It's Got it all... Except an Audience
I'll apologize in advance, if this review comes across as Fan Myopia
, but I feel it really needs to be said: "where's the love?"
I mean, this series got everything an anime fan could want and then some, especially if you're into wuxia
, or fantasy/adventure in general.
For starters, it looks absolutely amazing
, I can't emphasis that enough. The artwork, animation, and the painstaking attention to detail has to be seen to be believed. The production values are equal, if not greater, than in some animated films - and yes, that inclueds works from Studio Ghibli
. But Moribito
is more than just a pretty face.
After all, there's gotta be an engrossing narrative and an imaginative setting to go along with it, and Moribito
delivers on both fronts.
The series spends a fair amount of time immersing you in the world of Sayug. You'll gradually become steeped in its lore as the truth behind the legends concerning the Water Spirit's egg gestating in Chagum's body comes to light. As well as the Ra Runga
, which Balsa
and her companions must protect him from. And there's enough grey on both sides
that neither can be considered truly villainous.
However, you shouldn't approach Moribito
expecting plentiful action. The emphasis here, is more on World Building
, Character Development
, and plot progression. Fights only take place when they can't be avoided, so prepare to spend many episodes with Balsa and Chagum on the run, watching as they settle into their lives as fugitives. If that sounds boring, you couldn't be more mistaken.
Balsa and Chagum's characterization and progressive development are among the highlights of Moribito
. Balsa isn't your typical action heroine. Sure, she knows how to handle herself in a fight, but her real strength lies in her conviction. At the same time, she never seems invincible
and has limitations. These moments serve to make her feel more like a person, rather than just some badass we're meant to root for. Ditto that for Chagum.
It's a shame that I don't have the word space to adequately cover all the nuances of the show's finer points, 'cuz there's just so much to love about it. If only it had an audience to appreciate it.