As we recall in the first DVD of Moribito, Balsa, the bodyguard, chose to defend Chagum from Emperor Mikado’s samurai. Balsa took a serious beating, fighting those elite samurai in episode three. Fortunately, the herbalist, Tanda, is taking care of her.
With the second volume of Moribito, we learn that the shaman who visited Tanda was Torogai, Tanda’s mentor. Torogai takes a spiritual peek, taking his face through Chagum’s chest to examine the water spirit inside of him. Torogai then explains that Chagum’s body contains the egg of a water spirit. If it hatches, the water spirit will revive the land every hundred years.
Balsa also contacts a slave holding company, the Blue Hand, to release slaves to confuse the imperial guard. Although two samurai still chase Balsa, Torogai summons a humongous wolf spirit to chase Balsa’s horse off a cliff. The samurai assume that Balsa and the child died, but it was all a ruse to trick the samurai. Balsa and Chagum are still alive, and their horse is strong enough to climb up cliffs.
Thus, Balsa saves Prince Chagum and manages to fake their own death as well. It’s an intense DVD with its own style of anime silliness as well. When the four samurai are trying to figure out where Balsa would escape, they meditate in order to predict where Balsa would move. They’re so good and predicting her movement that they might as well be psychic. It’s a humorous, science fiction-styled change of pace for a period-piece anime.
And I still have no idea how a horse could even climb such a tall cliff. Once again, this is a very fictional anime. However, it manages to plod on with an engaging story. The last episode gave me the sense that Balsa and Chagum finally have time to relax. However, the star diviner, Shuga, noticed in the stars that the water spirit still lives. If the emperor figures this out, then Balsa might have to face the samurai again. I’m looking forward to some more action in the next volume.
“Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit” is still a very solid anime, with plenty of ancient Japanese spirits and intense action. Hopefully the next volume maintains the anime’s intensity.
Image courtesy of anime.tedfox.com