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Haibane Renmei [TV]

Haibane Renmei
Plot Summary

The story follows Rakka, a girl who finds herself breaking out from a cocoon after waking up from a strange dream. She is welcomed by the Haibane, angel-like people who live at the Old Home.

Although they live a peaceful and quiet life in the town of Glei, the Haibanes do not know much about their world, except that there are strict rules to be followed. One example of such rules is that, they cannot touch nor go beyond the massive walls that surround Glei.
While performing her tasks as Haibane, Rakka struggles her way through her doubts and questions about her existence.

About the Show

Haibane Renmei is an anime adaptation of the drama fantasy doujinshi entitled Haibanes of Old Home, created by Yoshitoshi ABe. The anime series aired 13 episodes on Animax between October 9, 2002 and December 18, 2002.

Episode Summaries

Episode 1: Cocoon — Dream of Falling from the Sky — Old Home
A girl dreams that she is falling from the sky, and that a crow is desperately trying to save her. The dream is interrupted after she wakes up and finds herself inside a huge cocoon. Shortly after freeing herself from the cocoon, she is tended to by a group peculiar people, as if they were waiting for her to emerge. The angel-like people introduced themselves as the Haibane, and just like her, they barely remember anything, except that they were named after the dreams they had prior to arriving in this world. The Haibane named her Rakka, which corresponds to her dream of falling through the sky. After presenting Rakka with her own halo, the Haibanes leave for the night except Reki. Reki stayed to accompany Rakka through the short but painful ordeal of growing her wings for the first time.

Episode 2: Town and Wall — Toga — Haibane Renmei
The Haibane introduce Rakka to their peculiar world, and to the Haibane Renmei that governs it.

Episode 3: Temple — The Communicator — Pancakes
Reki finds herself lying on the floor after waking up from a nightmare. Rakka visits Reki in her room, and discovers that Reki is an artist after seeing painting materials. However, Reki does not want to show any of her paintings. Later, Rakka is approved as a new member of the Haibane, and is encouraged to find herself a function inside her new society. She then proceeds to help Reki feed the Young Feathers.

Episode 4: Trash Day — Clock Tower — Birds Flying Over the Walls
Still trying to find herself a job, Rakka decides to spend her day with Kana. They begin working early in the morning by disposing the trash and keeping the crows away from the yard. After showing Rakka a broken clock tower at the Old Home, she brings Rakka to her workplace, a clock tower and shop situated in the center of Glie. There, they meet Kana’s boss, a strict old man but secretly appreciates Kana. After a long day of work, they enjoy a spectacular view of the city from the balcony.

Episode 5: Library — Abandoned Factory — Beginning of the World
Rakka accompanies Nemu to work on the library, in order to explore more job options to choose from. There, she meets the kind librarian Sumika. Still puzzled and curious about her existence, Rakka searches for any possible information about anything outside their city walls. Sumika reveals that she too scoured the books of the library, but found no useful information. Nemu then asks for Rakka’s help regarding a gift he had prepared for Sumika. Later, they see Reki arguing with Hyoko, a Haibane from another nest.

Episode 6: End of Summer — Rain — Loss
Rakka roams around the Old Home, searching for a room where she can move into. She meets Kuu, who gives her a coat to use for the coming winter. As Kuu left, Rakka noticed that Kuu’s halo was somewhat flickering, as if it was weak. After seeing Rakka’s new coat, Kana reveals that it was the very first clothing Kuu bought for herself, even though that it did not properly fit her. Resuming her search for a room, Rakka discovers that Kuu has marked a certain room in her map, and immediately sets her course to the location. She finds that Kuu is waiting for her in the room, and reveals that this was the room where Rakka was born. After thanking Rakka for being an influence in her life, Kuu leaves for the night. Later that night, a rainstorm hits Glie, followed by Kuu’s disappearance. After noticing a light from the Western Woods, Reki explains to Rakka that Kuu might have finally taken her Day of Flight outside the walls.

Episode 7: Scar — Illness — Arrival of Winter
A month after Kuu’s Day of Flight, Rakka now believes that Kuu will never return. She decides to visit Kuu’s room to clean, but discovers that black spots have started to appear on her wings. Later, after returning to the Old Home, Reki notices the black spots on Rakka’s wings and starts to worry. Reki gives a special medicine for Rakka’s wings, and reveals that she is sin-bound.

Episode 8: The Bird
Rakka receives wing covers from Hikaru which she uses to hide her wings. After stressful events, Rakka ends up in the Western Woods, where she discovers more about her dream with the help of the crows.

Episode 9: Well — Rebirth — Riddle
The Haibane set out to search for Rakka, who has now finally discovered the crow’s meaning in her dreams. The Communicator reveals to Rakka that she is sin-bound, after spotting that she has grown black spots on her wings. Before leaving, The Communicator gives Rakka a riddle. The Haibane finds Rakka soon after, but Reki suspects that Rakka has touched the wall, which they were forbidden to do.

Episode 10: Kuramori — Haibane of Abandoned Factory — Rakka’s Job
Reki birth is shown in a flashback. It is revealed that she was born with black spots on her wings, and that Kuramori promised to take care of her forever. It was also Kuramori who showed Reki how to make the special medicine for her wings. At present, Reki asks for The Communicator’s help regarding Rakka. It is revealed that Rakka is no longer sin-bound, but she was given a job as punishment for touching the wall.

Episode 11: Parting — Darkness in the Heart — Irreplaceable Thing
More of Reki’s history is revealed.

Episode 12: Bell Nuts — Passing of the Year Festival — Reconciliation
Reki asks for Hyoko’s forgiveness, after she had dragged him into her own problems. Meanwhile, The Communicator reveals to Rakka that a Haibane’s Day of Flight will arrive after they finally discover who they really are. After this revelation, Rakka receives a wooden tablet with Rekki’s true name written on it, and she is tasked to give it to Reki after the festival.

Episode 13: Reki’s World — Prayer — Epilogue
Rakka finally sees Reki’s paintings inside her room.

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