HIDIVE Adds the Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit Anime to Its Catalog

HIDIVE has announced that it will begin streaming the Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit (Seirei no Moribito) television anime series on September 29, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT in Japanese with English subtitles and with an English dub. The anime will stream in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal.

Sentai Filmworks has licensed the anime for home video and digital release. VIZ Media previously licensed the series in 2014 and released it digitally and physically on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in North America. Media Blasters also previously licensed the series and released it on home video in North American between 2009-2011.

Source: ANN

Sentai Filmworks Licenses the Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit Anime

Sentai Filmworks has announced that it has licensed the Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit television anime series for home video and digital release in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal.

Production I.G and Kenji Kamiyama’s 26-episode television anime series originally aired in 2007. The series adapts the first book in Nahoko Uehashi’s Moribito novel series.

VIZ Media previously licensed the series in 2014 and released it digitally and physically on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in North America. Media Blasters also previously licensed the series and released it on home video in North America between 2009-2011. Adult Swim aired Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit in 2008-2009.

Source: ANN

Section23 Films Announces September 2020 Slate

Home video distributor Section23 Films has announced its September 2020 slate of releases which includes Sentai Filmworks hit comedy series, Wasteful Days of High School Girls available on Blu-ray September 22, 2020.

Product details follow, in order of release

Coming September 2020

Title: THE DEMON GIRL NEXT DOOR
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 9/1/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: When Yuko Yoshida wakes up one morning to discover that she’s sprouted horns and a tail, she learns something that her mother has been meaning to tell her. You know that battle between the Light and Dark that’s been going on since the dawn of time? Well, Yuko’s family are the bad guys. So now, Yuko has to defeat a local magical girl to win back some of her family’s vanquished power so they can afford to go to the all-you-can-eat pancake restaurant. And, of course, it turns out that the Magical Girl goes to Yuko’s school, but Momo’s really nice and keeps rescuing Yuko, which is pretty embarrassing and leaves Yuko rather conflicted… but… all you can eat pancakes? Sometimes you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t when you’re The Demon Girl Next Door.

Title: DIABOLIK LOVERS
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 360 min.
Street Date: 9/8/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: No matter how worried beautiful young Yui Komori might have been when she was mysteriously sent away to a new home, nothing could have prepared her for the shock of meeting the new “family” awaiting her. Because while the six Sakamaki brothers might be very attractive, they’re also all vampires and Yui is the kind of girl they’ve been looking for. And if keeping one brood of nosferatu from draining her, emotionally and otherwise, wasn’t bad enough, there are even more sinister forces at work, and soon a second quartet of undead brothers, the Mukamis, arrive with plans to make Yui their permanent dinner guest. It’s not just Yui’s life that’s in danger, but her very soul as she enters a world of salacious nightmares and forbidden fantasies in Diabolik Lovers and Diabolik Lovers II – More,Blood.

Title: BODACIOUS SPACE PIRATES
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 650 min.
Street Date: 9/15/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: When Marika Kato learns that her late father was the captain of a pirate ship, it’s the second biggest surprise of her life. The biggest? Learning that his crew needs her to take over her father’s old job due to the terms of their Privateer’s contract. It looks like joining her school’s yacht club is certainly about to pay off for Marika, because who wants to go into space piracy without a bunch of friends their own age to keep it fun? Toss in some outer space rivals, princesses in peril, and a pirate crew pulling double duty as high school teachers, and the next voyage of the good ship Benten Maru is going to be one of the wildest adventures ever. Batten down the hatches and prepare to kick some booty with Bodacious Sprace Pirates – The Complete Collection.

Title: Z/X CODE REUNION
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 9/15/2020
Format: BD
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $49.98

SYNOPSIS: Years ago, interdimensional gates opened across our world, allowing beings from five warring dimensions to expand their battles to the Earth. Now amidst an uneasy peace, some humans are entering into pacts with the Z/X. For one young woman this is a simple choice: Azumi Kakamigahara can sign a pact with the beautiful Z/X known as Rigel, or succumb to the disease that has left her comatose for much of her life. What Azumi doesn’t expect is that it means moving to a new Academy where teams of young women and their Z/X partners are being secretly trained to face the next wave of hostile attackers… and no sooner have Azumi and her new friends arrived than the enemy launches its first attack on their school in Z/X Code Reunion.

Title: WASTEFUL DAYS OF HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 300 min.
Street Date: 9/22/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: Tanaka Nozomu isn’t exactly brilliant. But, given that her only goal for high school was to get a boyfriend, who else would fail to realize that attending an all-girls school was a bad idea? Well, there’s always the fallback plan of getting other girls to introduce her to boys they know. Too bad that Tanaka’s “bright” idea of giving her classmates nicknames based on less attractive character traits has caused her un-flattered friends “Robo” (for her apparent lack of emotions) and “Wota” (a reference to a creepy otaku types), as well as not-friends like “Loli” (who’s hypersensitive about her petite size,) to “reward” Tanaka with the special nickname of “Baka” (“idiot”), which is quickly adopted by the entire student body. Well, maybe the second week of school will be better in Wasteful Days of High School Girls.

Title: LADY DEATH
Published by: ADV Films
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 80 min.
Street Date: 9/29/2020
Format: BD
Language: English
SRP: $19.98

SYNOPSIS: The goth sensation from Chaos. Comics helped launch a generation of “Boobs and Blades” in comics, film, and pop art culminating in Lady Death: The Motion Picture. This feature-length animated film captures everything good, gory, and sexy about Hell’s hottest angel.

Title: MORIBITO ~ GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT
Published by: Sentai Filmworks
Distributed by: Section23 Films
Run Time: 650 min.
Street Date: 9/29/2020
Format: BD
Language: English & Japanese with English Subtitles
SRP: $69.98

SYNOPSIS: Balsa’s prowess in battle is legendary, but the weight of death bears heavily on the spear-wielding mercenary’s soul. To atone, she has sworn to save eight lives, no matter what the cost, and now only one life remains. Prince Chagum has been blessed with the power to stave off the droughts that threaten to starve and destroy his father’s empire, but he has been accused of being possessed by evil spirits, and court officials have set his own father against him. Condemned to death, he is saved by Balsa’s intervention and now, together, the two must unravel the secret of Chagum’s powers and the spirit behind them… before the armies sent to murder them can succeed! The best-selling novels from internationally acclaimed fantasy master Nahoko Uehashi are unleashed in the epic animated masterpiece Moribito ~ Guardian of the Spirit.

Anime Spotlight: Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is based off the first of a series of Japanese fantasy novels written by Nahoko Uehashi. The series was produced by Production I.G and directed by Kenji Kamiyama. The 26-episode series aired on Japanese television from April 7-September 29, 2007. As of this writing, VIZ Media holds the North American distribution rights for Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.

The series follows Balsa, a female spear wielder and bodyguard who serves as a wandering warrior. She vows to atone for eight deaths in her past by saving an equivalent number of lives.

In the first episode, Balsa saves Prince Chagum, who has been the victim of assassination attempts ordered by his father. Chagum bears an egg of the water spirit, and it’s believed that this will be a reincarnation of a demon who had been defeated by Chagum’s ancestor. Chagum’s mother hires Balsa to hide and protect Chagum to save his life. It’s revealed that if Balsa succeeds, Chagum will be the eighth life that she’s saved.

Balsa and Chagum travel together trying to elude capture by the emperor’s forces. Along the way, they receive help from Toya and Saya (two orphaned children who know Balsa), Tanda (an herbalist who is a long-time friend of Balsa’s), and Torogai (an old shaman and Tanda’s teacher).

As the series progresses, both Torogai and the emperor’s Star Diviners discover that there have been misunderstandings about the egg and the water spirit and must work together to find a way to allow the egg to hatch without killing Chagum.

Overall, I was rather impressed by the storytelling in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. It was a very solid story, and I never found myself questioning whether the series was contradicting itself. Also, many of the characters were very well developed, which allowed the audience to care about them and want to follow their adventures. I can also say that within its 26-episode run, there truly isn’t any “filler.” Everything that appeared in the episodes ended being important for either plot or concept revelations in the overarching story.

Knowing that Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is only based on the first book in the series, I was a little concerned about whether it would have a proper ending. For the most part, I thought the series ended well. My main issue is that there was one loose end that was never tied up, which was whether Balsa and Tanda ever ended up together in a relationship. The series did such a great job building up their chemistry that the lack of a clear answer was a little disappointing.

The animation in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit was well done and looked very impressive. The first episode contained a lot of detail and looked very lush, and I was afraid of how the animation might potentially deteriorate as the series continued. While the animation didn’t stay to the high level that was seen in Episode One, it was only a minor deterioration in quality that took place throughout the rest of the series. I didn’t see any evidence of the animators trying to cut corners or any signs of animators rushing through their work.

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a well told and executed fantasy anime series, and it’s one I would highly recommend to anime viewers for both its writing and its animation.

Anime DVD Review: Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit The Complete Series

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit The Complete Series is a four-disc set that includes all 26 episodes of the series. The first and third discs include seven episodes, while the second and fourth discs include six episodes and bonus features. For audio, you can choose to watch with the English dub, the English dub with English subtitles, the original Japanese audio, or the original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit The Complete Series
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Format: DVD
Release Date: August 26, 2014

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is based off of the first of a series of Japanese fantasy novels written by Nahoko Uehashi. The story follows Balsa, a female spear wielder and bodyguard who serves as a wandering warrior; she vows to atone for eight deaths in her past by saving an equivalent number of lives.

In the first episode, Balsa saves Prince Chagum, who has been the victim of assassination attempts ordered by his father. Chagum bears an egg of the water spirit, and it’s believed that this will be a reincarnation of a demon who had been defeated by Chagum’s ancestor. Chagum’s mother hires Balsa to hide and protect Chagum in an attempt to save his life; it’s revealed that if Balsa succeeds, Chagum will be the eighth life that she’s saved.

Balsa and Chagum travel together trying to elude capture by the emperor’s forces. Along the way, they receive help from Toya and Saya (two orphaned children who know Balsa), Tanda (an herbalist who is a long-time friend of Balsa’s), and Torogai (an old shaman and Tanda’s teacher). As the series progresses, both Torogai and the emperor’s Star Diviners discover that there have been misunderstandings about the egg and the water spirit, and must work together to find a way to allow the egg to hatch without killing Chagum.

Overall, I was rather impressed by the storytelling in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. It was a very solid story, and I never found myself questioning whether or not the series was contradicting itself. Also, many of the characters were very well developed, which allowed the audience to care about them and want to follow their adventures. I can also say that within its 26 episode run, there truly isn’t any “filler”; everything that appeared in the episodes ended being important for either plot or concept revelations in the overarching story.

Knowing that Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is only based on the first book in the series, I was a little concerned about whether or not it would have a proper ending. For the most part, I thought the series ended well; my main issue is that there was one loose end that was never tied up, which was whether or not Balsa and Tanda ever ended up together in a relationship. The series did such a great job building up their chemistry that the lack of a clear answer was a little disappointing.

The animation in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit was well done and looked very impressive. The first episode contained a lot of detail and looked very lush, and I was afraid of how the animation might potentially deteriorate as the series continued. While the animation didn’t stay to the high level that was seen in Episode One, it was only a minor deterioration in quality that took place throughout the rest of the series. I didn’t see any evidence of the animators trying to cut corners or any signs of animators rushing through their work.

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a well told and executed fantasy anime series, and it’s one I would highly recommend to anime viewers for both its writing and its animation.

When it comes to the DVD set itself, the second disc includes five bonus features, while the fourth disc has four bonus features. Both discs have a textless version of the opening credits and a textless version of the ending credits. However, if you watch them with the Japanese audio and English subtitles, then you will see the subtitles when watching them.

The second disc also has the original Japanese trailers; there are three trailers in all, with a runtime of about seven minutes. The trailers include the original Japanese audio, and I was surprised to discover that there English subtitles included; usually when I see Japanese trailers on a VIZ Media release, the subtitles aren’t included.

The “Full Promo Film” runs for about five minutes, and it’s kind of like a trailer, except this gives more of an explanation for the overarching story of the series. The “Pilot Film” runs for about three minutes, which includes footage from the series, some early animation that didn’t make it into the final production, and interviews with Nahoko Uehashi (the author of the book) and Kenji Kamiyama (the director for the anime series).

Disc Four includes a press conference that runs for about seven-and-a-half minutes, which includes appearances by Nahoko Uehashi, Kenji Kamiyama, Mabuki Andou (Balsa’s voice actress), Naoto Adachi (Chagum’s voice actor), and Sachi Tainaka (the performer for the series’ ending theme song).

“Discussion Panel With English Credits” runs for 20 minutes; roughly the first half is the actual discussion panel, while the second half was the English credits for Episodes 8-11 of the series. From what I’ve been able to tell, these bonus features had originally been included on Media Blasters’ release of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, which would explain the English credits. I don’t know if VIZ Media was under contract to leave this bonus feature as it was from the Media Blasters release or not, but I can only hope that’s the explanation for leaving those credits tacked onto the discussion panel.

The discussion panel itself featured Nahoko Uehashi, Kenji Kamiyama, and the animation supervisor. This panel was done in a way where the question is shown on the screen as the panelists answer them. During these 10 minutes, they discuss the planning process, what animation supervisors look for, the type of person that Kamiyama is, their hopes for the anime version, and how they want the work to be viewed. Overall, this wasn’t too bad for what it was.

If you’ve seen Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit but haven’t added it to your anime home video collection yet, I would recommend purchasing either this DVD set or the Blu-ray pressing if you have the ability to watch Blu-rays. While the Media Blasters release of the complete series is still available at retailers such as Right Stuf, it’s retailing for about $130. VIZ Media’s release is much more economical; you get the same content, but it’s only retailing for about $45 for the DVD set and $50 for the Blu-ray set.

I wrote this review after watching a review copy of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit The Complete Series that was provided to me by VIZ Media.

VIZ Media Announces the Release of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit on DVD and Blu-ray

VIZ Media has announced that the company will be releasing the Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit television anime series on home video on August 26, 2014.

The 26-episode series, based on a bestselling collection of Japanese fantasy novels by author Nahoko Uehashi, is rated “TV-14” and will be offered on four discs available on DVD and Blu-ray formats. The series will carry a DVD MSRP of $44.82 U.S. / $43.24 CAN; Blu-ray MSRP will be $54.97 U.S. / $66.15 CAN. The series will also be available for digital download from a range of top media content providers including Apple iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, PlayStation Network and the Xbox Marketplace on August 26, 2014 (English dubbed version) and on September 2, 2014 (Japanese with English subtitles).

The Blu-ray release features episodes presented in full 1080p High Definition 16×9 video, along with dubbed English and Japanese 2.0 dialogue as well as English subtitle options. The DVD edition features 16×9 Standard Definition video and available English and Japanese 2.0 audio and English subtitle options. Special bonus features for both sets include series trailers, a Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit promotional film, a “Pilot” production film, the series’ official press conference and discussion panels, as well as clean opening and closing segments.

Young Prince Chagum has been suspected of demonic possession by court advisors who see only one solution: death. But his salvation may lie in the hands of Balsa, the spear-wielding bodyguard from Kanbal, the kingdom across the mountains. Her vow to save eight worthy souls has led her to the imperiled Chagum and into the mystery of the water spirit, a mystical entity that may hold the key to saving millions of lives from drought. Her skill and tenacity are legendary, but can she fend off an entire empire?

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is a thrilling anime series with some beautifully rendered artwork and a well developed plot from Production IG that North American action and fantasy fans will not want to miss,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Animation Marketing Manager. “The stage is set for lots of drama and action as Prince Chagum and his bodyguard journey through dangerous realm to uncover the Prince’s mysterious connection to a legendary water spirit. We look forward to fans making this new release a riveting addition to their personal anime collections.”

© Nahoko Uehashi/KAISEI-SHA/Guardian of the Spirit Committee.

VIZ Media Licenses Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit

VIZ Media has announced that the company has acquired the license for the Moribito – Guardian of the Spirit television anime series. The company is planning to release the series on DVD and Blu-ray, and the details for these releases will be announced at a later date.

In addition, the first episode of the series will be premiering on VIZ Media’s Neon Alley service on January 17, 2014.

Source: ANN