Review of Haibane Renmei (2002)

Moving picture, 5.0 hours

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.

A bleakly philosophical fantasy, more lyrical than dramatic or epic. Excellent character development and low-key philosophy, much more meditative than Cogswell’s escapist “The Wall Around the World” (1953) or Farmer’s To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971). Based on a comic.

References here: Hitsuji no uta (2003), Violet Evergarden (2018).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series