Disclaimer time: I told you guys once before (back when I posted the mind-blowing Akira OST) that I'm no big fan of anime. But certain works transcend the genre: the aforementioned Akira, Vampire Hunter D and its exploding heads, and just about anything by my boy Miyazaki -- which of course includes his swan song Princess Mononoke. Mononoke, despite its mellow themes, peaceful imagery, and soothing score, is in fact METAL AS FUCK. I'll tell you why: EPIC PAGAN FOREST SHIT, BRO.
Bam! Fist bump.
Joe Hisaishi (right) aka Mamoru Fujisawa aka Delldongo created a masterpiece of a score for said film, one that is effective for the same reason any great film score is: it establishes mood -- whether it be tension, joy, chaos, or serenity -- quickly and effectively, working with the plot to move forward character development and action coherently. Hisaishi has scored over 100 films in his native country, but remains lesser known in western classical/soundtrack circles. Fucking gaijin.
Hisaishi Wiki / Last.FM