Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit Rights Rescued by Viz Media

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit Rights Rescued by Viz Media

Moribito Guardian of the Spirit

The rights to fantasy series Moribito have jumped around over the years.

Viz Media, North American anime and manga publisher, announced yesterday morning that it has acquired the license to Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, meaning the fantasy series will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD once again. The series was first picked up by Geneon Entertainment, then moved on to Media Blasters, and now sits in the hands of Viz Media after poor North American distribution.

Moribito is based on a collection of fantasy novels by Nahoko Uehashi. Balsa is a nomadic warrior who claims responsibility for eight deaths in her past. To atone for this, she has decided to save eight lives. Balsa becomes responsible for protecting a prince possessed by a sacred spirit and whose life is in danger from his father's order to assassinate him. Balsa is reluctant at first, but her legendary spear-skills save their lives frequently.

The 26-episode anime premiered on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block in August 2008 but was dropped without warning half a year later and picked up again summer 2009. Retail distribution was poor under Media Blasters, which held the rights from 2009 to 2011, but they will likely fare better under Viz Media, which has announced it will release again on Blu-Ray and DVD. The anime will also air on Neon Alley Jan. 17 at 1:30 a.m. EST every Friday.

Moribito is not the most well-known series, nor is it a recent one - its original run was in 2007. Viz Media also does not often pick up dropped licenses. Moribito keeps coming back in North America after each pitfall.

Source: Viz Media

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Favourite anime, hands down. If you don't have it already, give it a watch and then a buy. The author is an ethnology professor and also did Kemono no Sja - or Beast Player Erin. Very good as well, but gets really really sad early on.

Nice to hear, it is indeed a very good series.

What a wild trip anime licensing can be.

Almost glad games don't go through this rigmarole (though I may not be looking hard enough).

Glad to see this have a home; Thirded, excellent series.

Ipsen:
What a wild trip anime licensing can be.

Almost glad games don't go through this rigmarole (though I may not be looking hard enough).

Glad to see this have a home; Thirded, excellent series.

Oh they do. There are plenty of cases where defunct business still retained IP's, rendering the original dev team unable to make a direct sequel.

Barring that, buyouts and acquisitions add further madness, and that's not even considering sell-offs after a bankruptcy (ie: Company A retains rights to a game, while Company B hires the dev team for that same game).

Anytime a spiritual successor is created, that's just another case of such rigamarole (eg: Lost Odyssey and Mighty No. 9).

Now if only someone would get the rights back to the Crest/Banner of the Stars series.

Giving them a GOOD dub, and bringing over the OVA.

Good to hear. This is one of the few series on my list of shows to introduce people to anime, not necessarily because it's "one of the best," but because it's high quality, has a bearable english dub and introduces a lot of anime mainstays in a fashion that isn't over-the-top whacky. Pretty good primer for people who are new to this whole medium and a good show on its own merits besides.

It really is a great series. One of those rare fantasy stories where there's no real 'bad guy', just different people with different motivations clashing against each other. Like the Escapist synopsis says the prince's father is trying to assassinate him, so this being anime you'd think he's some typical villain, but what's really going on is it's believed that the spirit inhabiting the prince will bring drought and ruin to the kingdom. It's not an easy choice for the king to pass the sentence and his men to carry out the task. Very well written story with great character development.

RandV80:
It really is a great series. One of those rare fantasy stories where there's no real 'bad guy', just different people with different motivations clashing against each other.

Very well written story with great character development.

Actually, might wanna contain that in a spoiler... Or is that early on in the series? Like very early on?

Well, hearing the praise around here, I might think of picking it up and watching it. Though since it's north america, I hope it won't kill my wallet instantly.

I actually first watched the series on netflix. While the dub wasn't anythin to write home about everythin else was wonderful. The interactions between Balsa and the prince were absolutely wonderful and I'm always a fan of female protagonists that can actually hold their own.

roseofbattle:

Moribito is based on a collection of fantasy novels by Nahoko Uehashi. Balsa is a nomadic warrior who claims responsibility for eight deaths in her past. To atone for this, she has decided to save eight lives. Balsa becomes responsible for protecting a prince possessed by a sacred spirit and whose life is in danger from his father's order to assassinate him. Balsa is reluctant at first, but her legendary spear-skills save their lives frequently.

You know what, I do believe I have read one of those a few years back. Except it was just one book, and it didn't really wow me.

From what I remember,

I think there may have also been a demon after the prince too maybe, I dunno.

Tanis:
Now if only someone would get the rights back to the Crest/Banner of the Stars series.

Giving them a GOOD dub, and bringing over the OVA.

Man, I miss the "of the stars" series. I only saw a little bit of it on TV, but it made a huge impact.

OT:
It warms my heart to hear about Moribito being saved. It's a wonderful series with a kick ass opening song. Balsa's one of my favorite anime women, easily.

 

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