Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit anime cover art featuring main and supporting characters
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit Cover Art

Overview

Moribito is the story of Balsa, a lone traveling spearwoman, who is contracted to protect the prince of the Imperial Family. The assassination of the prince was ordered by the Emperor himself because the prince has a water spirit inside of him and it is believed if the spirit were to die, then the drought that has been plaguing the land will end.

Balsa happens to be in the Imperial capitol at the time and is contracted by the prince’s mother to take him with her on her travels and protect him from the Emperor’s assassins. She agrees to protect the prince because she is on a journey to save eight lives as penance for eight lives which were taken that she feels responsible for.


Characters

Balsa, the protagonist of the series, is a highly skilled warrior who uses a spear. She’s originally from a faraway land, but traveled to the empire as a child with a guardian of her own. Although she is a master warrior, she tends not to wield her spear with the intent to kill, but rather incapacitate her opponents.

Chagum is the second prince of the empire. He has a water spirit, or demon, inside of him which the empire believes needs to be killed in order to prevent a drought. Over the course of his journey with Balsa, he learns about the world and life in general from her and becomes attached to her over time.

Two of the supporting characters are Tanda and Torogai. Tanda is a doctor and essentially a shaman in training under Torogai, an old shaman woman who lives in the mountains. These two often help Balsa when she comes to them with injuries sustained from fights. Torogai is also able to communicate with the spirit world.

The final characters I’ll mention are Touya and Saya, two orphans who become acquaintances with Balsa after they hide her in their hut. These two don’t really do anything else important that I can remember, but they’re around.

Balsa fighting off some assassins (from the anime Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit)
Balsa

Conclusion

Moribito is basically the correct way to write a story based on a traveling spearwoman. When compared to Koihime Musou, it’s obvious that this is the better of the two. They also both came out in 2007 so the difference in quality isn’t due to one of these anime being newer than the other.

That said, I ended up giving Moribito a 5/10 although it probably deserves a 6. However, it’s been so long since I’ve watched it that we’ll just trust the me of the past and stick with the 5.

Despite this rating I did enjoy the series, especially when it delved into Balsa’s past and her reasons for not fighting to kill. There were also some other parts of the anime which dealt with her intent to kill, or lack thereof, which I found to be the best parts, but I won’t spoil that subject any further.

The OP for Moribito is available here.

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