Ryoko and I have recently just finished watching an anime series, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s called Seirei no Moribito, which translates as Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. It takes place in a fantasy world that is strikingly similar to Heian-era Japan. This shouldn’t seem too surprising, since most of Western fantasy takes place in a world that is strikingly similar to medieval Europe.
The one thing that I really, really liked about this series is that it has just about the best production values of any anime I’ve ever seen. All the backgrounds are fully drawn, all scenes are fully animated, and they really went the extra mile on the action scenes. The voice acting is top-notch, and the music is excellent as well. There are some digital effects interspersed which are also done very well.
So don’t take my word for it, here’s a link to watch episode 1 online:
You can see all the episodes online here (scroll down towards the bottom), but to really appreciate how beautifully done this anime is, I would recommend downloading the full series via bittorrent.
After a bit of google searching, it turns out the Moribito was done by Production I.G., the same studio that did the also excellent Ghost in the Shell series.
Also, there is another series that I’m starting, but I can’t give it a full-hearted recommendation like I can for Moribito. It’s called GARO, accompanied by Japanese characters of the same pronunciation that read ‘fanged wolf’. It is not an anime per se, but falls smack withing the tokusatsu genre (i.e. Power Rangers and their derivatives). However, it’s not really a kid’s show, at least not in my opinion. I happily watched last years Power Ranger incarnation, Jyuken Sentai Gekiranger, with my daughters, but there is no way I am letting them see GARO. It is simply way too dark for young children.
One thing that interested me in this series is that the action is done on an obviously limited budget, but I think they do pretty well with what they have. The fighting sequences are what I would describe as ‘anime-esque’ even though it is filmed and not animated. So overall this show is not as high of a recommendation because I have a soft spot for tokusastu shows that most people don’t share, but if you are interested here is the first episode:
Watch Garo ep 1 eng subs in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com