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Haibane renmei 

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A young girl is reborn as an angel-like creature called a haibane, with no memory of who she once was.

Creator:

Yoshitoshi Abe
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2002  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Ryô Hirohashi Ryô Hirohashi ...  Rakka 13 episodes, 2002
Junko Noda Junko Noda ...  Reki 13 episodes, 2002
Eri Miyajima Eri Miyajima ...  Kana 13 episodes, 2002
Fumiko Orikasa ...  Hikari 13 episodes, 2002
Kazusa Murai Kazusa Murai ...  Nemu 13 episodes, 2002
Kumiko Higa Kumiko Higa ...  Dai 9 episodes, 2002
Ai Tokunaga Ai Tokunaga ...  Hana 9 episodes, 2002
Masumi Asano ...  Shorta / ... 8 episodes, 2002
Miyu Matsuki Miyu Matsuki ...  Child / ... 8 episodes, 2002
Tsugumi Higasayama Tsugumi Higasayama ...  Child / ... 8 episodes, 2002
Akiko Yajima ...  Kuu 7 episodes, 2002
Chihiro Suzuki Chihiro Suzuki ...  Hyoko 6 episodes, 2002
Tamio Ohki Tamio Ohki ...  Communicator 6 episodes, 2002
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Storyline

A young girl is reborn as an angel-like creature called a haibane, with no memory of who she once was.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

10 September 2002 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ash Feather Federation See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Radix See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Yoshitoshi Abe has cited Haruki Murakami's "Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" as an influence on the series. See more »

Quotes

Communicator: Then, do you recognize your own sin?
Rakka: If I do, does that mean my sin will be erased?
Communicator: Think about it. To recognize one's own sin is to have no sin. So, are you a sinner?
Rakka: Uh! But if I think I have no sin, then I become a sinner!
Communicator: Perhaps this is what it means to be bound by sin. To spin in the same circle, looking for where the sin lies, and at some point losing sight of the way out.
Rakka: What's the right answer, then?
Communicator: Think about it. You must search for and find the answer yourself.
See more »

Connections

Featured in AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

The best animated film I've seen
30 May 2005 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

The best-kept secret in the world of Japanese animation is Tomokazu Tokoro's Haibane Renmei, a thought provoking and very moving 13-part 2002 TV series that is part fantasy, part coming-of-age story, and part religious allegory. Haibane is a creation of Yoshitoshi ABe who designed the characters for Serial Experiments Lain and inspired the science fiction series NieA_7. The story is very simple, yet it is full of understated poetry and rich meaning that can be enjoyed by people of all ages (but may be too dark for children under the age of ten).

The story is inspired by Haruki Murakami's novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World in which a man suddenly appears without memory of a previous life in a strange village surrounded by a high wall and ends up working in the library, replacing another who simply disappears. Set in a village called Glie, angel-like people with wings and halos called Haibane or "charcoal feathers" live alongside humans in the town, also surrounded by impenetrable walls. The laws are made by a council called the Haibane Renmie who decreed that the Haibane cannot own anything new, cannot go outside the wall and are forbidden to even touch it. Only the Toga, mysterious masked men who provide for and protect the Haibane, can leave the town.

The Haibane live in an abandoned building called Old Home and have no memory of a previous life, only a vague recollection of a dream they had inside the cocoon in which they were hatched fully-grown. Others live in the Waste Factory and are said to be "rowdy". Every so often, without warning, one of the Haibane disappears beyond the wall to an uncertain destination. This is the "day of flight" that is the fate of all Haibane except those that are "sin-bound" and must remain in darkness. As the series begins, a girl dreams of falling and, when she emerges from her giant cocoon, is named "Rakka" for falling. The early episodes deal with Rakka's arrival and adjustment to life as a Haibane.

Rakka's best friend is Reki who takes care of the younger children and is very protective of Rakka, caring for her when her wings emerge. Reki's name means "stones" because in her dream she was walking on a path of stones. Rakka goes with each of the Haibane to their jobs to see where she would best fit in. Other characters include Nemu who works at the library, Kuu, a boyish-looking girl who is the youngest of the group, Kana, also a tomboy, and Hikari who works at a bakery. Halfway through the series, Rakka must deal with an unexpected loss of a member of the group who has taken flight. Rakka's wings begin to turn black and both she and Reki are haunted by incomplete memories of their cocoon dreams and recollections of committing harm to others.

As the plot slowly unravels, both Reki and Rakka must overcome their feelings of inadequacy before they can move on and the atmosphere often becomes heavy and foreboding. Timeless questions are raised and left for us to ponder, yet the story has the simplicity of a children's book with a sense of mystery and awe about our place in the universe. Is this an allegory of our own after-life or is it about our waking life where no one knows for certain where they have come from and where they are going? Although the story line about sin and salvation strike a more conventional note, to the credit of the authors, they have emphasized personal responsibility and the need for us to take charge of our own lives. Haibane Renmie has just the right combination of magic and realism, and the visuals are beautiful to experience. With a lovely musical score, characters you can identify with, and a story that builds to a moving conclusion, Haibane Renmie is the best animated film I have seen.


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