Comments on: Sin and Salvation and Haibane Renmei You're only as old as you feel. damn... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:07:27 +0000 hourly 1 By: TheBigN Tue, 04 Aug 2009 21:05:09 +0000 One thing I loved about Haibane Renmei was that it was intentionally supposed to be up to your interpretation about what happened, what the Haibanes/Glie represent, and so on, and it felt like it was made that way from the beginning.

I need to re-watch it. Especially because the show is my all-time favorite. #1, baby.

By: Martin Mon, 03 Aug 2009 17:40:09 +0000 Heh, I may well have been one of those people who recommended it to you but TBH I’m not surprised you enjoyed it as much as you did. It’s tough to put that enjoyment into words effectively though, so props for pulling it off!

There’s much about this series that I understand and appreciate on a subconscious level but to actually explain what it means to me…I don’t know. I think you’re right in calling it a spiritual show, but interestingly it doesn’t really gravitate to any particular religion. Maybe that’s the clincher: it’s a blank canvas of sorts that allows people to see it in their own personal context and draw meaning from it that way.

The dual protagonist thing was a surprise to me – the shift in focus accompanies the shift from fantasty/iyashikei to something darker and more psychologically-inclined but it does it so smoothly.

Haibane Renmei is a very, very special story to me (lol, just noticed what I still use for my gravatar!) – one of a very few that is really close to my heart and one that I recommend straightaway to people who want a change from mindless entertainment and, well, just want to watch something thought-provoking and different. So much love…

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, anyway. The resolution you outlined in the third paragraph is, quite possibly, the most profound and ‘able to apply to real life situations’ observations I’ve ever seen in fiction. No kidding. The ending, while pretty open, is simply beautiful.

By: otou-san Sun, 02 Aug 2009 22:23:01 +0000 @kadian

This personal struggle and search for self-actualization constitutes for me the spiritual experience.

I am in agreement with you on the distinction, more below. But yes, that’s I think what makes it so: it’s personal, and while it’s couched in vaguely religious imagery it’s much more about a personal journey than a sense of faith or a particular mindset.

I like how you put that — I felt extremely attached right away, even protective. When people say they found it boring early on I want to come to its defense, but at the same time it makes me feel like I’m in an exclusive little club (even if that’s probably far from the truth, considering its apparently popularity with most who’ve seen it. I don’t know if it’s the personal nature of the story, or something in the execution, but even knowing how many people love it, it feels made just for you.

I’m excited to see what kind of observations I can make the second time around as well. I’m sure there will be decent value in it more than once.

I would tend to agree with both of you on the spiritual/religious distinction although I find in Western culture at least there are plenty who use “I’m a spiritual person but not religious” to justify a lack of a solid belief foundation (i.e., I use shallow new-agey bullshit to make myself seem more rounded or interesting). That’s neither here nor there, though.

I got the word “religious” from the ABe interview on the 4th DVD, but even while watching it I figured that he might have meant “spiritual,” and the finer points of his statement may have been literally lost in translation.

By: coburn Sun, 02 Aug 2009 21:20:02 +0000 I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed Haibane Renmei. As well as holding it in high regard, it seems to be the kind of story whose fans become unshakeably attached to it.

The fluid transition between arcs is something that only really struck me when re-watching it, partly because I watched each of the 4 DVDs rather as I would a series of feature films. The change of focus in the second half is very neat, and once I knew what developments were in store the experience was more organic and less, as you say “crushing”. Of course the shock value present in it the first time around was valuable.

I agree with Kadian on the spiritual/religious distinction. Were it not for the wings+halos the characters’ journeys could almost pass as purely psychological, but I think the notion of conquering sin en route to grace places the message somewhere between a paean for self-adjustment and a religious experience.

By: kadian1364 Sun, 02 Aug 2009 20:52:48 +0000 “It’s very Aria-like. And like Aqua, Glie is a unique location because it’s almost ridiculously mundane in its day-to-day life but fantastic for the simple fact that it exists.”

That’s a great way to put it. It’s a wonder to me whenever people say they dropped Haibane Renmei (or Aria) because a couple episodes bored them. I find their setting, their world so fascinating that I savor every new bit of info I can get, and imagine how people adapt to life there.

I prefer to think of Haibane Renmei as a spiritual experience more than a religious one, though the distinction may be small, or entirely in my mind. Ideally, religion and spirit should be one in the same, but the reality of the matter is often different.

For me, religion is about group thinking, group activity, preachers teaching followers about right and wrong. Haibane Renmei is so personal, focused so much on Rakka’s and Reki’s psychological journey, they dig deep into themselves and wring out their own truths, that we feel as though we are discovering great truths about ourselves as well, rather than being lectured to about sin and salvation. This personal struggle and search for self-actualization constitutes for me the spiritual experience.