Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Moribito Guardian of The Spirit Two Pack|
Actor: Mabuki Andou
Director: Kenji Kamiyama
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
She carries the pain of eight souls. He carries the burden of one sacred spirit. At a time when the balance of nature still held the civilizations of mankind in thrall, a single drought could spell the end of a society and... more »
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If you enjoy dramatic anime, Moribito: Guardian Of The Spiri
Mark Segal | Paramus, NJ USA | 10/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The fantasy anime "Moribito: Guardian of The Spirit" is based on the novel by Nahoko Uehashi. Although I did not read the original Japanese version of the book, nor did I see the series in Japanese as Karen Weiss did, I have been following it since it's TV debut here in the USA on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim (currently playing as part of the Saturday Night lineup, although it airs at 5:30am on Sunday mornings as of the date of this writing on October 27, 2008). I must say that so far, I agree with everything Karen wrote.
This is a truly spectacular piece of artwork that will feed your soul. The story (written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama) takes place in an unspecified country at a time when the Emperor was thought of as a God to his people, and so HONOR for the Imperial throne is paramount. The Emperor must do whatever it takes to protect his people and avoid any appearance of being connected with evil.
The story opens with the land in a period of drought, and the Emperor and his court of Star Readers are working feverishly to find a way to end the drought before it gets any worse and people begin to starve. And we learn that an Emperor is allowed to have multiple wives to be certain he can continue the family lineage. Each Empress and family, however, are housed in separate palaces of their own. The second Empress, in the second palace, has two sons, Crown Prince Zaku and Crown Prince Chagum. Prince Chagum is the younger one, and he has been having terrible nightmares. The Star Readers attribute Prince Chagum's nightmares to an Evil Water Demon possessing him.
Having a member of his royal family possessed by a Water Demon would bring shame on the Emperor. And more importantly, a Water Demon would certainly be the cause of the drought. And this was completely unacceptable in these times. But they could not just "kill" a Crown Prince, or people might ask questions and learn of the Water Demon.
And so the storyline goes like this: To keep his honor intact and to end the drought, the Emperor orders that his son (Crown Prince Chagum) be killed in an "accident" so no one would learn of the Water Demon issue. But after a few close-call accidents, the last of which an outsider from another land, Balsa the Spear wielding Bodyguard (our heroin), saves Prince Chagum. And it is at this point that Prince Chagum's mother, knowing that her son is marked for death by his own father, calls upon this outsider from their land who has already saved her son once. After determining Balsa is not just a bodyguard out to make money but a women of true honor, the Empress asks Balsa to take Prince Chagum and protect him for the rest of his life. They set a fire in the Prince's bed chamber to throw off suspicion.
But with no body, the fire doesn't fool anybody and the Emperor's court learns of the existence of the female spear wielding bodyguard and they suspect she has taken off with the Prince. A chase and some bloody battles ensue where we see Balsa's true nature, meet many of her friends and ally's, and learn more about the other characters that surrounded the Prince, the court and Balsa. With help, Balsa intends on helping Prince Chagum rid himself of the demon, but I won't tell you more or I would spoil the story.
The characters are well developed and the voice acting is very good. The music is upbeat (the opening theme is "SHINE", sung by L'Arc-en-Ciel, and this one is completely in English for the American audience) and the landscapes and scenery are breathtaking to behold. This is a great story, and it is really nice change to see an anime where a woman is the strongest character of the series.
I am looking forward to the complete DVD release here in America with great anticipation, as this is another one I want to add to my diverse collection.
By the way, this is my first review, so if you like it, please make certain you mark it as good so I will know to write more reviews. Keep reading and watching and have a great day!
Moribito: Guardian of The Spirit Two PackMoribito: Guardian of The Spirit (Collector's Edition)Moribito Vol 1: Guardian of The SpiritMoribito Vol 2: Guardian of The Spirit"
A gorgeous, complex epic fantasy
Karin Welss | Dublin, CA USA | 09/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Balsa, a female bodyguard for hire, saves young Prince Chagum from what appears to be a horrible accident. When it's revealed that the boy is possessed by a demon, and that his father, the Emperor, is trying to rid himself of the boy before his condition becomes known and undermines the divine Imperial authority, Balsa is tasked with Chagum's protection by the boy's mother, the Second Empress. She goes on the run to save Chagum's life, while enlisting the aid of two shamans to discover how to cure Chagum before it's too late...
Nothing is quite as it seems, and even the "bad guys" are acting from noble motivations, as it seems that the demon inside of Chagum may cause a horrible drought to descend over the kingdom, killing thousands in thirst and famine.
Gorgeous artwork, wonderful music, and well-rounded characters--"Serei no Moribito" is a delight from start to triumphant finish. After having watched this series during its initial broadcast run on Japanese TV, I can honestly say that this is the most beautiful, well-characterized, well-written, and emotionally satisfying anime series I've ever seen. I'm eagerly awaiting the North American release on DVD, so I can add this one to my "keeper shelf.""
I wish there were more like this one
James Boer | Kirkland, WA United States | 01/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a refreshing change from typical anime fare. While it features a spear-weilding heroine, you'll see no overly-sexualized stereotypes here, and our heroine Balsa is refreshingly well-built and believable as a spear-wielder.
Protagonists are portrayed as tough yet compassionate, with real vulnerabilities and human foibles, while still avoiding the temptation of having them make obviously bad decisions to put them in harm's way, as so many reckless heroes of recent popular anime series seem to delight in. Likewise, the antagonists of the series are not portrayed as wantonly evil - they are simply carrying out regrettable tasks which they feel are necessary to save the kingdom. While magic is a seemingly common part of this world, the fights seen so far are very much grounded in reality. No superhero-like moves are seen in this volume, which helps in creating a somewhat deadly air of reality. Wounds received in battle are not simply ignored. They have a painful and lasting consequence, and this gives a real sense of mortality to the characters involved.
The art of Moribito is absolutely gorgeous, accompanied by a suitable soundtrack. The dub is also spot-on, with appropriately cast and well-acted roles throughout. I've not watched the subs yet, but I'll presume they're up to par as well. 3D CG animation is used sparingly but effectively.
The story moves along at a reasonable pace, but one certainly couldn't call it non-stop action. Younger viewers may not appreciate that the hero spends more time recovering from wounds received in combat than fighting off enemies, but if you give yourself a chance to slow down and enjoy a well-crafted story, you'll surely enjoy what this show has to offer.
As for myself, I eagerly look forward to viewing the rest of the series. With any luck, it will maintain these high standards going forward."
Only 7 episodes...?
M. Randall | Allen Park, MI | 01/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The DVDs included here is some of the best anime i've seen in awhile but at the same time i'm disappointed with Media Blasters/Anime Works marketing methods. Only 7 episodes total on 2 DVDs? What a rip-off when you consider The Twelve Kingdoms first 2 DVDs had 5 episode each. 7 episodes seems more like something ADV films would pull. To top it off, there will be 8 volumes instead of the usual 6... thus more money to spend on the series on longer for it to be completely out on the shelves. Shame on you media blasters."