The Graveyard returns for the anime we never thought we’d get the chance to review: The legendary horror classic, Mononoke.

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Mononoke: Did You Know?

Mononoke was digitally animated in a style known in Japan as Ukiyo-e. The goal of this is to establish the mood of a kabuki-style production occurring in the Edo period (when the show is actually set). This works in tandem with the opening and closing doors to indicate the beginnings and ends off various ‘acts’ in the show’s play. It is significant because Ukiyo-e is a well-known woodblock style of art that rose to prominence in the Edo period. In addition to this, Mononoke’s Medicine Seller character is a merchant. Merchants were considered the lowest class in Edo period Japan and the highest class–Samurai–were honored for their status by having the exclusive right to carry swords. In Mononoke, the reason that characters are so shocked to see the Seller’s odd sword is not because the sword is so strange and supernatural; it is actually because members of other classes–especially merchants–carrying swords was a capital offense.

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