Seirei no Moribito (Guardian of the Sacred Spirit)
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On indefinite hiatus
Join Date: Apr 2006
responses to Episode 25
Originally Posted by
So, basically, what you're saying is that they were stalling and the way they were doing it was crude and obvious? Is that the main gripe?
Why am I suddenly reminded of the
forums where I had difficulty explaining my disappointment over the "action" that everyone else seemed to be enjoying.
Lacking subs, I'm taking
at his word at the moment, but I did notice the "stalling" since the previous episode (Ep 24). Episodes 24 and 25, in general, lacked a relative sense of urgency, in spite of the considerable danger that Chagum was now facing. It felt as though the characters spent a lot more time chatting about what to do, rather than actually doing anything at all. Most tellingly, it didn't seem as though Balsa did anything special to save Chagum's life, in spite of her vow to put her life on the line. There was barely any moment in Ep 24 and 25 where Balsa was directly threatened with harm, so in the end, her success seemed, well, a little bit too easy.
Contrast this to the pacing in Episodes 3, 6 and 13, which were packed with adrenaline. In those episodes, the various characters were fighting for their lives, and had barely any time to waste on little niceties. And then, there are the conversation-heavy episodes such as Episodes 8, 9 and 10, where the script created the "tension" that drove the viewer along from start to end.
When I look back on the series, I've noticed that in general, the scriptwriting tends to suffer slightly whenever the focus turns to the spirits of Nayug, for example, in Episodes 11 and 14. I didn't mind those episodes per se, but I do recall reading a few gripes about them on this thread, in particular
observation that the fantasy elements in this show didn't feel "fantastic" enough. So, on hindsight, I think it's fair to say Kenji Kamiyama's forte lies more in political/action thrillers (such as
GitS: Stand Alone Complex
) rather than fantasy.
On a separate tangent, I like the way the series has been planned overall, where a number of early episodes provide foreshadowing of things to come. For example, Episode 11 demonstrated Tanda's spirit-walking abilities, which would eventually become important in Episodes 22, 24 and 25. There are the very subtle clues about the nerge's importance scattered throughout the series, and we eventually find out why. There is also that little touch where Chagum first saw the ursine Guardian Episode 23 -- we didn't know the significance of the sighting at the time, but now we do.
I've enjoyed this tremendously, because there are barely any moments in
Seirei no Moribito
where it felt as though characters were saved by contrived "plot twists" -- those plot twists tend to have been explained well beforehand, if we had paid attention. This is in sharp contrast to any number of shounen series, where the heroes tend to whip out some previously unrevealed super technique to defeat what would otherwise have been an unbeatable enemy -- such shows tend to annoy me in the long run, because it always feels as though the scriptwriter is playing the audience.
Seirei no Moribito
hardly ever makes me feel the same way.
I would very much like to add "never" to that assessment, but even this excellent show is not without its flaws. For example, now that we have seen how the entire story plays out, Episode 13 (Balsa vs Karbo) feels like a completely irrelevant filler episode. Then, there are the vague references to political intrigue, and to the supposed battle between water and fire spirits. These should also have been left out, because they've all turned out to be red herrings in the end.
Criticisms aside, I would still wish strongly for a second season. I really hope that the DVD sales are good enough to justify a continuation of Balsa's adventures.
You know what would really make a superb ending for me? For Chagum to openly address Balsa as Mother before saying farewell.
(Not with the same honorary title that he uses to address his real mother of course, but perhaps with a more common term of affection, like "Oka-san", or something similar.
Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2007-09-25 at
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