English: Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit
Synonyms: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 7, 2007 to Sep 29, 2007
25 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.261 (scored by 29520 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure drama fantasy
SynopsisAt a time when the balance of nature still held the civilizations of mankind in thrall, young prince Chagum has been accused of being possessed by an evil spirit: the water demon, which once perished at the hands of the emperor 100 years ago. This could possibly mean great misfortune. Not only for the Imperial family, but for the entire world as well.
Court advisors only see one solution. Chagum must be put to death by his own father's hand. His salvation is in the form of Balsa, a spear woman and mercenary from Kanbal, the kingdom across the mountains. Her skills are legendary, and although reluctant, she is held by a mysterious vow to save eight souls before she dies. Can she fend off an entire empire and make Chagum her eighth soul?
Related AnimeAdaptation: Seirei no Moribito, Moribito Series
Characters & Voice Actors
Seriei no Moribito (or Guardian of the Sacred Spirit), is not your normal anime. It began life as the first in the ten volume Moribito series of fantasy novel written by Uehashi Nahoko, and although these novels were intended for children, they gained many adult fans. In fact, the novels proved to be so popular that they the first volume was adapted into a manga, an anime (directed by Kamiyama Kenji, who directed Ghost in the Shell SAC and 2nd Gig), and even a radio drama. The novel is also scheduled for release in english in mid 2008 because of the immense popularity of the anime adaptation.
Seirei no Moribito has some of the smoothest and most fluid animation of any anime produced over the last few years. Production I.G. managed to produce one of the best looking anime of 2007, and with it, managed to introduce one of the most unique and interesting female leads in anime.
The colour palette is very "Ghibli-esque" as it mainly uses greens, browns, blues, etc, but Production I.G. has made good use of them for the characters and environements, and the overall effect gives the show a feeling more reminiscent of "Monoke Hime" or "Gedo Senki" than anything else.
Character designs are exceptional throughout the show, most especially the main and immediate supporting characters. Balsa is exceptionally well designed, and far more realistic than many other fantasy female leads. Her character is fairly muscular and stocky, yet without the extremely toned muscles shown in most other fantasies. Facially too, the designers went for realism more than anything else. Balsa is not beautiful, but not ugly either. She's plain (in a sense), and is most definitely a woman, not a girl.
The other characters are also designed very much with realism in mind, and this actually helps to pull the viewer into the show in a big way. It's also nice to see that attention was paid to the animals in the show as well, and it makes a nice change to see a horse in anime that actually looks like a real horse.
One thing that should be mentioned here is the design influences. Many people relate thise series to China and Japan because of the very obvious visual references to those countries (i.e. the palace, the emperor, the ninjas, etc), however this is really only a small part of the whole. In truth, Seirei no Moribito isn't simply based on China and Japan, but is actually based on the greater Indo-Chinese region. This is reflected in the differing facial structures, customs, practices, etc, that are seen in the show. Balsa and Jiguro are originally from Kanbal, a country that shows a number of elements of Northern India/ Kashmir, Nepal and Tibet. This influence also extends to Balsa and Jiguro's fighting style, which is very different to that of the stories other combatants. The backgounds, still scenes, the rural settings, even the mountainous regions and jungles, are very clearly based on a region of South-East Asia stretching from India to Japan, and it's a rarity to find this kind of scope or depth of detail in anime.
The animation quality throughout the show never really lets up, and the action sequences are especially impressive. The fights are swift and well executed, and the movements of the combatants is especially impressive during the action scenes. Production I.G. have also paid attention to the different combat styles used in the show as well, and have managed to include these in the animation, which gives the fights a far more "authentic" feel.
Each episode opens with a very nice, and rather catchy, J-rock/pop ballad called "Shine", which was performed by L'Arc-en-Ciel but never released as a single. The rest of the music in the show (composed by the famous Kawai Kenji), adds to the atmosphere and overall feel of the show. The dramatic moments, fights, and even the slow-paced scenes are all emphasized with some great background music.
The sound effects are exceptional in this show, especially as this is more of a "historical" fantasy. The background noises, the grunts, clucks, whinnies, and other noises of the various animals, the clash of steel on steel, etc, breathe life into the series, and makes the setting that much more "real".
It goes without saying that the star of the show is Balsa, the spear wielding warrior woman, and Balsa, as a character, is one of the strongest and most unique female leads in any anime. She is muscular and stocky, possess many skills (not the least of which is her formidable fighting ability), has a strong sense of right and wrong, is very rarely indecisive, and is sensible in many ways. As I've said earlier, Balsa is no beauty, and this again sets her apart from many other female leads, as the designers generally try to make lead women in anime "attractive" to male audiences.
Chagum, on the other hand, is exactly how you would expect a young prince to be, but without the arrogance (which makes a nice change). What makes this series really work though, is the attention to character development that both Balsa and Chagum receive, and how, as each of them develops, their relationship with each other changes.
There are several other characters who appear throughout the series (Tanda, Touya, Saya, Jiguro, etc), all of whom receive a certain amount of development because of their association with Balsa. The nice thing about the development of the supporting characters is that it is often directly linked to the development of either Balsa or Chagum, or both in some cases. This is most especially true in the case of Jiguro, who was Balsa's guardian and mentor as a child, and is the one who taught her how to fight with a spear. The various references and flashbacks to this character slowly begin to make sense as the series progresses, and with this clarity it is possible to understand Balsa's character even more.
There is a downside to the characters though, in that there are other characters who receive little to no development. In addition to that, the characters who do receive development rarely get it continuously. Strangely enough though, this does very little to impact on the story or the viewers enjoyment of the show.
The story is actually a nice role reversal of the typical "rescue the princess" scenario and, although it's meant to be a serious fantasy action drama, there are some genuinely humourous moments.
The story flows at a nice steady pace throughout the series, and although it does slow down from time to time, these are effectively the times when the majority of the character development happens. The premise was good on the whole, and although the story at times seems more like stock fantasy, there are enough differences, as well as some great character development, sound and animation, to make watching this a worthwhile experience.
This isn't a light-hearted series, but it also doesn't become overly dramatic. It doesn't focus so much on action that it gives up areas of the story, and it never lets the story become so bland that you get bored of watching. It's an interesting show to watch and the pacing of the show, as well as the slow delve into Balsa's past, serve to ensure that you keep watching.
Although the plot may be simplistic at times, this isn't really a show that suffers from it, especially as the show itself is more character driven than anything else. The main focus of the show, from beginning to end, are the characters. This is emphasized by the fact that the action and drama clearly take second place to each of the characters.
Overall I'd recommend this show to any Ghibli fan, and also to anyone who like shows like Claymore, Slayers, or even Rurouni Kenshin or Sword of the Stranger. It's an extremely enjoyable example of how good a fantasy series can get if you do it right, and because of it's characters, it will appeal to fans of many different genres. read more
Scoring Preconditions: While I rate all parts, the overall score takes in most consideration from story, character, and enjoyment. Art and sound are not factors in the overall, although they can slightly enhance or detract from enjoyment portion. I score from as unbiased a view as possible and I view it in a critical sense, not in a simple enjoyment sense. Thus I give at most a one point overall bonus for enjoyment. Story and characters matter most. I will state if exceptions to this rule depending on the anime.
Summary: From my knowledge, this isn't a well known anime. The only reason I found this was while looking through the top anime list and found it way back. But I consider this to be one of the most underrated anime I've ever seen. Details to follow.
Story (9/10): The story started kind of slow and really picked up steam about half way through. I think the best part of this story was the originality. It was way cool having a female protecting the male. Second, the intricacies of the plot were well worth the score. The way characters were forced into change was really great. I also liked how they weaved two worlds together. Perhaps the only problems I had were the slow start and questions on how Jiguro had anything to do with Chagum. But the story was well worth watching.
Art (10/10): The art is in a similar mold to Claymore. It's a different style that you could say makes it look more realistic. I didn't have a problem with it. Enhanced the enjoyment.
Sound (10/10): Opening theme and closing theme were both great to hear. Background music enhanced the enjoyment.
Character (8/10): First of all, I thought Balsa was a great main character. She fights well, makes intelligent decisions, and as time went on gained a very nice maternal instinct. I think the whole save eight lives part got muddled in the plot, but she was a good character with nice development all the same. Chagum also had some nice development as well. Start off as a bratty prince and learn to actually live life. While it may not be the first time I've seen it, the development from prince to outcast was well done. As for the herbologist, I kind of lost the point in his character. The half romance/unrequited love with Balsa was unnecessary and really only served to distract from the main plot. Other side characters played their part. No comments on them.
Enjoyment (10/10): Perfect marks here starts off with the second half of the anime. The plot really took off and I enjoyed the ride all the way. Providing closure to the story also gained good marks from me. Beyond that, the fight scenes weren't drawn out unnecessarily and were good. Also the use of spears gained bonus points here. It was a nice change from swords or guns. Finally, perfect marks come because I simply like Balsa as a character.
Overall (9/10): I saw a couple flaws that don't make it a perfect 10, but this was really well worth watching. The plot isn't Code Geass intricate, but it was enthralling all the same. If for nothing else, watching Balsa and Chagum grow as characters together really made it worth my while.
Thanks for reading this. I'm open for discussion so if you have anything to add, message me and I will get back to you. read more
Both set in a mythical world. Each has its own intricate story line that actually follows sense, and politics. Great action scenes for both too (Seirei no Moribito has amazing ones). Check out the other if you've seen one, they're both highly entertaining and more 'mature' shows.
Complicated characters and unordinary story in an beautiful, magical world. If you miss the climate of Seirei no Moribito you will fellin love witch that anime
12 Kingdoms, 3 tales, 1 anime
Just the overall feeling and character design.... The oriental settings in both suit my taste very well... I would say Juuni Kokuki is paced a tad faster (after finishing Seirei no Moribito) and has more depth to the plotline, while Seirei no Moribito has lush landscapes and focuses more on Character development; both have their own merits though.
They are both epic fantasy titles,with great story and animetion.
In both the main character is a woman.
The stories are different but both Anime include fantasy and adventure. They share a similar atmosphere, a great scenery and a female leading character. I was watching Juuni Kokuki first and I was really happy to find Serei no Moribito when searching for a similar Anime.
Deals with a girl transported to a magical world. Both series scrutinize the realms with minute details.
Both series posses almost similar Asian-like settings, strong female leads, dramatic battes, and storytelling method. However their are obvious differences which make watching the series worth while. If you like this series, I have no doubt you'll like this as well.
Based on epic fantasy novel series written by well known jap authors. Set in a lush fantasy world filled with mythical creatures, magic and a rich lore. The story in both cases has some political intrigue ('palace politics'), strong elements of supernatural, a colorful cast of characters as well an ass kickin female lead.
People who love fantasy stories (stuff like Narnia,The Hobbit LOTR etc) will definitely love this. But they're also recommended for anyone who needs something feel-good to 'unwind'.
Both epic stories set in the past with strong female leads with great spirit. While Juuni Kokuki is more grand, Seirei no Moribito shares the same style and grandeur.
Both anime are adaptations of novels based off of ancient China. The atmosphere of the two shows have the same feel, rich and detailed with compelling characters, excellent scenery, and incredible music. It has everything you need to ignite your sense of wonder, but the stories are different enough that you won't feel like you're watching the same show twice.
Fantasy. Strong female lead.
Both series introduce us to a beautiful rich world in a completely evolving mythology and that is the basis of the history of anime. With fine, fighting and engaging stories these animes equate perfectly.
Both have similar stories and great action, although Stranger has more action.
And both have gorgeous art as a bonus.
Both animes have a very similar story (a guardian figure, in the form of a very skillful warrior, protecting the weaker innocent.) Seirei no moribito, being a tv series based on an epic fantasy novel series, obviously contains much more details in terms of story, characters and the setting. Sword of the stranger lacks that detail since its only a movie targeted at a smaller audience.
If you want a more fast paced, adrenaline-driven version of moribito with better action, then you dont need to look further than stranger - Mukoh Hadan. Though moribito has much more depth in terms of story and is much more heavy on the characters. 26 episodes also make sure that there is enough 'lore' to give the series (moribito) a stronger 'soul'
both are great animes!
Serei no moribito has a similair plot with Sword of the stranger.
Both anime have a amazing production quality.
Sword of the stranger concentrate on the action scenes, while Moribito focust on a epic story with a lot of drama, a slice of life and fantasy scenes with also(less) amazing action sequence.
Titanic effort of animators that brought hightdetailed backgrounds close to real paintings among with great dynamic fight scenes that surpass your typical shounen battle with more blabbering about being mighty than actually kickass action.Also starting point for theplot is nearly the same.
Both with amazing animation, similar situations, background and some similarities in the characters.
Both involve the main character protecting and guarding their child with initial apethetic reasons, that quickly become more personal and emotional ones.
Both feature intense fighting sequences, brilliant music, takes place during ancient Japan, and have a great endings = Chanbara genre.
About a lone warrior with a secret past. They become the protector for a young boy who is being pursued. Historical settings, with a little bit of the supernatural. Politics, drama, and action. And fine animation. 'Stranger' is a LOT more violent.
About a warrior with a secret past. They become the protector for a young boy who is being hunted. Historical settings, with a little bit of the supernatural. Both are similarly animated.
Very similar style
Except one has a male samurai and the other has a female who uses a spear.
However, Moribito is tamer than sword.
Opening Theme"SHINE" by L'Arc~en~Ciel
Ending Theme"Itoshii Hito e (愛しい人へ; To the loved one)" by Sachi Tainaka
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