Friday, September 16, 2005

Short and sweet

Subject: Noir
I just finished the last 2 discs of "Haibane Renmei".

What I said before about "soul", I still think that applies pretty well in this case.

I can't say that I've intellectualized the story very far, or that I "get" all the aspects of it, but on a totally experiential level, I'm quite satisfied with it. As simple as the animation, art, and characterization was, the characters had a spark of life to them, and the whole show had a very strong draw into it's world. Rakka in particular is adorable. Rekei, well... I like Rekei a lot. *ahem*

It's sentimental, for sure. "Sweet", even. But not cloyingly so, which would otherwise drive a crusty old badger like myself away from it. You can't help but like the characters; you can't help but root for them, fear for them, maybe even mist up a little for them. It's simple, but well-balanced.

I like very much that nothing was particularly solved or answered. Except, of course, the one strong conclusion about Rakka's & Rekei's past. It's a very strong effect when you realize it at first. I think it goes back to what I was saying about "Gunslinger Girl" and the primal need to have young girls be safe and happy, and how much it affects you when that just might not be the case. But the fact that the overall world and the reasons behind it aren't explained and are left to your own projection and interpretation is, really, part of the whole draw that Japanese fiction has over me in the first place. I don't mind that there's still so many unanswered questions; the fact that an authentic moment was delivered brings the whole thing to a satisfactory conclusion for me.

"Sweet"* was the result of my word-association game for "Haibane Renmei". Before this series, I would have rolled my eyes back and groaned at the thought of subjecting myself to something "sweet". But really, this works. I'm thinking this is even purchase-worthy, and that it will be worth a rewatch in the near future. With's 50%-off sale, it's probably a no-brainer.

*(no, not like how Cartman says it... Not that at all! Just get that out of your head right now. Really, now! This is serious!)


maromi said...
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maromi said...

I misread the entry. I thought that you had finished watching the second disk, and immediately wanted to warn you of the issues others have faced with the conclusion of this series and the way the mysteries of Glie are left incomplete, and ended up double posting(I'm not used to blogspot!). I'm glad you enjoyed this series. I feel the need to get other people to watch it, it's too great to keep to myself.

By the way, check out It gives some great explainations for some of the symbolism in this series. Sorry about all the posts!

Don said...

Haibane Renmei has become not merely my favorite anime, but my favorite show of any kind, since I ordered the set back in April.

The first two discs of the series are available for $15 for the pair here.

I second the recommendation of Sekai no Hajimari. While you're there, spend some time at the Old Home Bulletin Board. There's a lot of analysis of and speculation on ABe's little universe there.

Fellini 8.5 said...

Hmm, I think I'm going to hold out for a box set... if those are currently being cleared out by Geneon, then there must be one pending.

I started browsing around the forum for a bit, but backed off for now. I think I want to watch it one more time before I start trying to find any explainations. Besides, I'm jealous that they've got a fansite off the ground, and I'm struggling to get anywhere with "Bee Train Fan". *sigh*