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The U.S. cinematic release of Hayao Miyazaki’s 1997 film “Princess Mononoke” is a key moment in the development of Japanese animation in the West. Its mixture of romantic fable, social commentary and occasionally shocking violence helped bridge the gap between the underground status the form held in the 1990s and more mainstream acknowledgement.

It is also one of the most thorough explorations of many of the acclaimed director’s pet themes, and now, as the 15th anniversary of its 1999 U.S. release approaches, this book provides a chance to look back on a film that seems to grow in stature with every passing year.

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