What really stood out about Moribito when I watched it a couple of weeks back — aside from the gorgeous visuals, of course — was the collective intelligence of the characters, not just on the side of the heroes (Balsa’s crew), but also on the side of the supposed villains (those in the royal court who at first try to kill Chagum, and later try to capture him once it is clear he is still alive). In fact, what really intrigued me is that, as becomes clear as the series goes along, the intelligence and ability to reason of the “villains” is such that there really is no real, traditional villain in Moribito.
Archive for the Moribito Category
When I read Landon’s posts about when pacifistic heroes do and do not work, they resonated a bit with me because it’s interesting to me when a non-violent character’s (or maybe a character who isn’t afraid to throw down, but stops short of killing) ideals are challenged, and there’s a choice with clear consequences on both sides — compromising one’s ideals, or watching real damage be done as a result of sticking to one’s guns (so to speak).
I’ve been watching Moribito lately, and it’s this type of conflict that is at the crux of the show’s 13th episode, “Neither Human Nor Tiger”. When Balsa and Chagum are discovered after they show themselves during a village festival in the previous episode, Balsa is challenged by a man she defeated and left in shame because she did not kill him. The rival makes his terms clear: Balsa must engage him in a fight to the death; if she refuses, then he will kill the first people who pass by the village. Balsa attempts to circumvent this by protecting the couple that passes by the village, but the rival is relentless in both his attacks upon the couple and in chipping away at Balsa, forcing her to go a night without sleep.