Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.
Haibane Renmei Vol. 3-4
Date 26 Dec 2005
After the disappearance of one of their number, there's a melancholy atmosphere within Old Home, and Rakka is most affected. Her wings become infected with the stains of Sin, and it's left to an unexpected source to save her from herself.
The final volume concentrates on Reki, Rakka's kindly mentor. Reki's past was particuarly traumatic and it begins to catch up with her as Reki's search for redemption takes her to extremes, and it falls to her charge to rescue her soul.
The final volumes of Haibane Renmei retain the wistful style of their predecessors, and those of you not enamoured by the unhurried pace prevalent in Old Home are going to find little to love here.
HR is an oddity. It relies on atmosphere and immersion in the characters in order to retain your attention, but you're offered little reward for your patience. The style is certainly beautiful and the music both eerie and reassuring at the same time, but action is thin on the ground, and if you can't stay awake (something I had particular problems with) then it'll be lost on you. And with an ending that answers very little, some may find it as frustrating an experience as it is beautiful.