Mar 1, 2016

Posted by in Anime Reviews | 0 Comments

Anime Review: Seirei no Moribito

Seirei no Moribito (Guardian of the Water Spirit) is an anime that clearly takes pride not only in telling a complete tale, but in creating a world so complete that you are being told a tale of their own mythology in a sense. In a masterful way of doing so, the viewer is completely immersed into the world that the characters inhabit, until you as a viewer have to remind yourself that it’s not real. It would be very easy to place the culture, the politics, everything down anywhere on our Earth and say “this really existed”, it’s that well done. Really, it’s a shame that these cultures didn’t exist, because they’re gorgeous. Naturally, they’re all based on cultures that did exist, but it’s ambiguous enough that you’re not necessarily going to pin down any specific culture in general that was referenced.

In terms of plot and pacing, the anime could get sluggish at points as they worked on setting up for things that would happen later on, but for the majority it carries a steady pace that keeps you wanting to see the next episode. It’s only 26 episodes, but every episode matters in this anime. Even if you feel like there’s no possible way for the particular plot of that episode to matter, do not skip it and do not take it lightly. Some of the episodes from the beginning circle around to be very important at the end to explain what’s going on. It’s really a beautiful way to handle the story, because you do not end up on a sub-plot that just wastes precious time that could otherwise be spent on the heart of the tale.

The characters are wonderful to relate to as well, and what’s more is there really are no evil characters. Each character that is introduced is given motivations, flaws, and a personality that you can come to understand. Even the most unlikable decisions can be understood as the storyteller is able to give you different points of views to allow it to all make sense. Not all the decisions the characters have to make are difficult though, and you’ll find yourself getting a good laugh at their expense many times too. If you watch the anime twice, you’ll see where there is marked character growth by the end, when you see just how inexperienced our characters are in the beginning. It’s a very subtle growth, so without comparing the first episode to the last episode, it’s almost unnoticeable. I personally feel that is a mark of superb storytelling myself.

Something I really enjoy about this particular anime though, is how it brings up the idea that changing history, forgetting your roots, and crushing down existing cultures simply to set up a ruling class can be dangerous. It also gives rise to a way to see how mythology and the likes can change over time, depending on where you hear about it even though it’s all coming from the same base story. It’s not a set of concepts that you see often, and it’s such an under-current to this story that it’s easy to miss. It is there though, and it really does make you think. I don’t think there’s a society out there today, either, that hasn’t risen to where it is without first making itself the dominant culture somehow; so it’s actually a very relate-able topic too.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this anime to those who like to see something with good art, good story, a lack of plot-holes, strong characters and character development, and just enough of a fantasy element to make it really interesting. It’s got plenty of action balanced with plenty of plot, making it easy to follow without being boring. This is in my top anime to watch for sure, so if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.

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