Haibane Renmei – Review
Haibane Renmei was an anime that I thought was going to be more than what it was. I was honestly a little disappointed. If you’re reading this, it’s a good thing because now you won’t expect too much out of it. I’m not saying it was bad. I’m just saying that I was disappointed.
There is Haibane, which are a group of individuals that look like angels, who live in Old Home. Most of them are children. Every Haibane is born from a cocoon into this world and before they are born, they all have a dream. They are named after their dream. Rakka (“falling”), the main character, has a dream about falling and a crow trying to keep her from falling. She is cared for by Reki, one of the older Haibane. Rakka is introduced to everyone and is told that she must find a job. Haibane are not allowed to have anything new, use actual money, and are forbidden to touch the wall that surrounds Glie, the town they all live in.
Rakka follows each of her new friends for a day at their jobs so that she can decide what she wants to do. Her friend Kuu disappears later on and Rakka is told that she has taken her Day of Flight, or when Haibane pass over the wall never to return. The Day of Flight is only for those who are no longer “sin-bound.” Rakka becomes very depressed and runs away after her wings begin to turn black. Her black feathers are caused by her “sin.” She falls in a well, where she finds the bones of a crow, which causes her to remember her dream. She is then rescued by two Toga, people who are from the Haibane Renmei, or Charcoal Feather Federation.
Still hurt from her fall, she tries to return to Old Home, but touches the wall when she hears Kuu’s voice. The Communicator, a translator for the Toga, tells Rakka about the Circle of Sin, which Reki is caught in. Reki finds Rakka, but becomes jealous when she realizes that Rakka’s wings are back to normal. It’s up to Rakka to help Reki take her Day of Flight before her time is up.
It’s a very unique story and I found that I liked where everything was going up to the point where Reki’s problem came up. I understand that Reki is an important character, but I thought that Rakka was the main character; then, it switches all the sudden to focusing only on Reki. I love how it ends, but I just wish that the story could have focused on Rakka and her Day of Flight rather than Reki’s. For a short anime, you don’t get too much into the characters and their backgrounds, which was another con for me. I wanted to know more about some of the characters and, more importantly, the Toga. Rakka is a little shy and sweet while Reki is more of a stubborn character, but she’s very caring and protective.
It’s only available in Japanese, but the voices are good for the characters and the music is good, too. Notice I didn’t say great. Not really anything about this anime is great; it’s just ok. It’s not an anime that I want to watch again and I had forgotten a large part of it (except for the scene where Reki’s sin comes up because it’s so dramatic). I don’t know if it’s something I’d recommend because it’s not really much of anything; it’s not comedy, it’s not romance, it’s not horror, and it’s not fantastic. If you’re bored, watch it…that’s about all I can say really.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10