In the world of anime, things move slowly. It’s rare for a series to have consecutive seasons within two years, for spin-offs to materialize quickly, or for shows to return after a decade in the freezer. This is normal because we’re not talking about an industry like Hollywood, especially when it comes to original projects, which are financed out of the studios’ pockets. That’s why every new anime that isn’t an adaptation of a successful manga should be considered a small miracle.
That’s the case with Mononoke. Produced in 2007 by the small studio Twin Engine, this series with a single season and a vibrant, distinct aesthetic followed the adventures of a man only known as the Medicine Seller, who traveled throughout Japan during the Edo period, exorcising demons that feed on negative human emotions. Directed by Kenji Nakamura, known for series like Gatchaman Crowds or Tsuritama, and written by the now-controversial Chiaki J. Konaka, the scriptwriter of series such as Serial Experiments Lain or The Big O, the anime managed to become a cult classic due to its avant-garde style.
Now we know that this series will have a continuation next year, with a date yet to be determined. This is because, although it was supposed to be released this year, a change in the voice actor due to an extramarital affair led the team behind the movie to decide to replace the lead actor.
Setting aside the peculiarities of the Japanese culture, as in the Western world, infidelity might not typically be a reason for someone to lose their job, the movie seems to be continuing its production without any issues. The director in charge will once again be Kenji Nakamura, and while Takashi Hashimoto won’t reprise his role as animation director and character designer, that position will be taken over by Yuichi Takahashi, who previously fulfilled the same role in the excellent Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.
The exact release date or whether it will be screened in cinemas in our country remains a mystery. But in the meantime, what we can do is watch the twelve episodes of this unique cult series, available on Netflix.
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