|“||San: The Great Forest Spirit is dead now.||”|
|“||Ashitaka: Never. He's life itself. He's not dead, San. He's here right now, trying to tell us something. That it's time for both of us to live.||”|
Nago Attacks the VillageEdit
Princess Mononoke starts as Ashitaka is riding towards the lookout tower for his village, telling everyone he meets along the way that the village wisewoman has ordered everyone inside the village. When he reaches (and climbs to the top of) the watchtower, asking the watchman if he sees anything. he points into the forest not far from the tower. Something is visible moving in the underbrush, getting closer. It is a demon that first appears to be made of purple worms. Everything it touches withers up and dies. It moves towards the watchtower and the village. crashing into the watchtower, sending it down a steep hill. Ashitaka and the watchman escape, and Ashitaka mounts Yakul and rides to cut the demon off before it reaches the village.
He manages to stop it right before it reaches the village, and tries to reason with it and make it leave. It doesn't listen to Ashitaka. Seeing no other choice to keep it from attacking the village, Ashitaka shoots an arrow towards it, and hits its eye. Enraged, the worms around the beast reach out for Ashitaka, and a few latch themselves onto his arm. Ashitaka shoots the second eye, and the boar falls to the ground, immobile.
The wisewoman and several villagers come to the scene of the fight, and remove Ashitaka from Yakul. He has a large, irregularly patterned, purplish scar on his forearm where the worms made contact with his skin. The wound is tended to. The wisewoman turns to the dying boar and tells it that they will give it proper burial rights and asks it not to bear them any ill will. It dies after ignoring the wisewoman and saying that humans are pathetic and that someday they would suffer as he had suffered.
Ashitaka Heads WestEdit
That night Ashitaka meets before the village elders. The wisewoman, Hii-sama reads Ashitaka's future using magic stones and tells Ashikata that the wound is a curse, and that it will grow and consume him, cause him great pain, and then kill him, and there is nothing he can do to stop it. A few elders protest, saying that their numbers are growing smaller, and that they do no wish to send away their last prince. The Wisewoman tells Ashitaka that the most he can do is to meet his fate. She takes from her kimono an iron ball, and tells him that it was found inside the boar's body, and that it is the cause of his suffering and what turned him into a demon. She bids Ashitaka ride east and find out what did this, to 'see with eyes unclouded' and see what he can do to make sure what happened to the boar doesn't happen again. Ashitaka agrees, and cuts his hair before leaving to pack his things.
Even though the laws of the village forbid it, Ashitaka's bride-elect, Kaya, comes out to bid him goodbye, and gives him her crystal dagger. Ashitaka tells her he will never forget her, then rides away on Yakul. Kaya follows them to the front gate for a last look at her brother. Ashitaka then heads off west on his journey.
He stops and finds samurai attacking people. The curse on his arm starts growing as he fires his arrows and kills two men on the impact. He then goes to a town and buys rice. Ashitaka gives a gold nugget to the lady and she calls him a thief. He then meets a monk named Jigo and Jigo tells the women and the crowd of people that the gold is worth three bags of rice. Jigo then goes with Ashitaka to a destroyed village to rest and eat. Ashitaka then tells Jigo about the boar and gives him the iron ball. Jigo answers back that he never had seen an iron ball like that. Ashitaka then goes off to go on his journey again and finds two men along a river.
The Forbidden ForestEdit
After rescuing two men in the waterfall, Ashitaka looks around to see if there were any other injured men, only to see a wolf that is injured. Two more wolves appear, along with a girl who removes the poisoned blood. The girl spots Ashitaka, but doesn't confront him. Ashitaka decides to introduce himself only to mistake her as the forest spirit. Being told to go away, Ashitaka hears a scream coming from the men he rescued and decides to bring the men back to their home. With the help of the Kodama, they arrive in the forbidden forest. A deadly forest where humans were restricted not to come near. Ashitaka decided that they should take a break. While getting water for one of the injured men, he noticed a wolf paw printed onto the grass, thinking that the wolf girl lives in the forest. He later sees another print in the water, realizing that the prints were made recently. As Ashitaka is observing, he spots a hoard of moose-like animals, then sees one that is completely different from the others. Surprised and wanting to get a better look, the side effect of his cursed arm begins. Not wanting the injured men to know about his curse, he quickly puts his arm into the water, not having time to take off his arm sleeve. After the pain was gone, the hoard was gone. Ashitaka asked the man if he saw something strange but he said no.
Arriving in IrontownEdit
Ashitaka and the two injured men arrive at their home, Irontown. Not wanting anyone to know his identity at first, he arrives in Irontown by boat and is greeted by Gonza. A group of workers come to bring one of the men to a place to heal and rest. The injured man riding on Yakul's back is revealed to be an ox driver named Kohroku with a wife named Toki. While Toki is happy to see him alive, she's furious that his broken arm and leg will mean he can't ride the ox for work. Lady Eboshi, mistress of Irontown, comes to greet Ashitaka and welcome Kohroku back home. The men treat him as if he was family while the ladies ask Ashitaka if he would like to see their job. As the men were talking about the demon boar god Nago, Ashitaka receives a slight feeling that Nago was the one who attacked his village. Speaking with Eboshi and exposing his cursed arm, Eboshi reveals that she was the one who put the curse on Nago.
San Attacks Iron TownEdit
The very same night of Ashitaka's arrival, San makes a surprise attack on Irontown. But due to her agility no one was able to chase after her while she was running her way to Eboshi. Ashitaka stops San from being killed by three gunman. San was knocked out by two ladies, one named Kiyo and the other unnamed, whose husbands were killed by her wolves. Ashitaka wakes San up, only to receive a cut on his face by her dagger. Ashitaka, with the use of his powers, stops San from attacking Eboshi and exposes the truth about his cursed arm. After Ashitaka stuns both Eboshi and San, he decides to leave Irontown with San. Kiyo points her gun warily at Ashitaka, not wanting to shoot him but angry at his treatment of Eboshi. He pauses, and as he turns away the gun fires at him accidentally, piercing his abdomen. To everyone's surprise, Ashitaka's bullet wound doesn't kill him, likely due to the power of his curse.
Arriving at the gate, San's wolves come to take her back. Ashitaka tells them that she is safe and he is coming with them. His final words to the people of Irontown, "You have my thanks".
As Ashitaka leaves Irontown with San, his wound worsens with the exertion and he falls off Yakul. San wakes up soon after and finds her wolves attacking Ashitaka. After ordering them to leave him to her, she quickly gets angry and tells Ashitaka that she should kill him for saving Lady Eboshi. He tells her that she is beautiful. The Ape Tribe comes in and tells the Wolves and San to give them Ashitaka. San's brothers chase them off and she tells them to go home. San then takes Ashitaka to the Forest Spirit and he is healed. When he wakes up he is joined by Yakul and San as she feeds him meat. Moro and her sons come and confront the boars as they angrily tell them why there are humans and that Nago never would have run away. Okkoto then comes in as Ashitaka shows his curse as proof of the demon Nago. The Moro clan then takes Ashitaka to their home.
Moro tells Ashitaka that he has no place in San's life and that he will leave in the morning. As Ashitaka heads off, he gives his sister's crystal dagger to one of Moro's pups to give to San in fear that she might die in battle. Ashitaka searches for San and soon finds her being consumed by the demon. Ashitaka and Moro rescue San from Okkoto's demon body, and Ashitaka pulls her into the lake to revive her. Lady Eboshi emerges from the opposite bank with a gun to behead the Forest Spirit in order to uphold her end of a deal with Jigo. Ashitaka attempts to thwart her by throwing his sword into her rifle, but she succeeds and tosses the head to Jigo and his men. As the Forest Spirit wreaks havoc in search of his head, Ashitaka and San pursue Jigo, stopping only to warn the people of Irontown of the oncoming destruction. They soon catch up with Jigo and, after a short tussle, retrieve the head from the crate and return it to Forest Spirit. As dawn breaks and the Forest Spirit dissipates, Ashitaka's curse is broken and the lepers of Irontown are cured, though Irontown itself and the surrounding land are now covered in foliage. San and Ashitaka part ways in the end, as San is still unable to forgive the humans for what they've done. Ashitaka understands and promises to visit her in the forest whenever he can, as he'll be helping to rebuild Irontown and therefore will always be nearby.
At the beginning of the movie, Ashitaka is depicted as a handsome young man who has long hair that is tied into a bun, but he cuts it off after he is told to leave the village. His hair then has a layered cut with wild bangs cut over his eyebrows. His hair is naturally brown and has blue eyes. His clothing consists of a blue top and peach-white pants, as well as brown bottom warmers and shoes made out of fabric. He also wears blue arm sleeves and a red hood to cover his face. He wears a cloak made out of hay for a small portion of the movie. He wears his fiancée's crystal dagger (In the village, everyone calls each other brother and sister, even if they are not related) before he gives it to San. After San's attack on Iron Town, Ashitaka has a slash scar on his left cheek where San slashed him with her dagger.
His curse often manifested as a glowing blue and black aura on his right arm. This signified his anger or the anger of those around him, and occasionally caused the muscle mass of his arm and body to momentarily increase. The aura itself often appeared similar to the demon curse that initially infected his body.
Ashitaka is very stern and determined to achieve his goals, not allowing his setbacks to stop him from curing his curse and saving his village. He is also extremely curious in nature, wanting to discover who San truly is after witnessing her sucking venom out of one of the wolves. Despite his hard outer shell, Ashitaka is also very kind and only wishes for the best outcomes for both sides, not wishing for either side to shed blood in destructive wars, and wants peace between the forces of nature and humanity.
He also has romantic feelings towards San, viewing her as the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen his life.
Behind of VoicesEdit