Her name is Balsa and she’s from the anime series Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. This anime’s not bad — it’s beautifully rendered and the storytelling is top notch. If you can only watch it dubbed for whatever reason, you won’t be let down — the voice work is really decent. The show is directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Eden of the East, Ghost in the Shell TV series) and if you know his other work then that should give you an idea of the caliber of animation, dubbing, and storytelling in Moribito.
The anime series follows (fairly strictly if I recall) the novel version by Nahoko Uehashi. A bodyguard named Balsa journeys to a kingdom and on her way in she happens to witness a royal carriage crash against a bridge and the young prince inside plummet to his death in the rapid river below. She saves his life and later learns that the accident she witnessed was an assassination attempt. Folks in the royal court want Prince Chagum dead because inside his belly he contains a powerful, magical egg that when unleashed could spell certain doom. The queen requests that Balsa take Chagum and protects him because the court is no longer safe. That’s the basic premise and from there the storyline explores the mythology and history behind the spirit within Chagum’s belly and the political aspect of Chagum’s kingdom as they come to terms with the beast growing within their royal heir.
If twenty-six episodes of the anime doest satiate you, then there is volume two of the YA fantasy series that you can pick up through Amazon called Moribito: Guardian of Darkness, which goes more into Balsa’s past and why she had to flee her country. I’d sincerely like it if they translated the rest, but I’m not sure if the series was popular enough to warrant it. This might be more impetus to learn Japanese on my behalf, and then I could also read the Galaxy Express 999 manga and Maria-sama ga Miteru light novel I have in my possession. Well, one day.
If you do want to watch Moribito you can stream it over Hulu, watch it on Netflix Instant Watch (at least last time I checked you could), or view it through Crunchyroll — unfortunately it seems you’ll only be able to view it in 480p max via streaming channels. Too bad, I’m sure in HD the show would look amazing, and you know where you can go to find it if you absolutely must see every single line and pixel of the show in crisp, digital detail.
BTW, if you noticed, I’m trying something new with the images in these posts. I’ve made it so that anyone can annotate them. For this image though it seems bringing up the annotation option causes the image to shift and her feet get hidden behind the frame. I’m not 100% sure how to fix it yet. I’ve also opened the site up for you guys to register as members — you need to be a member of the Courne to post, but looks like you can annotate the image without registering at all. Not a problem — you just won’t see your post right away since it’s held for moderation — uh, as spam.
Till next time…