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Haibane renmei (2002)
Somewhere between heaven and earth
One of the most beautiful anime I've ever seen: Haibane Renmei tells the story of a weird afterlife, where angels (the Haibanes) and ordinary people coexist in a small town surrounded by a huge wall, meant to protect them from the outside. Some elements are taken from Christian mythology, but mainly this is an extraordinary and original tale: in this place the Haibanes loose their very personal memories and they're given a chance to loose the remnants of their sins (like in the purgatory). Some are without a sin, others carry a burden from their previous existence: burdens from a present day society, where loneliness and desperation are deep within the people. Abe's suggestive loaded oil (?) paintings pop up here and there and the background music is perfect, what else can we wish for?