In 2021, Crunchyroll released High Guardian Spice, based on the webcomic of the same name. High Guardian Spice is a good anime, and I’m here to recommend it to you and tell you why you’ll enjoy it.
While most people who watched High Guardian Spice were cool with the show, the Very Online Toxic portion of American anime fans became ballistic that Crunchyroll dared to create this show. Even before the first episode had been released, even before the first trailer had come out, these toxic “fans” (but what are they fans of?) spammed YouTube comment videos while bullying anyone who dared to express open mindedness about the show. The reasons for the toxicity from these fake fans was twofold: Firstly, they hated the idea that Crunchyroll was adapting an American webcomic (though some of the fake fans were too uniformed to realize it was a webcomic originally) rather than focus exclusively on porting Japanese anime (one can only imagine these posers have a double standard for Netflix, watch them to stutter to explain why), and secondly, they hated that the showrunners were leftist and not bigots like the fake fans tend to be.
Thankfully, Crunchyroll steamrolled the fake fans, and they refused to cancel High Guardian Spice, provoking multiple YouTube meltdowns from the grifters who had promised their audiences for months that the show was going to be canceled. (Fun fact. One of the fake fans who tried to cancel High Guardian Spice used to own a very influential among fake fans blog with angry in the title. He was among the worst of the bullies. Eventually, he was driven off his own blog and his blog was taken over by someone who loves High Guardian Spice and who then decided to write an article on that blog using a picture of Rosemary in pajamas. You could call this person a Rosemary stan if you want. :)) High Guardian Spice came out, and surprise! It’s actually very good. Most people who actually watched the entire season loved High Guardian Spice, and there is now a movement to get Crunchyroll to renew the show for a season 2. Chiaki Hirai reviewed the first episode for Anime Feminist, describing it as a comfortable and enjoyable show, praised the show’s setting and story, and said that the explicit LGBTQ positivity stands out. There is a budding fandom growing around High Guardian Spice, with Crunchyroll recently releasing a pin set of characters Rosemary, Sage, Parsley, and Thyme in the chibi style. They’ve also released recipes inspired by the show and these recipes can be found on their website.
But what is High Guardian Spice about? We’ll summarize the first episode for you, I promise you it’s very good and you can tell by this summary of just what happens in just Journey to Lyngarth:
Two teenage girls, Sage and Rosemary, are excited to go to High Guardian Academy, and become guardians. After their parents wish them well and send them off, they travel to Lyngarth, all the while reflecting on their hometown Pebble. Once at Lyngarth, they stay the night with Sage’s cousins, Anise and Aloe, and while sleeping, Rosemary has a nightmare about her mother.
The next morning, Sage and Rosemary decide to explore around Lyngarth, bumping into Thyme, who Rosemary almost stabs with her sword while swinging around. After that incident, Rosemary and Sage continue to explore, before Rosemary’s locket is stolen by a magpie-like creature called a Trixie. Both girls chase the Trixie to a ruined garden, where it does a mating ritual and breaks Rosemary’s locket. Sage, in order to make her friend feel better, brings Rosemary to a blacksmith to get her locket fixed, meeting Parsley, whose also going to the academy, and agrees to give them the locket the next day. After leaving the locket with Parsley, they head back to Sage’s cousins house, and head to the academy the next day.
If you loved Little Witch Academia, High Guardian Spice is right up your alley. Ignore the fake fans, side with Rosemary. Look at those adorable pajamas she’s wearing in the photo, isn’t she just the best?
Yes, Rosemary is Best Girl.
Neoira is a BLM activist and the author of suburban Goth girl novel Raven’s Dream.