Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit - Review: "Part 4"

The major driving force behind Balsa's character and life had largely gone unexplained prior to this set. We knew that she was raised by a man named Jiguro and that she was making amends due to events that transpired during that time. In episodes 21 and 22, we're treated to a narrative from Balsa herself about those events. We learn of her simple life as a young girl in Kanbal, her father and the events that found her in the care of the young elite spear-wielder, Jiguro. Who were the eight souls? What were the circumstances behind her decision to atone those eight lives? How profound of an impact did Jiguro have on her life?

Through these events, we clearly see the parallels between her situation with Jiguro and Chagum's situation with Balsa. The reasons and motivations behind the decisions of both Jirugo and Balsa become crystal clear to us and to Chagum. In fact, these episodes act as a sort of therapy for both characters. For Balsa, it was a story she needed to tell. Perhaps to remind and steel herself for the events yet to come. For Chagum, it was a story he needed to hear to better understand his caretaker and to realize that doing the right thing is rarely an easy road to travel. Yet, it is a road that must be traveled.

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