I very rarely talk about amine here, since this is a manga blog, but there are times when I’ll make exceptions. Just recently, the return of an anime I love has been announced. Viz Media has rescued Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit. This 26 episode series first aired in 2007, and had a difficult time in licensing here. Geneon first licensed it, but then halted their US distribution, and the license went to Media Blasters. It showed on Cartoon Network during their late night Adult Swim block, but it took a while for a full run to show there. Now Viz Media is running it as part of their Neon Alley network.
Moribito: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is based on the first volume from a fantasy novel series published in Japan in 1996. It is about a woman named Balsa, who, after saving the second prince to the Emperor, Chagum, is charged by the Queen to protect him. Chagum carries the egg of the water god. The Emperor sees him possessed by a spirit, and other spirit chase him to eat the egg he carries. Balsa takes the assignment. With her mad spear-wielding skills, and help from friends in the mountains, she protects the young boy until the egg can come to fruition.
There is practically nothing bad you can say about this series. Balsa is awesome as a character and a bodyguard. She is still my favorite female antagonist of any anime ever. The animation is beautiful and the writing and score it top-notch. I loved this series so much, that I not only bought the series on DVD, something I save for only my most favorite shows, but I also bought the novel it was based on, of which Scholastic released the first and second novels.
Do yourself a favor and watch this show. It is one of the best shows to come out of the last decade, and still stands up with its well told story and fluid animation. Just the fight scenes with Balsa makes it worth it. Oh, and the opening theme, Shine, by L’Arc en Ciel is one of the best songs you’ll ever hear too.
Hey Viz, can we get the manga to this is the series if the anime does well? It’s only 3 volumes! Read the full PR below.
San Francisco, CA, January 8, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest distributor and licensor of anime and manga in North America, opens 2014 with the announcement of the mid-season Neon Alley debut of MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT on Friday, January 17th at 10:30PM (PST). The 26-episode fantasy/action anime series is rated ‘TV-14’ and new installments will debut every Friday.
VIZ Media has also acquired the North American home video and web streaming rights for MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT and plans to release the complete series on DVD and Blu-ray in 2014.
MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT is based on a bestselling collection of Japanese fantasy novels by author Nahoko Uehashi. The anime series tells the story of Balsa, a nomadic warrior who has vowed to atone for eight deaths in her past by saving an equivalent number of lives. On her journey, she saves a fallen prince who carries the burden of a sacred spirit – one who has the power to save the world and bring new life to a broken empire. But, she must first protect the Prince from those who would do him harm – including his own father, the Emperor, who has ordered his assassination!
Neon Alley is VIZ Media’s innovative 24-hour English-dubbed linear anime channel that is available for general web access as well as for the Xbox 360® and Xbox LIVE® and the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) gaming system and the PlayStation®Network. Fans can also take advantage of the platform’s Video-On Demand “Catch Up” option which offers the flexibility to watch shows such as MORIBITO anytime. The “Catch Up” option also allows viewers to search for specific content by individual series or by latest additions.
“MORIBITO: GUARDIAN OF THE SPIRIT is the latest addition to the Neon Alley anime roster and we are very excited to kick off 2014 with this critically acclaimed action packed adventure that was developed by the famed animation studio Production I.G.,” says Charlene Ingram, Senior Animation Marketing Manager. “Balsa and Prince Chagum embark on a dangerous quest to discover the Prince’s mysterious connection to a legendary water spirit with the power to destroy his kingdom, or save it. Tune in every week for new episodes and also look forward to the forthcoming release of the series on DVD and Blu-ray later this year!”
“Working with VIZ Media is truly a pleasure, and as the group continues to expand Neon Alley, we are pleased to look into our library and make more quality titles available,” comments Mr. Yuma Sakata, President and CEO, Dentsu Entertainment USA.
Neon Alley’s diverse programming schedule includes a mix of action, adventure, sci-fi, supernatural, fantasy, and horror anime, all uncut and dubbed into English and presented in HD (when available), for a low monthly subscription rate of only $6.99.
For more information on Neon Alley, please visit www.NeonAlley.com.
For more information about other anime titles from VIZ Media, please visit: www.viz.com.
For more information about Dentsu Entertainment, please visit www.DentsuEntertainment.com.
About Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc.
Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. was formed in 2010 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange, Code 4324). Dentsu Inc. is the world’s largest advertising agency brand, and a leading producer of Japanese animation, with over 37,000 full-time employees and more than 700 subsidiaries and affiliates worldwide. Dentsu Entertainment USA develops original animation programming and media content for domestic and international markets, and manages licensing programs for new and existing properties. Current projects include Chub City®, featuring evolved vehicles and savvy young drivers, currently in development as an animated series; LBX™ (a.k.a. “The Little Battlers eXperience“), a highly successful animation, video game and toy franchise, based on miniature customizable robots; Deltora Quest®, a 52-episode animated series airing globally, and based on the international top-selling fantasy-adventure book series of the same name; and Monsuno®, an innovative toy line and animated boys action adventure series currently airing on Nickelodeon, Nicktoons and free-to-air channels in more than 150 countries. Dentsu Entertainment USA is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, please visit www.DentsuEntertainment.com.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.