Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Watched This: Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit

When word spreads that Prince Chagum carries a water demon in his body, he becomes the target of assassination by his own father. Knowing what is to become of her son, the queen seeks Balsa the spear wielder, the land's finest bodyguard, to take him far away from the kingdom and protect him for the rest of his life. As fate would have it, Balsa is on a personal mission to save eight lives in order to redemption herself of eight deaths she has caused.

Chagum would be the eighth.

*     *     *

We wrapped up another short and sweet series (and yes, it's Anime), clocking in at a decent 26 episodes, and you know what? I had no expectations, saw no trailers for it, noticed it was available in our Netflix, so I'm all, "sure ... why not give this one a shot." It turned out to be a wonderful surprise. I'm a huge fan of Earthsea and the film Princess Mononoke (my gateway to discovering that Anime isn't all about bad dubbing and forming balls of energy in your hands), so it was refreshing to find another Asian-themed high fantasy story.

As cool as European settings are, I like to shake things up a bit.

The show is based on the novels by Nahoko Uehashi, and while I have yet to read them, I really enjoyed the production of this fine series - clean/detailed animation, characters who favor brains over brawn, and the violence was non-gratuitous enough that we let The Boy watch it with us. The show is a "textbook" rendition of The Heroes Journey with all the classic roles in their place (warrior, healer, mage, etc), but it never felt old or tired. The magic, like a faint accent, added to the realism. There was even an episode that resembled the opening chapters of my Woven novel so close, I got worried for a second. Thankfully it was different enough that no rewrites were necessary.

Yessiree ... this is pretty much the kind of story I enjoy writing.

So the next time you're looking for an Anime fix, try this out for size. It often goes where you don't expect, which is always entertaining. Besides, heroines are super-in right now - and Bulsa kicks butt!

Seen any good shows lately? What are your recommendations?

I'm David, and Egg Eaters hate fire ... just so you know ...


  1. Been a while since I watched a good anime flick.
    Have a great Thanksgiving, David!

  2. I have to get around to watching more anime again. There's something magical about the way they present stories.

  3. Sounds like a great anime show and good to know "The Boy" could watch it - I'm always on the lookout for stuff that I can watch with the whole family without one finger on fast forward.
    We've been liking The Adventures of Merlin (the first episode is creepier than the rest), and Once Upon a Time. My girls are tween and teen . . .so think about that level of maturity . . .not too many things that have made me blanch.

  4. Hey, I watched part of this with my husband the other day! It was really cool, from what I saw. Have you ever seen Trigun? One of the best anime's EVER.

  5. Oh, I have that novel in my TBR pile. I'll have to get on it so I can watch the anime. And I completely agree with shallee, Trigun is awesome.

  6. Ooh, this looks good! The first time I realized that anime could actually be good was watching Howl's Moving Castle, which was followed by Spirited Away, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

  7. I've never read an anime novel or watched an anime movie. I guess it's too new of a genre for me.

  8. When I saw the title of the anime show for this post I grinned from ear to ear. I LOVE!!!!!!! this show. Did I get that across loud and clear? Yes, classic hero's journey played out in a beautiful world, the effects of the real world and "other" world colliding shown wonderfully and the relationships between the characters build, over time, in such a way that watching every episode was a must.

    I first caught this show when it came on Cartoon Network's adult swim segment, you know, like with shows like One Piece. This was years ago. I then watched it again on Netflix and my daughter really liked it because Balsa kicked butt and she was a girl. Yeah!

    I enjoy anime and think all of the Hayao Miyazaki films I've seen should be made as part of the curriculum for art students, especially those interested in animation.

    Because some anime shows can be a whole lot fan-service (read big boobies), a lot of really great ones get missed in the shuffle. Depending on what you're interested in, I can make some suggestions.

  9. Ooh I'm always on the lookout for new anime to watch, I'll have to check this one out :)