On the precipice of a cataclysmic drought, the Star Readers of the Shin Yogo Empire must devise a plan to avoid widespread famine. It is written in ancient myths that the first emperor, along with eight warriors, slew a water demon to avoid a great drought and save the land that was to become Shin Yogo. If a water demon was to appear once more, its death could bring salvation. However, the water demon manifests itself within the body of the emperor’s son, Prince Chagum—by the emperor’s order, Chagum is to be sacrificed to save the empire.
Meanwhile, a mysterious spear-wielding mercenary named Balsa arrives in Shin Yogo on business. After saving Chagum from a thinly veiled assassination attempt, she is tasked by Chagum’s mother to protect him from the emperor and his hunters. Bound by a sacred vow she once made, Balsa accepts.
Seirei no Moribito follows Balsa as she embarks on her journey to protect Chagum, exploring the beauty of life, nature, family, and the bonds that form between strangers. – My Anime List
Based on 22 review scores:
Thankfully, Moribito also has far more closure than Guin Saga, even though both are based on only a small part of a full story — in fact, at first, I actually thought I had the full story. Now that I know otherwise, I would have to admit I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see more of it animated. However, as a standalone series, Moribito comes highly recommended.
The Anime Guide
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit gets my highest recommendation. This is an excellent and smart show, with a great cast and a good, solid story from start to finish. One of the few shows that ever made me cry, too. Do not miss this.
Moribito is one of the finest anime shows that I own; indeed it transcends anime, eschewing the usual tropes and clichés, and just delivers one of the finest examples of serialised storytelling that I’ve experienced. It just is peerless. When your main character is a strong, skilled warrior woman, and the show delivers absolutely no fan service or pandering in that regard, you have to realise just how unique this show is in its medium.
By the time I reached the finale of the anime, I felt not only in awe of the overall series, but also the sadness from its ending and longing for more. I doubt however, that Production I.G. would animate the remaining books as it is quite a vast story to be told. It’s also sad to note that only the first novel was released in English, with no plans for the other books to be translated. Still, I so love this anime so much. It does call for a lot of patience because of its slow pace and lack of fight scenes, which I theorize was the reason it was pulled out of Adult Swim as its audience may not be keen on that kind of concept. However, the patience is well worth it, trust me. Of all the anime series released in 2008, and of that I managed to watch, Moribito – Guardian of The Spirit is ranked in my book as the top anime of the year. It’s one that can be viewed by anyone regardless of age and one to show those who are new to anime, as well as those who have been anime fans over the years.
Anime News Network
Some have complained about the pacing of Moribito being a bit on the slow and deliberate side, but that does not show as much in this span of episodes as it does in some later ones. This block chugs along quite nicely, offering a fair share of action scenes and intrigue to complement its thoughtful, well-paced storytelling. All-in-all, it is an exceptionally strong start to a highly promising series.
The Anime Review
If someone were to tell me Moribito was one of their favorite anime, I would sincerely respect that. There’s a lot to like here, and I genuinely wished I loved it. Even though I don’t, I’m glad I watched it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a grounded fantasy anime. It lacks the finesse and power of the very best anime I’ve seen, but it’s packed with great moments. I’d take a smart show like this that doesn’t pander to its audience any day of the week over most of the anime programming being churned out today.
Overall this is a very wonderful show to experience. It has an abundance philosophical and religious questions that are explored during the season, many of them discussing death, birth, and rebirth. I would never let the fear of those ideas prevent you from watching the show. That being said, this show provokes many different feelings throughout, and I will admit to crying tearing up every once in a while. If you have the time and are not in the mood for a funny or cutesy anime, go to hulu and look for Moribito Guardian of the Spirit. You will not be sorry.
Despite hearing otherwise, I went into Seirei no Moribito with expectations for an average, run-of-the-mill series. While it didn’t blow me away, I was nevertheless enormously impressed with its presentation, and found myself intrigued from start to finish. The sheer attention to detail and subtleties really made it shine as a true work of art, and had it been for a bit more involving storyline, I could have easily seen this series vying for a spot among such epics as Junni Kouki and Crest of the Stars. On its own, however, a more than formidable series suitable for anybody who shares my appreciation for serious, well-told dramatic stories, and perhaps even those who enjoy a bit of action thrown in the mix as well; not to be passed up.
This series is a fantasy tale, a story about survival and redemption, exquisitely crafted. There are no “stand-alone” episodes here; the story unfolds in a linear fashion, effectively leaving the viewer wanting more at the end of each episode. Great character development, you can’t help but sympathize with the main characters as their relationships strengthen throughout their ordeals. The animation is exceptional as well as very realistic and backed by a fitting soundtrack by Kenji Kawai, makes for an elaborately atmospheric experience. The action scenes play a secondary role, one of building the tension when needed, although superbly choreographed nonetheless! There is no real explicit content but the spiritual aspects and the inescapable “cycle of life” theme embedded in the series is definitely for mature audiences only!
My complaint about this anime is its uneven mood and pace. As the series progresses, Seirei no Moribito gradually transforms itself from a fast-paced, action-packed anime into a slow, drama anime in the middle and finally ends as folklore inspired, fantasy anime.
My Anime List
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.
Although I was captivated by the end of the series, I cannot help but feel a little sad… not because of its conclusion but because of its characterization. If the characters could only have further reached out to the viewers, Seirei no Moribito would have easily clinched the title for the anime of 2007. I will not say that this is the best the year 2007 has to offer, but it certainly is one of the best.
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a rare series that tells a large story with many different threads that are created over time before culminating into a decent finish. It is held back by poor pacing and a sense that the series loses focus over the course of its twenty six episode run but those who manage to stick with it until the end will be in for a down to earth series laced with fantasy elements told in a way that you just don’t see much nowadays.
Moribito: Guardian Of The Spirit remains one of the best, most engaging, and most exciting anime TV shows ever made.
Heretical Dub Lover
But, this show is kind of worth watching for atmosphere, sort of like Aria. It’s pretty, it’s sometimes exciting, just don’t expect anything too wild. It’s emotionally subtle and mature, which is nice in a world full of anime protagonists who scream a lot.
A change in pace at the half-way mark of this volume will be jarring for some, but this is otherwise a promising and maturely delivered series so far.
Pacing problems set aside, this is a simple tale beautifully animated, and when it decides to be an action series, it’s on par with the fights of Cowboy Bebop and the boss fight from Grenadier. Solid story-telling with a memorable cast.