Guardian Of The Sacred Spirit

Watch Guardian Of The Sacred Spirit

  • TV-PG
  • 2007
  • 1 Season
  • 8.2  (2,923)

Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is a beautifully crafted anime series that aired in 2007 on NHK. The show, created by Production I.G., is an adaptation of the first novel in the Seirei no Moribito series written by Nahoko Uehashi. The series was directed by Kenji Kamiyama, who is well known for his excellent direction in the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series.

The story follows Balsa, a highly skilled warrior and bodyguard, who lives in a world that is steeped in mythology and legend. She takes on a mission to protect Chagum, the second prince of the New Yogo Empire. The boy is believed to carry a curse that will bring about the end of the world, and Balsa must keep him safe until the time of the prophecy passes. However, as her journey with Chagum progresses, she begins to unravel a conspiracy involving the imperial court and dark forces that seek to use Chagum for their own gain.

The show is set in a fictional world that is reminiscent of ancient Japan. However, the world is populated by various indigenous tribes that have their own unique cultures and customs. The world-building in the show is superb, and the viewer is treated to a fascinating blend of historical facts and mythology. The plot is well-executed and surprisingly mature for a show that is produced for a younger audience. The themes touched on in the show include politics, love, loyalty, and sacrifice.

Balsa, the main character, is incredibly well-written and a joy to watch. She is an unusual protagonist for an anime series - a middle-aged woman who is not overtly sexualized, and whose strength lies in her intelligence, agility, and physical strength. Her character design is realistic, and her movements feel grounded in reality. The voice actor for Balsa, Mabuki Ando, does an excellent job of portraying the character’s calm and collected manner.

Chagum, the boy that Balsa is charged with protecting, is also well-written. He is not a stereotypical helpless prince, but rather a character with his own agency and motivations. His character development throughout the series is significant and satisfying. The supporting cast is also well fleshed out, with each character having their own unique personalities and motivations.

The animation and soundtrack for the show are stunning. The animation is fluid and has a hand-drawn feel that is rare in modern anime. The action scenes, in particular, are a treat to watch. They are well-choreographed and showcase Balsa’s skills and techniques without being over-the-top. The soundtrack is composed by the legendary Kenji Kawai, who is known for his work on Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor. The score complements the action on the screen and adds to the overall atmosphere of the show.

One of the unique aspects of Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is the attention to detail that has been given to the culture and mythology of the world. The beliefs and customs of the various tribes that Balsa and Chagum encounter are intricately woven into the plot. The world feels like a breathing entity, and the mythology is treated with respect. This attention to detail extends to the animation as well. The costumes and architecture are based on real-life historical references, and the attention to detail in the backgrounds is astounding.

The show has a slow and deliberate pace that might turn off viewers who are used to fast-paced anime. However, the story is compelling enough to keep the viewer engaged. The building tension and the gradual unraveling of the conspiracy make for a satisfying payoff. The show provides a satisfying ending, but it leaves enough room for a potential sequel.

In conclusion, Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is an excellent anime series that is well worth a watch. Its mature themes, unique characters, and well-executed world-building make it stand out in a sea of generic anime. The animation, music, and attention to detail make it a treat for the eyes and ears. Fans of historical fiction, mythology, and action should definitely give this show a chance.

Guardian Of The Sacred Spirit
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Going on a Journey
26. Going on a Journey
September 29, 2007
Chagum returns to the palace and is now the crowned prince and the child of heaven. While Chagum is reunited with his mother, Balsa contemplates the future. After Balsa, Tanda, and Torogai were awarded by the Emperor for protecting Chagum.
25. Celebration
September 22, 2007
Tanda gives Balsa, along with the hunters, some sig saluas to pursue the Egg Eater and save Chagum. As Chagum finally makes it to Sanaan, Balsa and the hunters locate him.
Last Hope
24. Last Hope
September 15, 2007
Balsa and Tanda, along with the hunters, are unable to catch up to Chagum, since the egg of the water spirit is controlling the way he moves.
Shigu sarua o otte
23. Shigu sarua o otte
September 8, 2007
Later, spring has arrived and Chagum has grown both physically and mentally, being given new clothes and his own sword. Chagum, Balsa, Tanda, and Torogai embark on a journey to Aoike Pond, later reuniting with Shuga and the hunters.
Season of Awakening
22. Season of Awakening
September 1, 2007
Balsa witnesses as Jiguro takes out each hunter one by one. From that day on, Balsa swore an oath to save the same number of lives that Jiguro had taken away for her protection.
Jiguro Musa
21. Jiguro Musa
August 25, 2007
Balsa tells Chagum the story of how she met Jiguro Musa twenty-four years ago. Karna Yansa, her father, was ordered to poison the king of Kanbal by Logsam, the king's younger brother, in which failing to comply would have Balsa killed.
20. Trap
August 18, 2007
Torogai explains to Shuga that the prince will be inevitably killed by the Egg Eater once the egg of the water spirit hatches. He agrees to return to the court and decipher the remainder of the ancient stone scrolls.
Chagum's Escape
19. Chagum's Escape
August 11, 2007
Chagum runs away with Nimka early in the morning in an attempt to return to the palace and to avoid being killed by the Egg Eater. Determined to keep Chagum safe, Balsa goes after him in the mountains.
The Ancient Village
18. The Ancient Village
August 4, 2007
Shuga, locating him in the city, wants to escort Chagum back to the palace, but Shuga is soon stopped by Balsa. He informs of Sagum's recent death, raising a grave concern for Chagum. After Balsa takes Chagum away from Shuga, they head back to meet up wit
Water Mill in Flames
17. Water Mill in Flames
July 28, 2007
Shuga, locating him in the city, wants to escort Chagum back to the palace, but Shuga is soon stopped by Balsa. He informs of Sagum's recent death, raising a grave concern for Chagum. After Balsa takes Chagum away from Shuga, they head back to meet up
Just Pursuing Doggedly
16. Just Pursuing Doggedly
July 21, 2007
Hibitonan sends Mon and Zen to prevent Shuga from going down into the canyon, since that is where Chagum and Balsa were said to be killed. Shuga then learns that Sagum has finally died from overwork and grief.
Premature Death
15. Premature Death
July 14, 2007
While Chagum goes out to look for some yamabime, split-opened purple fruit, in the mountains, Torogai tells Balsa and Tanda that Chagum is destined to die and that the egg of the water spirit will hatch during the Spring Equinox.
14. Knot
July 7, 2007
Torogai makes contact with the water creatures of the spirit realm and finds out that Chagum must die in order to protect the egg of the water spirit. Balsa, after realizing that she has not broken her vow, find Torogai in a pool of charcoal oil in a rice
Not a Human, Not a Tiger
13. Not a Human, Not a Tiger
June 30, 2007
Balsa gets challenged to a duel via letter by a former rival named Karbo, but she declines when she meets with him. Karbo hires a stone shooter named Gyopsal to target a traveling couple, named Tandor and Sena, in order to draw out her anger.
Summer Solstice Festival
12. Summer Solstice Festival
June 23, 2007
The Summer Solstice Festival is drawing near, and the Rucha Festival Tournament will be held the next evening. A boy named Yarsam challenges one of the village boys to a sparring match, which he proves to be quite skilled at.
Flower Wine for Tanda
11. Flower Wine for Tanda
June 16, 2007
Unhappy with her arranged marriage, Saya's soul leaves her body, something Toya anticipated would happen. Tanda performs a soul summoning on his own to guide her back, with Balsa keeping watch.
The Earth and the Hero
10. The Earth and the Hero
June 9, 2007
Balsa tells Toya to teach Chagum how to act more like a city dweller. Toya shows him how to negotiate with a concession stand seller by lowering the price of the food.
Thirsty Shuga
9. Thirsty Shuga
June 2, 2007
After having noticed the drought sign has not diminished, Shuga soon finds out that Gakai, another master star diviner, is taking the stone scrolls from the sacred chambers to give to Sagum, the first prince of the empire.
8. Swordsmith
May 26, 2007
Balsa and Chagum visit a great swordsmith to get a new blade for Balsa's spear. The swordsmith agrees to forge her a new blade once he is convinced that she did not kill the prince.
Chagum's Decision
7. Chagum's Decision
May 19, 2007
In the city, Balsa proves to Chagum and Tanda that the whole town has been telling stories about her, some of which are false. While the three stop by at a shop for some medicinal herbs, Tanda comments on how Balsa treats Chagum as her child.
It Dies in the Blue Fog
6. It Dies in the Blue Fog
May 12, 2007
Balsa and Chagum, now with his hair cut off, set off and head toward the mountains. Unable to pinpoint the location of the bodyguard and the prince, all of the Emperor's hunters split into separate areas.
Secret Step, the Blue Hand
5. Secret Step, the Blue Hand
May 5, 2007
Torogai reveals that Chagum is carrying the egg of the water spirit, chosen to be its guardian. Balsa knows that the Emperor will never openly search for the prince, so she comes up with a plan to throw the Emperor off her trail.
Torogai's Writings
4. Torogai's Writings
April 28, 2007
The Emperor is told that the secret hunters failed to capture the prince and finish Balsa off. After Torogai, an elderly magic weaver, defeats Hyoku and Rai, two warriors also sent by the Emperor, she sends a letter to the star diviners.
A Fight to the Death
3. A Fight to the Death
April 21, 2007
Balsa discovers that she and Chagum are being followed by the secret hunters, having no choice but to fight against these pursuers while Chagum runs away.
The Hunter and the Hunted
2. The Hunter and the Hunted
April 14, 2007
Balsa makes preparations to leave the capital with Chagum. She must leave the city without being noticed, a task made difficult by the prince being overcome with the grief of leaving his family.
Barusa, the Female Bodyguard
1. Barusa, the Female Bodyguard
April 7, 2007
Balsa, a female spear wielder from Kanbal, has returned to the Shin Yogo Empire after two years to have her spear repaired.
  • Premiere Date
    April 7, 2007
  • IMDB Rating
    8.2  (2,923)