Posted on 29 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Seirei no Moribito


Spring 2007 came with many excellent and unique series, and Seirei no Moribito is one of them. Produced by Production IG with extremely solid production-values, this series is a true gem for those, looking for substance.

Let me first start with the following statement: Seirei no Moribito does not have an overall genre. While the first three episodes might suggest that we’re dealing with an action or martial-arts anime, you’ll be proven wrong by the middle part of the series, which takes a more slice-of-life approach. A drama also doesn’t quite cut it because it’s got quite a few light-hearted moments, and while some episodes fall in the adventure-category, other episodes just show characters standing and talking. To be honest, apart from any World Masterpiece Production, I haven’t seen any anime that feels more like a novel than Seirei no Moribito.

The big key behind the success of this anime is the immense amount of detail that went in nearly every department of this series. The animation is truly gorgeous and detailed. Characters move more than necessary, they leave footprints on rough, terrain, random bypassers move realistic. It’s almost as if you were in a Ghibli-movie without all the over-the-top fantasy-elements. And to top things: the fight-coordination is among the best I’ve seen, even though there are only four or five of them in the entire series.

And then the characters. Don’t expect any flat characters here, nearly all of them have complex motives that can’t be described in one or two lines, they can think like normal human beings and some of them are quite smart, development is realistic and yet, as the series nears its conclusion you really begin to feel sympathy for them.

The storyline also finally doesn’t want to create the worst-case scenario in the end. All the plot-twists in the series favour realism over sensation. This series knows how to build up a good base for it, and it doesn’t want to ruin this by excessive amounts of forced drama and plot twists like we saw taken to the extreme in Code Geass. The storyline becomes so incredibly solid because of this, and because it moves relatively slow, it makes sure to put enough time to flesh out both the plotline and the characters to an excellent degree, so that it’s able to finish with an excellent finale that doesn’t feel rushed in any way.

There’s one major problem with this series, though. It may have been a tad too long, and many of the middle episodes, while they serve as a way to flesh out the characters, they also border on filler, and the story doesn’t get anywhere for about seven or eight episodes. It’s series like this one that make you pity that series can’t pick the option to take on the length of 1,5 seasons, as this would have been perfect for this series.

The first half may feel a bit tedious because of this, but everything comes together in the end like a charm. The music also fits this series perfectly and easily deserves a place in my top-3 of best soundtracks of the season. If you like series with lots and LOTS of detail, you should definitely check out this series, though you need patience to be able to enjoy it.

25 Responses

  1. Saffire says:

    I agree that perhaps the show would be better paced if it were shorter, though I honestly even did enjoy most of the slower paced episodes that didn’t get the plot moving much of an inch. The only one I really “disliked” in a sense (it was really pretty, though) was episode 13.

    Thanks for blogging. ^_^

  2. shirokiryuu says:

    Thanks soo muich for blogging this show. ^__^ It satisfied my hunger while waiting for A-Kraze’s subs ;___;

  3. man3k says:

    yea, thanx too.. I really enjoyed this show since episode 3 if i remember correctly. People just can’t judge an anime by only the 1st episode after all. SnM in truly a one of the Best shows for Serious Anime Enthusiasts around.

    I’ll probably be bored after Anime-Kraze released their final subs on this. Heck, i’m going to get the DVD version too~ ^o^

  4. Wallace says:

    This anime probably has the best animation I’ve ever seen in anime(not counting movies).

    I liked almost everything, except for the middle episodes, even though they were good, they were almost fillers xD…

  5. Archer says:

    glad this anime was blogged here since it is one of my 5 favorite animes that were ongoing
    what can i say that has not been said,indeed the animation is superb but i did kind of expected this since we are talking about Production I.G and they are really good at what they do,the music also fits perfectly
    they used as material the first novel of the Guardian series and i think many find the middle episodes kind of unnecessary and boring because they are not in the novel,the director decided to expand that part a bit more,but even with that the anime remains a great one that i enjoyed from the first episode and the episodes that were all talk were kind of good to(i am used to much talking from ghost in the shell,another I.G great anime)
    anyway i think that some will love and some will find it boring but even so it remains a great anime and lets hope that IG’s next project Ghost Hound will be at least as good as seirei no moribito

  6. Laure says:

    Congradulations for writing the interesing and pertinent texts. Yes, SNM is one of great anime series. I am not at all disturbed by the slow of middle episodes. It isn’t a problem for me who love the slow rates of animes or of films.
    The graphism is really well worked.

    Again Bravo for your texts about this anime and series Mushishi and Claymore. I really like your critics remarks and your thoughts. Keep up on your super Blog even if I won’t read some critics about others animes. :)

  7. Chris says:

    Thanks to Archer’s comment, now I understand why Balsa reminded me of Motoko Kusanagi from GITS: SAC.

  8. centzon totochtin says:

    Heh, Balsa is much more badass than the Major..
    She doesn’t walk round in her pants all day either, although it does get a bit colder at nights and it is written by a woman, so makes sense really..
    :D
    that was an awesome series, they didn’t cop out with a cosy ending either so maybe a 2nd series will be in the running one day.. It seemed like there was a lot more to be explored like the parallel/spirit world etc.
    I just hope they do it justice when the english DVDs come out.

    There was such a great symmetry with her going off into the mountains in the end, just like the start. I want to go to those mountains. They pretty..

  9. tman says:

    wow… that was disappointing… ~sigh~ im surprised so many of y’all liked chagum. somewhere along the line i stopped caring about everything, but tanda and balsa’s relationship. i hate being crushed with disappointment. if anything seirei no moribito has numbed my thirst for great anime. how everything led up to them fighting gigantic squids… omg… saddest thing is that they show had so much potential, and moments of greatness. what happened to the philosophical themes about murder?? that did not even play into anything… i was hoping chagum would commit patricide, and contemplate on what it means to take a life. and for fucks sake i hate balsa for not even seeming to pay attention to the one person that has been there for her for 20 yrs. yet she knew chagum for what a year? yet tanda gets no love? ugh… this reminds me of how upset i was after bakumatsu.

    moribito: 7/10

    if u want to watch fantasy done well, fantasy as a masterpiece watch 12 kingdoms, 12 kingdoms puts moribito to shame. funny thing is that i wouldnt have been so mad if the first 3 eps werent so good. la lunga turns out to be gigantic squids… the highlight of the show?

    “if you cant see me as the cure, then there is not point waiting” every guy that has ever been in love knows exactly what tanda felt at that moment.

  10. JonDarkwood says:

    Since I just watched it over the course of three days, the cons you listed flew right by without even noticing. I guess that’s an up-side to watching through a series that is already completed!

  11. Z.A. says:

    my thoughts are as far as balsa and tanda go, they’re going to meet up eventually and it wont be a 2 year gap like before. we already know about how tanda feels, but the show definitely implied that balsa has feelings for tanda as well. although i have to say that the creators shouldve had balsa to be just a bit more open towards tanda so it doesnt leave tanda feeling like shit. there were a bit too many scenes with tanda and balsa where balsa left tanda feeling like shit.

  12. konnsky says:

    exactly as JonDarkwood pointed out, i have just watched the anime over the course of 3 days and have to agree with above comment. outstanding series throughout deeply immersing kept me entertainted to the very end and even after.. 10/10.

  13. nahrub says:

    tman,
    that’s what happened when you too focus on what you liked to see, you fail to see the bigger picture. btw, it would be too emo if the prince commit patricide and then contemplate, not to mention barbaric. actually i think that your “stopped caring” made you missed out everything.
    and yeah, superb show, the visual especially. almost all things are moving; pedestrian and other things that are still in other anime. the studio really work hard.

  14. guest says:

    It’s funny you talk about the bigger picture, since Seirei fails to get the bigger picture. It always focus on the small pictures and the climax it produces at the end isn’t anything big or powerful, since it poorly developed relationships and plot events that really mattered. The show needs to learn how to incorporate those small moments into the overall big picture for it to be anything near epic. I too think this deserves 7/10.

  15. nahrub says:

    ??? don’t really get it… this is a 1/10 part of the story (so far). so yeah, the relationship maybe a bit underdeveloped (i don’t see it anyway, maybe i’m a bit blind?) coz most of the characters keep making appearance as the story goes on. and as far as “mattered plot events”, i always leave that for the director to decide. it’s his story after all, who are we to tell what it really should be about? and as for “small moments”, not everything can be put in an equation. sometimes, things just need to be left aside. imo

  16. guest says:

    @nahrub
    Authors writes his story but when he finishes writing, it’s ultimately the reader’s story. I didn’t treat it as anything like an equation because how I see the story will be different from everyone else.
    Sometimes, you need to think about and judge things for yourselves. IMHO.

  17. Carebear says:

    I don’t understand why some people say Balsa has no love for Tanda. If you really cared about what was going on between the two, you would have been able to read between the lines and sense that Balsa actually does have lots of feelings for Tanda. But saving Chagum was more important at that time (remember what she said after Tanda’s confession in the hunter’s cave –> Don’t make me think about that in a time like this). And when Balsa was talking to Torogai about familiy, kids and staying in one place, she admitted that she often had the same dream and then looked over to Tanda & Chagum. If you didn’t get the meaning of that scene, you’re better off not focusing on love relations at all.

  18. Reverie says:

    I really enjoyed this series. I personally think the relationships were well established between the characters. It was especially moving for me at the end because Balsa and Chagum ideally established a “mother and child” relationship. The ending made me hope for a second season, for reasons similar to totochtin’s. — Then again, it’s probably just me and my “oh-please-don’t-end-yet” Syndrome. =p — The fights scenes were quite breathtaking and everything concerning the main “idea” of the series was addressed quite well in the end. — Of course, there’s a few loose ends in the relationship department but hey, life’s not that simple. ;D It’s probably wishful thinking but yea, I would not mind a second season. After all, being a bodyguard opens up a lot of options, in my opinion. —

  19. headachebaby says:

    Great anime and I love it. It’s one of my top 10 anime. I finally get to see it after a year it came out and I took 2 days to watch the whole serie. There wasn’t one episode I didn’t like and yes, this anime have substance. There’s nothing annoying about it. It has a great story line and the DETAILS were awesome. Such details in every little thing were touched on. I would have rated this anime more than 91/100. Thanks for blogging this!

  20. headachebaby says:

    Great anime and I love it. It’s one of my top 10 anime. I finally get to see it after a year it came out and I took 2 days to watch the whole serie. There wasn’t one episode I didn’t like and yes, this anime have substance. There’s nothing annoying about it. It has a great story line and the DETAILS were awesome. Such details in every little thing were touched on. I would have rated this anime more than 91/100. Thanks for blogging this!

  21. I do agree with the grading of seirei no moribito. Some people complained in the lack of action of the series, with only a graphically stunning spearfights, but I found the whole plot actually much more enjoyable. Especially the last episode actually, when the bird flies away and am I the only one who almost had his heart sank when hearing the nagi koi koi song? lol

  22. Z.N. Singer says:

    Interesting comment about being to pick to do one and half seasons. I have often reflected on this particular crippling limitation in anime storytelling. People often complain about fillers, but when you have your story time set like that, and it happens that you needed less, not more, time, I think even the best would find themselves resorting to it occasionally, however much effort they might put into making them solid and entertaining. Having so little control over amount of time in which you tell your story…I don’t know how they do it. But it gives me a new perspective on my own freedom, as a writer, to tell things at exactly the pace I please.

  23. Soaringhawk says:

    Like many have said, the relationship between the characters really impacted the success of the series. Whenever they appeared, the fights were amazing to watch, but the quietness is what really stood out. I feel that your grade is pretty just.

  24. Tanz says:

    SEIREI NO MORIBITO WAS NOT A MOMENT TEDIOUS TO ME

    /LATE FOR THE PARTY

    /CRIES BECAUSE THIS IS BEAUTIFUL

    But in all seriousness, as what psgels said – it favors realism over sensation and /that is what makes this a mature, very heart-wrenching series/.

  25. Starss says:

    What a stunning anime. Once I realised it wasn’t going to turn into a big fantasy/adventure show I settled back to enjoy all the details and depth put into the characters and it was so worth it. It was far too addictive even during all the character episodes I skipped not a single OP or ED and couldn’t stop watching. I finished it in 3 days and got some time to think about and appreciate the fine storytelling.

    Apart from all the action episodes, my favourite part was the blacksmith episode with that delicately prompted story. Balsa is such a beautiful woman, where her strength, spirit, will and ideals make her so, that I really loved the idea of that “ultimate weapon” and also despaired a little that it might be used as a plot point that people’s karma’s might be cut from her life.

    Definitely a series that deserves lots of praise!

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Anon
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 03:27 AM)
    @K-Off Yup, I cracked his previous attempt at this site on Bloglovin, but it didn’t really give too many clues.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 03:05 AM)
    @Anon Thanks for the clarification. You still hacking?
  • Anon
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:57 AM)
    Hey there, Zo does not appear to be a second account of anyone else. Have a nice day m8
  • Vincent
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:44 AM)
    Now, while the scale of Sun-teleportation-human body seems warped, it’s only so because we like to think we know about our own bodies. Sadly not the case. We know more about the Sun than our own brain.
  • Vincent
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:40 AM)
    *,
  • Vincent
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:40 AM)
    We understand most of the Sun, we understand quantum entanglement for the most part, and those the tech I listed for the two respectively, are still thousands-millions of years away. Much less the human body, which we don’t even fully understand.
  • Vincent
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:39 AM)
    No, no, I do not under estimate the rate of technological advancement. It’s simply being realistic. Some, like dyson spheres and teleportation devoces are too far away for any serious thought. Same with full dive.
  • Vincent
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:36 AM)
    Also, specify parameters. Now, you propose putting specific parts of the brain to sleep? Because any “restrictions” you put in the server itself will only be part of the cognitive mind, not the brain as a whole.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:34 AM)
    thousands of millions is essentially billions of years, which is longer time than we humans have actually existed. Considering that most of our scientific advancement has been in the last 2000-3000 years and also the fact that the advent of computers to what er have now has only been 50-60 years, I think you are grossly underestimating the exponential growth of science.
  • Vincent
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 02:33 AM)
    For Christ’s sake, we don’t feel anything even when we’re dreaming. Much less somehow converting data to electric synapses and putting it in our heads. I say “impossible” because that is literally thousands of years away.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard03

Mushishi – 07

Now this was such a beautiful episode. We often see Mushi portrayed as parasites. In fact, they are pretty much based on the insects and viruses of their world. There probably are enough real viruses and insects living in the Mushishi world, but they just aren’t the focus of the series. Anyway, what they did […]

Clipboard04

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 06 & 07

This is where this arc gets weird. We’re still in adventure modus, however in these two episodes Jotaro not only meets some of the most bizarre Stand users, it’s also done in the most camp way possible. You can see a clear difference with the first two seasons of Jojo: there it was all about […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 05 & 06

Episodes 05 and 06 are dedicated to character-development. It’s here where Ping Pong shows that it also knows its stuff in terms of storytelling; the develoment doesn’t start too early or too late, and these two episodes really added depth to all of the different characters, despite that there were no big matches. I’m currently […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi – 03 – 06

I have not forgotten about this show. Not at all. I just finished marathoning these four episodes, and holy cheeseballs on a stick! this is the best anime in years! This was everything I could have hoped for and blows just about everything else out of the water. Talk about raw, powerful storytelling. I now […]

Clipboard03

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 03 – 05

Jojo really is not kind to its females. Every time a hint is even dropped to a girl kicking ass here, it comes with this weird plot-twist that undermines any fighting potential of them. In this arc, it’s the rule that says that your stand will kill you if youaren’t strong enough. And so, Joseph’s […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 03 & 04

The opening of Ping Pong wasn’t done in time, so the first two episodes showed a sortof montage as a placeholder. Now we know why, with episode 03 and 04. The creators actually got the single best animator currently in the business to oversee it: Shinya Ohira. This guy understands animation like no other. The […]

Clipboard07

Ping Pong – 02

Yes, I know that more people here were involved in making this series beyond Masaaki Yuasa. It’s written by the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Mashimoto. That guy is awesome. And the combination between those two makes this series even better. Because here’s the thing: anime is significantly different from manga or light novels. Beyond […]

Clipboard02

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 02

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

Clipboard01

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]