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Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit - Complete Collection

4.7 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

At a time when the balance of nature still held the civilizations
of mankind in thrall, a single drought could spell the end of
a society and doom its inhabitants to piteous deaths. Prince
Chagum has been imbued with the power to stave off the
drought and bring new life to his empire. However, this is a
suspicious time and he is accused of possession by evil spirit.
Court advisors see only one solution: Chagum must be put to
death by his own father s hand. His salvation is in the form
of Balsa, a spear woman and mercenary from Kanbal, the
kingdom across the mountains. Her skills are legendary, and
although reluctant, she is held by a mysterious vow to save
eight souls before she dies. Can she fend off an entire empire
and make Chagum her eighth soul?

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Kenji Kamiyama
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Anime Works
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Run Time: 650 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0035RWG0M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,132 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Watson on May 25, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Every once in a while, I pick out an Anime collection that surprises me in a good way. I honestly thought this was going to be more of a fighting/action Anime. While there are fights in the series, there is also much more to it. I would have thought that there was going to be a fight in every episode with plenty of bloodshed and cool moves. Boy was I wrong!

I mean this in a good way. In fact, I think this is an excellent Anime to add to anyone's collection. Balsa is a strong, confident protagonist who is far from stereotypical in the Anime sense. There's absolutely no fan service in this story --if that's what you're looking for then you're going to be sorely disappointed. She's not giggly nor bubbly or any kind of exaggerated version of anything. It's patently refreshing.

While you'd expect Prince Chagum to be spoiled and bratty,maybe even a little whiney --he isn't. He takes his lot with cool grace and strives to find nobility in every day actions as he learns to live as a commoner. You can see him grow as both a young man, and a prince under Balsa's influence.

The other characters all provide a rich backdrop to this story come to life, making it visually appealing as well as smart, and sometimes funny. Even the minor characters get fleshed out to make them real and engaging. Balsa's past provides just as much conflict as the Prince's current situation. Even the "Bad Guys" aren't what they seem. It's truly an epic situation in which you feel for all those involved as they are forced to act this way out of their duty. You even feel for the Mikado --forced to kill his own son because they believe he's possessed by a water demon.

If you want to watch something intelligent and entertaining, I'd surely recommend this to anyone without hesitation.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
So many people have noted that the series is amazing and I completely agree. Go read those reviews for a talk about the series.
What bugged me was the quality of the DVDs themselves and the box they were packaged in. The DVD box is the cheap stacked variety where all 8 discs are stacked up on each other without anything in between, meaning they can get scratched easier. The DVD video quality is not great, actually it's probably not any better than videos you can stream online at about 480p.
However, that being said, the price you pay for them is what draws people to this set. Currently, the set is a little over $20 for the DVDs, a total steal if you ask me. The blu-ray collection will run you up near $70-$100 depending on where you look and if you can find them on-sale. So overall, If I can save $80, i can deal with the bad packaging and the below average video quality. The question you have to ask yourself is.... can you?
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If you're a fan of series like Shonen Onmyouji or Twelve Kingdoms here's another fantastic series worth your time. The basic story-plot of the series is that the second prince of the kingdom is feared cursed and will be about the destruction of his peoples lands but his mother forsakes this prophecy and enlists the aid of a wandering female warrior who rescued her son previously from drowning and feels she will be able to protect her son from the machinations of the royal courts decree. Along the way of the series we see the true reason of the royal courts fears as well as the true destiny of the young prince, the one thing that endears you to the series other than the fantastic story, animation, and characters is actually the prince himself. I thought that like previous series with this kind of story you would have the prince as a young pampered brat, but this prince turns out to be actually sincere in his desires to help the people and his own personality to do the work and interact with the people on a personal level not acting at all like a stuck up royal prince. The series won't be for everyone if you're expecting some hardcore supernatural fights or powerful demons to cause destruction that you'll be disappointed, but if you've seen the series mentioned above or another one called Princess Mononoke than this series will be just for you. The audio and video are done well with the added bonus extras being a nice touch, if there's any complaint it would be the box set itself like mentioned before the set is eight dvds put into a single dvd case with a center spindle to stack one dvd on top of another which I found annoying but hey for the price of $15.00 dollars instead of the $95.00 dollars for the other set I can look pass this. So for a great Edo era action anime with a great cast and story-line here's a wonderful choice for anyone.
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My first exposure to Moribito came from the short lived and turbulent run it had on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. It's not a show for everyone. It's a slow thoughtful series with beautiful art. Moribito is the type of short that's is heavy on story, you may have to watch it a second time for all the little elements to coalesce in your mind--especially if you've seen it the first time on Adult Swim which often times had audio problems. However,what little action scenes it does have is absolutely gorgeous and fast paced. Often times the choreography in an action series look a little sloppy with the overuse of squash and stretch or just plain lazy through the overuse of speed lines and hold frames. Here, the fight scenes are well thought to point of looking very similar to a dance, with spears of all things (usually the weapon of choice are swords in anime).

I won't go into the details of story and characters as other reviewers have done so already. I will say if you like a rich story, excellent characterization, and a setting rich in its own lore then Moribito will be the show for you. Or, to put it simply, if you like The Twelve Kingdoms you would like this show. Generally, I don't go out and buy a series if I've seen it already however Moribito was so pleasing that I wanted to add it to my collection.

Now onto packaging. You have the choice of getting the complete series all in one collection or the 4 two pack volume sets. The volume sets have different art work and I suppose other goodies as well but it's rather costly option for a twenty four episode series that isn't even remotely popular. Incidentally, before buying the complete series off of Amazon, I went to Best Buy and bought volume 3 and 4 thinking it was the complete series at $26.
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