Anyone who is a fan of the anime’s hidden gem Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit will be happy to discover the equally unknown but equally brilliant Erin Beast Player. Based on a series of novels by Nahoko Uehashi, the same author of Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit novels that inspired anime, Erin Beast Player is a touching and nuanced exploration of how humanity works and the world’s relationship with animals. Although less well known than its predecessor, Erin Beast Player is a series worth exploring.
The four collectively titled The beast player novels were released in 2006 and 2009. The series will then receive a manga adaptation illustrated by Itoe Takemoto in 2008, published in Kodansha’s Shonen Sirius monthly magazine until 2016. As of 2016, the manga has been consolidated into 11 volumes, although they have yet to receive an English translation. The anime adaptation, known as Erin Beast Player or just Erinpremiered in 2009 and ran for 50 episodes.
Erin Beast Player follows the titular Erin, a 10-year-old girl living with her mother Soyon in a small village. Their village is located in a country divided into two warring territories. The village raises Toda, the beasts that the country’s army uses to maintain its supremacy. Soyon is a beast doctor tasked with caring for the Toda, and Erin takes a great interest in her mother’s work, also yearning to work with the Toda. One day, when the most prized Toda in the land suddenly die, Soyon is held responsible as a guardian and sentenced to death. Erin grows up grieving the loss of her mother, as well as troubled by the continued mistreatment of the Toda and the exploitative dichotomy humans have created for them. When she learns that she has the ability to control the most powerful of creatures, Erin soon finds herself at the center of the ongoing war in the land.
Erin Beast Player is a coming-of-age anime whose complex world-building creates a universe that examines the nuances of what it means to live in harmony with animals. When Erin learns of her mystical powers, she must face the fact that her abilities can be exploited for violence when all she wants is to deal with the royal beasts she became familiar with after leaving. his village. Erin must deal with her grief while learning ways to become a beast doctor, while expanding her worldview and thereby reinforcing her position that these creatures should not be used as tools of war. Despite the tragedy Erin faces in her life, she remains true to her compassion for others, people and beasts alike.
She retains everything she learned from watching her mother and develops a dedicated passion for a cause she believes in, regardless of the dangers inherent in challenging established norms. She is committed to using her abilities to inspire positive change. Characters who meet Erin and experience her kindness are revealed to be changed by her influence, growing up and often changing their ways. Somewhat unlike Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä, Erin is a protagonist whose empathy and determination lead to changing people’s hearts and, ultimately, the course of the world as a whole.
Both Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and Erin Beast Player are engaging and memorable series on their own terms, worthy of any anime fan’s attention. Erin Beast Player is a fantastic anime filled with excellent stories and dramas with a captivating main character whose mission is clear. Although not a recent series, it is not one to forget, as it is more than capable of becoming an anime favorite.