Haibane renmei (2002 IMDb)

Categorization

Mutilated romanticism. Bleakly philosophical fantasy.

Subject

A girl is born from a dream into a world where she is told she is a creature much like an angel, but without any supernatural power. Useless wings grow painfully from her back, her halo is artificial and the new world around her is a single pleasant city, inescapably and inexplicably walled in.

Commentary

More lyrical and subtly dramatic than epic. Excellent character development and low-key philosophy, much more meditative than Cogswell's escapist The Wall Around the World (1953). Manga-based.

References here: Hitsuji no uta (2003).

Japanese production animation series