Haibane Renmei

Haibane RenmeiType: TV Series
Episode Count: 13
Genre: Fantasy / Slice Of Life
Vintage: 2002

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 07 Oct 2006

Grade: A+

A masterpiece no matter how you look at it. Yoshitoshi ABe’s third series with his involvement is his most personal to date.

Plot Summary
A girl falls from the sky as if in a dream. She awakens from a cocoon into a new world with no memory of who she is or where she is from. She is an angelic being known as a Haibane, who lives in a small town surrounded by walls that no one is permitted to go beyond. The girl, who will come to be known as Rakka, innocently questions her world, why she is in it, and what lies beyond the walls.

The Review
This is one of my absolute favorite series. First because it is a Yoshitoshi ABe work, and second because it is simply amazing in every way. Very few series are this beautiful and philosophical; Haibane Renmei is nothing short of a work of art.

Rakka is born into the town of Glie, where the Haibane live in peace among the people, neither of which are allowed to go beyond its walls for reasons unknown even to them. Glie is a town of antiquity, and lives are simple. This is a series that just happens. Rakka goes on her personal journey of discovery, and we are along for the experience.

Haibane Renmei raises as many questions as it answers – if not more – but is hands down one of the most rewarding series I’ve ever seen. Watch it and revel in its beauty, and you may even learn something from Rakka or one of the other Haibane. This is a series that will stay with you days or weeks after you finish watching it… maybe even longer! Absolutely recommended.

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