Saturday, March 31, 2012

Darn ..... That ..... Bill!

One of the entrees typical of Bono Pizza.
Photo: Columbus Crave/Columbus Alive
Disclaimer: Parts of the following article are not meant to be condemnatory rants or whines. It's  all for entertainment purposes only.

                                              Darn ..... That ..... Bill!

      I attended Revoluticon for the almost express purpose of seeing Weatherly Hardy (Proprietor of Aardvark Tees.) at his booth in the dealers room. The con itself didn't hold much for me, it not being an anime only event. A lot was TV oriented & most of what was movie related I thought kind of dull. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, "Star Trek vs Star Wars"? Meh .....

      Getting to the dealers room, I find Mr. Hardy & his son Noel at the Aardvark Tees tables tucked away in one of the large rooms' corners. There we conversed almost two hours about politics (We're both more or less "small L" libertarians.), & media related topics. As five o'clock was nearing, I had to embark for the Godzilla seminar on the 6th floor.

      The seminar was on the original 1954 Japanese language version of the aforementioned film. Somewhat disappointing, I knew more about it than the two panelists (I'm such a nerd!) . I will say they knew more about the other films in the franchise.

      Six o'clock rolls around & it's back to the now shut down dealers room. Weatherly & I pre-planned to go out for pizza. Some weeks before, he had a posting on his blog about the merits of Lenders bagels & other cuisine. I happened to mention the subject of wood fired pizza & where to get it in Columbus.

      Bono Pizza is a "hole in the wall" establishment in the back of The Corner Market (1717 Northwest Blvd. At the corner of Chambers & Northwest Blvd. in front of a Krogers grocery.) the proprietor being a one Bill Yerkes.

      Mr. Yerkes is, to say the least, an interesting sort. Sort of a cross between Strother Martin & Ed Wood Jr. A child of the 50s/60s, he's been all over the world "been there done that ..... twice." A real life Captain Tylor, he joined the Navy & managed to avoid basic training. Managed night clubs for the Navy & owned/operated restaurants literally from Palermo to Podunk.

      Columbus certainly looks different at night. After at least three wrong turns we managed to arrive at Bono Pizza. There we were greeted by Peggy, Bills' "long suffering" wife & sat ourselves down. It didn't take long for Bill to find us.

      "Hi Jay! I see you & your friends are in town for the hentai convention!"

      Kill me ..... Kill me now God ..... Make it quick ..... Painless if possible.

      Bill looks on my interest in anime as more a predilection than a hobby & insists on calling ALL anime hentai. He definitely knows the difference but he'll be dipped if he's going to verbally acknowledge that. He also likes to refer to my large old car as "the pedo-mobile" thus furthering my exasperation (I prefer my women real & of legal age, thank you.). Needless to say both Weatherly & Noel found much amusement in this & were quite audible about it.

      While waiting for our goodies, Bill regaled them with "sea stories" especially about trips between Pensacola & Mobile via Foley, Alabama.

      We, of course, enjoyed our pizzas (Mr. Hardy had nothing but praise & did a nice write-up in a posting on his blog.) & we finished it off with a Belgian waffle. At one point, Weatherly stepped out to make a call, his business covering two other cons (St. Louis & Atlanta.). I didn't think much of this until a couple days later.

      As we departed, I noticed Peg sitting in a chair on the restaraunts' patio watching us intently. Didn't know what to make of that until ..... I noticed a hastily scrawled sign hanging in the drivers side window of my car.


      This ..... next to the sidewalk ..... for all the world to see.

      My bowels in a turmoil.

      "What the ..... Herp! ..... D' ..... gack!"

      Noel, who was about to get in the back seat, drivers' side, also saw it & busts up laughing.

      "I don't stinkin' believe this! Holy ..... Weatherly! Take a look at this!"

      He comes around the car & cracks up too. Ah yes ..... sympathy ..... Where is it? Oh yeah ..... in the dictionary ..... between s--t & suicide!

      Back on the patio Peg's clapping & laughing her head off. Bill ..... nowhere to be seen (He was in & out all the time, attending to some cooking pasta.).

      We pile into the car & Noel has to put his five cents worth in:

      "Hi Jay! I'm Chris Hanson. Have a seat!"

      Nothing ..... but ..... abuse.

      After a few more wrong turns we got a quick tour of my favorite part of Columbus on High St. The now closed down Zanes' Gun Rack (A story in & of itself.), the gym that used to be the Camelot/Drexel North Theater, The Soldiery (wargames), & The Laughing Ogre (Manga, comics.).

       I drop them off at the Ramada Plaza & do a quick look-see of the con only to find nothing of interest. It was off to the folks to celebrate St. Pats' the next day.

      Monday I get a call from Bill, who, to say the least, was quite pleased with his little joke. It turns out Weatherly had a hand in it. He suggested "free candy" instead of toys on the sign.

      Sigh ..... I've a host of friends. And with friends like these .....

The Aardvarks Plumbline blog here.

Go to Main Page here.

DISCLAIMER: All images used on this blog are strictly copyrights of their owners. I do not claim credit/ownership for any images used here in my blog unless stated otherwise. If I have offended anyone by posting any images on my blog, please contact me via email and I will remove specified image(s) ASAP.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Non-Negotiable: A Hell Girl Fan Fiction

The "D-Team". L-R Ren Ichimoku, Hone Onna, Kikuri, Ai Enma (Hell Girl) & Wanyudo.

                                     Non-Negotiable: A Hell Girl Fan Fiction


                                                                     C V Ford

      "So", Ren called from the porch, "did it go well miss?"

      The somber young lady in black fuku raised her sight from where she was walking to the four on the porch.

      "As could  be expected. He's ..... thinking it over."

      "They often do." Hone Onna demurely sat lotus fashion to the left of the small houses' main entrance. The "bone womans'" role in this case as an office secretary revealed much about their client. "Though this one's not known for hasty descisions to begin with."

      "He didn't get to the top of one of the worlds' largest corporations through hastiness." Ren looked out over the crimson tinted lakeview. "He is, after all, quite the ..... uh ..... wheeler dealer."

      "I'll never understand this working away behind the scenes," Wanyudo stated. "It was there in my day but less so. We were more direct then."

      "He was ..... direct enough."

      The three adults looked at Ai quizzically while Kikuri sat seemingly unconcerned as she gazed on a spiderweb at the end of the porch.

      "He tried to negotiate a price of his own."

      Hone Onna, knowing something more of price said, "of course there's only one acceptable."

      "Yes .... "


      Ken Fuyutsuke sat at his desk, both hands flat on the top. "Staring" up at him, the straw doll with red thread about the neck lay as stark testimony to the only one deal he couldn't talk down. A deal that could make his company ahead in the field for possibly decades but also "break" him for eternity.

      Yes, the object of his hatred was ruining the company. The advocacy of outmoded methods & misguided policy was bound to wreck everything. It was as if the firms' journey on the road to ruin was deliberate. The old fool was seemingly determined to destroy everything Ken & others had painstakingly built up. And Fuyutskes' hands were tied, unable to do anything to stop it. Unless .....

      He tried buying the young ladys' services to no avail. Hell had more than enough of its' own resources & of what use was money to the eternal anyway? No, only the usual one time fee would suffice. One he could not pay. Or could he?

      A conversation from long ago came to mind. Over cocktails in New York City with a journalist & author by the name of Peter Fallow. The writer made a reputation for himself in writing a first hand account of a civil rights case in which a one Sherman McCoy was exonerated.

      It was a philisophical conversation about compromise of principle & resulting loss. A passage from the Christian Bible came to mind & he asked it of the author:

      "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36)

      He remembered Fallow looking at him & without hesitation firing back a pithy reply that only Americans seemed good at giving.

      "It has its' compensations."

      Indeed .....

Copyright © 3-28-2012 Jay Agan

I wrote this as a crossover of sorts to the film The Bonfire of the Vanities.

My Hell Girl fan fics:

Damnation & Denial here.

Application here.

Go to Main Page here.

Disclaimer: The preceeding is a NON-PROFIT work of fan fiction for entertainment purposes only. I make no claim to ownership of the copyrighted names/characters & places mentioned in this work. They are the sole properties of Studio Deen, Sentai Filmworks & Warner Bros. Please, by all means support the owners of such properties in the purchase & enjoyment of their products.

DISCLAIMER: All images used on this blog are strictly copyrights of their owners. I do not claim credit/ownership for any images used here in my blog unless stated otherwise. If I have offended anyone by posting any images on my blog, please contact me via email and I will remove specified image(s) ASAP

Monday, March 26, 2012

Haibane Renmei: Awww Rats!

This is only a parody of Haibane Renmei The show is not like this.
L-R Kuu, Rakka, Hikari, Reki, Nemu, Kana

                                            Haibane Renmei: Awww Rats!

      So I get back home after an overniter with the folks that was preceeded by attendance at Revoluticon (More on that later this week.). As is my want I tour the four Half Price Books stores in Columbus before getting back to Delaware. After visiting a "friend" (More on him & another "friend" in the afore-mentioned not yet article. By the way, the "friends" are still friends.), I make a stop at the Half Price on Lane Avenue. With Half Price, Big Lots, & Amazon (used), I can feed my movie/cartoon/anime habit on substantially less than otherwise.

      Some weeks back I purchased & reviewed an anime called Haibane Renmei. I'm glad I got it & still glad I got it when I did. I didn't think I would ever see this out of "print" show again at such a comparitively low price that I paid & certainly not on the shelves at Half Price which is pretty much catch as catch can. But there it was & at ,,,,, half the price I got it: Matching disc cases, slipcover & all!

      Had I but known ..... but then, you can't predict the future & as I've "said" before, I'm glad I got it when I got it. All the same ..... Grumble! Grumble!

      Oh yes, anime fans. If you haven't seen Haibane Renmei, I suggest you do.

My Haibane Renmei review here.

Aardvarks Plumbline blog here.

Bono to Go (PIZZA!) here.

Go to  Main Page here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Three Stooges: I Gotta Catch This!

                                    The Three Stooges: I Gotta Catch This!

New Stooges! Will "Curly" Sasso, John "Moe" Diamontopoulos & Sean "Larry" Hayes.

      Sorry anime fans, this is not the moe' some of you strange ones are into. Nothing cute, feminine, or frilly about it. This is the in your face, eye poking, wise crackin', English fracturing, VIOLENT (In a fun way.) Moe we oldsters grew up with.

      I recall when Screen Gems released the old Columbia short comedies to TV on an unsuspecting generation in the fifties & thus ruining/enhancing the childhood of millions. As a kid in Elmira, NY. I would watch the daily episodes religiously. Moe was my mentor, Curly my idol, Larry my moderator.

The originals! L-R Larry Fine, Moe Howard & brother Curly Howard.

      I had misgivings when I heard this movie was in progress but after seeing the trailors, some of them have been disspelled. Diamontopoulos' Moe looks spot on. Sassos' Curley also. Hayes' Larry is great.

      Supporting cast looks good too. Larry David as ..... Mother Mengele? Great name! And appropriate. If the trailers are any indication, it affirms my views about nuns growing up as a "good Catholic boy".Not a fan of nuns.

      So, I'm going to take this in come April. Hopefully the movie lives up/down to its trailers.


Official trailer #1 here.

Official trailer #2 here.

The Three Stooges ARE The A-Team! here.

Go to Main Page here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Sansei Shooter

                                                   The Sansei Shooter

Hordes of malcontents leaving tax-payer supplied resort. That's gratitude for ya!

      While working at the pistol range in Powell Ohio back in the 90s, I would often avail myself of conversation with the various clientele. One interesting fellow comes to mind. The only Japanese redneck I've ever met.

      He worked in the offices of a gravel quarry in southwest Columbus. In his late fifties/early sixties, wearing (Depending on the weather.) a worn blue jacket or a ratty t-shirt, he'd come in once a week smoking one of those big cigars of his, to "shoot the bull".

      We always got a charge out of this guy (Sadly, he's no longer with us. Damn cancer.). He'd regal us with tales of the bad ole days of living in the OSU area during the sixties (The National Guard was called out on various occasions, not because of political "activism" but because THE BUCKEYES! won/lost a game. Nowadays it's just 12th Ave. going up in smoke.), or the drawbacks & merits of the various models of Harley & Triumph bikes.

      Invariably the discussion got to politics, particularly gun control. We of course all agreed it was a matter of putting the second round through the hole the first one made & not the lofty non-solutions as proposed by the starry eyed, self appointed, would be saviors of our souls. One quote of his I'll never forget:

      "They say waiting periods (For gun purchases.) are for cooling you down. Bulls--t! I've been divorced from my ex-wife for over twenty years & I still wanta' kill her!"

      On another occasion, I asked why he owned guns. He gave an answer that's stuck with me to this day:

      "I was born in a concentration camp at Tule Lake in northern California. This was where they sent 'troublemakers'. My mom was there because she wouldn't sign a loyalty oath. She said she was an American & didn't have to sign so they sent her there. I may not remember much of it at all but they 'did it' to me before, they're not going to 'do it' to me again. That's why I own guns."

Hey! It's the gummint wot determines who/what's
American, not you pal. Now that we got THAT straight .....

Enjoying tax-payer funded meals. Darn freeloaders!

      This was in sharp contrast to the reaction I got from a regular customer from Yokohama who was in the U.S. for his company. He was a bit aghast when I stated that any of the internees had the perfect right to shoot anyone taking them to a "relocation center". That "go with the flow" mentality I'll never understand.

      Things are different everywhere.

Article copyright © 3-22-2012 Jay Agan

Makes me PROUD to be an Amurikan. An iffen yew don'
think so mebbe yew awtta go someplace lahk Rooshia!

Propaganda film extolling the benefits of "internment" here. The gummint only had the best of intentions & their welfare in mind.

George "Mr. Sulu" Takei puts to rest any misgivings about "internment" here. He has nothing but praise for it.

Pat Morita talks about "internment"s' joys & wonders here.

Ruth Voorhies talks about her stay in a gummint furnished vacation wonderland here.

Go to Main Page here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How ..... How DARE he .....! The Offending of Haruhi Suzumiya

                    How ..... How DARE he .....! The Offending of Haruhi Suzumiya


                                                                  Jay Agan

      A week or three ago, an aquaintance on a not to be mentioned blog was waxing rhapsodic over My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (He watches it with his children. I'm not sure wether or not he would be caught dead watching by himself I KNOW I wouldn't.) In the spirit of good natured ribbing, I chided him with a reply to his post: A faux mini-rant on hypoglycemic cuteness & vomitability. He actually had the temerity to reply to my reply.

This also was in his blog post.

      He explained the present reinvention of MLP was miles ahead of its' 80s incarnation & perhaps I might give it a try (He also asked why I hated sunshine & if I was a servant of darkness! He got one out of two. Big deal!). Hmmph! In a later blogpost he embedded a youtube segment of the show & from that I would say it does seem better than the sickly sweetness of the past. Oooo ..... Kaaay. Howsomever .....

An "anthromorph" of the Applejack character from the My
Little Pony: Friendship is Magic! series. Hmm. If the show was
more like this I might watch it! Cider! Cider! Cider! Cider!

      He then ends his reply-reply with: "I mean, you watch Haruhi Suzumiya...."  *grin*


      How ..... how ..... Dare he. How dare he even think of comparing the wonder of the greatest anime ever to the insipid drivil of MLP? How can he just callously plunk the most awesome show in the universe next to the sickening sacharinity (If that wasn't a word before, it is now!) of that tawdry little toon? I ask you, what kind of twisted logic could come up with such unfathomable reasoning? It .... it's ..... beyond mind boggling. And believe you me, I'm as boggled as they come!

      Now that I've given my obligatory (And enthusiastic!) defense of the Goddess, I'll now address something else: That last statement of his reply-reply seemed to imply something. Something others have murmurred under their breath for quite some time. Some folks may be thinking I harbor some kind of unhealthy obsession with The Melancholy of  Haruhi Suzumiya.

      NOTHING ..... COULD ..... BE ..... FURTHER ..... FROM ..... THE ..... TRUTH .....

      Yes, the theological whackness is one of the things that attracted me to the show (Think of it as sorta kinda a lighter hearted Serial Experiments Lain.).

      The convolutedness of the various episode orders make for interesting viewings (Is that a "stand alone" episode or ..... something else?).

      The conspiritorial (Implied or other wise.) "wheels within wheels" agendas of the various character/factions involved.

      The gradual descent into Hitchcockian madness, Stroheimlike darkness & noir of Endless Eight.

      Yes, I do have both seasons of the show.

      And The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya film.

      I also have all the episodes of The Melancholy of Haruhi-CHAN Suzumiya.

      Along with the Nyoron! Churuya-san eps. But mind you, that's only because they came with the previous mentioned.

      I have even downloaded the light novels. I have read each one ONLY about five times each (So don't anyone think I have nothing better to do. And when I find the time I'll do it.).

      I would also like to state that that my VERY MILD (!) enthusiasm has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL to do with the fact that the title character bears a superficial resemblance to a fondly remembered girlfriend from long ago (We were both in our early twenties so don't get any ideas.). This was the young lady who "attacked" & severly injured me at a showing of Phantasm in the late seventies.

      Looked like Haruhi, & had the personality of Yuki. Except when she'd get emotional. Then she was like Mikuru on Sunoco Blue. I miss her. As the song goes, "You don't know what you got til it's gone". Well ..... when you're young & stupid .....


If I were a toon, this would be my belief system.

      So one could hardly say I'm actually FIXATED on this show. Mildly amused by it? Sure. But OBSESSED!? Nawwww! No way! I mean ..... after all ..... it's only a cartoon ..... right? RIGHT!?

      Be that as it may, I'm not interested in ordinary people. But if any of you happen to be aliens, time travelers or espers, please come see me.

      That is all.


Article copyright © 3-16-2012 Jay Agan

Aardvarks' Plumbline blog here.

Hitler becomes a brony here.

Go to Main Page here.

DISCLAIMER: All images used on this blog are strictly copyrights of their owners. I do not claim credit/ownership for any images used here in my blog unless stated otherwise. If I have offended anyone by posting any images on my blog, please contact me via email and I will remove specified image(s) ASAP.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interesting Search Words #11

                                                  Interesting Search Words #11

      Yes! Weird people looking for even stranger things on the web. Some of them even come here!

1. apocalyptic anime porn - One can only wonder as to what kind of theology THAT guy is into.

2. baby cthulhu, moe' cthulhu - Even Jeffrey Dahmer was someones' little baby once. Movie reviews here & here.

Credit: John F. Sebastian

3. ayanami racer - Everyone is when Third Impact hits.

4. evangelion derp - Here's mine (Back when I had misconceptions about the show.).

I wonder if the John Birch Society's got the lowdown on this bunch.

5. images of japan travel ads with rei ayanami - I always said it would take more than a quake to keep me away. THAT would do it!

6. hot chick dressed as pokemon - I think he was looking for this:

Isn't that ..... Spring Thomas? Looks a lot like her. 

7. cthulhu why settle for the lesser evil - Why indeed? I still voted for Ron Paul.

THE Ron Paul Pyramid of Greatness. Save this to your hard drive,
expand it on your viewer, & you'll see why I voted the way I did.

8. haruhi kyon marriage - Do you really want THAT to happen? Well ..... Do you? Let's leave things the way they are!

Great! That's JUST what we need! More oblivious dieties
running around! This makes Third Impact look good!

9. jays grave - What the .....! Now I'm nervous!

Go to Main Page here.

DISCLAIMER: All images used on this blog are strictly copyrights of their owners. I do not claim credit/ownership for any images used here in my blog unless stated otherwise. If I have offended anyone by posting any images on my blog, please contact me via email and I will remove specified image(s) ASAP.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Damnation and Denial: A Hell Girl Fanfiction

Hell Girl/Jigoku Shoujo "Ask not for whom she waits for. She waits for thee."
Credit: Studio Deen

                                      Damnation and Denial: A Hell Girl Fanfiction


                                                                             C V Ford

      His struggle to revive over, the man looked up into the gray void above, faculties kicking in to the task of comprehension. He felt the gentle sway & rock of ..... "A boat?"

      Abruptly sitting up, his eyes traveled down the length of the small craft & into the pale, red-eyed visage of ..... her ..... that otherworldly young girl, appearing out of nowhere reciting that strange chant & even stranger gestures. Now he was ..... where?

      He scanned  a "360" out over the vast, stagnant, expanse. Only jutting rocks & floating paper lanterns lighting the way breaking the bleak monotony. Looming behind in the boats' direction a great black ceremonial gate rose through the oppressive haze. A heretofore fear of something denied all his life came to the forefront of the mans' mind. A fear of .....

      "Young lady!?" Dredging up courage to dispell his inwardly clawing doubts. "Explain yourself & this ..... Immediately!"

      The girl in the ornate flowered kimono stared back in emotionless, stoic, deadpan.

      "WHO are you!? WHAT is the meaning of this ..... & where are YOU taking me!?"

      Working the tiller/paddle side to side, she let out a wearied, slightly tortured sigh. In the centuries of executing her stygian task she had come to know the inevitable course of  conversation of his type all too well.

      "My name ..... is Ai ....."

      "So ....."

      "As for meaning, I have long since stopped questioning why things are as they are. I only know ..... THEY ARE ....."


      "..... & where you are going is the place where the damned & dishonored dwell."

      "You don't mean ..... In all seriousness you believe such a place ....."

      "Yes ..... it is."

      "Young lady .....", he started in that faux serious mocking tone he was notoriously world famous for. "I've spent most of my life ..... proving time & again that such as you say is total rubbish, a demented fantasy. And if you think ..... for one moment I ....."

      "Your non-belief matters not."

      "Quite the contrary! I ....."

      "It is of no consequence."

       The eerie sereneness & finality of her abrupt replies only served to aggravate the arrogant scholar further. He decided on a new tack ....."

      "Really,"he drawled,"I suppose this loving God you serve is above the hypocrisy of condemning me ..... as if ....."

      "The ONE who even my master serves is blameless."


      "It is we who condemn ourselves." Something she knew well enough, having separated herself from the divine so long ago. "As have you ..... & the one who entered into a covenant with me to take you here."


      "And your belief ..... or lack of it ..... is about to change."

      "Enough of this!"

      He held back. Even a fraction of his strength was more than enough to give him the physical advantage over this pale strip of a girl. His resolve to use it was tempered by giving her a last chance before he would take action.

      "It's obvious an enormously elaborate joke is being pulled on me. I ..... am ..... not ..... amused ..... in ..... the ..... slightest. You WILL turn  this boat around & you WILL take me to shore. NOW! ..... or else."

      The calm non-response from the girl as she continued moving the boat into the gates' shadow infuriated him to the point of action. He launched himself forward, fully intent on taking over & even administering some "chastisement" (A thought he now more than relished.) into the bargain.

      The man lurched back down as abruptly as he started. The multitude of hands, seemingly growing from the very wood grain of the vessel itself, held him firm, secure. The foundational cracks in his sanity growing ever wider.

      "Impossible! This isn't real! I refuse to accept even the possibility of this! This ....."

      The small boat passed under the black gate.

      "..... is vengeance. And I ..... am to ferry you to Hell."

Copyright © 3-8-2012 Jay Agan

Another Hell Girl fan fiction story here.

Hell Girl reviews here & here.

Go to Main Page here.

Disclaimer: The preceeding is a NON-PROFIT work of fan fiction for entertainment purposes only. I make no claim to ownership of the copyrighted names/characters, places, & some events mentioned in this work. They are the sole properties of Studio Deen. Please, by all means support the owners of such properties in the purchase & enjoyment of these products.

DISCLAIMER: All images used on this blog are strictly copyrights of their owners. I do not claim credit/ownership for any images used here in my blog unless stated otherwise. If I have offended anyone by posting any images on my blog, please contact me via email and I will remove specified image(s) ASAP

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I Voted Today

I Voted Today

"Super Tuesday" In Ohio.

For Ron Paul.


Credit: Joe Corrao

I am tired

Of the same old liberals & conservatives.

With the same old solutions.

For the same old problems.

That the same old liberals & conservatives caused in the first place.

Taxes out the posterior.

Special interests.

Endless wars.

Big government.

Demanding "constituencies".

Liberatives. Conservatals. Republicrats. Demicans. Reft. Light.

Credit: Joe Corrao

A festering pox on both your houses!

Liberty. Freedom. Being left the hell alone .....

First! Last! Always!

Joe Corraos' 4 Eyed Animation website here.

Go to Main Page here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Haibane Renmei: One Side of the Equation

Main cast with a couple of "young feathers". L-R Kuu, Rakka,
Hikari, Kana, Nemu, & Reki. Credit: Yshitobe Abe, Radix

                                         Haibane Renmei: One Side of the Equation


                                                                          Jay Agan

      I'd heard much of Haibane Renmei (Charcoal Feathers Federation) & those who have seen it have given it nothing but praise. As it has a theological theme to it, I decided to give it a try. I put off for weeks getting it. The price through Amazon (used) I thought to be exorbitant & the gray market vendor (Then also through Amazon.) though quite reasonably priced, I was leery of. (For an account of my experience with gray market, go here.)

      The original U.S. marketer of Haibane Renmei, Geneon, had long since gone. I remember buying three of their live action film noirs at Big Lots. Only one (The Big Combo, starring Cornel Wilde & Richard Conte.) I kept.

      Finally breaking down, I shelled out the bucks for it. The actual vender was Spin Cycle. When it arrived, I was quite disappointed. Instead of the box set I got four standard "clamshell" single disc cases in bubble wrap. The first three were Pioneer, the fourth a Geneon/Pioneer. They had sent me "odds 'n ends"! Needless to say I was a bit ticked off. Howsomever .....

      On further reading about the rarity of this long "out of print" series & the difficulty many others had in obtaining it, I concluded I was fortunate to have it at all. While I considered what I purchased to be pricey, others were asking for much more. Well over a hundered dollars in just about every other case. Mine was well under that. For all I know, I may be the last to have gotten it at such a comparitively low price (A decorative cardboard slipcase for a c-note? No way!). That being said, I sat back, relaxed, & enjoyed the show.

      In the first episodes' opening credits, a young girl experiences a vivid dream of falling toward a town arranged in a spoke wheel fashion. A crow (Which figures later in the series.) tries to save her from her descent but she "rejects" it out of hand. Waking from her dream she finds herself floating in a cocoon like mass & claws her way out. On reviving, she is ministered to by "angelic" beings (They have halos & vestigial wings.) who inform her she is one of them, a Haibane (Hi-bah-nay). In spite of their looks they're not angels. Like them, she has no recollection of her previous life but for a few very vague memories. After being given her name based on her "cocoon dream" (Rakka means falling.) & "fitted" with a halo (It won't stay on at first.) she goes through the painful/feverish process of sprouting wings & her arrival being "finalized". Thus ends ep one.

Credit: Shawn Merrow

      The next 4 1/2 eps are backdrop. The Haibane residence of "Old Home" is a run down dormitory/fort/convent(?) on the outskirts of a town called Gurie/Glie inhabited mostly by normal humans. The area is surrounded by a high wall (Dangerous to be near, the very touch could bring about serious illness, even death.), none allowed in or out thus NO ONE knows anything about the outside world. The Haibane beings are administered directly by the Haibane Renmei (Charcoal Feathers Federation)  composed of the toga, mute semi masked beings led by the fully masked Washi/Communicator (He presides from the Haibane temple.) who alone can speak.

      The Haibane live by strict rules: They aren't allowed to handle money (Only scrip from notebooks), can only own used items, & must work for a living. It is during this period Rakka spends time with some of the others to see what jobs they do & try to figure what she would be good at (Nemu works in the library, the mechanically inclined Kana for a clock maker/repairman, Hikari - who inadvertantly "reinvents" doughnuts with the halo mold - the bakery.). Along the way, she is mentored by Reki & Kuu, an anxious adolescent wanting to be "more adult".

      At first it is not totally clear as to why the Haibane are there & it's gradually revealed the setting is an elaborate "purgatory" where one unloads spiritual/emotional "baggage" before passing on. About the middle of ep 4 we find out in the form of the adolescent Kuu when she departs on her "Day of Flight". When a Haibane attains a profound sense of accomplishment or fulfillment she/he becomes somewhat withdrawn & introspective. After a time the person will, unannounced, go off to the ancient ruins in the western woods & disappear in an upward beam of light, the implications being one has gone to a better place. In Kuus' case it is through her helping out of the "older" Rakka to adjust that a sense of maturity has blossomed.

      Rakkas' adjustment has seemingly been partially undone by this & the fact the others have been holding information from her. She then slowly descends into a depressive funk that over time takes its toll in the revelation of her sin bound state & its' physical & emotional consequences. It turns out she's not the only one & that other has it much worse than she. Therein hangs the rest of the tale. I won't reveal the rest, you can look that up on Wikipedia.

The main protagonst, Rakka, pondering twin cocoons. Credit: Radix

      What I find most intrigueing about this show is its explanation of the realisation of sin & the mental states one is in before & after. In the 9th episode the question is asked if wether or not one is still sin bound if one realizes that one is a sinner. The communicator replies to the effect that if one does not realize one is a sinner (Or perhaps even knowingly refuses to acknowlege it.) he will not break himself out of the "circle of sin" & thus be trapped in it.

      The bad actions/things/results people do are not "sin" themselves. Merely the results of our sin bound state when we let our baser nature have its way. How sad it is one has things standing in the way between God & oneself. Pride (I can't be a sinner! I'm too good!), embarrassment/self hatred (Self explanatory.), foolishness (I'm too good to be bad or at least "bad" enough to be fun.), or perhaps something we don't want to give up &/or stop doing. We rationalise, ignore, evade, "forget", & thus keep ourselves in the vicious cycle.

      How does one get out of it or at least cope with this seemingly endless trap?

      The realisation that one is a sinner is only "one side of the equation", it is but the first step.

       Romans 1:18-32 pretty much states the general mentality of fallen man & why no one is blameless in regard to the state of sin. By the way, it's not because I'm lazy I'm not typing these verses down. I want you to actually look them up yourself. If you really care about this & are not content to just critique or do a "put down" while remaining willingly unknowing then you will actually get a bible & LOOK.

       Romans 3:10, 3:23, & Psalms 14:3 - Again, no one is blameless. If you have trouble wrapping your mind around this, think of it as you would an illness or physical condition. It is a state which we are born under.

      Romans 5:12 - The how & why we are that way. Adam is the reason we're under the weight of sin & trapped in this deadly cycle.

      Romans 5:8 & 6:23 - Jesus is the way out. The other side of the equation. With our acknowledgement of our sinbound state we can go on to have the Lord correct that.

      Romans 10:13 & 10:9-10 - This is the how in regard to Jesus. Do these & the cycle breaks & has no claim on you.

      Of course, it goes without saying, "Go & sin no more". I really stink at this. However, one should always keep going back & asking the Lord for guidance & strength to resist (It's called prayer.). For guidance I strongly suggest one get in touch with a strong bible believing pastor/church in your area.

      Revelation 3:20 - Jesus is waiting for you to answer. He has been there all along knocking. It could be you just didn't (Or didn't want to.) hear it.

What the ..... Kagura & Kaorin didn't make it? Aww man! Makes you wonder how Tomo
got a "pass". Most of the Azumanga kids cosplaying as Haibane. L-R Tomo "Kana" Takino,
 Yomi "Nemu" Mizuhara,Chiyo-chan "Rakka" Mihama, "Reki" Sakaki, & "Hikari" Osaka.

      I understand that Funimation may have the license to market Haibane Renmei here in the U.S. Write/email them to "get on the stick" & get this out. Even if not, try to obtain this 13 ep series. It's well worth your time watching.

A couple of Haibane Renmei fan fiction stories of mine here & here.

On the Rapture, Third Impact, Armageddon & All That similar article here.

Haibane Renmei music video (J. J. Jones' Mad World) here.

Haibane Renmei music video (Credits music from Paprika.) here. Not so good video quality but I like it.

Wikipedia review here.

Angel Beats (Another "purgatory" anime.) review here.

Go to Main Page here.

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