Thursday, February 4, 2010

Haibane Renmei~A Review

"To To recognize one's own sin is to have no sin. So, are you a sinner?"
-The Communicator
"But if I think I have no sin, then I become a sinner! "-Rakka
"Perhaps this is what it means to be bound by sin. To spin in the same circle, looking for where the sin lies, and at some point losing sight of the way out." -The Communicator

Haibane Renmei (灰羽連盟 lit. Ash Feather Federation) is a hypnotic story first drawn by Japanese author Yoshitoshi ABe. This is a 13 episode anime that follows the main character, Rakka as she finds herself in the world of Glie. I first picked up this show almost 7 years ago and has always been one of my favorites.
Rakka finds herself in Glie after dreaming of falling. It is a mysterious town, surrounded by an uncrossable wall. There are humans, regular residents of Glie. As well as Haibane, people with halos and wings. Rakka becomes a Haibane and soon learns that unlike humans, who dwell and live and die with Glie, Haibane eventually leave Glie. This "day of flight" is the most important thing a Haibane can obtain. The only people who can go past the Glie wall is the Toga, a group of hooded people who speak with hand symbols. The only person who can speak to the Toga is the Communicator, who is also the spiritual leader of the Haibane.
Ultimately this is a story of redemption, self realization, and forgiveness. This short show really asks a lot of questions with few answers. After watching interviews with the author I have found that he wanted the audience to find their own answers. This show is slow moving and not at all an action film! It relies heavily on dialog, art, and music to carry its themes. I won't spoil anything here! This show comes highly recommended and I hope you all get a chance to watch it! I prefer the Japanese audio to the English, simply because of the less corny voices.

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