Seirei no Moribito (again): Sayonara, Chagum

Sorry for making two posts on the exact same show in a row, but, uh, watching Seirei no Moribito was pretty much the only thing I did of use today. So, yeah.

The latter half of this series is a coming-of-age tale. Chagum begins the story at 11, and he is still a child; by the end of the series, he is 12 and for all intents and purposes is an adult. It’s kind of reminiscent of a Japanese version of His Dark Materials, in a way (without the theologizing, of course), which is probably the best way to describe it (the alternative being Japanese Harry Potter, which doesn’t seem to fit). We see the progression from a Chagum who does not want to die to a Chagum who will sacrifice himself if it means the lives of his kingdom. I can’t help but want to see what kind of emperor Chagum will be when his father dies. He’s put in a unique perspective: not only is he strong and willing to sacrifice himself for his country, but he’s seen how the commoners live. Benevolent emperor ahoy.

And I’m sure I’m not the only person who got birthing labor undertones during the scene where the Egg is extracted from Chagum–they seemed to spread that analogy on pretty thick, there. But I liked the whole sequence leading up to the Egg’s birth–it was marvelously paced for me. It didn’t drag on, but it didn’t try to cram the entire sequence into a single episode either. The series has always been about a slow, contemplative pace, which (in case you hadn’t noticed) is something I highly enjoy in anime. The ending isn’t what’s important in a story–it’s the getting there. If Seirei no Moribito had been a 13 episode series, it wouldn’t have even been half as much fun. It’s the opposite of Nishi no Yoki Majo, in a sense: sometimes it’s not the content that makes or breaks a series, it’s the presentation of the content that can turn a good story into a bad one. The pacing here is slow, but it’s just enough to make you want to watch the next episode. The fact that nearly every episode ends on a cliffhanger helps a lot, too.

The final thing that I want to say here is: I must have been stupid as hell to drop it initially. Back when it aired, Production I.G. had the reputation with me of churning out action-fests that didn’t really appeal to me. I’m not a Ghost in the Shell fan for whatever reason (I’m thinking more of the movies here, though–I can’t remember the half of Standalone Complex I watched years ago, and should probably go watch that), and I remember liking the first half of Otogizoshi, but that’s it from their catalog I liked. Now it’s more like “stop making series I want to watch” so, uh, I dunno. Probably I changed or something.

This will be the last time I mention how much I want the Seirei no Moribito novel to come out here. Since this series only covers the first novel, and it had an ending, I wonder what the other nine books are about…

1 Response to “Seirei no Moribito (again): Sayonara, Chagum”

  1. 1 maiyue 18 May 2008 at 6:51 pm

    I understand your feelings so well. I love this series so much… And I was so sad when it ended. :'(
    But I have good news: the novel is going to be published in the US in June, that’s what I read. :)

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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March 2008

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