Tate Eboshi, the yokai that haunts Suzuka Pass, was once a bandit. As you might imagine, Ashitaka gets caught up between these wars, both sympathetic to the humans but deeply reverent towards the spirits. I’m glad to hear you were already ahead of the curve. A human turned fiend by the power of Amrita. Heroes are integral to the history of storytelling. However, perhaps more interesting than who we consider a hero is what all heroes have in common: the hero’s character arc. Here, most heroes will refuse to believe the flaws they saw through the Call. As the demon approaches the village, it traps a group of girls in front of it, and Ashitaka dives in to kill the demon and protect them. Lady Eboshi treats everyone equally, no matter the race, sex, or history of the individual, creating a caring community. Ko-umi-bozu, literally "small-umi-bozu" are the resentful souls of samurai who died fighting at sea. In Princess Mononoke, Lady Eboshi kills the forest spirit, which is a sort of Physical God. Dwellers are humans turned into yokai by the foul miasma in the depths of a mine. You see, the success of society is just as important as the success of the hero themself. However, what sets it apart is its focus on the hero’s return to their community. The Giant Toad is, as its name implies, a yokai in the form of an enormous toad. A Tatarimokke is formed when a large number of resentful spirits coalesce to form a giant owl. In their Inner Journey, they’re likely holding on to hopes of returning home, but slowly they will recognize that things were never as simple as they seemed. She was born to an unmarried mother, who eventually died in an epidemic. Tate Eboshi, the yokai that haunts Suzuka Pass, was once a bandit. Mujina are badgers transformed into crafty and cunning yokai. Heroes are an integral part of our storytelling language, and this pattern of the hero’s character arc provides a guide to help you create the type of memorable, compelling heroes readers can’t get enough of. This much like the traditional First Plot Point of the Three Act Structure. At its most basic, the Hero’s Journey is a common pattern all hero characters follow, popularized by Campbell. The plot of the story moves more quickly when Ashitaka finally reaches the Ironworks. This understanding of the hero’s Inner Journey is incredibly valuable, because almost all writers will wonder how to write a hero at some point. On one side feudal lords wage war against each another, and on the other the spirits of nature struggle to survive against encroaching humans. This is when the self-sacrifice of the hero’s character arc really comes into play, as the hero often has to risk losing their newfound life and allies to return home. After all, we can’t talk about heroes without first talking about the Hero’s Journey. The Underworld Soldiers, are demons who form the army of Yomi, the Japanese underworld. However, before he goes they tell him to journey west in hopes of lifting his curse. Ashitaka leaves under the cover of night, bringing his loyal elk, Yakul, with him (Finding Allies). Most importantly, this hero’s character arc is something you can use to write memorable, compelling heroes all your own! In many traditional stories, this manifested as the hero meeting with a goddess or being tempted by an evil female figure—though again, there are no gendered requirements when creating a hero’s character arc. However, the curse remains; it seems the Deer God won’t save him after all (A Reward). This is why the Hero’s Journey requires the hero to return home and share their new skills and knowledge, helping their society heal and prosper as the final phase of their journey. Here they suddenly come face to face with the truth of what the outside world is—and often, the truth about their own community as well. There he discovers the humans have been clearing the forests and killing the local gods to mine more iron. You can find his Hero’s Journey at work in nearly every myth, novel, movie, and play out there—and, despite Campbell’s views, there’s absolutely no requirement for the hero character to be male or female. They’re no longer the person they once were, but that doesn’t free them from their responsibility to their community. If you’re not familiar with it, Princess Mononoke follows Ashitaka as he journeys west, searching for a way to lift the curse placed on him when he defeated the demon boar Nago. While working on the first draft of this article, I was watching Princess Mononoke by Hayao Miyazaki. The Nuppeppo is a yokai that resembles a lump of flesh. Lady Osakabe is a yokai that has possessed an entire castle, lending the building her life force. Not only are heroes beloved, but they’re practically required for many stories. At first Mononoke wants to kill him, but realizes he is on nature’s side. To clear their mind, the hero will need to meet with a mentor figure. Ashitaka is loyal to his mission to preserve the spirituality of the forests, San resents humankind and Lady Eboshi is a self-starter only looking out for the advancement of human industry. The Road Back is, in many ways, a mirror of the first five stages of the hero’s character arc. Meanwhile, the war between the humans of the Ironworks, the opposing samurai, and the nature gods escalates into a massive battle. That evening, Ashitaka meets with the elders of his village (Meeting with the Mentor) and they tell him the curse will eat away at him, eventually killing him. Still, Lady Eboshi is bent on killing the Deer God once and for all. Until now they’ve lived a life sheltered from the outside, even if only through their own naivety. 9. This reward is key both to the conflict of their Outer Journey, and the wounds they’re struggling to heal in their Inner Journey. Karasu Tengu, giant Tengu with wings like a crow's, has been known to humans since ancient times. At first, Ashitaka helps around the Ironworks, unsure if he should stay or go. Ashitaka returns to the Ironworks, forging a new balance between nature and humanity (Returning With the Elixir). Their journeys are always ones of service and self-sacrifice. This defines them as a classic hero, though it’s possible for them to be a failed hero (negative arc) that not only fails to grow into a better character, but fails to lift up their society. Ashitaka isn’t sure what to think (Approaching the Cave). When he passes the Ironworks and sees that it’s under attack, he steps in to protect it—Ashitaka races to find Lady Eboshi so she can send reinforcements to protect the people at the Ironworks. Tate Eboshi, the yokai that haunts Suzuka Pass, was once a bandit. Yatsu-no-kami is a serpent god with a horn made of countless blades protruding from its foreheard. Returning home and healing society is integral to the hero’s character arc, and the final stage in the hero’s development. Tate Eboshi. A Kasha (literally "fire chariot") is a yokai that snatches corpses and spirits them away to hell. Later, he helps rescue two men who were thrown from a cliff, and they warn him about the war between the people of the Ironworks and the nature gods that live in the Deer God’s mountains. They’re heading for the Deer God’s forest, and Ashitaka must stop Lady Eboshi from following them (The Road Back). If you’re wondering how to write a hero of your own, Ashitaka’s journey is a great example of the hero’s character arc in action. A Mezuki is a demon with the head of a horse. These yokai feature elongated necks, although they are indistinguishable from regular humans when their neck is reteracted. The Nightmare Bringer is thoroughly governed by its feelings of loathing, amplified a hundredfold by all the resentment absorbed into its body. Magatsu warriors are armored warriors and corpses that have transformed into yokai via the power of the spirit stones. I’ve found that many writers pick up on these character arcs subconsciously over the years, and many are shocked it’s actually an official structure when they find out! As soon as he loses his head the Deer God becomes a massive demon, consuming and killing everything it touches. Most importantly, what does their society need to learn to become better? The yokai known as Nurikabe (noo-REE-KAH-bay) take the form of a giant living wall. In their Inner Journey, the hero finally recognizes the Call and sets out hoping to find answers. Here the hero will have to prove all they’ve learned thus far. The Call to Adventure is a pretty well know plot point within the hero’s Outer Journey. The elders talk about how their bloodline is weakening, and how all the human kingdoms outside their isolated village are in decay as well. She is rarely seen without her Mehve or her companion, Teto the fox-squirrel. Still, Lady Eboshi is bent on killing the Deer God once and for all. What does their society need to grow and prosper? Kinki is one of the four demons said to have been employed by Fujiwara no Chikata. An extremely difficult proposition in Saint Seiya, as the gods (with the exception of Eris in the first OVA) are really powerful, but possible with the right means. When he is about to leave, however, the wolf-princess Mononoke arrives intent on killing Lady Eboshi. Yasha were once a noblewoman, transformed into demons by Spirit Stones and their own hatred. Suiki is said to be one of four demons employed by Fujiwara no Chikata. While Eboshi hates San and the forest spirits, she keeps a garden in her town. In every hero’s character arc, the hero begins in their ordinary world. Ashitaka and Mononoke are both alive and Ashitaka’s cursed arm is healed. Without that crucial step, their hero’s character arc is incomplete. The hero will refuse to return home, unwilling to give up their new life (or sometimes unwilling to jeopardize up their old life, depending on the Inner Journey of the hero). A Tesso was originally a monk who died while bearing a grudge, transforming into a giant rat yokai. She is the eleventh child of King Jhil, and the only one to live to maturity. If the hero succeeded during The Ordeal, they’ll receive a reward. The Oboroguruma is a yokai in the form of an ox carriage. In the Taiheiki, Fujiwara no Chikata is described as a very powerful noble of the Heian period, who controlled the region surrounding the border of Iga and Ise. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. It should reveal the answer they set out to find after the First Threshold. Classic heroes such as Robin Hood and King Arthur mix with modern variations like Simba and Shane to form a formidable pantheon. This could be another character, a spiritual guide, or even an aspect of the hero’s own mind. While Mononoke is unwilling to come live at the Ironworks with him, she promises to live in peace alongside the humans. Oni-bi resemble floating balls of fire. Tate Eboshi. Ashitaka even sees the Deer God while traveling through their woods, and discovers that his cursed arm moves on its own, still imbued with the raging spirit of the demon boar (Road of Trials). Soldiers that have come to harness the power of yokai by using Spirit Stones. It is most commonly encountered in the vicinity of mines and it is believed to have gained its unsightly form after years of harsh labor as a blacksmith. While Ashitaka was a flat arc character, your hero can follow any of the three primary character arcs—positive, negative, or flat—as long as the ending wraps around to them solving the problems of their community. The final phase of the hero’s character arc sees them return to their community. Though he kills the boar, he is now cursed. This is their home and community, and it gives the reader a baseline from which to judge their later growth. 6 Ways to Write Truly Terrifying Villains, Turning Heroes into Monsters: How to Write a Foil Villain, The 9 Stages of the Hero’s Journey and How to Use Them, How to Write a Hero: The 12 Stages of the Hero’s Character Arc. At this stage, most heroes still believe their lives can return to normal, and it is often this belief that propels them forward—even though they’ll soon find it isn’t true. They’ve overcome the flaws of their world and of themselves, and will help steer their community on a new and better path. Also known as a form of oni, a muscular, horned humanoid dwelling in the mountains. Ryomen Sukuna's unusual form is composed of two demons, red and blue, who are joined at their backs. Thank you Marta. Let me know in the comments! Lin from Xenoblade Chronicles X is a 13-year-old Teen Genius who, as part of the Shield Trooper class, wields a Gatling gun as her ranged weapon of choice. Mitsume Yazura is a three-eyed, eight-faced yokai, born when the souls of various beasts combined. The results, however, aren't quite what she intended. Of course, there are plenty of other archetypes beyond the hero archetype, and Campbell and Vogler discuss many of them. Uminyudo is a grotesquely gigantic yokai from the depths of the ocean. At first, Ashitaka helps around the Ironworks, unsure if he should stay or go. This man-eating yokai takes the shape of a snake with a woman's head. Here the hero crosses the “return threshold,” returning to their community and using all of their skills and knowledge to help heal their world and overcome the conflict of the story. Yokai taking the form of armored skeletons. Ashitaka knows Eboshi will kill her if he doesn’t stop them and fights to protect Mononoke, getting shot in the process. Spiders are carnivorous arthropods. For their Inner Journey in particular, the hero will need to face their old beliefs in new ways and will be tempted to abandon their quest. Eventually, if they’re to succeed in the hero’s character arc, they’ll realize they must return. WB. Premise of the film: Lady Eboshi wants to expand Iron Town into a forbidden forest inhabited only by gods, wildlife, tree spirits, and San, a human girl raised by wolves. This is the Climax of their story, where all the threads of both the Outer and Inner Journey meet. Though appearing to be a young boy, Haku is actually a river spirit -- the "God of the Swift Amber River" (or "Spirit of the Kohaku River" in the English dub). In the process he realizes Mononoke has gone to war with the humans, and that one of the other leaders of the nature spirits is horribly wounded. “Heroes are symbols of the soul in transformation, and of the journey each person takes through life. However, when the Deer God regains his head, a divine wind blows across the mountains. Waira have giant bodies with a single sharp claw on each of their forelegs. However, there’s another side to this. Shuten Doji is considered one of Japan's three greatest yokai, alongside Tamamo-no-mae and Otakemaru, While Kiryoki bear a resemblance to the yokai Enki, they wield a unique weapon that is able to change its form. Though not much is known about this creature, it is often seen in places where many corpses that have not received proper burial are found. Having officially left home, Ashitaka makes the long journey west, facing a variety of challenges along the way. Ashitaka goes to the wolf gods and tries to explain that humans and nature can coexist, but they refuse to believe him. As yokai that appears in legends from the Oga peninsula in northern Dewa Province, the namahage are viewed as savage servants of the gods. Ashitaka isn’t sure what to think (Approaching the Cave). ... Konaki-Ji ji is a yokai from the Shikoku region who takes the form of an old man. This is the hero’s darkest moment, when they’re unsure what all of this has been for and if they’re really capable of fulfilling the hero’s role. However, Ashitaka won’t surrender so easily. A yokai taking the form of a monk playing a biwa lute. Ongyoki is one of the four demons said to have been employed by Fujiwara no Chikata. Gaki is a yokai that was once human, cast down to Gakido upon dying due to the sins it committed during its lifetime. Also missing: Tesso ( the one that looks like a rat that farts all the time ) and the yokai which holds a crystal like a baby in her arms and cries and has a huge purple AOE that depletes your ki (lol sorry i dont remember the name). In the hero’s Inner Journey, the Call to Adventure marks the first time they’re asked to come face to face with the flaws of themselves and their world. This resolution is often bittersweet, but triumphant, and it what sets the hero apart from other protagonists. Scribd is the world's largest social reading and publishing site. The film's characters deal in absolutes, while parts of the story can be unsatisfying. Not only are the forests healed, but the sick people of the Ironworks are as well. The stages of that progression, the natural stages of life and growth, make up the Hero’s Journey.”, The 12 Stages of the Hero’s Character Arc, Writing a Hero’s Character Arc for Your Story. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Miyazaki’s work, and this movie is no exception, but this time I saw the movie in a new light. They can no longer remain naive if they’re to survive here. It follows a character as they’re called on an adventure, face a series of trials, and undergo a final challenge where they prove they’ve grown into the hero’s archetype. Missing: Onyudo (the huge yokai with the tongue), Contributions to Fextralife Wikis are licensed under a, To check the compendium of both friendly and hostile Yokai that are encountered, check our. If you want to learn more about the Hero’s Journey and the characters you can find within it, check out these articles next: As you can see, the hero’s character arc follows many of the common patterns seen in the three primary character arcs all characters—regardless of hero status—follow. Some believe her to be "The Blue Clad One" from Dorok legends. Princess Mononoke (もののけ姫 , Mononoke Hime) is a feature-length animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.It is considered one of Miyazaki's masterpieces, taking sixteen years to design and three years to produce, with a recorded box office revenue of ¥19.3 billion yen, breaking box office records in Japanese cinemas at that time. When he finds out their leader, Lady Eboshi, personally killed Nago and turned him into a demon, he feels enraged by her cruelty. Koroka were once old stone lanterns, and are considered a type of "tsukumogami" (an item that has acquired a spirit.). Konaki-Ji ji is a yokai from the Shikoku region who takes the form of an old man. Lady Osakabe is a yokai that has possessed an entire castle, lending the building her life force. In the process he enters the demon’s path and it touches his arm. They are formed when the elemental power of fire, water, wind, lightning or earth coalesces around the will of a dead soul. Upon reaching the forest, Ashitaka saves Mononoke from certain death, but cannot stop Lady Eboshi, who kills the Deer God and steals his head. Under the influence of Spirit Stones, they metamorphose into gigantic yokai that prey on humans. Ashitaka and Mononoke race to retrieve the head and warn the Ironworks of the coming calamity. They’ve resolved the story’s conflict and put their reward to work, helping their society proper. Bakegani is giant crab yokai that have made many an appearance in folktales told all over Japan. The Tsuchigumo is a giant, spider-like yokai with many limbs. She was born to an unmarried mother, who eventually died in an epidemic. By using this site you agree to these cookies. Kappa are diminutive Yokai with green skin, a dish-like depression on their heads, and a turtle-like shell on their back.