Last year, in November, I made myself a little list of worthwhile-looking 13-episode series, as a means of systematically catching up to the ones that I hadn’t seen yet at that point. I’ve been gradually working down that list for the past year, as some of you might have already noticed. Some series turned out too bad to continue (Aquarian Age and Gun Frontier, for example, and Kokoro Library was just too boring), but there also were some true gems among these anime. And I’m glad to say that today, I finally managed to finish the list! There’s a reason why I chose Haibane Renmei to go last, as I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews and raves from it.
And boy, does it deliver! Haibane Renmei truly is one of the best slice-of-life series I have ever seen! It first takes four episodes of building up, introducing its unique setting and its characters, and then it waltzes the viewer down with one of the most amazing storylines, perfectly fitted for 13 episodes.
The thing is, that I’m having a lot of trouble finding anything bad to say about this series. Most series have obvious flaws, like dragging on too much, spending little time on their settings, making no sense, but Haibane seems to have done everything right. The only thing you should note is that you need to get through the first four episodes, which are nice to watch, but nowhere near as emotional as the rest of the series.
The character-designs look realistic and down-to-earth, just like the rest of the series. You won’t see any blue-haired moe-bait Konatas here. One of the biggest things to note, though, is that the soundtrack is a masterpiece. It comes from Kou Outani, the same guy who did soundtracks for among others Ayakashi Ayashi, Popolocrois Monogatari 1998 and Deltora Quest, and this may be one of his best works yet.
I see no reason why not to recommend Haibane Renmei. Not only does it keep delivering after it gets really started, I also didn’t cry as much at a final episode apart from Noein. This definitely is a memorable series, and it couldn’t have been a better way to close off my attempt to catch up with the 13-episode series.