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Silence_Fish 2004-08-25 20:19

Haibane Renmei opinions?
 
I recently picked this up because I'm a great fan of Lain and loved the idea of an anime about angels. I'm curious to know what other people think about it. I enjoyed the series but felt that there was much more they could have done with it. I enjoyed that the ending, while not covering a lot of ground you expected to be covered, also went some directions you, or at least I, wasn't expecting. I think this series should have been longer than 13 episodes. I also thought it was neat how it slowly turns out the focus of the series is really more or less on Reki and not Rakka. Overall, I enjoyed it, though it could have benefited from some extra substance. Granted, I realize that a lot of the things like who the Toga and Haibane Renmei are were hinted at, but when I finished it, it felt as if there should have been more. Many people probably wanted to know what lay beyond the wall, though I take the wall to be more a metaphor, which is probably why the creators didn't go beyond it. Anyway, other thoughts?

NoSanninWa 2004-08-25 20:32

The reason it is only 13 episodes is because there was a single character arc that it focuses on:
Spoiler for end of the series:

Everything else is simply treated as the setting for this story without any important value just for existing. I could even say that the fact we don't know the reasons for this town's existence adds to the focus on the characters. It's dreamlike strangeness emphasises by contrast just how real the people in this show really are.

With that said, yeah, I too would like to know the answers about this Town, the Toga and the Wall. It might be nice if they were to make another 13 episodes of Haibane Renmei since I can say without fear of contradiction that there are a lot more stories to tell in this setting even if they don't ever give us any real answers.

This show isn't about answers, it is about the process of growing up and redemption. That story will continue as long as there are people.

xris 2004-08-26 04:49

If I remember, this subject was discussed previously in these forums, but like many interesting threads they were lost when the forum had the crash last year.

I'm not very good at trying to explain at this sort of level, especially since I'm not that familiar with (what I think) the premise, or concept, of Haibane Renmei along with the town of Glie.

Concerning the whole what's going on, the wall, the town, IMHO the reason why there doesn't seem to be much of an explanation is because the viewer is meant to make the connection themselves. Once you work it out (or, as in my case, once I was told), it becomes "Oh, of course..." you don't need to be told much more. So, what is it I'm talking about... it's a big spoiler so don't read unless you've completed the series :)
Spoiler for those who have seen all 13 eps:

I think once you accept the above connection, then the wings, halos, the walls, the town, fall into place. Or at least it fits into what I believe the ideas Yoshitoshi Abe wanted to put across.

Now, it may be that the above still doesn't answer many of the questions raised in Haibane, but that in the way is the point. The whole concept is part of the faith and it's down you as to how you should interpret the story. I hope the above isn't so obvious that you say "Yeah, yeah, I know all that but what is Haibane about"

Certain one of my favourite Yoshitoshi Abe series (which I prefer in the following sequence Haibane Renmei, NieA_7, Serial Experiments Lain, TEXHNOLYZE), which coincidently is in alphabetical order :)

kujoe 2004-08-26 06:01

That's a nice interpretation you got there, xris. I have never seen it in that way before. :)

One thing I've noticed about the story is that if you strip away the wings, the halos, and the wall, the essence of the story is still maintained. It's a story of characters, and sometimes I feel that its laid back atmosphere and strange setting serves to further defamiliarize the viewer in order to prompt a fresher look at things. Haibane Renmei succeeds in depicting a world characterized by magical realism, and the irony of it all is that the viewer is convinced that everything is "still ordinary," to the point that he or she never truly questions things until the end is reached.

This is also one of my favorites. Although for me, I place this under my "non-marathon, Sunday mornings" category. It's the type of show I prefer to watch while I'm in a laid back mood and after all my work has been done.

Sonhex 2004-08-26 08:05

For me Haibane Renmei is a tale about characters trying to find a meaning for their existence and for one of them, a reason to continue that existence when it seems that there is no meaning. It's probably one of the most subtle (and emotionally draining) fables about atonement ever commited to film, certainly in animation. I only wish it was twice as long, but it is one series that rewards you for repeated viewings.

The music is also worth noting, the soundtrack is wonderful and perfectly fits the world of Haibane Renmei. I recommend all three soundtracks if you can track them down.

Secca 2004-08-26 13:19

It's a really beautiful series, the art, the music are amazing. As for the story,
Spoiler for ending:

Sonhex 2004-08-26 13:43

Quote:

Originally Posted by Secca
...
Spoiler for ending:

Spoiler for about the Haibane:

dreamless 2004-08-26 14:03

I agree with Secca that
Spoiler:


I think this series is another example of character-driven series instead of a plot-driven one. Its focus is on developing the characters rather than telling a complete story. There are many things unexplained, but that also makes it feel more... "real" I guess... it's like living inside the world and experiencing it as those characters. We also may never know the answers to a lot of mysteries in our world in our life, but that doesn't stop us from experiencing the world ;)

Sonhex 2004-08-26 14:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamless
I agree with Secca that
Spoiler:

Spoiler for Haibane names:

Silence_Fish 2004-08-26 17:01

Spoiler:


Apologies for the lack of a spoiler tag, I'm unsure as to how to use one. Help anyone?

Sonhex 2004-08-26 17:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silence_Fish
Spoiler:


Apologies for the lack of a spoiler tag, I'm unsure as to how to use one. Help anyone?

[spoiler.] text [/spoiler.] remove the . to get them to work...:)

I think also the guy from the abandoned factory was born with sins too because...

Spoiler:

NoSanninWa 2004-08-26 17:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Secca
It's a really beautiful series, the art, the music are amazing. As for the story,
Spoiler for ending:

Spoiler for my rebutal:

Silence_Fish 2004-08-26 18:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sonhex
[spoiler.] text [/spoiler.] remove the . to get them to work...:)

I think also the guy from the abandoned factory was born with sins too because...

Spoiler:



I was under the impression that the one who taught Reki of the wing dye was the previous oldest haibane (forget her name, she had glasses). Reki says that she went into the woods to gather the dye; there's even a scene when she's coming back and collapses due to her poor health.

Sonhex 2004-08-26 18:21

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silence_Fish
I was under the impression that the one who taught Reki of the wing dye was the previous oldest haibane (forget her name, she had glasses). Reki says that she went into the woods to gather the dye; there's even a scene when she's coming back and collapses due to her poor health.

Oops, my mistake...yeah it was Kuramori :)

Secca 2004-08-27 00:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by NoSanninWa
Spoiler for my rebutal:

Spoiler for about the name and dreams:

Spoiler for young haibane:

kujoe 2004-08-27 01:26

Interesting interpretations you guys have here. Hmmm. Guess I have to watch this series again.

Spoiler:

dreamless 2004-08-27 01:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by kujoe
Interesting interpretations you guys have here. Hmmm. Guess I have to watch this series again.

Spoiler:

Spoiler:

I heard this series is actually based on the setting of a short doujin story...

Sonhex 2004-08-27 06:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by dreamless
...
I heard this series is actually based on the setting of a short doujin story...

Yep, ABe wrote a doujinshi called 'Charcoal Feather Federation' in 1998, which featured lots of Haibane-like creations, but didn't have any characters or story from the animated series. He later wrote 4 more, the first of which are almost exact versions of the opening 2 episodes.

I'm not sure if the doujinshi is licensed, but you can download three of the chapter translations here. The 'Haibane Lifestyle Diary' is very funny, it was made when the anime was announced and ABe decided to to a comedy with the day to day lives of the Haibane. :)

Keldran 2004-11-15 02:49

Eh, don't know if I should be bumping an old thread but what the hell.


First off, I'm curious to see whether or not anybody else had read "Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World", a novel that I believe Abe has cited as a major inspiration for Haibane Renmei. It was written by a well known author in Japan (Murakami) back in '91 and features a similar surreal walled town that only birds can freely traverse. Now I don't care about the similarities and I'm certainly not trying to call Haibane Renmei a ripoff, but perhaps a greater understanding of Haibane Renmei can be had if it is discussed in relation to its greatest 'source' material. Perhaps I'll do more of this later.

s'my 2004-11-15 11:12

Oh my goodness yeah, I've read the book, but it was quite some time ago and I can't remember all the details.
Spoiler for the book:
Of course like I said I can't remember the finer details of the novel right now and if you can draw some parallels between the book and the anime I'd be interested to hear, um read.


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