Studio/Creator: Rondo Robe/Yoshitoshi Abe
No. of Episodes: 13
Age Rating: 10+
My Rating: 10/10
Summary: In the town of Glie, angelic beings called Haibane coexist with humans. The story is told from the point of view of Rakka, a new arrival for the Haibane.
Review: I am so excited that this title has been revived. It’s one of my all-time favorite seris.
The art is just beautiful, with lots of attention to detail. For example, in one scene, we see several characters on a hill with windmils. You can actually see the cracks in their walls.
The Haibane are all great characters. I love their simplistic lifestyle, with everything being hand-me-downs rather than being able to purchase things. (they are, however, expected to work.) Each of them was once human and that they are reborn in their cocoons. While they are in these cocons, they dream and this dream is the source of each Haibane’s new name, because they do not remember their old lives. Let’s look at them individually.
Rakka is the chief protagonist. The best way to describe is to call her an “Audience surrogate.” This means she shows us what it would be like if you were to arrive in this town. She is very inquisitive and kind.
Kanna is quite tomboyish. She is sarcastic, but has a kind personality underneath. She also has a knack for machinery. She works at the clock tower.
Kuu is the youngest Haibane. She (yes, she) seems very wise for ehr age and forms a special bond with Rakka.
Hikari wears glasses. She is a brigh-hearted girl who works at the bakery.
Nemu is the eldest Haibane. She is a sleepy woman, but a dilligant assistant librarian.
Finally, there’s Reki. One thing I really enjoy about the Haibane is that they seem very much like a family. Reki could be considered the big sister of the group. She dotes on the others and acts very motherly. She watches over the children who aren’t that important to the story. (although they are cute.)
The main reason I enjoy this show is that it resonates With Christianity. It explores redemption and forgiveness. In a way, the town is similar to the Catholic concept of purgatory, where souls go to be purified of their sins before entering Heaven. I think every anime fan, Christian or not, should watch this.
Music/Score: The score is very pretty. The opening is one of my all-time favorite themes.
Sub/Dub: Either one is great. I think they did an excellent job with the dub.
Violence: SPOILER! (1/10) When Rakka arrives in Glie, she does not have wings, unlike the other Haibane. Much later, in the first episode, the wings break through her back.
Nudity: (1/10) The opening and closing are the only nude scenes, and you don’t see anything because Rakka is in the fetal position anyway.
Religion: (1/10) I must point out that this is not meant to subscribe to Christianity. Although the Haibane look like angels, they are not meant to be seen in that light. However, as I have stated, the overall theme of the story does parallel Christian teachings, particularly in regards to sin and salvation.