As I worked through the hustle and bustle of my first anime convention, I was tempted to buy a variety of items, but I held back. I kept my eyes on the prize: an inexpensive box set of Haibane Renmei, a series currently licensed by FUNimation, but out of print. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an expensive copy, much less a cheap one. A few days after posting about my experience, however, Don of Zoopraxiscope graciously offered me his copy.
And so, especially in light of my disappointment in this season’s anime, I’ve carved aside some time to rewatch Haibane Renmei. While I may not post about the series this time around (or I may – the show left a profound impact on me and led to one of my favorite posts here on the blog), I did want to give first-time watchers (or second or third timers) a couple of links that they might use while following this series:
1. First, I’ll recommend Set Apart, a wonderful book by Daniel Cronquist. The monograph works on two levels – for those wanting analysis on the series, it brings to light the Christian implications of the show (though they may be unintentional, according to Yoshitoshi ABe). For Christians wanting to dig deeper, the piece works well as small group material, even including discussion questions.
2. Second, this time around I also plan to refer frequently to John Samuel’s “Twenty Days of Haibane Renmei” series of posts on his blog, Pirates of the Burley Griffin. He gives great insight on every single episode, while also providing posts which are more topic-specific. Samuel’s writing is intelligent and absorbing – I highly recommend his work.
Do you have any resources for the series? While not overly complex, Haibane Renmei is a deep series, and I would love it if you have any additional works to share in the comments below.