[There’s no alt-text/titles on this one.]
I have no idea if I should recommend Haibane Renmei.
On a seemingly unrelated note, I didn’t particularly like the film Pan’s Labyrinth. I didn’t dislike it either. It just never quite entertained me, moved me enough for me to really like it. But technically it was brilliant. There’s no denying the quality of the movie or the skill in its creation.
Haibane Renmei is similar in this regard.
For one thing, it’s beautiful. The art, animation and the music. Even the sound effects are quality. (I’d recommend subs over dub on this one, by the way)
It has a slow pace (not as slow as Kino’s Journey) but the intrigue of the early episodes carries it well. That very intrigue is the the reason that if you’re going to watch it, you must go in blind.
Don’t Wikipedia it, don’t ask anyone for a summary or find any clips. Just let it take you for a ride. I’m even resisting putting pictures or embedding music for this reason.
I can’t promise it will be worth the time, but I think if you have it to spare, you should give this anime a try. It’s exceptionally well crafted. It’s just that opinion on the story is up to you, I’m afraid.
Hell, it might just be worth it to see that anime can do something other than robots and ninjas.
(and remember – I’m in the minority about Pan’s Labyrinth!)
Continues for bullet-point-esque spoiler discussion:
First anime on the list is Kino’s Journey – the Japanese title is Kino no Tabi. I’ve seen it referred to by both across the internet. This is annoying.
It is about a traveller called Kino and her motorbike (referred to as a motorrad) named Hermes – which can inexplicably talk.
Each episode is about the strange people or stranger countries the pair happens upon in their travels. I really like the concept. (I’m at the age where I’m preoccupied with the idea of travelling and learning more about the world lately – I wonder why this happens to people…)
I’m going to mention the passable music early for the sake of the video below. The music generally suits the anime, as do the opening and ending songs, although none of it is particularly spectacular. There is one incidental part of the soundtrack played a few times throughout the show that I really liked though. I crudely ripped it myself since it’s not available commercially, if you want to give it a listen: