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Moribito anime

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (精霊の守り人, Seirei no Moribito) is an anime television adaptation of the first book of the series. Produced by Production I.G and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, the anime premiered in Japan on NHK from April 7, 2007. The anime runs 26 episodes and is based entirely on the first novel in the Guardian series, and greatly expands the midsection of the novel.

At the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2007 in March, Geneon announced that they had acquired the license to the anime and Scholastic announced they had US distribution rights to the novels. After Geneon discontinued its distribution division, the rights transferred to Media Blasters. The series premiered in the United States at 1:30 AM. on August 24, 2008 on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block, but was dropped from the schedule without warning or explanation on January 15, 2009 after two runs of the first ten episodes.

On June 13, 2009, the series was back on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block in the United States at 1:30 AM Sundays, but was moved to 2:30 AM Eastern time, swapping it with Fullmetal Alchemist in November.

OverviewEdit

When Balsa, an itinerant female spear-wielder, saves the life of Chagum, the Second Prince of the New Yogo Empire, her life changes unexpectedly. At the request of Chagum's mother, the Second Queen, Balsa accepts the charge of protecting Chagum for the rest of his life when the Second Queen reveals that Chagum has been targeted for assassination by his father, the Mikado.

However, Chagum appears to be possessed by something, and signs point to it being a water demon that was defeated by the Mikado's ancestors two hundred years ago. Balsa and Chagum must allude the Hunters, an secret and elite group of warriors who serve the Mikado, and their leader, Mon, in order to survive. Meanwhile, with the blessing of the Master Star Reader, a young Star Reader named Shuga begins to delve into the archives of the founding of New Yogo, and discovers that the official history of New Yogo may not be entirely accurate. As Balsa and her friend Tanda, an apprentice magic weaver, struggle to save Chagum, Shuga desperately seeks the truth that will save the country.

Episode ListEdit

Six DVD compilations, each containing two episodes of the series, have been released in Japan by Geneon Entertainment, with the latest released on November 21, 2007. A seventh compilation was released on December 21, 2007. The English distribution for the series was later acquired by Viz Media.

# Title Original Air Date English Air Date
01 Balsa, the Female Bodyguard
Barusa Onna Yōjinbō (バルサ女用心棒)
April 7, 2007 August 24, 2008
A female spear-wielder from Kanbal, Balsa, has returned to the New Yogo Empire after two years to have her spear repaired. When the second prince of Yogo, Chagum, falls into a river, Balsa saves him and is invited to the palace by the Second Queen to be rewarded. However, Balsa soon learns that the Second Queen's true intent is to hire Balsa as Chagum's bodyguard because the Mikado believes that Chagum has been possessed by an evil water spirit and must be killed. Balsa reluctantly agrees to protect the boy from Imperial assassins and escapes with him, with the attendants setting fire to Chagum's bedchamber as a distraction.
02 Hunters, Hunted
Nigerumono Oumono (逃げるもの 追うもの)
April 14, 2007 August 31, 2008
Balsa makes preparations to leave the capital with Chagum. She must leave the city without being noticed -- a task made difficult by the prince being overcome with the grief of leaving his family. The Mikado dispatches four secret hunters to recover the prince and kill Balsa.
03 Fight to the Death
Shitō (死闘)
April 21, 2007 September 7, 2008
Balsa discovers that she and Chagum are being followed. She has no choice but to fight against the pursuers. In the confusion she loses Chagum; she manages to rescue him, but due to her wounds, he must carry on by himself to Tanda's hut.
04 Torogai's Letter
Torogai no Fumi (トロガイの文)
April 28, 2002 September 14, 2008
Following Balsa's direction, Chagum successfully reaches Tanda's house in the mountains. Tanda is able to retrieve and treat Balsa, but Balsa needs bed rest to recover her strength. She and Tanda nurture their relationship in the process.
05 Secret Plan, the Blue Hand
Hisaku, Aoi Te (秘策、青い手)
May 5, 2007 September 21, 2008
Chagum's ailment is revealed by Tanda's teacher, Torogai. Balsa knows that the Mikado will never openly search for the prince. However, when Chagum's staged funeral is held in the capital, a wide-area search for her is in the works.
06 To Die in the Misty Blue
Aogiri ni Shisu (青霧に死す)
May 12, 2007 October 5, 2008
Unable to determine Balsa's exact position, the Mikado's hunters split up. In the Misty Blue Mountains, they see Balsa and Chagum dragged down a cliff by a large wolf and assume that the pair have died.
07 Chagum's Resolve
Chagumu no Ketsui (チャグムの決意)
May 19, 2007 October 12, 2008
In order to remain hidden until next spring, Balsa buys a watermill and settles there with Chagum for the time being. To pass the time and make some money, they use the mill to grind grain for the local villagers.
08 The Swordsmith
Katana Kaji (刀鍛冶)
May 26, 2007 October 19, 2008
Balsa visits a great blacksmith to get a new blade for her spear. The smith agrees to forge her new blade once he is convinced that she did not kill the prince.
09 Shuga Thirsts
Kawaki no Shuga (渇きのシュガ)
June 2, 2007 October 26, 2008
Shuga, a star reader and Chagum's teacher, tries to figure whether the drought sign is diminishing. He gets permission from the Master Star Reader to translate the ancient stone scrolls that record the history of Yogo and that are rumored to contain information about the drought.
10 Soil and Heroes
Tsuchi to Eiyū (土と英雄)
June 9, 2007 November 1, 2008
Tōya teaches Chagum how to act more like a city dweller. After the prince sees through a rigged gambling game, he is determined to teach the men a lesson and help the people get their money back.
11 Flower Wine for Tanda
Hanazake o Tanda ni (花酒をタンダに)
June 16, 2007 August 22, 2009
Unhappy with her arranged marriage, Saya's soul leaves her body. Tanda performs a soul call to guide her back. However, his soul becomes trapped and needs Balsa's help to return to his own body.
12 Summer Solstice Festival
Geshimatsuri (夏至祭)
June 23, 2007 August 29, 2009
Chagum challenges a boy to a rucha match on the Summer Solstice festival. He asks Balsa to train him to fight. He fights the boy and wins the match. After the boy's father insults Chagum, Balsa steps in and defeats the father.
13 Neither Human Nor Tiger
Hito de naku, Tora de naku (人でなく虎でなく)
June 30, 2007 September 12, 2009
Balsa gets challenged to a duel by a former rival. The rival targets a traveling couple in order to draw out her anger. She attempts to protect the couple but ends up engaging in a fierce duel that allows her anger to overwhelm her. She wins the fight but thinks that she killed him, breaking her vow to never take a life.
14 The Knot
Musubime (結び目)
July 7, 2007 September 19, 2009
Torogai makes contact with the water beings of Nayug and discusses Chagum's current condition. Torogai discovers that the official Yogo founding history is false, and recounts her escape from the knot.
15 Untimely Death
Yōsetsu (夭折)
July 14, 2007 September 26, 2009
While gathering more information on the drought sign, Shuga finds proof that Chagum is alive. Shuga wishes to tell the prince's older brother, Crown Prince Sagum, whose health has been weakened by the recent events. However, he does not, fearing the Mikado will discover Chagum's location.
16 The Pursuit[1]
Tada Hitasura ni (ただひたすらに)
July 21, 2007 October 3, 2009
Chagum's brother Sagum dies from overwork and grief, leaving Chagum as the heir to the throne. Shuga learns from the ancient scroll that the water spirit is not evil, and must be born in order to prevent the drought. Armed with this knowledge, he leads the search for Chagum to bring him back so that he can become the crown prince.
17 The Waterwheel Burns
Suisha Moyu (水車燃ゆ)
July 28, 2007 October 10, 2009
Shuga locates Chagum and Balsa in the city. The watermill is found by the Mikado's hunters and they lay a trap. Tōya sets fire to the watermill to warn Balsa. Seeing the fire, Balsa and Chagum set off to the Inishie Village.
18 The Ancient Village
Inishie no Mura (いにしえの村)
August 4, 2007 October 17, 2009
Balsa, Chagum and Tanda travel to the Inishie Village in the hope of learning the ancient story of the water spirit. They locate the village and listen to the ancient story. Chagum is horrified to learn that the spirit's "guardian" must die for the spirit to be born.
19 Escape
Chagumu Tōbō (チャグム逃亡)
August 11, 2007 October 24, 2009
Chagum runs away in an attempt to return to the Yogo court and to avoid being killed by the La Lunga (egg-eater). Determined to keep Chagum safe and bring him to Hunter's cave, Balsa goes after him. Seeing his distress, she vows to keep him alive even if she must sacrifice her life.
20 Trap[2]
Kariana (狩り穴)
August 18, 2007 October 31, 2009
Shuga and the hunters arrive in Inishie Village. Torogai tells Shuga of the egg eater. Shuga agrees to return to court and to decipher the remainder of the secret tome. Balsa, Chagum, Torogai and Tanda move to Hunter's cave, where they prepare for winter.
21 Jiguro Musa
Jiguro Musa (ジグロ·ムサ)
August 25, 2007 November 7, 2009
Winter arrives and the mountains become impassable. Balsa tells Chagum the story of her guardian, Jiguro, and how 24 years ago he decided to go against his king in order to save Balsa's life.
22 Season of Awakening
Mezame no Toki (目覚めの季)
September 1, 2007 November 14, 2009
Balsa continues Jiguro's story and reveals the reason behind her oath to save eight souls. Balsa begins to train Chagum as they await the spring.
23 Searching for the Spring Equinox
Shigu Sarua o Otte (シグ·サルアを追って)
September 8, 2007 November 21, 2009
Spring has arrived and Chagum has grown both physically and mentally. Chagum and Balsa are reunited with Shuga and the eight hunters. The power of the sacred Spirit begins to influence Chagum's actions, and La Lunga finally appears to claim the egg.
24 The Last Hope
Saigo no Kibō (最後の希望)
September 15, 2007 November 28, 2009
Balsa, Tanda, and the hunters chase after Chagum. Shuga and Torogai learn that the spirit will be born in another location and race to get there before dawn. When Balsa's group encounters two La Lunga, Tanda learns how to harm the creatures, allowing the group to kill one of the egg eaters.
25 The Time of Celebration
Utage (宴)
September 22, 2007 December 12, 2009
Balsa's group locate Chagum. The physical world and Nayug begin to merge. Balsa and the hunters manage to hold off endless waves of La Lunga long enough for the sun to rise. Tanda successfully extracts the egg and Chagum's life is saved.
26 Beginning a Journey
Tabidachi (旅立ち)
September 29, 2007 December 19, 2009
Chagum returns to the palace and is named Crown Prince and Divine Hero of the People. While Chagum is reunited with his mother, Balsa contemplates the future. After being rewarded by the Mikado, Balsa, Tanda, and Torogai prepare to leave the palace, but are redirected to the side gate by Mon and Jin so they can see Chagum one last time. Though Chagum is apprehensive about separating from Balsa, her words give him the courage to stay. While Tanda visits Toya and Saya's errand shop, Balsa has already departed for Kanbal, as Tanda explains there is one last thing for her to do.

MusicEdit

Two pieces of theme music are used for the episodes; one opening theme and one closing theme. The opening theme is "Shine" by Japanese rock band L'Arc-en-Ciel, and the closing theme is Sachi Tainaka's "Itoshii Hito e" (愛しい人へ, lit. To the Beloved).

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Alternate English episode title With All One's Heart (Viz Media)
  2. Alternate English episode title To Hunter's Hole (Viz Media)

External LinksEdit

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