Town and Wall. Toga. Haibane Renmei
Having watched the first episode in Japanese now, I find the English voices to be very good matches for the Japanese voices. The dubbing company did a good job on voice actor selection.
The opening theme segment gives a good feel for what life is like for the haibane.
The designs for the town are very nice. The style used for the backgrounds, the pans across them, direct the eyes smoothly over the buildings, the doors and windows, shops, streets, and stairs. The various scenes shown one after another give a good feel for the environment.
This episode moved along with a nice, slow pace. The characters and their world are unfolding slowly, teaching both the viewer and Rakka about how the haibane co-exist with humans. Furthermore, not only are the haibane forbidden to leave town, but the humans as well. Why are they confined to the city’s outer walls? Why doesn’t the toga have a halo? For a second episode, the pacing of story and characters is nice.
I also wonder why the haibane may not use money, and what was the purpose of Rakka leaving a feather with her signature? Maybe the feather is what proved Rakka was a new haibane to the Haibane Renmei.
Nemu says Kana acts like Reki used to, which suggests to me that the haibane do age (as per my prior curiosity about it). This leaves them as being like humans reborn with wings, given a halo and told they (like the humans) may not leave town. They’re essentially kept closed off from the rest of the world, the haibane and the humans who know of them.
The thrift shop guy wins points for cutting and sewing the wing slits into the outfit for Rakka. I’ll be watching to see if any of the purchased outfit pieces appear worn by the haibane in later episodes.
Kuu has quickly become my favorite, being a bright-eyed, energetic character. Her wearing a sweater with a single pocket in the front is still a plus.