The move from animation to live-action can be a challenge, especially in fan-made works. Animation necessarily requires us as viewers to suspend our disbelief, and so there’s more space for imagination. Compared to a richly drawn visual world, then, a live-action remake can look a bit flat – especially if the anime on everyone’s mind is a much-loved Studio Ghibli classic.

Although some fan-made material manages both to pay homage to the original and to stand up as a piece of work in its own right – this year’s Assassin’s Fist remake being a good example – more often than not, there’s something just, well, a bit “off” about most fan-films. Like this Princess Mononoke prequel, for instance…

Niy – Zero Story Mononoke is a five-minute short that was released on YouTube and Niconico at the end of August. Set 17 years previous to Hayao Miyazaki’s seminal 1997 animation, it tells the story of how San (the Princess Mononoke) came to be raised by wolves. The setting is a stunning lush green forest, and the costumes and props show impressive attention to detail. Visually, it feels great, and it’s clearly a labour of love, produced in tribute to and with the greatest of respect for Ghibli.

There’s just one problem, though, and that’s the audio. Not the music, which is carefully choreographed and sounds great – no, our quibble is with the voiceover track. Have a listen and see what we mean:

If you can read the Japanese subtitles while listening, great! But if not, you’re out of luck, as it’s pretty difficult to make out the English narration on its own. That’s a real shame, because apart from that we love this short.

There’s only one thing for it – find your favourite Ghibli movie soundtrack, set it to play in the background, and watch Niy – Zero Story Mononoke with the sound turned off!

▼ Niy – Zero Story Mononoke: Looks great, sounds…odd.



Source: KAI-YOU
Images: YouTube, Niy – Fan Film Mononoke Facebook