Moribito? More Like Bore-ibito.


Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a troll series. It trolled me so hard. Animated by Production I.G. and directed by Kenji Kamiyama I figured this was going to be the next series that made me scream, “ZOMG THIS SHOW IS FUCKING AWESOME!” And yeah, it started out that way.

Moribito starts with a bang. After all, coming from a legendary animation company, and the director of the amazing Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, how could it go wrong? The first three episodes were amazing. Not only did they feature stunning, fluid animation, they had perfect pacing, an intriguing mystery, and fantastic action sequences. After a number of exciting battles, the fourth episode slowed down to give us some exposition.

Exposition is all fine and good, but the problem is that the rest of the series was nothing but exposition. There was no more action. That’s it. Only three episodes worth, and they blew their wad from the get-go. The remaining 23(!!!!!) episodes are a non-stop thrill ride of talking, staring pensively toward the horizon, meditating, running away from danger, more talking, doing research, boiling water, and still more talking. It was fucking ridiculous. In fact, now that I think about it, this was completely intentional.

Kamiyama fucking trolled everyone. He must have been thinking, “What’s the biggest dick move I can pull on all these otaku?” Well, he figured it out. That move was to tease us with the promise of another intelligent, action-packed show like his previous series. Like a drug dealer, he lured us in with three solid episodes to get us hooked. And then, like crackheads jonesing for more, we couldn’t stop watching. We kept watching, episode after episode, trying to get our next fix. But it never came. Nope. Denied. We got fooled with the old bait and switch. Moribito became Bore-ibito.

I found this image while searching for Moribito. Side note: this image is way more awesome than anything Bore-ibito has to offer.

You can’t start a series with a shitload of awesome action scenes, and then completely take them away. That’s like going to see a zombie movie, having the first 15 minutes be about zombies, and then the last hour and 15 minutes are a shitty Nicholas Sparks romantic Mormon film. I think Kamiyama knew exactly what he was doing. He did it just to get a good laugh at our expense. The major issue I have with Bore-ibito is that it tries to sell itself as something it’s not in an attempt to lure in viewers. If their intention was to make a slow-paced, thought-provoking series, and not an action show, they should have made that obvious from episode one.

The sad truth is that Bore-ibito never becomes interesting again. The story is extremely tired and over-done. Balsa (last name Wood?) is a female warrior who must protect a young prince who has a spirit living inside him. That sounds like the plot of an action series to me. But with no action, and nothing important happening on screen for 20 minutes of every 22 minute episode, this heavily recycled story quickly becomes tedious. Also, the premise is that Balsa is protecting the young prince, and the bad guys are hot on their trail. Unfortunately, the pace of the series plods along with no sense of urgency. You never feel as if they are in any real danger. They hang around in town or the woods for over half the series, living a seemingly carefree, and incredibly boring, lifestyle.

The other troll move was, I think, targeted directly at me. Kamiyama probably knew how much I hated unrealistic samurai tales (i.e. ones with magical powers like Basilisk), and decided to pull another fast one. Bore-ibito started out with some badass, realistic action sequences. People seemed to exist in the real world and didn’t rely on retarded super powers while in combat. There are priests, shamans, and multiple references to the supernatural world, however, there was no evidence that this supernatural world actually existed. This was great because I thought we would get a rare samurai story set in the real world. But wait, no, sorry, BrikHaus, you’re wrong. It turns out that there are real spirits, the shaman talks to some penis-headed fish people, and in the final three episodes, a whole bunch of warriors have to run away from giant, translucent, octopus-crabs. Goddammit Japan!

Some of this would have improved Bore-ibito.

Well, I guess it should be expected. I shouldn’t think that any anime, no matter the pedigree, can be immune from being a huge piece of shit. Bore-ibito is a fucking disaster of pacing, is devoid of interesting things happening, has no characters worth caring about, has a cliche premise, and overall is very poorly executed. About the only thing going for it is good animation quality. Of course, when the entire series consists of people meditating, talking, and staring pensively at the horizon, how could the animation quality be bad? Skip this one at all costs.

Verdict: Bad

12 Responses to “Moribito? More Like Bore-ibito.”

  1. 1 Guest
    August 15, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Wow, epic fail on your part. Are you sure you’re not just the troll?
    Some of us here appreciate storytelling that involves mature tales about emotion, adventure, and the real human struggle and evolution experienced throughout, not to mention conventional building blocks of great narrative such as a wonderfully fleshed out world, a proper pace, and intelligent dialogue, all things listed of which Moribito had. All I got from this article is that you’re not sensitive enough to pick up on anything relating to the human state, need action like a mindless shounen fan, refuses to like something because it takes place in a FANTASY analogue of a real place and time, and can’t fully comprehend what makes a well rounded narrative. Got forbid you read a book (like what Moribito is an adaption of).

  2. August 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Apparently you missed the point of this blog post. The problem with Bore-ibito is that it starts out like an action series, and then changes into something completely different. The problem is that the show tries to sell itself as something it’s not in an attempt to lure in viewers. If they wanted to make a series that was a “mature tale about emotion… and the real human struggle” they should have made that obvious from episode one. They shouldn’t pull a bait-and-switch. That’s why this is a troll series, not because it isn’t a “well rounded narrative.”

  3. August 31, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    So what do you like? I mean, I didn’t see this anime in particular, but I read your 20 worst animes post and having Death Note there is plain stupid. I kept reading till the end just to make sure code geass and Full Metal Alchemist weren’t there.

  4. 4 Guest
    September 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    The fact that the series has an action scene a FEW episodes in and not for a while after makes it a bait-and-switch? Surely you jest. How does putting action where it’s needed make it a troll series? Go back to your FMA.

  5. 5 fuck all of you
    November 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    read my name, if its boring its boring and thus shitty full stop end of story. you decide whats boring and whats not

  6. 6 Wolf
    January 15, 2011 at 2:11 am

    God, Moribito is like Scrapped Princess all over again. Sure, they start the series with an intriguing premise and interesting action, but by the fourteenth episode the whole thing has degenerated into some bullshit about incredible powerful mecha and “attack magic” a.k.a really big bombs. Not to mention the fact that once the writers decide to have a laugh at everyone’s expense by turning the show into stinking pile of shounen garbage they also decide to further the insult by providing a rushed and unsatisfactory ending to every character subplot which made the show even half watchable. I’m serious here. Near the end one of the main characters kills a villain that he had a very strong implied relationship with and his only reaction is to say ‘baka’ the way you might expect some slice of life teenager to say it. He proceeds to completely forget about it. This is just one example of the disaster this show turns into. So anyway, the point is that writers who actually think that we enjoy having our anime dramatically change direction part way through should all be rounded up and put in death camps (okay, okay, maybe just ‘extreme suffering camps’).

  7. 7 lordmarcus
    May 28, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    i agree. im on ep 15 and it has like 10 or so episodes borin me to death, they are so fuking slow. i dont mind the ‘unrealistic’ parts, but i do think they are forcibly fitted in. i dont blame the animation studio on this one, this is based on an original ‘japanese fantasy novel’ so is probable the base work is also boring as hell.

    PS: if you dont like ‘unrealistic samurai’ it means you dont like Rurouni Kenshin?

  8. May 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I did actually like Rurouni Kenshin. It was obviously far-fetched, but it was action-packed and the plot made coherent sense.

  9. May 20, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Are you agreeing or disagreeing with me?

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August 2010


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