|Original Manga||Yoshitoshi ABe|
|Episode Length||25 Minutes|
|# of Eps/Volumes||13|
Sum it up in a Sentence
A slow paced, slice of life story by Yoshitoshi ABe about a girl who is born into a world quite different from the one she once lived in, with no memories of her previous life. A melancholic take on the mysteries of life and the afterlife.
The girl's first memory was of falling high from the sky, with a black crow attempting to save her. But it was futile. The next moment she was reborn into a strange, new world directly from a cocoon. The people she met in this place all had gray wings and halos on their heads. They called themselves "Haibane," and took the girl under their care to be the newest "Haibane." With no memories of her past life, the girl was given the name "Rakka" from her dream of falling while in the cocoon. Lost and confused, Rakka attempts to cope with her new surroundings and to bond with her fellow Haibane. However, the "world" that she lives in is almost suspiciously mysterious...such as the great wall that surrounds the entire town preventing anyone from leaving, and the mysterious organization "Haibane Renmei" which governs the Haibane. Rakka attempts to recover her memories while trying to understand this quiet, serene world she now finds herself in.
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Other ABe works of note, though Haibane Renmei is the only one that he had a hand in the story with:
Slice of life, melancholic and/or heartwarming stories with similar pacing and themes to Haibane Renmei:
Haibane Renmei is one of the few series that manages to free itself of so many of the trappings of anime cliches and stereotypes. There is no violence, no fanservice, no magical girls, no giant robots. Just a quiet, almost melancholic look into someone being brought into an unknown environment. The characters feel real; their endeavors and motivations meaningful. Of ABe's work, this can assuredly be considered his best success. It has the warmth of NieA with the seriousness of Lain, but without the main faults of either of those. This show is fraught with gorgeous artwork, animation, and music, and combined with the plot makes it a classic for almost anyone. It's not a show to watch if you aren't patient, or otherwise not willing to watch a nice, slow, relaxing story. It's a more sophisticated story that will resonate beautifully with many and not at all with others.
Nice slow slice of life combined with a weird plot/mystery. Beautiful art and music combine to give an amazing experience.
This might be my overall favorite anime series. Part mystery, part slow and thoughtful slice of life, I loved how it revealed some of its secrets and yet kept others hidden away to wonder about later. Overall the animation, acting and music combine to really set a wonderful, mysterious, and slightly melancholy mood that felt really unique and has stayed with me for a really long time. Haibane Renmei is a show that I would recommend to anyone who can appreciate a great story and mysterious setting, whether they are a fan of anime or not.