Anime Recommendations

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

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6 Responses to Anime Recommendations

  1. Peter says:

    I just watched the first episode of Moribito, and I like it a lot. You’re right about the animation — extremely well done. I may have to get a better version of it than the Flash-video one. Thanks for the recommendation, Derek; except for Hayao Miyazaki, I really haven’t seen much anime, but this looks excellent.

  2. Derek says:

    Whatever you do, don’t decide not to watch it until after you’ve seen at least episode 3. The fight scene is simply incredible.

  3. Mitra says:

    The good thing about Garo is that its quality (CGI too) increases as the show goes on. True, the main plot does not shows clearly until late, but it gives us a lot of info formerly. True too, Garo has some fails but, in any case, is among the best ones of tokusatsu. Even, some people say it is not tokusatsu at all.

  4. admin says:

    From Peter:
    I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but I was blocked because it said I was using a proxy. It’s probably related to the firewall I have at work, but I don’t know how to get around that.

    What I really wanted to say, however, was how much Becca and I have been enjoying Seirei no Moribito. We’re about halfway through right now, and it’s great. Got another friend of mine hooked on it too. He served a mission in Japan and was a Japanese Studies major, so he’s a big consumer of anime. But he had never seen it and he likes it a lot.

    Good luck surviving without Internet access. Until 2 years ago my parents had a 14.4 bps dial-up connection and it was torture to try to get that to work. I would go war-walking up the street to download email attachments and larger files. I didn’t feel so bad doing that in my home neighborhood, however. I probably wouldn’t do it as a foreigner in another country.

  5. Peter says:

    Hey, we finished the series a few weeks ago and I just read the translated book. I actually liked the series better because it included more of the other characters, but both were good. Have you read any of the books? I suspect that the additional elements from the anime came from other books in the series. Either way, Balsa is a sweet character.

  6. admin says:

    Peter, we actually were planning on buying the books when we were in Japan over the summer. I had located them in the local bookstore when we got there, but didn’t buy them at the time. Big mistake! When I went back a few days before we went back to the U.S., they had taken them off the shelves and sent them back to the warehouse. Bummer! I can still order them from Kinokuniya, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I still have a lot of other Japanese material to read.

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