24 July 2007


A beautiful little story that began life as a work of fan fiction, by Yoshitoshi ABein a work of fan fiction, or Dojinshi. Dojunshi has a great following in Japan, but is not usually given the opportunity to become a TV series. Yoshitoshi ABe, though, was already well known in his field and had already worked on a couple of anime projects, so he had, perhaps, a little more cache than the usual fan.

The Haibane of the title are children who have woken and broken out of their cocoons one day. They sprout little wings, and are given haloes to wear. They share their world with Humans, but their valley is surrounded by a wall through which the dwellers in the valley cannot pass. Birds fly over it, and there are a group of traders who come to do business with the Haibane-Renmei, who are something like priests overseeing the Haibane, but everyone else must stay away from the wall. As the series progresses, we learn that, when they are ready, the Haibane achieve a 'Day of Flight', after which they are never seen again.

The stories in this series are very gentle, told through the eyes of a new Haibane, Rakka, as she gets to know her new world. It is not at all a violent story. Instead, it is intriguing to the mind trying to put together enough clues with which to understand the world of the Haibane, and at times it is quite emotional, and sometimes funny.

This series is safe for children to watch, although those who prefer obvious adventure and high kicks may not become so readily engaged with it.


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