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  • polymetrica 5:23 pm on December 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Moribito series,   

    【Novel】闇の守り人 (Yami no Moribito) / Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness 

    How do you review a practically perfect book anyways? Here’s my (very lengthy) attempt at trying. The review for the first book in the series is here. Sorry for all the book-related posts lately, I’ve been kind of on a reading spree since I reserved a million books from the library.

    Title: 闇の守り人 (Yami no Moribito) / Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness
    Author: 上橋菜穂子 (UEHASHI Nahoko)
    English Translator: Cathy Hirano
    Illustrator: 二木真希子 (NIKI Mayuko;JPN ver), 清水裕子 (SHIMIZU Yuko;ENG ver)
    Volume: 2nd out of 10
    My Rating: 9.8/10

    Summary: The second book of Uehashi’s Moribito series features again Balsa as its protagonist, but is set in a different fantasy country than the first book, and have no other recurring characters from the previous volume. This time, Balsa revisits her home country in order to face her past, and eventually entagles herself in a series of events that may result in the collapse of a country. Since this installment barely refers to the events of the first book (and when it does, a brief recap of the previous one is given), the two books are mutually exclusive in content.

    Review: Wow, where should I start? I read this book with a critical mindset, enjoying everything that the novel had to offer while asking questions and looking for holes along the way, but even with such vigilance, I was wholly unable to find any plot holes, incoherent explanations, unanswered questions, or needless plot devices. Uehashi really, truly weaved an airtight illustration of her intricate fantasy world, and as a result this second book is even better than the first one. It’s really hard to believe that an author can provide such a lush picture of their own imagination while still taking the care to address every matter and leave nothing unexplained, and also provide plausible, fitting, logical and complete explanations for everything as well. Nasu should learn from this book, seriously. Compared to the other fantasy children/youth novels I’ve read before, such as Deltora Quest or Harry Potter, Moribito II surpasses both so much in intricacy, depth, and maturity that it’s going to make it really hard for me to go back to reading less substantial books than this.

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  • polymetrica 4:17 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Moribito series,   

    【Novel】精霊の守り人 (Seirei no Moribito) / Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit 

    Changed the layout around a bit since WordPress gave this layout more customization options. Sucks that the banner isn’t linked to the homepage, though.

    Title: 精霊の守り人 (Seirei no Moribito) / Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
    Author: 上橋菜穂子 (UEHASHI Nahoko)
    English Translator: Cathy Hirano
    Illustrator: 二木真希子 (NIKI Mayuko;JPN ver), 清水裕子 (SHIMIZU Yuko;ENG ver)
    Volumes: 10
    Genre: Children (Fantasy, Adventure)
    Status: Completed. Volumes 1 and 2 published in North America by Scholastic Inc.
    My Rating: 8.8/10

    Description: 精霊の守り人 (Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit) is the first book in the Moribito fantasy novel series written by UEHASHI Nahoko. There are ten volumes in all and the series is aimed at children, but there are also a lot of teenage and adult fans. Scholastic Inc. in North America has licensed the series and has published two volumes of Moribito books at the time of writing. The English versions are translated by Cathy Hirano, and features artwork by SHIMIZU Yuko. (Instead of NIKI Mayuko’s artwork, who was the illustrator for the original Japanese version) The novels have been adapted into an anime (Seirei no Moribito) and manga.

    Summary: Balsa is an extremely skilled bodyguard who is a master of the spear, and is willing to risk her life to protect the people she was paid to protect. However, due to some interesting turn of events, her latest client is a queen who wants to protect her son Chagum, the Second Prince. Not only are the people pursuing Chagum powerful and deadly, an otherworldly monster is also chasing after something within Chagum…

    No summary will ever do this book justice, so if it doesn’t seem like the summary I provided was intriguing, please read the book anyways for full details. It’s that good.

    Review and pictures under the cut.

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    • Yi 6:09 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I love it when books pay special attention to the hardcovers and the binding. It makes collecting books such a better experience.
      Anyway, from the cover, this certainly looks pretty interesting.

    • Ningyo 9:20 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I never got why TN notes are so shunned by the English audience.
      Scholastic brought this to light? srsly?
      Well, I see it garners high praise from you. Is there an English classic you can compare this to, for the sake of me getting a better feel for its caliber? It might not be comparable to anything at all, but I’m just curious.

      • polymetrica 9:35 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t dislike TN notes at all, but I think it’s amazing when a translated book doesn’t have any at all, which also helps make me forget that it was originally in another language when I’m reading it.

        That was also my initial reaction. Scholastic? Really? Not some manga-publishing company or whatever? Such a good surprise, though, except that they went and replaced the original illustrations…

        No, I really wouldn’t compare this book to any English classic, since this book is after all a children’s book and is incomparable to something as profound and timeless as the classics. Unfortunately, I also can’t think of any other awesome fantasy/adventure series to compare to either, so Moribito is pretty unique for me. I think there’s an anime that I can’t remember that Moribito reminded me of, but I can’t remember it at all. Maybe watch the first episode of the Moribito anime to get a feel of what it’s like…?!

        • Blowfish 11:41 am on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

          I am having a little problem here…I wanted to comment on your blog but I couldnt find the comment field.Thats why I am using the Reply field now ^^;;;

          I didnt know that the series was based on a childrens book since the anime felt more like something for a more grown up target audience.Is it worth to take a look at the books even though youve seen the anime?I wouldnt mind reliving the story again :P

          Big Kudos for making this a hardcover book since I prefer those over softcover anytime.They simply look and feel better and tend to take more abuse

          • polymetrica 11:56 am on November 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

            Thanks for commenting even though the comment button position sucks. It’s actually on the very top of the post, above the title. It’s an absolutely ridiculous spot to put a reply button, but please bear with me. Thanks!

            It was surprising to me too given that everything I read about the anime screamed mature audience, but there you go! Pretty amazing that this series can transcend age groups and have something for everyone. I haven’t watched the anime yet (Sorry), but it’s probably a good idea to read the book too and see what’s different. In my past experiences I’ve found that the source material are usually better than the adaptations, but I’m not sure if this is the case for Moribito since the anime was done by Production I.G. after all!

            I agree! It’s so rare to see anime-related (light novels, non-classic novels adapted to anime, etc) novels be done in hardcover, so it’s a really, really welcome change. The only problem is that Scholastic tried to change the image of the original completely by having a different illustrator, which I found disappointing.

            • Blowfish 10:52 pm on November 21, 2009 Permalink

              Now that you mentioned it Ive found the Reply button aswell.Its indeed a weird position since this is the last spot I would search for one.

              I am mostly more satisfied with the source material so ill definately give this a try the next time im ordering from amazon.

              Its a real shame that American Publishers are trying to attract more audience by changing the illustrator of their books.Something very similar happened with the Yen Plus Release of Spice and Wolf but luckily only the cover was messed up and the Art inside the novel stays intact.I highly doubt that theyll attract new customers with the new hideous Cover though

    • Jubbz 9:43 am on November 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I remember seeing this show on Adult Swim…

      well it’s still airing… >_>

    • redprint 8:09 am on October 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Should watch the anime series as well then. Its just that good.

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