Moribito – Lead the Way!
When I watch anime, I like the main characters to be strong, dedicated, and tormented. I find enjoyment watching series that depict their main characters in such a way. There are many series where the main characters are silly or weak-willed. Not to mention, seeing as there is an obsession with moe (not that there is anything wrong with this), many characters are super cute and young. Seeing as I am no longer a teenager, I prefer my main characters to be adults or at least not middle schoolers. I tend to lean towards maturer anime unless the series has a really great story plot. I’m not sure if Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit (Seirei no Moribito) is geared towards a more mature audience but the main character, Balsa, is an adult. I was drawn to the series because the idea of a butt-kicking, spear-wielding female bodyguard appealed to me.
The main character, Balsa, who makes a living as a bodyguard has been entrusted with protecting the second crown prince from his father who intends to kill him because he believes the prince, Chagum, to be possessed by a water demon. Not only is this alleged water demon a problem, there is a belief that the water demon will cause a great drought. As I continued to watch the show, it grew into something much more for me. I was able to identify with Balsa, something I find hard to do with some anime series. Balsa and I are very close in age and both stubborn to boot. The story went from a simple “protect this boy with your life” to watching Balsa’s maternal instinct kick in. Her interactions with Chagum and her relationship with became more of her doing her job to them loving each other as mother and son. Granted, Chagum’s mother is not dead and is not forgotten by him, however he seems to see Balsa as a second mother and Balsa sees him as her son although I don’t believe even she realized it.
Although it seems that protective maternal instinct was already there in Balsa with her care for the two orphans, Tōya and Saya, who both love her fiercely. This love shows itself spectacularly when Tōya risks his life to warn Balsa that her hideout was no longer safe from the elite royal guard. That was probably one of the most moving scenes of the series as Tōya broke down in tears as Balsa watches from a safe distance. Balsa inspired that deep devotion in those who cared for her and she could also inspire deep hatred as was shown when an enemy she had refused to kill came after her with a vengeance. There was also a characteristic of Balsa that I finally realize is a theme in some of the anime I watch; “thou shalt not kill”. Balsa has made a vow to not kill anyone just as Vash the Stampede in Trigun, Luffy of One Piece, and Rurouni Kenshin. There is a lot of fighting but expect a nice and smooth story that progressively in a positive manner with very little plot holes.