Seirei no Moribito
|Seirei no Moribito|
|Original Manga||Nahoko Uehashi|
|Made By||Production IG|
|# of Episodes||26|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
A spear-wielding female bodyguard is hired to protect a young prince that is possessed by a spirit.
In the ancient empire of Yogo, mankind lives at the mercy of nature and the spirits. Second prince of the empire, young Chagum, is possessed by a mysterious water spirit. Believing the spirit to be a demonic harbinger of drought, the boy's father sees no other choice but to put his son to death for the safety of his country. Fate intervenes when the wandering mercenary spear-master, Balsa Yonsa, thwarts an in-progress attempt on the Prince's life. The boy's mother, the Empress, implores Balsa to flee the palace with her son and protect him from the Mikado's assassins. Balsa agrees, having sworn an oath to save the lives of eight people to atone for eight lives she is responsible for taking. Chagum will be Balsa's eighth and final charge, if she can protect the young prince from his own cruel destiny.
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Moribito is very reminiscent of Hayao Miyazaki's early work, with a strong female lead, themes of humanity's place in the natural order, and uniquely eastern fantasy elements. And Moribito stands as probably one of the most exceptional attempts at a Ghibli knock-off. This is due largely in part to the collective talent assembled on the project. Production IG is a studio with a history of gorgeous animation work, and Moribito is no exception. The action is fluid, the characters never stray off-model, and the backgrounds are lush and colorful. Sitting in the director's chair is Kenji Kamiyama, the man largely responsible for the Ghost in the Shell TV series. He sets sweeping fantasy adventure alongside beautifully choreographed action. Composing the score is the legendary Kenji Kawai, also responsible for the bulk of Ghost in the Shell franchise. Almost to the point of being overpowering, the music is Moribito is haunting and intense. The combined effort results in an atmospheric and enthralling fantasy. Unfortunately, Moribito's characters lack the twinge of humanity necessary to carry the larger-than-life story. They aren't bad characters by any stretch, Balsa is easily one of the best-written female characters anime has to offer, but they feel a little too much like pieces being shuffled around by the plot. This makes Moribito's focus on its characters in the middle episodes seem far more dull than it should be. Despite a few stumbles, Moribito is a powerful and engaging story that is a must-watch for any fan of traditional fantasy-adventure epics.
Moribito is good. The animation is amazing. The characters are all believable. The music is wonderful. The fights are phenomenal ... when they happen. And that's the problem. Moribito is just so ... damn ... slow. It's unfortunately more like slice of life with the occasional action than anything else. 3/5--which just pains me given how good all the pieces are.