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Haibane Renmei

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This series, widely considered one of the very finest short animes, was based on a playful doujinshi created in 1998 by Yoshitoshi ABe, who was at the time working on the avant-garde anime Serial Experiments Lain. Produced by Radix (which had also adapted ABe's manga NieA_7), it ran in 13 episodes in October-December 2002. The scenario was written by ABe, who began (but soon abandoned) a doujinshi on the same topic. The series was directed by Tomokazu Tokoro, who had worked as a gengaman on Lain, then directed NieA.

Akira Takata provided character design, based on ABe’s doujinshi; a very wide ranging animator, he had contributed key animation to Cardcaptor Sakura, Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Samurai Champloo, and many others. (Including the hentai masterpiece Usagi-chan de Cue!!!. He’d stepped up to episode animation direction in NieA_7. On the strength of his work on this series, he has since served as senior animation director/character designer for major projects such as Natsume's Book of Friends (2008+) and IDOLM@STER (2011).

Original art from this series is unavailable, allegedly because it was destroyed by the studio for copyright reasons. Some settei and photocopied storyboard pages made it onto the market, but the most significant art consists of a series of post-production rilezu produced by Office F&O. This series was announced as being very limited: supposedly no more than twenty-five were made. However, these rilezu seem to keep cropping up on the market, and so I believe that quite a few more were made. (See the long note to the first item for details on this matter.)

While I have not, as a rule, patronized the rilezu market, this series is so fine and the art worth appreciating, even second hand through color copies and repro cels, that I'm happy to have put together this little collection.

 Reki and Hikari see Rakka arriving

 Reki and Hikari see Rakka arriving: Copy background

 OP: Kana leaving for work

 OP: Old Home (Background)

 OP: Nemu

 OP: Old Home (Background)

 Reki and Hikari hurry home

 Reki and Hikari hurry home: Copy background

 Reki sees Rakka’s wings sprout: A1 B1

 Reki sees Rakka’s wings sprout: A17, B8

 Reki sees Rakka’s wings sprout: Copy background

 Rakka in the Western Woods

 Rakka in the Western Woods: Copy Background

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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Presentation 8.82/10   Collection 9.47/10   Overall 9.03/10   Votes 84 votes
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