Haibane Renmei

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Alternative Titles

Synonyms: Charcoal Feather Federation
Japanese: 灰羽連盟
English: Haibane Renmei
French: Ailes Grises : Haibane Renmei
More titles


Type: TV
Episodes: 13
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 10, 2002 to Dec 19, 2002
Premiered: Fall 2002
Broadcast: Thursdays at 02:28 (JST)
Studios: Radix
Source: Other
Genres: DramaDrama, FantasyFantasy, MysteryMystery
Theme: PsychologicalPsychological
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 7.971 (scored by 9434394,343 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #6212
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #804
Members: 260,666
Favorites: 6,971

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Preliminary Spoiler
Apr 25, 2010
This is the most striking anime I've ever seen. The care and imagination that went into every aspect of the show is remarkable, but due to the slow, gentle nature of the series I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, if only because this isn't a typical anime in terms of plot. The suspense is subtle -- difficult to spot if you're watching it for the first time -- and builds up over half of the series. Haibane Renmei starts off languid and mysterious, and it tapers off just as languid and mysterious, and every episode seems to reveal more questions that never get answered. Even ...
Apr 14, 2008
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a large number of anime fans have encountered Yoshitoshi Abe or the shows he’s created and worked on, nor would I be wrong to say that he has gained a strong fanbase for his beautiful art and creative vision. Many people were turned off by the gritty confusion that was Serial Experiments Lain (one of his previous works), but there were a still few willing to dive into Haibane Renmei despite the previous title's flaws. In his debut as a writer, Yoshitoshi Abe envisioned and penned an anime series that quietly tugs at the heart and that ...
May 7, 2014
An endless fall; a young girl wrapped in white abruptly descends from the skies. A weightless haze lucidly embraces her. A dream too real, a fall too sudden; awakens she, from a strange trance and finds herself confined in a vessel that’s all too familiar in place that’s all too peculiar. A craft in the form of a cocoon holds the enigmatic maiden—a strange rebirth is to take place. The inhabitants of the building in which the cocoon swiftly lies, await in great patience for the arrival of the girl in white.

Thus begins the hauntingly decorative tale of “Haibane Renmei”

Instantly, “Haibane Renmei’s” inquisitive ...
Jan 19, 2009
This is truly a stand-alone work in terms of originality. ABe did not self-censor and allowed the full weight of his intuition and dreams to direct his hand, and the result is a beautiful, ethereal, archetypal world fully-realized and yet deep enough to retain mystery. The show does not explain everything, even the most important aspects of Gile, and that feels okay. We can see in this fantastic world what is in our innermost hearts, and our intuition fills in so many of the gaps. Few stories manage to do this so well.

The story manages to blend soft, yet interesting, aspects of slice-of-life with haunting ...
Jun 30, 2008
Please read my review before pressing 'Not Helpful' and if you have any comments feel free to leave me a note

Story: 6 (beautiful anime universe but cliche' story)
Art: 8 (reminiscent of renaissance-era angel paintings)
Sound: 7 (average sound, interesting use of sign language)
Character: 8 (look very unique but stereotypical at the same time)
Enjoyment: 6 (Haibane universe got me hooked)
Overall: 35/50 = 7.0 (good, but leaves questions unanswered)

Sep 27, 2007
Some time ago, probably around 2003, I heard about this show called Serial Experiments Lain. Now, at this time, I was only vaguely into anime, and starting my first year at university. Eventually I got it, and watched it, and was amazed that an animated feature could impact me so much. These days, SEL isn't so much a favourite of mine anymore, but the legacy of its creator, Yoshitoshi ABe, passed on to another feature that we call Haibane Renmei; a show that definitely is a favourite of mine to this day.

Story - 8/10

Haibane Renmei (lit. Ash feather federation), starts off in "Old Home," a ...
May 29, 2013
After watching this for a third time in the last eight years, I can still say that this is my favorite anime. The themes are very real to me and if you let yourself be immersed by the characters, culture, and plot, you will walk away with a heavy heart and a full mind.

Like most ABe anime, this is not for everyone.
If you are looking for constant action or laughs, I would chose something else.
The first five episodes are quite slow, but it lets you take in the details. It helps you focus on the characters and realize they were all part ...
Mar 8, 2016
Nothing really takes place. I know there's a lot of symbolism and world construction throughout the first few episodes, but these cannot be the primary fuel for the journey. The first few episodes are spent with Rakka trying to find a job, which is supposed to be like a light, existential journey of searching where one belongs, but it's not very strong and clouded by this awkward slice-of-life type of pacing that makes it feel long, boring, and drawn out.

That's not all. The characters are of some interest, but the Haibane are born into the world with little-to-no knowledge of their previous lives. Of course, ...
Sep 9, 2011
The only thing worse than realizing you have to take a dump after showering is realizing you've wasted your day on an entire anime series like this once it's over. I don't hate this, then again it's too long, taking me in the middle of no where mentally, and when it's over I ask myself why. I'll try to find good/bad points:

+ Perfect opening scene where she falls from the sky
+ Really addicting harpsicord used in some scenes, watch out for it!
+ I guess it has a nice Castle in the Sky-esque atmosphere
+ Excellent dinner around ep 6
+ The inside of the wall feels like ...
Jul 7, 2015
Mixed Feelings
Being on every "recommended anime" picture list originating from 4chan or reddit, a lot of people say to watch this anime even though its not for everyone and evidently, not for me.

The first three episodes were cool and I thought they were the introduction, but it turns out HALF of the series is the introduction. I was super hyped starting this show after hearing about it and having it relate to Serial Experiments Lain (worked on by the same guy but not necessarily in a major way IIRC) but it was a major letdown that the story had a great setting without any movement ...
Sep 23, 2019
Elitist Anime are very dangerous at times, due to them being alluring. When a group of people circlejerk something over and over again, it becomes very difficult for a newcomer to see the flaws in the show that those people are praising. Some elitist Anime are deserving of the praise when you think about them critically, but then some boggle the mind as to how they are even receiving said praise in the first place. Today we take a look at Haibane Renmei, an Anime that is so beloved by the Anime community, to the point where it has become one of the holy elitist ...
Jun 14, 2015
Mixed Feelings
(This is a spoiler-free review adapted for this site)

[Synopsis]: After dreaming of falling through the sky, Rakka (Hirohashi, Ryou) awakens inside a large cocoon from which she is soon birthed. Once emerged, she meets several winged beings adorned with halos called Haibane who welcome her to their abode: Old Home. Rakka’s own wings grow soon after and she joins the Haibane in their daily routines and lifestyle however she wonders about the nature of the Haibane and at the distant wall that blocks off and surrounds their town of Glie from which none of them are allowed to venture near or beyond.


Haibane Renmei has a ...
Oct 31, 2018
An interesting world with nothing to offer.

Haibane Renmei, like many other anime, presents to us an slightly mysterious and compelling world where humans and Haibane - angel-like creatures - coexist. The relationship between said creatures and humans is one of kindness, nonetheless, an uneasy feeling hovers near. Something feels out of place. For that reason, at first, I thought Haibane were being used (and maybe abused) by humans, something the protagonist would slowly figure out...


...that concept wasn't explored...

...and what we are left with is, rather than a mysterious psychological thriller, a slightly mysterious fantasy anime with pretentious philosophical themes. The false sense of mystery is ...
Dec 6, 2012
Storytelling is a labor of love, regardless of what you aim to accomplish with the story. To tell a story that conveys conventional entertainment (through elements like plot, action, and drama) is tough. To tell a story that conveys meaning (through elements like symbolism, motif, tone, and theme) is tough in a whole different way. And to tell a story that conveys both of those things in a deft, skillful manner is the mental equivalent of giving birth: A long, unspeakably painful process. But at the end, you've created something of value and sent it headfirst into the sunlight of this world. Brief, deceptively simple, ...
Jan 18, 2019

This is my 5th year on MAL and this will be my 300th review! I would first like to thank all the people who have given me helpful feedback over the years and all those that have encouraged me to keep writing. It's been a fun journey so far.

For such a big occasion, I decided to pick an anime that's actually legitimately great. No caveats, no buts, it's just flat out an amazing anime. This will be the first in a trilogy of reviews in which I'll be looking at great anime that don't quite have the popularity they deserve. The first in this trilogy ...
Dec 10, 2013
Mixed Feelings
(Read as: A lot of people)Everyone here hates SAO and others that I liked and loves Haibane Renmei, so I figured I'd be "That guy," because I really don't understand what's so great about it.

Basically, the Haibane Renmei are people with angelic appearances, and the story focuses on one who can't remember a thing about herself; she dreams of falling from the sky and wakes up in a cocoon where she's greeted by the Haibane Renmei, and is given a background of where she is and how everything works there.

The story doesn't have a bad idea. Why are they there? Just who are the Haibane ...
Apr 8, 2018
Soaring towards the ground, a lone crow flies frantically in pursuit of a falling girl. Clutching desperately to her white dress, the poor creature struggles in vain to slow her descent. Touched by the crow’s efforts, the peaceful girl lovingly embraces the concerned soul, assuring the animal that all will be fine and thanking it for the worry. The crow, now aware of its powerlessness, ascends back up into the heavens, allowing the girl to fall in tranquillity, awaiting her next journey. A journey of self-discovery. A journey of acceptance. A journey of forgiveness.

Self-discovery. Acceptance. Forgiveness. The driving forces behind Yoshitoshi ABe’s 2002 cult-classic, Haibane ...
Apr 24, 2007
Haibane Renmei has been one of the only series that has made me cry long after I've finished it. The nostalgic touch in HR rivals that in Azumanga, while they're in completely different dimensions. When I listen to the OP Free Bird I feel as if I'm reminded of a passed away relative, almost like there's a hole in my heart. Haibane Renmei while not exceptionally depressing or tragic definitely had my emotions on a string the whole way through. It's dramatic, it's romantic, it's tragic. Everything in HR had me wanting more and more as if drunk on the enigmatic character development stunning setting ...
Aug 13, 2015
Definitely not for everyone. I am one of those that wanted action and laughter. This was too slow for me and I ended up forcing myself to finish watching it. I wanted to see if it got better and I wasn't impressed.

The art was good, it's what drew me to the anime. Character development was great. The music suits the anime, in other words, it felt slow too.

May 24, 2010
First off, the short review:

Story - 6: Already done before, troublesome religious element (see full review for an explanation of this), but still very solidly constructed, and touching at times.
Art - 8: Pretty fantastic use of watercolor. Not technically amazing, but artistically it's pretty darn good.
Sound - 8: I love the opening and closing songs. The soundtrack is a little bit less impressive, but the series knows how to use silence to good effect.
Character - 8: Two of the characters have surprising depth, the rest don't. Great character designs.
Enjoyment - 7: It's a very calm and peaceful show that might frustrate you with its slowness, ...