Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there are a couple of bloody battles, with injuries to both major and minor characters.
Is it any good?
The story follows a classic hero path: sheltered boy is cast out of his home, discovers a magical destiny, finds a warrior mentor, learns the ways of the world, and journeys to fulfill his destiny against overwhelming obstacles. From Jason and Theseus to Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings it has, to say the least, been done before. So what matters is how it's done, the panache with which the author carries it off, and the variations she brings to the tale.
Author Nahoko Uehashi, abetted by a brilliantly transparent translation by Yuko Shimizu, does it very well indeed. Set in an exotic, somewhat Japanese, fantasy world that will be more familiar to manga fans than to most American children, and with a woman as the warrior mentor, the variations are many and fascinating. And from the very first page the story careens forward in the most exciting and satisfying way, almost completely free of the kind of cliche; and hackneyed writing that too often mars stories that follow this path, marking them as rip-offs rather than variations on a theme. Ten books in this series have already been published in Japan, so enthralled readers can hope for more translations soon.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the classic Path of the Hero. How is the plot outline of this story similar to others you have read? What are the variations? Is this one better or worse than the others? What makes it so?