CCY has thrown down his Twelve Moments of Anime gauntlet, inviting others to join him everyday until Christmas in recalling their 12 favorite anime-related things of the year. NOTE: There’s a significant Haibane Renmei spoiler in this moment, so tread carefully.
I didn’t really care about Kuu. I barely knew her. Hell, I barely knew Rakka for that matter. These characters were all mysteries to me, living in a mysterious world, uncertain of the details and reasons for their strange existence. But when I saw Kuu’s halo flicker oh so slightly, I became concerned. I wondered when Rakka was going to mention it to someone. I may not know much about the Haibane, but I know a flickering light eventually dies out.
I didn’t know anything about Kuu. She had the least personality of all the Haibane in Old Home. Oh, she was likeable. And I didn’t want to see anything bad happen to her. But objectively speaking – no big loss. But then Kuu disappears. A blast of light is seen from a distance. And Rakka and company head to the dark and foreboding Western Woods, Haibane’s version of Fangorn Forest to try to find Kuu. Only to arrive to see nothing but her burned out halo. And the loss hit my chest like a sack of bricks. And it moved me as much as other deaths by characters that I’d gotten to like a lot more. Why was that? I didn’t have any attachment to Kuu. She was just another supporting character. But I think Yoshitobe Abe masterfully hit the core of something so very simple. No one likes to lose someone. And loss hurts. It’s not that deep. But it’s a universal theme that we can all relate to. So Rakka’s painful haze became my painful haze.