Let me start by saying that I haven't seen the anime, and I haven't read the books either, so I don't know if this is a good adaptation or not. But I can definitely say that it's a great drama. I love a good fantasy, and this is a really good one. The story isn't something that hasn't been done before, but it's really entertaining, and there were more fantasy elements than I initally expected. I think the pace was perfect, not too fast and not too slow, so you can get to know the characters but it never gets boring. That being said, I must warn you, it ends with a cliffhanger (season 2 starts in January). The acting was pretty good too. I have never thought that Ayase Haruka was a really good actress, just an alright one. And I really didn't see her playing a credible action heroine. And yet, she really surprised me. She's great throughout the 4 episodes, and she has a very strong presence that makes for a great lead character. Most of the rest of actors were good too. I've always liked Higashide Masahiro a lot, and he's really good here. He's very funny and charismatic. Takashima Reiko was really funny too. Kimura Fumino is pretty good too, specially in the first episode. Kobayashi Kai is a bit annoying, and not the best of child actors, but I must admit the role was very difficult. Lastly, I won't say much about Fujiwara Tatsuya, because I've hated him for a long time, so I'm too biased (he overacts SO MUCH, it's incredibly annoying). Thank god he doesn't appear much. The music was spectacular, it felt like listening to a movie soundtrack. Actually, most about this drama felt like a movie. All the technical aspectas were miles better than in the average j-drama. It's clear that they had a pretty big budget. The cinematography was great, and so were the costumes (even if a few of them were a bit ridiculous). The special effects were great, considering it's a J-drama (effects in j-movies aren't much better...). But mostly, I was shocked by how good the fight scenes were. They're the best fight scenes I've seen in a Japanese prodcution, drama or movie. To sum up, I was pleasantly surprised by Seirei no Moribito in almost every way. I can't wait for the second season, even if there are still 8 months left. I guess in the meantime I'll have to watch the anime adaptation.
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