If you are looking for a new show to watch in the world of anime, then I recommend checking out a little known anime called Seirei no Moribito or Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. The show has several ingredients to make it interesting: a strong female lead, a band of well-developed secondary characters, lovely music, a compelling storyline, and some intense, realistic fights.
We first meet Balsa, a foreign, seasoned spear woman for hire, who has returned to the Shin Yogo Empire to visit old friends. Her plans are quickly shattered after she spontaneously rescues the youngest royal prince from drowning. In the dead of night, the grateful but fearful queen begs Balsa to spirit away and protect her young son who has started acting strangely. The emperor and his top advisor believe the prince is possessed by a malevolent spirit. The queen disagrees and fears that recent accidents are really assassination attempts to silence the prince. Balsa accepts, and the story becomes a cat-and-mouse game between Balsa and her allies and the emperor and his formidable assassins. In the midst of fleeing, hiding, fighting, and staying alive, Balsa and her allies must figure out the truth behind the prince’s strange behavior before it is too late.
Balsa is a fantastic lead character. She is smart, kind, tough, loyal, and deadly with a spear. I found Balsa to be realistic and relatable. Throughout the show, she learns to open up to others despite her stoic and reserved personality and tragic childhood. Her relationship with the young prince is especially touching as Balsa learns to enjoy a deeper bond similar to a parent and a child.
The pace of the show is choppy at times. Some episodes can be seen as filler, but there is always some character development or clue that plays into the climax. The truth about the prince’s behavior is revealed about three-quarters into the show, but viewers will want to see how it all ends for everyone.
Don’t miss out on the fights. Balsa is highly regarded as a spear woman and has built a formidable reputation as a bodyguard. Not every episode has the pleasure of seeing her going head to head with the emperor’s assassins, but, when they do, the fight scenes are impressive.
Seirei no Moribito is based on a novel of the same title. You don’t need to read the book before seeing the anime. Both are fairly similar plot-wise. The anime has subbed and dubbed versions, and both do a fairly good job. The music is also lovely, simple yet compelling. Overall, Seirei no Moribito is a great anime check out. It is an epic fantasy adventure with supernatural undertones. It has a little something for everyone.
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes