Which Witch Music? The Mononoke OST
It’s time for witch music again, saplings. We’ve got another anime soundtrack recommendation this time. No no. Don’t make that face. Just listen. Mononoke is another anime where the plot and subject matter are, if not straight up witchcraft, witchcraft-adjacent. In this setting, there are spirits known as ‘ayakashi’ that linger in the human world. They are associated with, or caused by, negative or traumatic events. Mononoke are a specific kind of these spirits.
The main character is only known as ‘The Medicine Seller.’ Before the Medicine Seller can exorcise the Mononoke, but only once three things have been discovered: the form or shape the Mononoke takes, the Mononoke’s truth, and the rules or reasoning that bind the spirit. Most of the Mononoke are based on or inspired by traditional Japanese spirits or demons.
Mononoke’s visuals are surreal, and kaleidoscopic. All of the colors are bright and saturated, which makes the entire show seem like it takes place in a dream world. It matches the supernatural subject matter and heightens the frantic emotions of every character surrounding the Medicine Seller.
In fact, the Medicine Seller seems to be the only one who isn’t constantly loosing his shit in these situations. His comparatively cool demeanor sets him apart from the human characters. His appearance does as well. But, the series never actually addresses his origins or what, exactly, he is.
Mononoke’s soundtrack is another absolute treat. I recommend it as background music for both art and meditation. But, it would be lovely for ritual work as well. It creates an otherworldly atmosphere that feels somehow just a little sideways from normal life. It’s heavy on traditional Japanese instruments, with an energetic pace that seems like it could tip over into frantic at any moment. Take note: a lot of the music heightens tension, leaving you feel like the atmosphere could change into something out of control. But, it never quite passes that tipping point.
The OST is available on YouTube here.
If you enjoyed this music recommendation, please consider taking a look at some of my other suggestions.