Princess Mononoke – The Storyboard Book

Posted By yonghow on January 4th, 2011

Princess Mononoke is my favourite Miyazaki/Ghibli film of all time. I remember watching it for the first time as a teenager and its incredibly visceral energy and stunning animation left me in a mild state of trauma, albeit in a good way.

Running at a whopping 134 minutes, Mononoke Hime is Ghibli’s lengthiest film ( I think ), and the whole animation was painstakingly storyboarded by Miyazaki-san himself, shot by shot. This book contains the entire collection.

(above ) A quick lesson in reading Japanese storyboards. There is a wealth of juicy morsels to be found in the notes if you can read Japanese.

(above right ) – a drawing that extends beyond the bounding box usually means the shot has a camera move, in this case a pan.

(above) A pivotal scene in the film – Ashitaka meets San ( Princess Mononoke ) for the first time. *cue Princess Mononoke main theme, string version*

(above) Grumpy Ashitaka and San. I love how Miyazaki-san finds time for self amusement/encouragement even during crazy production crunch times. San says “Quit your dilly-dallying !” and Ashitaka “Start drawing !!”.

(above) Miyazaki-san documents his boards with detailed notes, including sound effects. Here he describes the sounds made by a tree canopy filled full of Kodama : ZAAAA~~~~~ZAAAA !!!!!!

You may not understand Japanese, but Miyazaki’s beautiful sketches of the entire Princess Mononoke film is still a veritable work of art.

(below) The book comes with a protective cardboard slipcase.

Princess Mononoke Storyboard Book art book details :

– Dimensions – 8.6 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
– Softcover, 620 pages
– Color and Black and white, Japanese text
– Comes with card board slip case

Also check out these other Ghibli art books :


14 Responses to “Princess Mononoke – The Storyboard Book”


that looks sooo good. i’m going to Japan in the Spring, so i’m trying to curb my spending a bit, but maybe i can buy all sorts of these things while i’m there. if anyone knows names or addresses of great shops that would sell these or things like them in Tokyo, or anywhere else, please let me know!

A-run Chey

That is an absolutely beautiful sketch book. Miyazaki’s storyboards are so intricately detailed, that a lot of the panels stand as great pieces of artwork on their own. The cardboard dust jacket is a great addition. I have noticed that quite a few of Miyazaki’s art books are getting translated to English in North America, which makes them cheaper and more accessible in the western market. Although, I think it may be sometime until one of his storyboard books are translated on our side of the pacific.


i can’t believe how many superb quality artwork mr.Miyazaki created..with full and all my respect…he is always number 1 for me…


T^T You you!! Tempt me! Really feel like getting this. Arrghhh..~~


Zack – Hey there, you can find these books in any good bookstore in Tokyo, but the 2 Kinokuniya bookstores in Shinjuku will definitely carry them. ( unless they run out of stock ) Happy hunting ! :]

A-run Chey – Thanks for dropping by. :] As you mentioned, I think the chances of any publisher translating all those notes in the storyboards are quite slim, so its going to be a while. That said, the pictures themselves are alone worth the price of the book, so its still not a bad idea to pick up the Japanese copy, if you don’t want to wait.

onurg – Ditto that !



This is amazing. Princess Mononoke is my favorite Studio Ghibli film next to Ponyo and Grave of the Fireflies. The artwork is absolutely stunning.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes

I love the Studio Ghibli e-konte books. Aren’t they terrific? It’s an excellent learning tool for artists and scholars, and offers many unique insights into the production of the films.

I really ought to buy more of these books. The e-konte book I currently own is Horus, Prince of the Sun, which proved immensely helpful. I do wish I was fluent in reading Japanese, however, because there are a number of essays in these books that I’m sure would be deeply insightful.

One book you should get is the one that accompanied last year’s museum exhibit on Ghibli’s storyboard layouts. The title is “Studio Ghibli Layout Designs – Understanding the Secrets of Takahata-Miyazaki Animation.”


Thanks for introducing this book. It’s simply amazing the amount of details put into sketching the storyboard. It’s as if reading the actual storyboard used. Do animation artists still do this type of detailed storyboard?


Daniel Thomas MacInnes – You’re absolutely right about the layout design book, I was fortunate enough to attend the exhibition :

Studio Ghibli Layout Designs Exhibition Part II

CJ – Not all animation directors do storyboards as detailed as this, because it takes alot of time and effort, and you need to be quite an artist too ! That said, it isn’t necessary for the storyboard to be beautifully drawn, we’re just lucky because Miyazaki-san is such an amazingly artist.


i knew about the existance of this artbook of Mononoke
is there another, the one you have reviewed here? including only the animation pannels and sketches?
when was it published? i know the first one: the art of.. has English version, right?, this one hasn;t got one, yet…
i will be glad if you could reply to my questions
thanking you in advance

Martin Leman

I’m gonna buy this right now!!!


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