This time it’s an anime recommendation because I didn’t get round to reading anything this week.
Haibane Renmei, with the title being “Feather Federation, the girl with charcoal grey wings” is a short, atmospheric show that follows the personal journeys and struggles of its characters.
From a cocoon within Old Home, a young girl is hatched. She remembers nothing, except for the vague memories of a dream. She is quickly accepted into a family of female Haibane, who are humanoid beings with halos and feathery wings, and given the name Rakka. Rakka learns about the world around her; making friends and getting used to her new life as a Haibane in a town that is encapsulated by tall stone walls.
Haibane Renmei may seem underwhelming at first glance, with its dull colours and underwhelming synopsis, but it really shines through the world it builds and the characters within it. The first half is a calm slice-of-life, following Rakka and her exploration of the world, but the second half dives into the internal struggles of the Rakka and the other Haibane, turning it into a poignant and philosophical drama. Who is Rakka? Why was Rakka born? What’s with the walls? While the show poses many questions, not all the answers are there, so it’s nice to just reflect on it after watching.
Also, the soundtrack is pretty nice, which perfectly fit into the setting but can pull its weight during the more emotional moments- same composer as the soundtrack of The Shadow of Colossus.
Mysterious and cosy to watch, I recommend giving it a go when you want to wind down to relax on an existential journey for redemption.