File:Haibane Renmei Box.jpg

Haibane Renmei is a Japanese animated television series. It was directed by Tomokazu Tokoro, animated by the Japanese animation studio Radix, and produced by Yasuyuki Ueda. The episodes are based on the brief dōjinshi The Haibane of Old Home (オールドホームの灰羽達 Ōrudo-hōmu no Haibane-tachi?) by Yoshitoshi ABe, expanding on the original concepts over thirteen episodes. ABe also wrote the screenplay for the anime. The plot of the episodes follows Rakka, a girl who hatches from an cocoon in a strange town with no memory of who she was before.

The episodes aired from October 9, 2002 to December 18, 2002 on Animax and Fuji Television. The first five ran two weeks apart, and the remaining eight were shown weekly in back-to-back pairs.[1]

Geneon, Haibane Renmei's Japanese distributor, also owned the license for the series' English release in the United States until it was acquired by Funimation in 2010.[2][3]. MVM Films owns distribution rights in the United Kingdom and Madman Entertainment owns them in Australia and New Zealand.

Two pieces of theme music are used for the episodes; one opening theme and one closing theme. The opening theme is "Free Bird" by Kow Otani and the closing theme is "Blue Flow" by Masumi Itō with Heart of Light. The soundtrack album, Hanenone, was released on December 30, 2002 in Japan[4] and August 5, 2003 in the United States.[5]

Episode list

# Episode title[6] Air date
1 Cocoon — Dream of Falling from the Sky — Old Home
"Mayu — Sora o ochiru yume — Ōrudo Hōmu" (繭 — 空を落ちる夢 — オールドホーム)
October 9, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A girl dreams that she is gently falling through the sky, and that a bird is trying to save her. Later, she wakes up inside a giant cocoon. Upon breaking out, she is tended to by a group of winged and haloed people who introduce themselves as Haibane. They name her “Rakka,” which means “falling,” based on her dream. Like her, none of them can remember anything before being born from cocoons into this world, and all are named after their own dreams: Reki, Kana, Nemu, Hikari, and Kuu. They give Rakka a newly-forged halo, which slides away from her head and must be temporarily strapped on, then leave for the night. One, Reki, stays behind to help Rakka through the ordeal of growing her wings. After they erupt painfully from her back, Rakka sleeps while Reki cleans the blood from her feathers.
2 Town and Wall — Toga — Haibane-Renmei
"Machi to kabe — Tōga — Haibane Renmei" (街と壁 — トーガ — 灰羽連盟)
October 23, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka's new companions introduce her to the building they live in, a vast, abandoned dormitory called Old Home. It is populated not only by the older Haibane, but also by numerous children referred to as the Young Feathers. Most of the adults then accompany Rakka into the nearby town of Glie, which is mainly populated by ordinary humans. The humans of the city are very kind to Haibane, but distant as well. Rakka learns that certain rules have been set down by an organization called the Haibane Renmei — for example, Haibane are required to work, and are only allowed to own second-hand items that humans have stopped using. They are also forbidden to use money; instead, they must write down their earnings and expenses in special notebooks provided by the Renmei. The town and local countryside are surrounded by an enormous wall through which only the mysterious traders called Toga can come and go. A masked figure called the Communicator is the one person allowed to speak with them, and then only through sign language. Rakka has an eerie feeling as she looks at the Communicator and at the birds near the walls.
3 Temple — The Communicator — Pancakes
"Jiin — Washi — Pankēki" (寺院 — 話師 — パンケーキ)
November 6, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka goes to visit Reki, who wakes up on the floor after falling from her bed during a nightmare. From the paints and other materials in the room, Rakka learns that Reki is an artist, although she won't share any of her paintings. Hikari takes Rakka to the temple of the Haibane Renmei, where Rakka meets the Communicator and is approved as a new Haibane. He gives her the notebook with which she can make purchases and encourages her to search for a job. Back at Old Home, Rakka finds Reki dealing with her own job, which is to help cook and care for the Young Feathers. To help convince the children to eat their carrots, Rakka volunteers to go visit the bakery where Hikari works and purchase some cakes. Kuu, the youngest of the older Haibane, accompanies her and shares her belief that, despite their small wings, each Haibane will one day be able to fly. At the bakery, they discover that Hikari had used the halo mold in a cooking experiment, which explains the effect Rakka's halo has on her hair.
4 Trash Day — Clock Tower — Birds Flying Over the Walls
"Gomi no hi — Tokeitō — Kabe o koeru tori" (ゴミの日 — 時計塔 — 壁を越える鳥)
November 13, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Exploring her job options, Rakka spends a day with Kana. This begins early in the morning with taking out the trash and fighting off crows that plague the yard. Rakka suggests setting aside any leftover food the crows might like, but Kana replies that birds are the only creatures that can fly back and forth over the walls of the city, and that if they were to become too comfortable inside, they might never be free again. She then shows Rakka her personal project — a broken-down clock tower on the Old Home campus — and they hurry off to Kana's work place, a much larger clock tower and shop in the center of Glie. Kana's employer is a gruff old man who treats her very strictly but secretly appreciates her and worries that Rakka's presence means Kana will leave soon. After Kana and Rakka clean up a mess left by repair workers, they go out on a balcony which turns out to be the highest point in town, other than the walls. They then return home, and Kana's boss gives her a set of tools with which to repair the Old Home clock tower.
5 Library — Abandoned Factory — Beginning of the World
"Toshokan — Haikōjō — Sekai no hajimari" (図書館 — 廃工場 — 世界のはじまり)
November 20, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka goes to work with Nemu at the library. There she meets Sumika, a kindly, pregnant librarian who asks for Rakka's perspective on what it was like to be born. Rakka then explores the library books for information about the world outside the walls of Glie. Sumika tells her that she, too, has made such a search and found no answers. At the end of the day, Nemu tells Rakka that she is working on a gift for Sumika involving an old, partially destroyed book they once discovered called “The Beginning of the World.” As they walk, they catch sight of Reki and witness an unfriendly encounter between her and a male Haibane named Hyoko. Nemu explains that he comes from another nest, Abandoned Factory, and that he and Reki once ran away together. As a result, they are no longer allowed into each other's territory. The next day, Nemu shares with Rakka the gift she is working on: a rewritten version of “The Beginning of the World” with the gaps in the story filled in. Together, they finish writing it, including a possible origin for Haibane and a bit of Nemu's own sleepy personality.
6 End of Summer — Rain — Loss
"Natsu no owari — Ame — Sōshitsu" (夏の終わり — 雨 — 喪失)
November 27, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka searches for a room of her own to move into, but most of Old Home is in disrepair. Kuu gives her a warm coat to prepare for winter, but as she leaves, Rakka is disturbed to see the halo over Kuu's head flickering. Seeing Rakka in her new coat, Kana tells her it was the first item of clothing Kuu bought for herself, despite being too large, and that Kuu has always had a habit of trying to imitate her older companions, often with disastrous results. Returning to her search, Rakka discovers that Kuu has circled a specific room on her map. She goes there and is delighted to feel a sense of familiarity. Kuu, who has been waiting for her, explains that this is the room where Rakka was born. She then thanks Rakka for the influence she has been, and leaves. That night, a rainstorm hits, and Kuu is nowhere to be found. After Rakka sees a light in the Western Woods, Reki says that Kuu may have taken her Day of Flight and passed outside the walls. The Haibane all don raincoats and go to the woods, where they find Kuu's halo, now cold and dim.
7 Scar — Illness — Arrival of Winter
"Kizuato — Yamai — Fuyu no tōrai" (傷跡 — 病 — 冬の到来)
November 27, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka refuses to believe Kuu will never return from her Day of Flight, and sickly black spots begin to appear on her own wings. Depressed, she goes to town alone and is approached by Hyouko, a Haibane from Abandoned Factory who asks about Reki. Reki gives Rakka medicine for her wings and tells her about the Sin-Bound Haibane and about her own past.
8 The Bird
"Tori" (鳥)
December 4, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka continues to hide her wings from the others. Reki helps her move Kuu's bed into her room and they talk about the wall around the town. They take the children to buy winter clothes and a human girl tries to touch Rakka's wings. She flees into the Western Woods, led by the crows, who take her to an old well where she learns about her cocoon dream.
9 Well — Rebirth — Riddle
"Ido — Saisei — Nazokake" (井戸 — 再生 — 謎掛け)
December 4, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka realizes that the crow that died in the well represents someone who cared about her in her old life. The Toga find and rescue her from the well. Hearing a noise, she touches the wall. The Communicator leads her home and they talk about the bird, her wings, and a riddle he calls the Circle of Sin. Arriving home, Rakka becomes ill from having touched the wall.
10 Kuramori — Haibane of Abandoned Factory — Rakka's Job
"Kuramori — Haikōjō no Haibane tachi — Rakka no shigoto" (クラモリ — 廃工場の灰羽達 — ラッカの仕事)
December 11, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
A flashback shows the kindly Kuramori, who promised to stay with Reki forever. In the present, Reki goes to the Haibane Renmei to ask for help for the ailing Rakka, and is told that Rakka is no longer Sin-Bound. Rakka is given her own job within the wall around the city, and the Haibane from Abandoned Factory offer a tentatively friendly gesture.
11 Parting — Darkness in the Heart — Irreplaceable Thing
"Betsuri — Kokoro no yami — Kakegae no nai mono" (別離 — 心の闇 — かけがえのないもの)
December 11, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Midori, from Abandoned Factory, gives more hints about Reki's past. The Communicator tells Rakka that while she had the birds to offer her forgiveness, Reki will not accept anyone's help, and has little time left. Rakka vows to try and help her. Visiting the library, she talks to Sumika about an old book. Resigned, Reki works on a secret painting.
12 Bell Nuts — Passing of the Year Festival — Reconciliation
"Suzu no mi — sugikoshi no matsuri — Yūwa" (鈴の実 — 過ぎ越しの祭 — 融和)
December 18, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
The Haibane go into town to buy Bell Nuts, gifts of reconciliation for the Passing of the Year festival. Reki gives one to Hyouko, and he and Midori finally tell Rakka what happened. Rakka learns about the Renmei's sign language, and the Communicator gives her her true name. After the festival, the Haibane of Abandoned Factory send Reki a message.
13 Reki's World — Prayer — Epilogue
"Reki no sekai — Inori — Shūshō" (レキの世界 — 祈り — 終章)
December 18, 2002 {{{FirstEngAirDate}}}
Rakka discovers that Reki's entire studio is painted like her cocoon dream. She gives Reki a box from the Communicator, containing her true name, which fills Reki with despair. She throws Rakka out of the room, confronts a manifestation of herself, and relives her dream. Rakka realizes the truth about Reki's struggle and goes back to save her.

Volume DVDs

Japanese releases

In Japan, Geneon released a total of 5 DVD compilations of Haibane Renmei between December 21, 2002 and April 25, 2003. Instead of being called "discs," these releases were labelled "COG.1," "COG.2," etc. A complete three-disc boxed set was released on November 21, 2004.

Japanese releases
Volume Released Discs Episodes
1 December 21, 2002[7] 1 1
2 January 24, 2003[8] 1 3
3 February 21, 2003[9] 1 3
4 March 21, 2003[10] 1 3
5 April 25, 2003[11] 1 3
Box set March 21, 2007[12] 3 13

North American releases

In the United States, Geneon released 4 DVD compilations of Haibane Renmei, each with its own title, between August 26, 2003 and February 24, 2004. The first disc was available either on its own or with a storage box for the series; the four discs were released together as a box set on November 21, 2004.

North American releases
Volume Title Released Discs Episodes
1 "New Feathers" August 26, 2003[13] 1 4
2 "Wings of Sorrow" October 28, 2003[14] 1 3
3 "Free Bird" December 14, 2003[15] 1 3
4 "Day of Flight" February 24, 2004[16] 1 3
Box set October 18, 2005[17] 4 13


External links

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