Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

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Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
Moribito Guardian of the Spirit novel cover.jpg
Hardback cover of the novel
(Seirei no Moribito)
Written byNahoko Uehashi
Published byKaiseisha (hardcover)
Shinchosha (paperback)
English publisher
PublishedJuly 1996
Audio drama
Written bySatoshi Maruo
StationNHK FM Broadcast
Original runAugust 7, 2006August 18, 2006
Written byNahoko Uehashi
Illustrated byKamui Fujiwara
Published bySquare Enix
MagazineMonthly Shōnen Gangan
Original runMarch 12, 2007 – present
Anime television series
Directed byKenji Kamiyama
Written byKenji Kamiyama
Music byKenji Kawai
StudioProduction I.G
Licensed by
Original networkNHK-BS2
English network
Original run April 7, 2007 September 29, 2007
Episodes26 (List of episodes)
Directed byKeiji Kataoka
Written bySumio Omori
Released March 19, 2016 January 27, 2018[1]
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (精霊の守り人, Seirei no Moribito) is the first in the twelve-volume Moribito (守り人) series of Japanese fantasy novels by Nahoko Uehashi. It has since been adapted into numerous media, including radio, manga, anime, and taiga drama adaptations. Scholastic released the first novel in English in June 2008. Media Blasters has confirmed that they acquired the rights to the anime.[2] The series premiered on Adult Swim in the U.S. at 1:30 a.m. on August 24, 2008 EST, but was dropped from the schedule without warning or explanation on January 15, 2009 after two runs of the first ten episodes. The program returned to Adult Swim during the summer 2009 line-up with an airing of the entire series.[3]


Balsa, spear wielder and bodyguard, is a wandering warrior who has vowed to atone for eight deaths in her past by saving an equivalent number of lives. On her journey, she saves Prince Chagum, and is tasked with becoming his bodyguard. His own father, the emperor, has ordered his assassination. The two begin a perilous journey to ensure the survival of the prince. Balsa's complicated past begins to come to light and they uncover Chagum's mysterious connection to a legendary water spirit with the power to destroy the kingdom.



The novel was first published in hardback by Kaiseisha as children's literature, but it had many adult fans. Shinchosha republished it in bunkobon format in March 2007.

Seirei no Moribito (Guardian of the Spirit) (ISBN 978-4035401506, 1996-07) (Bunko ISBN 978-4-10-130272-0, 2007-03)
Adapted into the anime series. Balsa is hired to protect a prince with a mysterious spirit living inside him.
Published in English by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in the summer of 2008; translated by Cathy Hirano.[4]

Radio drama[edit]

The series has been adapted into a radio drama series, written by Satoshi Maruo. It aired in Youth Adventure [ja] on NHK FM Broadcast from August 7, 2006, to August 18, 2006.


The series has been adapted into an anime television series, produced by Production I.G and directed by Kenji Kamiyama, which premiered in Japan on NHK from April 7, 2007. The anime runs 26 episodes and is based entirely on the first novel in the Guardian series, and greatly expands the midsection of the novel.

At the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2007 in March, Geneon announced that they had acquired the license to the anime and Scholastic announced they had US distribution rights to the novels.[5] After Geneon discontinued its US distribution division, the rights transferred to Media Blasters. The series premiered in the United States at 1:30 a.m. on August 24, 2008 on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block, but was dropped from the schedule without warning or explanation on January 15, 2009 after two runs of the first ten episodes. On June 13, 2009, the series was back on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block in the United States at 1:30am Sundays, but was moved to 2:30 a.m. Eastern time,[6] swapping it with Fullmetal Alchemist in November. On January 8, 2014, Viz Media announced that they have acquired the series and will be re-releasing the series on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as airing the series on their broadcasting channel, Neon Alley beginning on January 17, 2014.[7]

The series feature two theme songs. The opening title is Shine by L'Arc - en - Ciel, while Sachi Tainaka performs Itoshii Hito e for the ending title.

Taiga fantasy drama[edit]

The series has been adapted into a live-action taiga fantasy drama series by NHK, shot in 4K resolution.[8] It stars Haruka Ayase as Balsa. Season one was shown in four episodes in March and April 2016. Season two was shown over nine episodes from January to March, 2017. The third and final season was shown from November 2017 to January 2018, also over nine episodes.[9]


  1. ^ 最終回だよ!全員集合!『精霊の守り人 最終回』ついに完結!!. NHK Drama (in Japanese). NHK. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Media Blasters Rescues Seirei no Moribito License". Anime News Network. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Adult Swim Removed Moribito from Weekend Schedule". Anime News Network. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
  4. ^ Interview with Cathy Hirano
  5. ^ "Geneon Snags "Moribito", Original novels coming too". animeOnline. Retrieved 22 March 2007.
  6. ^ "Schedule". Adult Swim. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
  7. ^ "Viz Media Adds Moribito Fantasy Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  8. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (13 July 2015). "Rurouni Kenshin's Tatsuya Fujiwara, More Join Live-Action Moribito TV Series Cast". Anime News Network. Anime News Network. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Moribito Final". NHK. NHK. Retrieved 13 February 2018.

External links[edit]