This past weekend, I marathoned the series “Man in the High Castle.” It was everything I expected from a PKD-Ridley Scott combination. I was pleased to see Rufus Sewell again, even if he is playing a Nazi. One of my favorite movies is “Dark City,” and he did superlative work in that.
Anyway. At the end of Ep10, I sat and thought a bit and came to the conclusion that – at this point of my life – I simply do not have what it takes to write political-espionage. I am shelving “Crosses and Doublecrosses,” for now. So… what now? I stared at the empty formal dining table, wondering when my wife would come home from her radiation treatments and what the Hell I was to do with my life.
Dated it may be, but my all-time favorite anime is “Haibane Renmei.” A brief review can be found here. A huge, spoiler-laden takedown can be found here. It’s very difficult for me to say what it’s about without ruining it; I could do it with a single word. It’s an extremely complex moral and theological story; amazing that a non-Christian Japanese writer seems to have a better feel for my faith than many of my co-religionists.
Some years back, a chap took the character models from HR and made a 30s video, based on a trailer for “Constantine,” a good, but very erratic movie. You can see the video here. While there are icebergs of story just below the surface of HR proper, just to look at it, it appears to be cute-girls doing cute-things. Guristantine is not that at all. Just as with the two ideas that were the genesis of “The Fourth Law,” the series and the video curled up in my unconscious, and waited.
Going back to our collaboration of 3-AR Studios LLC for our visual novels, my friend and colleague, Will, and I, had long thought of a live-action Haibane Renmei. We talked scenes, locations, actors… but nothing came of it. A few days after deciding to abandon “C&DC,” it came to me (how? how does this stuff just come to me??) to make a live-action series, based on HR; not just an adaptation….
One set in hard-edged Abandoned Factory, not the safety of Old home. One with deeply flawed characters, desperate to understand themselves and where they are. One where violence and sex are – if not out in the open – not pretended to not exist. One where the abandonment of either wing of the human soul (faith and reason) leads quickly to madness. One where… okay; you get it: I saw quite a lot, quickly.
Below the fold is a pretty raw treatment of what you could call a trailer for a six-episode series of 30-minute shows. I’m bricked in to swim meets for my girls all this weekend, and will be writing as much as I see, which, so far, is quite a bit. If any of this tickles your forebrain, leave a comment. I’m planning on throwing a couple of grand of my money at this, at least for the trailer. We’ll see what happens beyond that.
(music: horns, muted, but ominous)
(scene: dusty, ruined office, few desks along walls, ratty bed in center. Looking away from camera, in the bed, Akaiame pushes her torso up, (hips and down under covers, otherwise naked) regards young Haibane male, Nike, sitting on reversed chair 5′ further away. Two, odd, indeterminate lumps on her back.)
“I want out of here.”
(Nike grins playfully)
“You just got here!”
(Her new wings fly open, throwing blood everywhere, incl onto Nike and lens)
“I want out!”
(Closeup on Nike. Drops head, nods, looks away)
“We all do.”
(music: speedmetal; cf. Guristantine)
(15s montage, all scenes at night: the wall, the town, Akaiame and AF Haibane stealing, chased by Tooga…)
(music: pan flute, soft)
(scene: by candlelight, a 12 yr old girl YF, peeks around a corner of a dirty wall)
“I know a way out.” Softly.
(Cut to Akaiame sharpening a knife; she looks towards girl; her cigarette drops out of her mouth.
(montage: girl leads Akaiame into woods, Akaiame loses more and more of her stuff; dark now; girl kisses A. Flash of light. We see A holding girls dirty shift and halo. A cries)
“I’ll never get out.”
(unpleasant raspy male voice )
“I’ve a way.”
(music: speedmetal reprise)
(scenes: 15s of A helping shadowy form of Engineer. Culminates with armed Tooga breaking into AF. )
(scene: on the roof of AF; a huge concrete block drops: the counterweight that propels their glider off the roof. Akaiame glances down at a human male youth running towards AF. She wraps her arms around E and closes her eyes. Camera pans back to show super thunderstorm just ahead, over the wall.)