Creator/Studio: Nahoko Uehashi (writer of light novels)/Production IG
Distributor: Streaming on Crunchy Roll (note: Crunchy Roll calls it simply “Erin”)
No. of Episodes: 50
Suggested Age: 7+
My Rating: 10/10
Summary: A little green-haired girl named Erin lives in a village named Ake with her mother, Soyon. Soyon is the head doctor of the dragon-like Touda. When Soyon’s objections against the Touda being used for war come to light, she is sentenced to death, but sacrifices herself to save her child. The story follows Erin’s story as she attempts to lead a life following in her mother’s path.
Review: One thing I love about watching anime on the Internet is that I often find titles that I feel deserve more attention. Kemono no Souja Erin (translated into English: “Beast Player Erin”) is one such title.
The animation is very well done. Production IG has a very good track record, consisting of such titles as Ghost in the Shell and Blood the Last Vampire.
Erin is an adorable heroine right from the start. She is a high-spirited child. I enjoyed her far-too-brief relationship with her mother. What I like best about this story is how it develops her character. We see her grow from an innocent child into a teenager, eager to learn how to take care of animals.
We are also introduced to Joh-on, who is a jolly bee-keeper and becomes Erin’s surrogate father when she runs from the village after her mother is executed. He was a great character, despite the constant farts. There’s also Nuk and Mok, two annoying thieving brothers who fail at comic relief.
We’re also often following the side story of the Shin-Oh, who are the royal family. They are treated idealistically, with the exception of Duke Damiya, a cunning man who serves as the villain. And I should certainly mention Ia-lu, the enigmatic Seian, or bodyguard, of the Shin-Oh, who befriends Erin early on. He has a mysterious past that parallels Erin’s and is dedicated to protecting the royalty.
I cannot recommend this story enough. It’s great for those who enjoy a good saga.
Sub/Dub: This series has yet to be translated.
Music/Score: The music is quite cheerful. I especially liked the original version of the opening and the closing theme.
Violence: (5/10) I gave it the 7+ rating because I’ve seen some live-action fantasy as a kid and the violence is comparable to what I saw in those and in books such as Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. If your child is able to handle those stories, this one shouldn’t be a problem.
Related Media: This is based on the light novels by Nahoko Uehashi, who also wrote Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit.