San, the titular Princess Mononoke, is a force of nature, uncompromising and undaunted by violence. Raised in nature, she sought to become its hand of vengeance against humanity. A young woman pursuing her own goals against ignorance and petty enmity is a typical (albeit early) example of Hayao Miyazaki’s dedication to well-rounded female characters.
SPOILERS: minor spoilers for K-On!, Yuri!!! on ICE and Food Wars! A wide-eyed innocent is staring at you through the screen, her lashline shimmering with tears. “Take care of me”, she appeals without words, to a hero on screen, perhaps you as her hero. Or maybe even to the part of you that’s fragile, which you protect from a world of strangers. Many of us would recognise this as moe, what some would suppose a ‘moeblob’; a character that exists only to be vulnerable and sweet, an empty sugar shell we long to keep safe. But many of us will find something deeper to relate to in this trembling dear, kind to all, yet afraid of some imagined danger.