Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Sunday, July 1, 2012

Plot Summary:
Balsa is a great warrior whose mission in life is to save eight souls by working as a bodyguard. One day, as she passes through a new country, she ends up saving the life of the second Prince, Chagum. What looked like an accident, Balsa learns from Chagum's mother, the Second Queen, that the Mikado (Chagum's father)  is trying to kill his own son. The reason why the Mikado is doing this is because Chagum has been possessed by a water demon that could plague the land with a deadly drought. In order to save the people, Chagum must die. However, unwilling to sacrifice her son, the Second Queen asks Balsa to be the Chagum's guardian for the rest of his life. Although Balsa initially declines, she sees the Queen's desperation and reluctantly accepts her offer. After all, if she protects Chagum, he will be the eight soul to complete her mission. When Balsa and Chagum make their escape, they are hunted by elite warriors called "The Hunters" whose sole purpose is to retrieve the Prince and bring him back. While the entire kingdom mourns the death of the Prince, the head tutor, a star reader named Shuga,and the head star reader, are not convinced that murdering the boy is the right solution so they set out to find an alternative by researching a hidden text that reveals the legend that founded the kingdom. As time goes by, Chagum learns the life of a commoner, which is not only hard work, but enlightening and invigorating. Furthermore, he is making life long friends, which is something he has never had before. What Balsa did not count on is that she is slowly starting to care for this young boy, which forces her to reminisce about her own past and the man who raised her. As the story shifts from the past and present, Chagum learns about his destiny and Balsa faces the ultimate challenge of her life.

Critical Evaluation:
Moribito is a visually-stunning piece of work. I was completely blown away by the landscapes, the colors, and the use of technology. There were many times that I wish I could walk through my television so I could be a part of the city and the country. I have yet to read the manga, but I now I can't wait because the story is just absolutely beautiful. In many ways, I can relate to Balsa who is not only my age, but she is a strong, independent, and powerful woman who is willing to lay her life down for a complete stranger. The relationship between Balsa and Chagum is absolutely inspiring because although Chagum is not Balsa's child, she immediately accepts and treats him like he is her own. I truly believe that the nature of women is wonderfully portrayed because not only is Chagum an innocent child surrounded by treachery, he is in the exact same position she was fifteen years ago. Viewers will eventually learn about Balsa's past, which not only conveys why she took this mission, but how she will never, ever abandon Chagum. The action is amazing because it is not every day one sees the hero wielding a spear. I believe one of the warriors called the spear a weapon of a footman, which doesn't require skillful repairs; therefore, proving how formidable Balsa is. I also appreciate the fact that she is in appropriate attire for a warrior since other animes/manga tend to put their female characters in short skirts or wearing hardly any clothing at all. Balsa is beautiful, but, besides her pretty face, its her heart that makes he gorgeous.

Information about the Producer:
According to Wikipedia:
Kenji Kamiyama  was born on March 20, 1966 in Saitama Prefecture, Japan, is a Japanese anime director. He has worked regularly with the anime studio and production enterprise, Production I.G, such as his work on Jin-Roh, Patlabor, Blood: The Last Vampire, and for whom he has directed the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex anime television series, which was followed on into a second season, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG and a TV movie, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society.
After working as a background artist for productions such as Akira and Kiki's Delivery Service, he joined Team Oshii at Production I.G, contributing the screenplay of Blood: The Last Vampire and working as animation director for Jin-Roh. In 2002 he made his directorial debut with MiniPato, followed by Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG. In 2007, after almost six years of work on the Stand Alone Complex world, he directed the TV series Guardian of the Sacred Spirit and Eden of the East.

Teen Anime


Number of Episodes:

Anime Similar to Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit:
  • Nabari No Ou
  • Mushi Shi

{ 1 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Very nice review--this is a good anime ( :


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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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