Haibane Renmei

Genre: slice-of-life
Setting
: unnamed town / unknown era
Special Groups/Powers
: haibane / none
Selling Point
: soothing graphics, music, + overall tone

MY FIRST REVIEW. Break out the happy snacks.

Okay, so, first up to bat is “Haibane Renmei,” a show revolving around a group of girls who are special, winged creatures (haibane — “charcoal feathers”) and the lives that they live within a walled town. Normal citizens and haibane are not allowed beyond the walls. Nevertheless, the townspeople go about their peaceful lives like normal townspeople, mingling with the haibane, who are treated like normal citizens.

The overall tone of the anime is soothing, mellow, and muted — that pretty much sums up the graphics, music, animation, and character designs.

Nice stuff, right?

…Right…

Well, if you care enough to look up any other reviews about this anime, you’ll see that pretty much everyone is enchanted by it. But I rebel. I say that this anime, despite it’s nice graphics, nice music, nice occasional themes of life, is simply not interesting. I mean, don’t get me wrong, nothing about this show is atrocious (reference to Bobobobobobobobo…? — whatever, you know what I mean), but it’s…

JUST. SO. SLOW.

Nothing ever happens. And that is the tragic flaw of this anime: the plot. I mean, I’ve gotten as far as the point where [spoiler!] one of the haibane suddenly disappears and Rakka’s bent out of shape [/spoiler!] but even that was a bore. Oh, there’s a plot to this show, but it’s pretty loose and floaty. Again, nothing really happens. I suppose I can’t give it a true review until I finish the series (I’ve gone through 8/13 episodes), but… man. Who has the time to sit around and watch nothing happen at 25-minute installments?

In conclusion, this anime has a very mellow, refined atmosphere. It briefly touches on certain life themes, though it never fully develops them. The show lacks a solid story/plot/direction, so prolonged enjoyment is limited. Basically, “Haibane Renmei” had a beautiful pedestal, but no treasure to put on it.

Rating of Truth: 82/100

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~ by sublunaryxsoul on August 22, 2008.

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