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.

Posted on with categories: Seirei no Moribito


In the middle of this season, I didn’t think that the current Spring Season of 2007 could live up to the awesomeness of the previous Spring Season of 2006, but now that nearly all of the major series have finished apart from Kaze no Shoujo Emily and Dennou Coil, my mind has changed. The major difference in both seasons is that while most series of spring 2006 had their highlight in the middle of their run, the shows of the current season all have their final episodes as their highlights.

It’s awesome to see a season with so many quality endings. Usually, I’m extremely picky about them, but in one week, El Cazador, Bokura no, Ooedo Rocket and Seirei no Moribito all managed to provide a satisfying closure that left absolutely no bad taste in my mouth. While in terms of individual episodes, none of them really became as good as one of my favourite episodes of all time (Simoun 16), the better series of this season were much more consistent and thought-out when compared to Spring last year (Tsubasa Chronicle, the first season of Higurashi, xxxHolic and The Third all were awesome in their own way, but they did have pacing issues). Overall, Spring 2007 will go down for me as one of the top-tier seasons I’ve seen, ever since I started actively following the latest anime (which is since Summer 2005).

The current episode provides an excellent closure for Seirei no Moribito, where Chaggumu and Barsa say goodbye. There’s nothing much to say, apart from that the sentimental and nostalgic values were immense. At this point, enough room has been left for a second season, and yet it’s perfectly fine to end the series at that point as well. I guess it’s only a matter of waiting before we find out.

Posted on 22 September 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


What a magnificent and incredibly well-executed finale! Seriously, it’s awesome to see that the building up of the entire series has paid off so well. The fight against Rarunga was definitely one of the most exciting long fights I’ve seen in a long while, and seeing the actual climax of the entire series work out so well was in one word awesome! At this point, I’m very well inclined to call Seirei no Moribito a successful experiment, and I definitely hope that it set the standard for more future anime to come.

Even though the fight against the ever-increasing population of the Rarunga already was awesome, the definite highlight of the episode was the egg finally being born. Chaggumu felt so much like a mother at that time, and the inclusion of the insert-song worked brilliantly. It’s a strange family-situation between Barsa, Tanda and Chaggumu, but that only makes it better.

All that’s left now is the aftermath, which is probably going back to the overall mood of the midle episodes. It’s going to be interesting to see which path Chaggumu will decide. Will he decide to become king, or will he stay with Barsa? It could be interesting, though I think that this episode closes off the awesomeness of this story.

Then there’s still the matter of the other books in the series that this anime was based on. If I recall correctly, the author wrote a bunch of other … no Moribito-books. It would be awesome to see these animated as well at some point. Let’s hope for the best.

Posted on 15 September 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


I’m nearly speechless. This episode was quite straightforward, but the incredible attention to detail in both the graphics as the storytelling made it an awesome watch. This episode was really good in portraying everyone’s involvement, even though I didn’t understand some of the dialogues. Still, this series has featured episodes that were a lot more difficult to understand. This either means that my Japanese is getting better, I’m getting more familiarized with the story, or the dialogue as simply been simplified. I think it’s one of the latter, though.

Anyway, the thing that Gakai found out in the previous episode was that the lake isn’t the place where the egg is going to hatch. Chaggumu is heading for the real place, and the majority of the episode is spent on finding him, when they suddenly run into Rarunga, who’s also searching for him. There’s a high emphasis on tracking in this episode as well, and because of that, you could actually see the subtle trails that Chaggumu left behind.

In any case, Tanda finds out a way to defeat Rarunga, who turns out invulnerable to physical attacks: drink the dew of the water lily-like flower that we saw Chaggumu grab. Apparently, that one forms the link between the real and the spirit world. And with this, I realize the significance of the episode where Saya was ill: that one was meant to explain this principle. With this, they manage to kill Raruga, but there seem to be two of them, or perhaps even more.

I know that this description didn’t do this episode justice. The thing I really liked was how almost every person in it felt so real. People are smart, and think like real human beings. At least, more real than in 95% of all other anime. Don’t expect the fight against Rarunga to top episode three, though. While it looks beautiful, it just lacks the adrenaline of that episode. I think it’s safe to assume that the best fight of the series was showed in that particular episode. But after all, fights aren’t everything. ;)

Posted on 8 September 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


Finally, after twenty-two-and-a-half episodes, the climax of Seirei no Moribito has finally started! Finally, spring has come, and finally Rarunga shows itself. In the next episode, we’ll finally learn whether Seirei no Moribito’s unique style of storytelling can be considered a success or not.

Most of the episode was pretty easy to understand, but there was one twist involving Dakai that I had trouble with. It seems that Shuga’s discoveries of a number of episodes ago were wrong, but I couldn’t quite catch what was so wrong about it, and why it was so incredibly urgent.

Anyway, about the rest of the episode, it was definitely centred on Chaggumu. During the winter, he definitely grew up, his hair got a bit longer, and at the start of the spring, Torogai-shi returns and gives him a new outfit. This definitely symbolizes how he’s matured a little, and prepared himself mentally for the arrival of Rarunga. This is also the first time I’ve seen Torogai-shi talk so friendly to anyone, symbolizing that everyone is with him, and willing to protect him. In any case, the new Chaggumu looks awesome, and you just have to love it when he grabs both Barsa and Tanda’s hand. ^_^

Then the second half of the episode comes when the royal guard returns. It seems that they too decided to wait till spring, but they’re not inclined to do nothing about Rarunga’s arrival. They also come with a bunch of interesting plot-twists:
– Rarunga can’t stand fire, which is why all the guards are equipped with fire-weapons.
– (I hope I understood this one right)Rarunga is the father of the egg inside Chaggumu.

Chaggumu then walks on a lake, due to the eggs power. It’s at this point when Rarunga appears, he indeed is a water-seirei, and seems to attack with crab-like feet. It’s also here where the egg starts to get a mind of its own, and starts to take over Chagumu’s behaviour. First, we’re given the impression that it’s waiting quietly for Rarunga to come, but then it does start to defend itself by forming the barrier we saw in episode 1. It then runs away.

Yet again, I’ve got no idea how the creators are planning to end this. There are only three episodes left, among which the last one will probably be an aftermath. This means that this story will be resolved within two episodes, and I can hardly wait for it!

Posted on 1 September 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


This episode concludes Barsa’s past, and further builds up for the arrival of spring and Rarunga. Barsa’s past continues to surprise me. Jiguro actually killed all of his assailants we saw in the previous episode, and this is the reason why Barsa refuses to kill, because Jiguro felt so bad about it afterwards. Surprisingly, Jiguro never got killed. He died because of a disease, five years ago. Especially that part went against all possible rules of anime up till now.

Afterwards, Chaggumu also decided to learn how to fight with a spear, so that he could protect himself. There’s more to that: this episode went really deep, but I doubt that my summaries will be able show that. Near the end of the episode, we also get our first hint that spring is coming: the egg transports Chaggumu’s mind to the spirit world, just like what happened to Tanda, a few episodes back.

I’m not sure how to explain it, but I really liked this episode. I’m really happy to see that Seirei no Moribito has managed to come together, after all the time it spent building up.

Posted on 25 August 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


Finally: an episode of Seirei no Moribito where we know what to expect: Barsa’s past, and it doesn’t disappoint. Seeing young Barsa again was awesome, and like expected, the amount of detail thrown in was as excellent as the rest of the series.

Barsa grew up in Kanbal, a nation, mostly covered in mountain. Her father worked as some kind of doctor, or something similar. Her mother died early. At one point, Barsa’s father ended up angering the emperor, which resulted in him, sending people in to kill his daughter. Because of this, her father asked Jiguro, a member of the royal guard, to protect her. Much like how Chaggumu’s mother asked Barsa to protect her son. This time, however, Barsa had done no wrong, but she’d end up involved in his father’s punishment if she wasn’t taken away.

Jiguro saved Barsa just in time, and they left her birthplace. That night, they stayed in a cave, though a few days later, the first soldier, out to retrieve Barsa arrived. I’m not sure if Jiguro kiled the guy, but he definitely wounded him, breaking his spear in the process. Because of that, they entered a Yogo-village, and came to the blacksmith we saw in episode eight. He forged the spear we saw Barsa wield in the beginning of the anime.

Then, a while later, we see the couple of Barsa and Jiguro running again, and we see another assailant. This one, however, is a former friend of Jiguro: Takuru. An amazing fight follows, and there we see the flashback, shown in episode three, in which Jiguro kills a former comrade, and cries over his dead body.

Then, when they arrived in a new Yogo-town, Barsa learned the news of her father being killed. Jiguro then told Barsa all about it, why he was forced to take her with him, and what happened to her father. Because of this, Barsa asked him to teach him to fight. Jiguro refused, though. Fighting should be something for men. No matter how hard women trained, they’d never be as good as men (HAH!). After Barsa kept insisting, though, Jiguro changed his mind.

They hung out with a couple of what I assume to be low-class fighters after that, where Barsa got her first training. She turned out to be quite popular amongs the guys, and often she was the centre of attention. At one point, however, she went too far, when she started boasting about Jiguro’s fight against Takuru, after which he punished her, with the same intensity of Barsa in episode 19.

Then, they stayed with Tanda and Toroga-shi for ten years, in which Barsa lived with Jiguro peacefully, while training. Interestingly enough, at that time Torogai-shi had four pets, living on her head. I wonder what happened to the others. Ten years later, though, a group of six warriors found them. Barsa was forced to hide, so that Jiguro would be able to take all of them on. We see the episode end as he runs off in a direction, opposite to hers.

Even though I obviously missed a few details, I loved this episode. I wonder why it was necessary to continue the story in the next episode. Barsa’s background could be solved within five minutes or less by the looks of it. I wonder whether there’s some twist left to happen, or something similar. In any case, I now understand why Barsa is so intent on saving Chaggumu: because of Jiguro, who probably died heroically, trying to save her.

Posted on 18 August 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


This definitely is an unconventional and unique anime! Seriously, no other anime feels more like a novel than this one. Here I thought that the hunters would stir up trouble in this episode, and instead, they leave after hearing about Rarunga. They’ll return when spring comes, and Rarunga has been defeated.

It looks like it’s now just time to wait for Rarunga to come. It’s not the most complex and twisted storyline, but definitely the most realistic one. In the next episode, we’ll finally get to know about Barsa’s past, which will be something to look forward to. This episode basically shows us how the foursome reaches the secret place, where they plan to spend the winter. They spend the rest of the episode, stocking up food like moose and fish.

I’m really curious whether such a climax will work. Basically, at one point (I predict episode 23) Rarunga will come, try to kill Chaggumu and Barsa and Torogai will protect Chaggumu. How were they planning to do that? Will it benefit from the huge amount of time that was spent on building up the story and characters? Or would this series have been better off with only 13 episodes?

There’s one thing I do know, though: even though the episode wasn’t anything special, I really liked it.

Posted on 11 August 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


This may very well be the best episode of Seirei no Moribito since episode 3. I nearly cried at one point. It’s just too bad that the issue between Barsa and Chaggumu is resolved now, but it will be interesting to see whether the final episodes pull a similar twist. Just like El Cazador de la Bruja, Seirei no Moribito is a series that spent most of its time building up. Right now, it’s time to see whether all the building-up can come together. Both series are showing some good signs. Ellis and Nadie are becoming so cute together, and the current episode showed that Barsa and Chaggumu have a great relationship together, but I have to see first before I’ll believe it.

Basically, the current episode centres on Chaggumu, running away. He’s been angry with Barsa, ever since she knocked down Shuga, and when now he finds out that he’s destined to die. When the girl comes, and offers to run away with him, he takes the chance. Barsa tracks them down easily, though Chaggumu refuses to go with her. He claims that Barsa isn’t his mother, and that she can’t know about his suffering.

In response, Barsa throws him her spear, and claims that if he wants to leave, he’d have to stab her. In his blind rage, he rushes towards her, though she stops him easily. She then smacks him down, claiming that he’s incredibly irresponsible. Everyone in the village is worrying about him, and he can’t just run away from them. What can he do when he’s alone like that?

That scene made a lot of impact, and I love how Barsa decided to solve it. It really shows the fruit of the constant building up of ths series. I’d love to see this continued, but I remain sceptical for now. There’s one thing I didn’t understand, though. At one point, Chaggumu fell down and felt dizzy, and thought that something was watching him. What was up wit that?

Oh, and the hunters make their move too. Luckily, Barsa and Chaggumu happen to be out of the village at that time, so they’re going to have to deal with Tanda and Torogai in the next episode. I’m interested to see how it’ll go, seeing the nature of this series. I can’t help but compare Seirei no Moribito to a Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto with less fights, but where the latter turned straightforward in its second half, Seirei no Moribito continues to be unpredictable. Now let’s hope that this remains until the finale!

Posted on 4 August 2007 with categories: Seirei no Moribito


i think I now understand why Barsa refused to let Chaggumu go back. It’s not only because she promised to take care of him as a mother,but the fact also remains that he’s going to die once Rarunga arrives. She couldn’t let Chaggumu know this, which is why she’s been acting so cold to him. In this episode, he finds out about his fate when during their travels, he, Barsa, Tanda and Torogai run into the village where Tanda grew up. In there, a local girl tells the true legend of the Seirei no Moribito, including the pat of Chaggumu dying.

I definitely need to rewatch this series subbed, though. for once, I did manage to pick up all of the big lines of the story, but what happened in between, so the motives were surrounded in too much dialogue to make some sense to me. This episode was definitely a building-up one, though. We see the hunters tail them, and near the end of the episode they’ve moved quite close to Chaggumu’s location. Chaggumu now knows that he’s doomed to die, and now has to come up with a way to deal with it. Meanwhile, we get a bit of information about the place in which Tanda grew up. Not really an exciting episode, but a nice enough watch.

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