Balsa and the crown prince Chagum travel together again. The young boy who survived because he was protected by Balsa has gone through suffering and grown into a splendid crown prince. Balsa starts to expose the conspiracy that lies hidden deep in the bowels of her beautiful homeland, the Kingdom of Kambal. And then, Chagum stands up to the attack of the Talsh Empire, which has targeted the New Yogo Empire. A natural disaster occurs that shakes the land. Gold birds flutter in the sky. (Source: MyDramaList) ~~ Adapted from novel 2 in the novel series "Moribito Series" (守り人シリーズ), namely "Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness" (闇の守り人), by Uehashi Nahoko (上橋菜穂子). Edit Translation
- magyar / magyar nyelv
Cast & Credits
This season blew me away. It was so much more emotional and moving than the first two while relying on them as a foundation. For those who can relate, it is reminiscent of the third Lord of the Rings movie.
Honestly, I can't help but draw parallels between this and Lord of the Rings.
This falters in lofty depictions every now and then from a technical standpoint, but it's so moving. My cheeks are still conduits.
I could not help but think of the hobbits returning to The Shire after a long fought war when the last episode ended with a plain scene of Balsa returning to the hut to see Tanda moving around inside, birds chirping in the background and a peaceful piano piece playing. I was at a loss for words, it was so beautiful. She enters and there's a shot of her spear left outside the hut, leaning against the wall... Ah. Closure.
I'm breaking out of my usual review format because I don't know what I'm saying.
Now I'll try to remember to the start of this season.
First off, by the end of the season you may have already forgotten about the Kambal sequence (which is almost the whole first half), but it was a very good part of the story. We get to see major character development and reconciliation in our titular character Balsa as well as more of her nation shaping actions. A major part of this development and Kambal adventure is her past with Jiguro which I can't applaud enough. I didn't expect this, because I thought we'd seen a fair enough of her background, but this season is where we see everything that happened with her father and Jiguro...
Basically, the Kambal king killed her father (ordered it), and Jiguro rescued Balsa and was labeled a traitor for doing so. This caused his whole clan to be disgraced for many years.
And there are so many good side characters introduced in this season including her Aunt who has a bitter love for Jiguro (I loved this and how it plays out even after his death), the almost awkward prince son of the Kambal king, and Jiguro's nephew Cahm who plays a large role to the end of the season. Even these side characters have development arcs; for instance, Cahm is despondent at Jiguro for the disgrace of the family clan, and blames him for his mother's death. His hatred falls to Balsa as an accomplice, and we see how he changes and grows from this angry young man.
The second half of this season (there's a blend of course), focuses on the invasion of the Talsh empire as well as potential disaster from the migrating Naguyu waters. That's really all I'll say about the plot now, but there's a lot going on here with characters too.
First and foremost, there's the relationship between Balsa and Tanda.
I'll have to admit, I didn't feel it for whatever brief, apparent unrequited affections Tanda had in the first season, and it wasn't really part of the second season beyond missing each other. However, here I guess I only just realized how deep their connection was as childhood friends from the portrayal of the backstory in the first half of this season.
Even then, I still thought all the feelings were one-sided until Balsa migrates back to the hut that Tanda, her and Jiguro shared when she was growing up. She's expecting Tanda and professes to missing his cooking (wait, was that from S2...), but when she arrives, he's gone off to war.
Watching them apart and trying to get together exposed true feelings of emotional reliance and what a peace they are to the other, and when they reunite it only grows more apparent.
There's another side character I thought would be a Mary Sue at first who is interested in Tanda, but she proves her worth and ends up giving Balsa a nudge in the right direction to help the relationship along.
That said, this isn't a lust filled relationship, people. That's not what we're here to watch and the show did a good job of keeping it in line with the story so it didn't feel jarring.
Since I went on and on about Balsa and Tanda I'll try to keep other relationships short, but there's a very interesting relationship with the Emperor and the Second Empress that also actually plays into the plot. While we're on the subject, the Emperor. He was only the supposed God in the previous seasons, but here we see more of his thoughts and why he has become that way, and we see how far he is willing to go to stick to his ideals. It's both aggravating and moving at different times.
And then there's Prince Raul. My initial reaction on seeing him in S2 was that he was a spoiled, cruel prince. He may be cruel, but he has passion and motivation, and we see him come to a breaking point towards the end that was great to watch to see his flaws.
Do you guys get the point? There are lots of great characters in this show.
I'm only docking a point because there were a couple jarring acting scenes, but most of it was very good, and there were some very exceptional scenes that had me crying (before the last episode).
I can't review acting without making another parallel to LOTR. The more I watched, the more Chagum looked like Frodo. It's not really the character, but the actor actually reminded me of Elijah Woods and I couldn't get over it in a good way. Loved that.
Plus, did I mention, Ayase Haruka?
I think for secondary characters, some of my favorites were Cahm and Prince Raul (of the Talsh empire)
I've talked about this music before in my other reviews of the previous seasons.
It's exceptional. I don't know if it's based off of the anime or anything because I haven't bothered to watch or listen to that (yet), but it's phenomonal. I never skipped the intro because I loved listening to the title track.
I briefly mentioned it earlier, but I cannot get over that ending. Whoever decided to end the show with that piano piece was brilliant. I'm still crying. even this far into the review okay, don't laugh.
Rewatch Value (10):
I thought the other seasons were ones I would seriously consider rewatching at some point... I didn't know what I was in for with this season. This is going on my list of most rewatchable things (as in ANYTHING, movie, drama, show, regardless of origin), ever.
There's on denying it isn't completely perfect, but I felt it was mostly on a technical level that this had any failures. There were the few CGI shots that I had to cringe at, but there were also very well done CGI effects and some amazing cinematography.
At one point in the last episode, I was very disappointed with a water sound effect that almost ruined the gravity of the sequence, but at the end of the episode I could care less.
Again, there was also some issues with scale. 15 people instead of 15,000 soldiers, etc. But I have to admit, the battle sequences are done better than usual C-Dramas for instance.
And that's the battles, I'm not talking about the fights. Something about the fights in the second season, especially the first half of it, felt lacking. This season, not so. Gorgeous fight sequences. Spears are my favorite now.
For anyone still reading, any Kaladin fans?? I'd love a Japanese dramatization of The Stormlight Archive. Kaladin is a spear-wielder and I couldn't help but think of him throughout this show.
So seriously, if you've seen the first two seasons and aren't sure if you want to finish, then get over it, watch it please. This exceeds the first two. If you haven't watched the first two seasons, just start it. The first season is only 4 episodes and while the weakest of the three, sets a good world building foundation and showcases some good fight sequences. If you aren't in love with Balsa after it, then I'm not in love with you either.
I'll conclude my longest review yet (I think, maybe?), and let you go watch this show. I may edit this when I think of more to add.