Archived Ramblings

August 18, 2002


Okay, first some site news. The recent outage was initiated by an unexpected server problem. This actually got resolved very quickly, but that left a domain registrar problem that took a long time to get straightened out Anyone who sent me e-mails that bounced during this time, please resend.

Still not much going on in the Daria world. No news about possible DVD releases of the episodes, and no change in Noggin's editing practices. Obviously nothing else is likely to come out of MTV, so Rambling updates will probably be few and far between.

And since I'm here, I'm going to mention a new anime that just finished airing in Japan. It's by Yoshitoshi ABe, character designer for Serial Experiments: Lain and inspiration for NieA_7.

It's called Haibane Renmei (official translation seems to be Charcoal Feather Federation). The main characters are the Haibane; no one is sure what they are, but they aren't quite human. Born from cocoons (often fully grown; the one in the sailor fuku above is newly hatched), they are given the halos they wear and grow wings with gray feathers. They live in the walled city of Guri in an unknown land. No one is allowed to enter the city except for the silent Tooga, nomads who wander from city to city to trade goods. In Guri the Haibane are protected by the Haibane Federation, a religious caste of some influence.

The artwork is wonderful, of course. Radix, the animation studio, managed to capture ABe's artwork surprisingly well for something televised. The music is a classical style score that fits very well with the atmosphere of the work. And this piece is very good at setting mood.
The characters and story are all quite real and interesting. I've heard it said of ABe that "he can make the extraordinary ordinary", meaning that he can come up with the most fantastic ideas and firmly ground them in reality, which is what he's done here. The city of Guri, with all of its strange rules and seeming caste restrictions, just seems to function like a real place.

I haven't seen all the episode yet, unfortunately, but this definitely looks like the best dramatic anime to come out of Japan this year. Expect this to show up in the US soon, as Pioneer has already been showing the preview DVD at US conventions and has basically admitted to having the license (although they have not made a formal announcement).


Sick, Sad World (the site) was created by Wraith