Miyazaki’s intent was never to create an accurate portrait of medieval Japan. Rather he wanted to portray the very beginnings of the seemingly insoluble conflict between the natural world and modern industrial civilization – a conflict that has continued to this very day. Throughout, Miyazaki resists forging simple villains or stainless heroes. The human polluters are not so much evil as merely attempting to survive in a world that has pushed them to the edge. San and the forest gods are not entirely noble, either; their long, losing battle with humans has hardened their hearts, sharpened their anger and divided their own ranks. Yet in the interaction between the two – however hard won – something magical occurs.