Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (Seirei no Moribito) 2007
I suspect some folks would have felt that Moribito was a slow series but I’m pretty comfortable dismissing that notion – character development doesn’t equal ‘slow’ for me 😀
In fact, there are plenty of fight sequences and interesting magic too, along with enough secrets and character conflict to keep things engaging all the way through. By the end, I found myself pretty disappointed that the second novel hadn’t been animated too, actually.
Should you end up hunting this one down, I think it’ll be clear that series is adapted from a story written by a novelist – as the overarching storyline, sub-plots and character development are all handled so well. Having said that, I would have loved a bit more time spent on a few characters but that’s the nature of switching mediums – some things have to be changed.
But there’s a whole lot to compensate: the beautiful colour palette used throughout, the vaguely familiar ‘historical’ setting and costuming, the music which was equally stirring and haunting, and some really sleek battles too.
As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to really remember scenes that feature somewhat lesser known weapons, and here in this case, the spear fighting really caught my eye, it seemed like a perfect mix of drama and realism.
And though Moribito features a female lead don’t expect fan-service – Balsa is more like a mix between stern warrior and parent-figure, one who undergoes some soul-searching about her role in life as she strives to protect the runaway prince.
Watch this if you’re interested in a historical action/drama anime with supernatural elements and a pretty moving story – especially that ending.