Anime Review: Haibane Renmei

Haibane Renmei
Warpshadow

Review Haibane Renmei written by Warpshadow rating excellent

It is rare that a show manages to both warm the heart and stimulate the brain. As you can guess by it's placement at the beginning of the review Haibane Renmei manages to do both, and does them well.

In a dream a girl is falling from the sky. She wakes up in a cocoon surrounded by people with wings and halos called the Haibane. The girl remembers nothing of her past, even her name, and is given the name Rakka because of her dream. In fact Rakka is the newest of the Haibane and is given a halo and grows wings. The Haibane live in the walled city of Guri and live by interesting rules, such as they must wear used clothes. Under the protective wing of her elder Haibane Reki, Rakka starts to learn how to be a proper Haibane.

If I had to use one word to describe Haibane Renmei I would use the word understated. Haibane Renmei doesn't have any fights, slapstick comedy or any other gimmicks to rely on and yet in the end is better than the majority of anime shows out there. There is a good amount of philosophical idea thrown about the show but they are presented in a well thought out manner that doesn't feel pretentious. The only problem with this show is that at the end of the show you are still left with some questions, and perhaps the hope for a second season. The animation is also well done and in a different style than I am used to. Instead of being flashy the main draw of the animation quality is the town of Guri witch feels alive in the almost watercolor style that it is drawn in. Yup, I would say that understated is a good word for this show.

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