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Haibane Renmei

Alternative Titles

English: Haibane Renmei
Synonyms: Charcoal Feather Federation
Japanese: 灰羽連盟


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
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 8.011 (scored by 67,439 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
Ranked: #5642
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #591
Members: 174,833
Favorites: 4,998


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Apr 25, 2010
Siarus (All reviews)
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 read more
Apr 14, 2008
TheCriticsClub (All reviews)
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 read more
May 7, 2014
Fleure (All reviews)
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 read more
Jan 19, 2009
TrenchKamen (All reviews)
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 read more
Jun 30, 2008
Ranivus (All reviews)
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)

Full Review
At first, Haibane Renmei starts off as a wonderful alternate universe where angels and humans coexist but as the story progresses, they manage read more
Sep 27, 2007
Seishi (All reviews)
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 read more
May 29, 2013
Lycan (All reviews)
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 read more
Oct 31, 2018
Schzzy (All reviews)
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 read more
Jan 18, 2019
literaturenerd (All reviews)

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 read more
Mar 8, 2016
Paraturtle (All reviews)
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, read more
Sep 9, 2011
sodr2 (All reviews)
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 read more
Apr 8, 2018
LIQfilms (All reviews)
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 read more
Jul 7, 2015
ecstacitylife (All reviews)
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 read more
Jun 14, 2015
Cauthan (All reviews)
(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 read more
Jun 1, 2017
detroitmetalcity (All reviews)
Note. I watched Haibane Renmei as part of a tiny anime watching "club" with my real life friends. Someone chooses an anime every month. Everyone watches it and does a review. May was this. I watched the last 4 episodes (10-13) in one sitting, and found myself getting genuinely angry with how the series was turning out, since I liked episodes 1-9 so much. So, after angrily pacing around my living room stewing about how much the series reminded me of things in my own life, I wrote this.I'm very into stylistic writing for things that are, well, MEANT to be stylistic. I should read more
Dec 6, 2012
mahoganycow (All reviews)
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, read more
Feb 1, 2017
benizakuras (All reviews)
I find Haibane Renmei very weak and flawed, both as an anime and a work of ‘art’. There’s a fantastical, mysterious drama that wants to be told somewhere in there, but it kind of falls flat on its face due its lackluster storytelling, flat characters, and general lack of ambition. Make no mistake, Haibane Renmei has both a strong start and an excellent premise. It’s just a shame that it’s a story that doesn’t really have anything meaningful to say.

The first episode immediately hooks the viewer with a strong start, an intriguing premise, and a fascinating world to be discovered. Haibane Renmei has a seemingly read more
Dec 10, 2013
StarDescent (All reviews)
(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 read more
May 12, 2018
Arimias (All reviews)
Have you ever wondered to yourself what the meaning of your name is, or why it was given to you? If you could change it, would you?

Haibane Renmei was a comforting, touching slice of life and mysterious tale that sprouted into something truly magnificent and thought-provoking towards its conclusion. Regarded highly for the originality put into it, suspenseful and gripping moments, and unhurried, mysterious nature of Haibane Renmei was a thrill to experience. Be warned though: if you're the type of person who likes action, plot-driven narratives, and any type of fan service, Haibane Renmei is NOT an anime you'd enjoy. It's a slow paced, read more
Apr 24, 2007
Kopanda (All reviews)
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 read more