highlight the best movies, TV, anime, comics, and games. He has been writing professionally for over 8 years.

Twin Engine, the Japanese production company behind such beloved anime as 2019’s Dororo and Vinland Saga, unveiled the first trailer for the feature-length Mononoke film on Friday. While the plot of the movie is still unknown, the trailer boasts a montage of snippets that boast the return of the series’ psychedelic Ukiyo-e inspired visuals and setting.

Produced in 2007, the supernatural mystery anime Mononoke follows the adventures of a mysterious protagonist known only as the “Medicine Seller” who travels across Edo-era Japan exorcizing demons who feed on negative human emotions. Directed by Kenji Nakamura (Tsuritama) and written by Chiaki J. Konaka (Serial Experiments Lain, The Big O), the anime has amassed a cult following among anime fans for its flamboyant avant-garde animation and art style.

Initially announced for 2023 release, the feature-length Mononoke film was delayed following the announcement that the role of the Medicine Seller, originally voiced by Takahiro Sakurai, would be recast to better reflect “the standpoint of the series” in the wake of the scandal concerning Sakurai’s extramarital affair. The role of the Medicine Seller will now be voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya, who previously portrayed Koyomi Araragi in the Kizumonogatari movie trilogy.

In addition, it was also revealed last year that Takashi Hashimoto (Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story), who served as the chief animation director and character designer for the original series, would not be returning to work on the Mononoke despite originally being attached to the project. Instead, Yuichi Takahashi (Vivy: Fluorite Eye’s Song, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners) will take Hashimoto’s place. Kenji Nakamura reprises his role as director on the film.

It is not yet known whether Mononoke will screen in the U.S. following its Japanese theatrical premiere, but in any case, now is as perfect time as any to catch up on the original series (which is currently streaming on Netflix) while waiting for this next installment in the Medicine Seller’s supernatural adventures.

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