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Poll: Haibane Renmei Episode 13 Discussion

Aug 13, 2015 4:16 PM

Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 1984
Wow, that was just incredible. I was crying when Reki disappeared... I'm adding this to my favorites. Ugh, I'm just so speechless about this show... 10/10
Sep 6, 2015 5:06 PM

Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 869
I was about to drop this show when I was on episode 2 or 3, but I'm glad I kept on watching. 7/10.
Sep 23, 2015 6:47 AM

Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 24
Unfortunately not as good as it was raved to be imo, but I still thought it was pretty good. The first 2 episodes started off well, but it got quite boring in the middle and it wasn't until the last 2 episodes where I can say it got better.
Oct 19, 2015 5:50 AM

Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 17698
Really nice ending but I have ALOT of problems while watching this show. Mainly the pacing, I mean I know how aBe works usually are. I watched Tex and Lain before, but Haibane has an awful pacing compared to those two. The drama was also pretty terrible, I liked the first two episodes because it was 100% SoL but then the rest of the series was kinda...meh.

Oct 24, 2015 9:34 PM

Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 32
Wish there is a second season because many things are still left unanswered, like what is outside the wall and did the little children really commit suicide in their previous lives? I assumed that everyone in the story commit suicide in their past life and the dream that they had in the cocoon reflect how they died, but i couldn't imagine the kids commiting suicide since they are quite young.
Nov 24, 2015 12:29 AM

Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 229
Great show and a nice ending. At the start I would have thought they would mainly focus on the mystery of what this place was, and who (or more what) they are. Instead they focused on the hardships of the characters and end it with bittersweet closure. At the same time they kept the mystery going by giving you some answers, and some more vague hints that keep you wondering and eventually end up leaving it to interpretation.

For me that works even better, the critique people have on "unanswered questions" are things that you can answer yourself and discuss or theorize about with other people. That's the fun part of leaving things to people's imagination
Dec 5, 2015 1:18 PM

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 4983
Still dont know everything about the wall and what exactly haibane are but haibane are prob earthbound spirits who got some regrets or whatever they need to get over to pass on which is behind the wall.. But then agsin why can humans see thrm if thats the case. And why is there a wall and what is its function and what are the masked men? Even more questions but i leave it at this

8/10 due to the ending if i had more answers id give it a 9
Dec 6, 2015 5:04 PM

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 66
I like the ending, for me not the best, but the 2nd best episode of the show. (After the pont one/Ep8)

The scenes with Reki in the dark painted room were incredible! And made this character even greater.
I like Rakka, a lot now, but this show is the story of Reki. I think it was meant that way, telling someone's story through the eyes of someone closely involved.

Regarding answers, I actually stopped caring about what's behind the wall. What I missed though were more scenes with the place within the wall. Would have liked to see that beautiful scenery one last time.
In general, I like the idea of keeping mysteries what they are: Mysteries. Evolving your own ideas is much more interesting than getting a clear answer.

Characters: It's really only about Reki and Rakka. The only somewhat deep character aside of them is Hyouka.

Pace: The beginning felt a bit slow for me and at episode 5 I considered dropping. Though I believe if I rewatch it, I will start to value this episodes more, now that I appreciate the mood more and know where it's going.
Still, episodes with little Reki-screentime are a bit flat due to the flat surrounding characters.

Grade: I had it at 5 after 5 episodes, 6 and 7 elevated it to 6. I LOVED episode 8, so there it raised to 7. After 11 I was unsure between 7 and 8, but these last two episodes were good enough to give it the 8.
So: 8/10
Dec 26, 2015 12:40 PM

Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 5246
Wow...This was really something special. Even without getting answers, the show still managed to get into my favorites list.

It's kind of hard to explain what this was all about but I'll give it a try.
The haibane are all "born" as children or teenagers, and they are all sinners. They can grow up to be adults (like Reki), but at some point they have to take the Day of Flight, otherwise they'll either 1. vanish (which, in my interpretation, means that their soul will vanish and they will not be reborn), or 2. they cease to become haibane, lose their halo and wings and become normal humans and die of old age. The anime seems to have gotten a lot of inspiration from several religions (mainly Christianity and Buddhism), and spirituality. In most religions, the thought that children deserve lesser punishment than adults is prevalent. Also, since the haibane are all born as children or teenagers, meaning they committed a sin when they were children or teenagers, that means their sins are not serious enough to be punished in a harsher way (like hell).

That's why I think the town of Glie is some sort of purgatory, but not like the Christian interpretation. For instance, the town is full of normal humans, and the Christian purgatory is only for sinners who can redeem themselves. In my interpretation, the town of Glie is between damnation (=your soul vanishing) and the human world (=your soul is reborn). The haibane are most likely all suicide victims, which explains why they have the chance of redeption. Suicide is not part of the greater sins like murder.

Rakka thought that her existence was unneeded and nobody would care if she died. She probably died falling down from somewhere, perhaps falling down a well, which would explain what happened in the anime. However, there was one person who cared about her, and wanted to remind her that her existence was indeed important for someone. The crows symbolize freedom, as they have wings and can leave and enter the town of Glie. They are also the manifestation of all the things that are no longer with you (the haibane), therefore the crows connect them to the past. I don't think the remains of the crow down in the well mean that the person who cared for Rakka died, I think it's symbolic. Rakka thought nobody cared about her, and she isolated herself from just the thought of someone caring about her. Therefore, to her, the crow (the idea of someone caring for her) was indeed "dead". However, the crow, who contains the wishes of a person who cared for Rakka, cared so much about her that it's soul tried to make contact with Rakka. Initially, Rakka thought she was a nuisance to the other haibane, and whenever she saw the crow, she ignored it. However, after realizing that the others care about her, she finally listened to the crow and followed it. By believing that someone cares about her, the crow was no longer dead. When Rakka buried it's remains, it meant that she finally understood the importance of her own existence.

I think the town of Glie is a town located between the human world and damnation, and the haibane are children or teenagers who committed the sin of abandoning themselves and giving up, and eventually committing suicide. However, the haibane, deep down, had the chance of redemption because they hoped that someone would eventually help them. Therefore the town of Glie is for the children and teenagers who wanted to die and fall into oblivion, but deep down they wished to remain in the normal world. These people are the haibane. If they could overcome their desire of death, they earn the Day of Flight. If their wish for death is stronger, their sins will not go away and their souls will cease to exist (as they don't want to be/don't deserve to be reborn).

The Circle of Sin is an interesting concept. If you recognize your sins, then you have no sin. But if you then believe you have no sin, you no longer recognize your sins. It's a paradox you can't escape from if you actually try to solve it. The reason why Reki couldn't reach the Day of Flight was because she couldn't solve this riddle. She thought that being nice to others will wash away her sins, she thought that if someone helped her and said "you are without sin", then she would be ready to go. But what she actually needed was to be forgiven. That is the only correct solution to solving this riddle. You can't erase your sins even if you believe you have none, and it's no use if someone tells you you are no longer a sinner. What you need is to be forgiven for what you have done, and in order to do that, you should realize what sin you have committed first. Rakka was in a tight spot, because she couldn't remember her dream, therefore she had no clue about what her sin was. Then the crow, symbolizing a person who cared about her, reminded her of her sin, and "told" her that she was forgiven.

Reki on the other hand, had no idea of her sin, and even worse, she tried to act nice to the other haibane, hoping that one day all of that help she gave to others will erase her sins. Reki, just like Rakka, probably committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. She shut herself away from others, fearing that she would get hurt. The only thing she remembers of her dream is a hint of her sin. She is walking a dark path alone. The town of Glie is like reliving your life in a different environment. The haibane will make the same mistakes again, but this time they are guided by the Haibane Renmei to overcome their mistakes and earn salvation. Rakka thought she was a nuisance to the other haibane. Reki acted nice toward everyone but kept her distance, fearing that she would be betrayed and left alone. Ironically, Reki didn't remember her own sin, yet she still confessed what her sin was. She told Rakka that she only helped her and others in hope of reaching the Day of Flight, but she was afraid of getting close, fearing that she would be betrayed by them. Rakka realized that Reki, deep down, was not a bad person, and went back to help her. Therefore, Reki was forgiven. Then, Reki accepted Rakka and cried for her help. Therefore, she finally defeated her sin, by showing her vulnerable side and asking someone for help, instead of helping someone half-heartedly.

I still don't quite get why some haibane are born as Sinbound. There are three possible colors, white, grey, and black. All the younger feathers' wings are white, therefore I think the white is meant to symbolize the sinners whose time hasn't come. The gray is for sinners who realized their sins and have the chance to earn forgiveness/earned forgiveness. Black is for sinners who hasn't realized what their sin is and therefore have no chance of forgiveness. Rakka's wings were gray because she felt comfortable with the other haibane. Then, Kuu was gone and she felt like she was abandoned, and she also felt like she should've been the one to disappear as she was not needed. She has made the same mistake again, without realizing what she was doing, so her feathers started to turn black. Reki, from start to the very end of the last episode, was always pretending, doing the wrong thing, not realizing that what she was doing was the reason why she never reached the Day of Flight despite being the oldest. That's why her wings were black until the end of the last episode. When she asked Rakka for help, she realized her ways were wrong. Rakka came back to help despite all the nasty things Reki said to her, so she was forgiven. So, her wings turned gray.

As to why the haibane only get second hand products, that's easy to explain. They are currently trying to solve a riddle in order to have a second chance in life. If they succeed, they will have the chance to buy first hard products as much as they want. The citizens of Glie, the humans are not sinners and they are in their first chance in life. They obviously deserve the first hand products more than haibane, who get the used stuff but also have the chance of getting a second life. If we go by the "story inspired by religion" approach, the reason why they only use used stuff and live in run down buildings is because they are like anchorites, in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment they have to live their lives as simple as possible, only supplying for their basic needs. If they are sinners who got a chance to prove they earn another life, living in a luxurious castle and drinking champagne all day would destroy the purpose. If we go even deeper down the religious path, the reason why they only use stuff the human citizens donate them is because the humans do good deeds by donating their unneeded belongings to beings trying to reach spiritual enlightenment. Kind of like how the citizens of medieval Europe donated food and money to mendicant orders.

Kuu thought she was useless and not helping anyone. She tried to become someone else, someone who wasn't her. She bought a much bigger coat for the sake of being independent, but it was not her size, symbolizing that she tried to act like a person who wasn't her. When Rakka arrived, Kuu became her "mentor", and Kuu finally realized that she was fine as she was, and she was indeed useful for someone. That's why she said that "the bottle filling up was finally full when you [Rakka] dropped the last bits in it" or something along those lines.

Nemu's dream could hint at two possible scenarios: 1. she committed suicide by taking pills (therefore she was "eternally asleep"), or 2. she was lazy (which is closer to the Christian 7 sins). At some point, she was forgiven for her sins, but she was not ready because she wanted to see Reki "fly away" first. The other Old Home haibanes were really underdeveloped characters so I have no idea about why they are in Glie.

I have many theories about the Toga and the walls. My first theory is that the walls are the final steps the haibane have to take. When one reaches the Day of Flight, they will go beyond the walls. But in order for their sins to be completely erased (which is a requirement for their souls to be reborn), the walls take away their sins and purify the haibanes' souls. The haibane can't touch the walls because it contains so much sin and their souls will be corrupted and they will fall ill (as evidenced by Rakka's high fever). The Toga might be haibane who could never reach the Day of Flight, so they became ordinary humans (as I said before). Since their souls were never cleansed, they are still filled with sin, so them going beyond the walls or touching them has no effect on them.

My other theory is the opposite of this. The walls are sacred and they purify the haibanes' soul, but don't take in their sins. A haibane has to reach the Day of Flight by overcoming their sins and earning forgiveness, so touching the walls is against the rules (it's cheating). In a metaphorical way, a haibanes' true goal is to fly over the wall, not to break through the wall.

The little girl who appears at the last part of the very last episode in Reki's younger form is the manifestation of Reki's sins. If Reki would've rejected Rakka's help, only the sinful part of her soul would remain (in the form of Reki), her soul wouldn't have been purified and she would never be reborn. However, Reki accepted Rakka's help, she finally reached the Day of Flight so her sins were gone (and the little Reki symbolizing her sins did indeed fell apart). However, things are not as simple. Reki, from the start of her life, always had a small glimmer of hope that someone did care for her. So I think that her sinful form also contained that small glimmer of hope, so when she tried to stop Rakka from saving Reki without Reki's consent, she was hoping that Reki would ask for help before Rakka would help her.

What's funny about Reki's two nametags is that she knew all along what it would say. The Communicator intentionally switched her true tag and false tag, and gave her the true tag first. Why? Because Reki was pretending to be someone she wasn't in order to reach the Day of Flight, but over the years she actually grew to love her friends. Everyone who watched the series knows that Reki didn't actually hate Rakka and she genuinely liked her as a friend. While she never stated she loved Rakka, she was angry at herself when she realized she was envious of Rakka. That right there proves that she felt guilty. Reki hated her "false name tag" little stones", because she wasn't herself. She thought that the good person she needed to be was the one who acted strong and happy, but distanced herself from others. Ironically, what she was doing was actually the epitome of her false name tag "to be run over". "To be run over" is obviously a hint at Reki's dream, which is getting run over by a train. As I said before, Reki's dream symbolizes that she walks the path alone, without relying on others. "To be run over" = Reki's false personality = her sin. "Little stones" = who she really was = realizing her sin. She couldn't accept her name tag, because she couldn't accept being a person who relies on others, because she thought she would be betrayed, left alone.

And finally, what happens to those whose Day of Flight comes? Obviously, they don't go to somewhere negative, but I'm 100% sure leaving the walls doesn't mean they just leave the town of Glie and go on their own way. The story emphasizes that the haibanes will most likely never meet each other, which implies that their past selves as haibane will cease to exist, which basically means that they are reborn. Since their desire to experience life again won, they will get a second chance to prove their existence has some meaning.

My another interpretation is that the haibane will become actual angels. I don't have much to back this up, but I'll try. We know that the inside of the wall is filled with some substance of unknown origin, and the Haibane Renmei make the halos from that thing. This, in some way, is a subtle hint that the halos are fake. And if they are fake, there must be legit ones, right? Moving on. The haibanes talk about how their wings are not capable of flying, regardless, they wish that they will be able to fly with them one day. So, when they reach the Day of Flight, they abandon their fake wings and get real ones, ones they can fly with.

The reason why the woods are said to be dangerous and nobody has ever made it back is because it's a symbolic place. When one haibane enters, it shapes itself according to the haibane's past life. Rakka's dream was falling, she probably died by falling down, so she has found a well inside the woods and fell down. Reki's dream was walking on a paved road, so she'll go to the walls through the woods on a paved road. "Nobody has ever made it back" since the ones who are able to go deeper inside the woods will reach the Day of Flight and vanish forever from the town of Glie.

The crows are envied and hated by most haibane because they symbolize freedom. Haibanes have to solve the riddle to leave Glie, while the crows have an easy way out. Notice how the only two who actually sympathize with the crows are Kuu and Rakka. Kuu has reached the Day of Flight, and Rakka's crow holds they key to her sin and to her forgiveness. The others who hate crows all hate them because they envy them for having an easy way out, while they still have to solve the riddle. Kuu and Rakka (after the well episode) don't hate them because they have found their way out, they understand the crows.
Modified by Zees, Dec 26, 2015 12:50 PM
Dec 28, 2015 11:20 AM

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4596
Good ending. Reki best girl. I like her. But I really wish we know more about what beyond the wall and what happen when they take flight.

The theory that Haibane are people that commit suicide is interesting.As some already guess, I also think they will get reborn when they take flight.

Btw, what about the townspeople. Who are they?
Modified by Zapredon, Dec 28, 2015 11:42 AM
But it's important to remember that a movie review is subjective;it only gives you one person's opinion.

It doesn't matter if you like LoGH,Monster etc.If you are a jobless or college/school dropout living in your mom basement, you are still an unintelligent loser. Taste in anime does not make you a better person.If elitist don't exist, casual pleb and shit taste also don't exist.
Dec 28, 2015 9:32 PM

Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 50
I really liked this anime. I could really relate to Reki, almost too much.

This scene was way too real for me:

I liked the ending. I don't mind not knowing all the answers. I'm so glad Reki finally got her day of flight, and Rakka's going to be a great replacement to help the younger Haibane. I love that the show ended with Rakka finding twin cocoons. <3
Jan 7, 2016 10:04 AM

Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 237
A very good show indeed.

I must say I was rather, meh about the first 6 episodes and the ending... But I think at second thought, it was actually quite fantastically done. Perhaps an answer to all questions would have settled my hungry mind for answers in the end, but an open ending, is perhaps still the best.

And oh man, those were some wonderful characters, and some wonderful music. Definitely something I'll rewatch in the future. 9/10
Jan 15, 2016 12:22 PM

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 4581
This was a very beautiful anime. I loved it :')
Jan 15, 2016 12:57 PM

Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 3893
IT'S PURGATORY! GRIE IS PURGATORY! I finally realized it right after the train scene where Reki calls out to Rakka for help (absolutely stunning moment); I have no clue what part of that suddenly made this click, but it did. And I also have no clue how I connected the symbolism of so many other parts of the series in the earlier episodes to spiritual beings, life, and death, but somehow missed out on this important element. Nonetheless, I am convinced Grie has to be purgatory.

I also interpret the sinbound as being haibane who committed suicide. I'm not sure how it is in other religions, but in Christianity at least, it is widely believed that suicide is unforgivable. Rakka and Reki's dreams, penance, and absolution strongly imply they killed themselves as well. Reki probably jumped in front of a train, while Rakka threw herself off a high place.

Understanding the spiritual significance to the characters' and their ultimate fate really puts a level of depth to the story. I mean, Reki was probably on the verge of throwing herself right into damnation, into eternal nothingness. That realization gives the scene much more impact than it already had (which was a lot).

I got a huge NGE vibe off this episode, too, and through the series as a whole, in fact.

Haibane Renmei certainly has its faults, but the way it it carried out its rich symbolism and gentle, pensive atmosphere really hit me. Kind of feels like a mix of Mushishi and NGE.

Absolutely lovely series and a phenomenal finale, truly.
Modified by Zadion, Jan 15, 2016 1:02 PM

Discord: Zadion#0202
Jan 19, 2016 1:03 PM

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 7204
Feels good when you knock out a nice show you've had on your ptw list for years.

What an atmosphere this show had. I was truly immersed by it.

Wish they could have dished out just a little bit more information about the townspeople and Toga.
Perhaps its for the best that they didn't though, because then it would have turned into an exposition fest and that would have ruined the atmosphere for me.

Zadion said:
Kind of feels like a mix of Mushishi and NGE.

Yep. It gave me that "im curious but also slightly disturbed" feeling.
Jan 30, 2016 11:52 AM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 602
This was one of the deeply meaningful episode I've ever seen! I won't go into details - anyone who had done something bad in their lives and asked for forgiveness and anyone who gave it, understood this episode! This final episode was made so poetically though, that I'm sure most of people find themselves asking what was it about! Beautiful! I wanted to rate with 7, but this episode alone made me change my mind and gave it an 8!
Mar 20, 2016 5:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 17
stand said:

Wish they could have dished out just a little bit more information about the townspeople and Toga.

Just rewatched this and while I still dunno about the town folks, I think I spotted who the Toga were.

Rakka is told by the Communicator that if Reki doesn't take her flight soon that "It is quite rare but some do remain, However they are no longer called Haibane. they lose their wings and halos and live away from both humans and the Haibane and sooner or later, they grow old and die". At this point the camera zooms onto the symbol of the Communicator's hood which looks like a stick person with wings and a halo. So pretty sure she would have become a Toga.

Course a Haibane that became a Toga could never really tell anyone, so the secret would be kept.
Jun 24, 2016 12:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 848
it was strange show...but somehow had a quite deep moments from time to time that I've learned from them, two last episode was very pleasing with a little bit bitterness in it
Jul 17, 2016 6:31 PM

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1706
Really disappointed by this show.
Aug 2, 2016 2:13 PM

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 116
There are many theorys what are Haibane but I still wonder why were there normal people in their world? If people go to that city after they die because they have sins or some other reason, what were the other people doing there?
Aug 18, 2016 12:22 AM

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 756
I just can't get over this great symbolism! After reading through some forums, I found how the walls represent the Circle of Sin! By overcoming this paradox within yourself (especially as a Sin-Bound), you are freed literally and figuratively and can move on!

My theory about them not being able to own anything new is that by getting something new that you didn't make yourself is akin to looking to the future, to a new version of yourself that is foreign to who you are today. The whole point of that town was for the Haibane to reflect on themselves and their pasts, in order to resolve their feelings and achieve their Day of Flight!

Symbolism everywhere. So well done!
Aug 26, 2016 1:58 AM

Joined: May 2010
Posts: 8101
Man this had a great OP and ED, I esp. loved the scene with everyone in the living room, and a shaky 1st person view (most likely Rakka)

Reki was a great character... I'm glad she was able to move on. Next will be Nemu or Rakka I guess...
I'm glad Rakka is smiling now, and everything went well. It's a bittersweet ending but more on a happy side. It taught us the importance of doing good deeds. That it's not bad to be a little twisted. As long as your heart is good, you still have hope. Also the concept of sin was thought-provoking. Loved this anime.


EDIT - Turned it into 10/10 because I love thinking about this show. And its message are a huge inspiration. Thanks for creating this art. Also I just loved the family-like atmosphere between the main cast. So warm.
Modified by TragicRomance, Sep 12, 2016 7:17 AM
Sep 17, 2016 11:57 AM

Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 815
It could've been better but it was still amazing as is. Thinking about this anime just makes it all the more enjoyable.

Oct 2, 2016 2:20 PM

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 153
Great show. Loved the character interactions between Rakka and the rest of the Haibane. The music was lovely too and fit so well within each scene and the series as a whole. Character designs and atmosphere was quaint and simple but served its purpose well.

Also, that symbolism! One of the most impressive parts, and something I wish I had a better grasp on with this show. This strong symbolic focus is why you won't get an "explanation" on the walls. The walls represent death. We can't know what's beyond the walls because, of course, we can never know what's beyond THIS life. Simple as that.

I do like the reincarnation theory, though.
Oct 6, 2016 3:03 PM

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 208
It didn't have to end on a good note, but I'm glad it did. I'm happy for Reki, but she was fortunate to have someone to be there for her. I think many of us want to be saved just like her, but the lesson is, you have to reach out to people yourself. I wish I could give this series a 10 for that finale, but not the whole series was so great, so it's probably closer to 8/10.
Oct 25, 2016 3:30 PM

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 3122
Absolutely fantastic ending for an overall great series, I feel like I relate too much to Reki so that was very emotional for me.

Last two episodes were 10/10.

Series is 8/10 overall because the first few episodes are kinda mediocre (I feel as though the series didn't really begin until episode 5). It didn't do the pure slice of life thing very well in the first four episodes in my opinion. I also wish some of the other characters got more screentime, it felt like there was too much focus on Rakka and Reki at times.

The strongest part of this series is its exploration of the theme of forgiveness. It has a very focused exploration of this theme and manages to communicate it in a compelling way that felt natural and not pretentious.
Nov 11, 2016 3:54 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6860
It's been a while since I've felt this while watching an Anime.
I want to go there and I want my wings black and my halo red :D
Great Anime. I will remember this. I also like the characters!
Feb 13, 2017 7:53 PM

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 89
I could opine at length about how much I enjoyed various points of symbolism and character interactions, and how Rakka's and Reki's feelings of loneliness and depression really resonate with me personally, but others have already said these things perfectly eloquently, so instead, I'll leave you with this:
RakkaxReki yuri~
I feel that the subtext is weaker at the climax of the anime than at some earlier points because of how motherly Reki's love for Rakka seems during the last episode, but still, some of those scenes were pretty romantic. There can be no doubt that Rakka and Reki love each other, and whether that love is purely platonic or has a shade of romance is up to the viewer's own interpretation. Personally, I think that Rakka could easily have romantic feelings towards Reki; Reki to Rakka seems a bit of a stretch.
Feb 16, 2017 9:46 AM

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 6345
I'm very happy with the ending. Reki got to move on, let all her burdens go and continue on (whatever it means to "take flight"...) The rest of Old Home is continuing on with their lives, though one day their days of flight will also come...

9/10 for the series overall.
"No, son, you may not have your body pillow at the dinner table!"
Mar 30, 2017 4:22 AM

Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 2080
Very good series. It's better than Angel Beats in my opinion. The imagery of this series is great. Reki is a far more relatable character than Kanade from Angel Beats. 8/10
Mar 31, 2017 8:34 AM

Joined: Aug 2014
Posts: 1795
Best episode so far, i liked the ending, even though i didn't care much for the characters Reki last moments were pretty good.

Average technical aspects with terrible pacing and good themes, meh characters except Reki and average world-building.

Nothing surprising though, i was never a fan of SOL, at least this one had depth in themes.

Apr 19, 2017 2:37 AM

Joined: Oct 2015
Posts: 4798
That was a sad departure by Reki in fact that was an over all a sad anime. But i wonder what happens beyond the day of flight and beyond the wall (whats there). Maybe its paradise for those Haibane who have taken the day of flight like Kuu and Reki.
¡Ay, caramba! --- Bart Simpson

May 20, 2017 5:01 PM

Joined: Nov 2016
Posts: 14468
Fantastic ! Premise, characters, execution, enjoyment everything was on a high level. And I'm really satisfied with the outcome, even when not everything was resolved, well that is probably the part I value the most about Haibane Renmei, it leaves so much room for your own imagination.

Other shows usually leave a bad taste in my mouth when many things are left unresolved, but in this case it's quite the opposite.
Kokoro did nothing wrong.

Jun 30, 2017 4:49 PM

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 677
Well that didn't quite go how I expected it too. Still a really solid ending that answered just enough while leaving some things ambiguous. It sort of makes you wonder why we spent so much time with Kana and Hikari when they were completely sidelined for the second half of the series. But Reki and Rakka's story together was so well realized and compelling I find it hard to complain.

My literal take away from the plot. The Haibane died tragically (probably too young) with some excess baggage. They must live in the Old House/Factory until they can attain closure and make peace with themselves. Then they move on to some sort of Nirvana or just different less ominous form of an afterlife. It's possible but also a kind of baseless claim the Haibane all committed suicide in life or otherwise suffered from depression.

Honestly though it didn't matter. This was a character driven mood piece about depression, friendship and the necessity of reaching out. Putting it that way this show may be troubling to the kind of people who use "neurotypical" as an insult. But anyways while its plot was not very clearly defined. What it achieved in emotional resonance and character development more than made up for it. And while its animation felt really dated in places. In plenty of others it was beautiful and created a masterful atmosphere rife with tension and dread.

I really enjoyed Haibane. I may change my mind once I cool off. But I'm honestly giving it a 10/10. The slow start and at times spotty animation didn't really bother me. And I doubt I'll forget Rakka and Reki's journey for awhile. Fantastic OST too. "Gris Ailes" was a particularly haunting tune.
Jul 27, 2017 7:46 AM

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 72

• Twenty days since I watched the last episode. Let’s go.

• As Rakka looks around Reki’s room for Reki with Reki’s old lighter, there is some quality lighting taking place. I have to give Radix some props for that.

• The scene in Reki’s crazy room had some good directing going for it too. There was the fishball-lens close-up of Rakka’s shocked face and the top-down view of Reki’s dancing and twirling. They just HAD to make the room CGI with the lowest resolution textures possible. I guess it WAS the early-2000s.

• Well, other than the CGI, this sequence is turning out to be very well-directed. The shot that shows Rakka making a choice between opening the doorknob to run away and Reki. The shots of Rakka’s purely horrified faces. It’s surreally engaging.

• Rakka constantly screaming “Stop it!” is very well-acted. Strikes a chord. Rakka has her moments of weakness, such as the times she sees Reki hurting herself. The better way to handle the situation would be for Rakka to stand her ground and tell Reki that what she is saying about herself is wrong. But you can’t expect everyone to do that can you? I know I probably couldn’t.

• And Rakka leaves.

• Young Reki disintegrating is as unsettling as it should be. This episode is great.

• So, what I can take from Rakka’s lines when skimming Reki’s diary is that Rakka was actually starting to believe Reki’s self-deprecating words despite not wanting to believe them.

• Okay. It’s getting to the REAL trippy shit. The cocoon room suddenly became Reki’s train track dream. And young Reki’s here.

• This is nitpicking and I’m sure since it’s in the realm of dreams, it should be possible, but why the fuck is Rakka being held back by a mere kid who’s only holding on to her sleeve with one hand?

• What?

• Music just stops like that (which makes it feel more like a comedic punchline than a sudden turn of events) and they pull out the screen-shattering effect on Young Reki. They probably could’ve worked on those two effects a bit more, but it did the job of depicting the suddenness of what just happened.

• Using the halo as a table has to be the best thing I’ve seen all day. I know that we’re in the middle of a bittersweet scene, but my god.

• Woah. Okay. Hand-drawn animated background right at the end.

• I’m willing to bet that they allocated more time, budget, and manpower on this episode in comparison to the other episodes.

• Well. That’s a wrap. The finale and the show itself were a lot smaller in scale than I imagined when the show first introduced its crazy setting. I guess there’s really no true explanation for what everything in the setting is. Usually, when a show denies you an explanation, all the metaphor and surrealism is supposed to be representative of life itself, where each strange element of the setting is supposed to be metaphorical for an element of life. As lazy as that sounds, it fits pretty well. The wall could be representative of the boundary between life and death OR it could mean what separates our “worldly” (for lack of a better term) lives from fulfillment. The humans are just that. Humans. Normal people. People who are not weighed down or tortured by a past. The Haibane had pasts, but they’re missing (which could mean that they weren’t great pasts). These are just guesses though, and they could mean a whole bunch of things due to their vagueness and flexible applicability. There’s a lot of symbolism in this show, but I don’t think I’m going to bother explaining any of it, mostly because I don’t think the creator even wanted the setting to have proper sense.

• The show, as I said about the previous episode, is about depression and how nonsensical it can be and it can feel to those who are depressed and even to those who strive to help the depressed. The symbols and metaphors are strange because the show and the world is supposed to be strange. To add some sort of inner logic to all that would weaken that strangeness. Sometimes, it does feel a bit too much. (A train charging out of a wall was more silly than meaningful to be honest). But, I do think there’s no purpose in applying some sort of logic to the setting when considering the show’s themes.

• Although, most of the themes have already been showcased in the other episodes, the finale adds a new one. In Rakka’s ending monologue, she mentions how despite Reki’s torment and suffering, the paintings that she made that supposedly represent her true self/emotions/psyche are, well, happy. In the priest’s monologue, he mentions how Reki, in doing good things only as a pretense to attain salvation/acceptance/forgiveness, made “doing good things” her true nature. Reki did have less-than-noble desires that often accompany her every noble action, but she failed to recognize how her own nature has been changing and that there was far more to her acts than those non-noble desires of hers. Actually, that’s just it. She failed to recognize her own nature. I read once somewhere that those who have depression (or maybe a subset, I’m not sure) have low self-awareness. That seems to match up.

• I originally thought that this show would be an slice-of-life that had themes that were darker and more philosophically complex than other slice-of-life shows. Now, I’d say only the first half (which focused more on introducing and fleshing out the setting and the background characters) could fall under iyashikei. The latter half was a tale about depression, a precursor to the many tales of depression that would fill Tumblr. Needless to say, I was surprised.

• The person who recommended for me to watch this show compared it to Sora no Woto. In the end, Haibane Renmei is very different from Sora no Woto, but there are some key similarities. They both explore mental illness (war-centric PTSD for Sora no Woto and depression for Haibane Renmei). They both involve characters, both with their own problems, attempting to help each other. Both take place in very interesting and unorthodox settings (although Sora no Woto had far more logic to its setting). The focuses of their themes differ greatly but they both share themes of mental illness, helping those with mental illness, searching for the meaning of life, and moving on.

• After rewatching the Circle of Sin segment from episode nine, I’ve come to a further revelation. It’s not enough to know that you have sin. You have to know what exactly your sin is. Often, people misidentify what their sin is, and that misidentification could be the sin itself. Of course, it is a lot more complex than that, but it certainly is an idea.

• I’ll honestly say that this show is far from a favorite for me, but it certainly is quite interesting. Maybe if I hadn’t seen this type of story before, I’d be more affected, but it certainly was a ride that’s worth experiencing. At the very least, it’s good food for thought.
"There’s no point in the world. But isn’t that wonderful? Because if there isn’t one, then you can decide what it is for yourself."
~ Filicia Heideman, Sora no Woto

"Senpai...please grow up."
~ Fumi Manjoume, Aoi Hana

"I wonder what tomorrow will bring."
~ Yunocchi, Hidamari Sketch: Sae and Hiro's Graduation Arc

Aug 16, 2017 4:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2014
Posts: 470
I think you're just overthinking the whole anime.

This is about starting high school/college and it seeming like a whole new world once you appear. The black feathers i think is about failing grades or exams. Working part time jobs to to earn your keep, and in the end, you graduate.
Sep 26, 2017 1:04 PM

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2060
ok I liked the show since it reminded me of soranowoto but the ending left me empty and unsatisfied. I would like to see more in this show but I simply dont.
This ending in particular was pretty much obvious but also it just left too much open for my taste. Like why are humans not allowed beyond the wall? Except for toga.

Weill I generally dont like these kind of good-bye oops anime is over endings.
"This emotion is mine alone.
It is for Madoka alone." - Homura
or how I would descripe Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.
Sep 27, 2017 1:13 PM

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2060
Buo said:
Comander-07 said:
ok I liked the show since it reminded me of soranowoto but the ending left me empty and unsatisfied. I would like to see more in this show but I simply dont.
This ending in particular was pretty much obvious but also it just left too much open for my taste. Like why are humans not allowed beyond the wall? Except for toga.

Weill I generally dont like these kind of good-bye oops anime is over endings.

Rewatch episode 5. The people of Glie live virtuous lives because they feel it is inherently the right thing to do and not because they're obsessed with what lies beyond the wall. It's not like they're kept prisoners, they simply chose to live a fulfilling life in Glie.

Told from Nemu's perspective, the wingless people are seen as God's "ideal" people, whereas the Haibane are seen as mistakes, always wondering what lies beyond the wall and what potential reward it could offer when you go past it.
Reki's story is based on that, she ended up manipulating people left and right, corrupting what Kuramori had taught her and the unconditional kindness she showered her with for a selfish gain. Until she got literally and figuratively cornered and actually asked for help genuinely. Haibane Renmei tries to showcase how to cope with the unknowable by putting an exploration of altruism at the forefront.

To be a bit more blunt, the whole show works as a projection by creating this nostalgic haze inside which obvious questions are raised but not answered in order to project the core themes (self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-realization, etc, etc...) onto the viewer as effectively as possible without betraying them. For that the anime uses its melancholic atmosphere, particular tone, "show don't tell" situations and woven into the narrative literary devices.

The only things that are left open to interpretation are "what's beyond the wall" and "where do the Haibane and regular people come from". In other words, pretty basic existential questions that are taken advantage of within the narrative and left open to interpretation to serve as a catalyst for the actual meat of the anime. So enough with the "too many questions unanswered" meme already.
So in the end, Haibane Renmei isn't just a simplistic story about "depression" like our famous nit-picky Jaguar-chan claims it to be. It's an internally complex and heart-opening genuine human fable and I wish people would stop dismissing its greatness based on regurgitated shallow criticisms that are only effective at showing that they legitimately missed the entire point of the anime. Seriously people, the show is very accessible, it only asks you to pay attention and not take everything at face-value which, i'm sure, everybody is capable of accomplishing.

Sole let me ask the question - If the viewer does not get the story - Is it the fault of the one telling the story (aka the anime) or the fault of the viewer?
You sound really like a try hard fanboy. The unpleasant kind. I merely said I was unsatisfied with this anime. I started it because its rumored to be great and such things. I just dont see it that way. Sure its different, but not necessarily good or great.

Simple things like - we only got the backstory of Rakka and Reki, not of Kuu. But Kuu was the first one to take the day of flight. Reki immediately took her day of flight after becoming "free" of sin. But Rakka just stays behind despite her going through the process before reki.

The story with the angels and gods was just a fairytale. It does not need to be true. Especially the end was all made up by Rakka. And no, while the people arranged with living in the town, there was never a reason for them to not be allowed beyond them - especially when Toga are allowed to.

While I totally understand the metaphorical sphere in this anime, imo the sorrounding narrative story is not that great.

Also you are really nitpicking, the show is rated above 8 which is great. And in communities where people want to watch more then just the seasonal trash anime Haibane Remnei is often named. Its just that I did not enjoy it that much.
"This emotion is mine alone.
It is for Madoka alone." - Homura
or how I would descripe Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.
Oct 7, 2017 9:14 AM

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 2060
Buo said:
Comander-07 said:

Sole let me ask the question - If the viewer does not get the story - Is it the fault of the one telling the story (aka the anime) or the fault of the viewer?
You sound really like a try hard fanboy. The unpleasant kind. I merely said I was unsatisfied with this anime. I started it because its rumored to be great and such things. I just dont see it that way. Sure its different, but not necessarily good or great.

Simple things like - we only got the backstory of Rakka and Reki, not of Kuu. But Kuu was the first one to take the day of flight. Reki immediately took her day of flight after becoming "free" of sin. But Rakka just stays behind despite her going through the process before reki.

The story with the angels and gods was just a fairytale. It does not need to be true. Especially the end was all made up by Rakka. And no, while the people arranged with living in the town, there was never a reason for them to not be allowed beyond them - especially when Toga are allowed to.

While I totally understand the metaphorical sphere in this anime, imo the sorrounding narrative story is not that great.

Also you are really nitpicking, the show is rated above 8 which is great. And in communities where people want to watch more then just the seasonal trash anime Haibane Remnei is often named. Its just that I did not enjoy it that much.

Indeed you shared your unsatisfaction but you utterly failed at articulating it with sound arguments.

"If the viewer does not get the story - Is it the fault of the one telling the story (aka the anime) or the fault of the viewer?" - In Haibane Renmei's case, it's your fault. The anime shows you and the questions you asked are answered, it simply doesn't rely on intense spoonfeeding/infodumping but it doesn't change the fact that the elements are still there for you to make sense out of everything. The way things are presented in the anime is to make you more intimate with the story and the characters.

My crude reaction has nothing to do with fanboyism, I just got tired of people dismissing a show that actually does things right because???? And then try to articulate their apparent frustration with blanket statements and buzzwords even though it mainly stemed from their incapacity to understand what the anime tried to accomplish and most importantly how.

Reki directly took her day of flight because her time was over (she was the 2nd oldest Haibane iirc, after Nemu) and the only thing she needed to have was somebody else acknowledging that the things she did (even though it initially stemed from selfishness) were right and therefore ultimately bringing her forgiveness.

On the other hand Rakka is the youngest Haibane and became sinbound because of her selfish reaction towards Kuu's Day of Flight, i.e drowning out her identity crisis through excessive grieving while separating herself from the others. She found peace of mind when she took the time to bury the crow while apologizing which is a pure act of selflessness. Doing so stopped her from going in circles and showed her the way to effectively help Reki. She still has a role to play after Reki's departure (continuing what Reki had been doing by becoming the "senpai" herself) and her time will most probably come when it is, well... time.
Reki being sinbound is what ultimately kept her in Glie, doesn't mean that Rakka has to follow the exact same template.

I thought Kuu's case was pretty obvious, I guess not. She had trouble finding her true identity and kept copying others, she found herself by looking out to Rakka and considering her as a little sister of some sort. It's pretty light but as the anime already suggests, Kuu wasn't afraid or obsessed with the walls, she mainly stayed outside and only came back to eat, pretty much like a stray cat would. Her character is nourished with implied interactions, symbolism and a lot can be guessed about her character by looking at the art itself (in episode 7, especially).
Like I already said, her case is very light compared to Reki's (and Rakka's), she was able to tie up loose ends and take her day of flight early.

"The story with the angels and gods was just a fairytale" - Fairytale? It's the book Nemu started writing and was finished thanks to Rakka's help. The part being "made up by Rakka" is an invitation for the viewer to do the same regarding the questions purposefully left unanswered. Nemu's part on the other hand is meant to illustrate her experience in the town with that universal unknown in the background, i.e the submissive nature of the town where wingless people chose to live as simply and happily as possible by supporting each other through small deeds and the rather negative view of her own kind steming from the later revealed story about Reki trying to physically go beyond the wall by manipulating and using somebody (the Haibane boy) who helped her out of genuine integrity when she needed it the most.

"there was never a reason for them to not be allowed beyond them" - I think they are allowed to go beyond them but are not allowed to come back if they do so, pretty sure it's touched upon in episode 4. The Toga are allowed to leave and come back to trade ressources but are not allowed to communicate with anybody in the town for obvious reasons. And again, the wingless people chose to live a happy and fulfilling life despite being limited by the walls, it's exaggerated, true, but it's to make a point and considering the fact that only the symbolic elements of the setting are used to elevate the narrative, it shouldn't be a real issue (many works that aim to be philosophical in some way often showcase that type of exaggeration).

"imo the sorrounding narrative story is not that great." - You need to be more specific than that, in what way it isn't great? Because as far as I'm concerned, the narrative is effective at illustrating and exploring the show's themes while offering poignant drama. The narrow focus can be frustrating to some people (and I respect that), but it certainly makes sense when you understand how the anime does things. Haibane Renmei tells a story that happens in the setting, it isn't a story that seeks to unveil everything about it and explore every nook and cranny in a literal sense. Despite being simple at face value, the story has direct synergy with the themes; Haibane wouldn't work at all if it had a political intrigue or a cackling villain along with giant aliens threatening the town and its inhabitants. The anime amounts to something cohesive without feeling disjointed.

Again, if people had sound criticisms against the anime, i'd accept them. But it's very far from being the case and the anime wrongly suffers from that. My frustration doesn't stem from the fact that my favourite show is being criticized, it stems from the fact that Haibane Renmei is a pure, genuine and unfiltered ode to love and kindness and seeing something like that getting buttfucked mean score wise is something I wish I lived without.

So I apologize for jumping on you like that, it was an immature (albeit genuine) release of a frustration that had been building up for quite some time now. :)
just 3 things because Im not gonna read or write a wall of text. A) Why should I bother with arguments, I have not enjoyed the show as much as I expected. Im not paid for writing about an anime which is 15 years old.
B) Indeed Nemu was the oldest, but she is still there. And Rakka was not the youngest it was Kuu. When talking about how long they exist as Haibane, then that leads to the point of "what even are the children".
C) The anime does not suffer from people like me who dont think its great. Its a 15 year old anime nobody cares about. People who like it can and will like it. And its still recommended in the anime community. It has a score of over 8. Everything over 8 is considered great. Its not like it has some mediocre 7.x rating. It tries to be special and unique very hard, thats just not for the majority of people. And that is also the reason why I only rated it 7 or so.
"This emotion is mine alone.
It is for Madoka alone." - Homura
or how I would descripe Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.
Dec 9, 2017 6:01 PM

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 1233
This episode went by a little too fast; I would have preferred some more falling action. But it got the important things right: Reki reached out to Rakka and got her happy ending, Rakka ultimately chose to see Reki off with a smile, and life goes on: the series is bookended with the appearance of a cocoon, or in this case, two cocoons at the same time.

Haibane Renmei has a sweet but melancholic atmosphere, mostly thanks to the music and the art direction, and the voice performances did most of the work in bringing the characters to life, especially in the case of Rakka and Reki. Well, the character designs are memorable, too. The series was made at a time when digitally processed anime was still in its infancy, but frankly that has its own charm, too.

The series leaves most things up in the air, which is good or bad depending on what you were expecting from this show. There's a lot of room for speculation, but it also feels like the series was over too fast, and even so it could have covered more ground. But I definitely want to watch it again some time.
Dec 18, 2017 9:30 PM

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 192
I think this was the first 'purgatory' anime I ever watched. I think I only wept more with Angel Beats! but that might be recent-ism. The soundtrack is SO good, I immediately bought it at the time. "Breath of a Germ" is just wonderful.
Feb 8, 2018 1:09 PM

Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 69
my heart hurts right now
Feb 10, 2018 12:04 PM

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 132
Today I have seen this anime for the 4th time and the final episode is still able to make me cry.
Feb 19, 2018 6:35 AM

Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 5093
It really is unsettling how much of Reki character connected with me and my own depression in the end. Her not being able to trust, not believing she is a good person, feeding into her own selfishness, but deep down and without thinking she was a good person all along. It really did make me choke on tears.

Everyone really gets a satisfactory conclusion in a way. And though lots of questions aren't answered, for a story this short I don't think they needed to be. That wasn't the focus. You can also make your own interpretation of what was over the wall being "salvation" or "moving on" too, which is what I got out of it.
Mar 31, 2018 5:38 PM

Joined: May 2017
Posts: 195
I'm still thinking what this anime was all about, so many questions. The comments here helped a lot.
My only complaint is that they focused a bit to much on Rakka and Reki. I would have liked to see more of the other Haibane as well.

Overall a really good anime.
Stripes said:
It really is unsettling how much of Reki character connected with me and my own depression in the end. Her not being able to trust, not believing she is a good person, feeding into her own selfishness, but deep down and without thinking she was a good person all along. It really did make me choke on tears.

I think the characterization of Reki was really really good and real. I always had the feeling that she was kinda hiding something and her confession at the end was really shocking.
May 6, 2018 11:29 PM

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 597
Well, this finale was definitely the best part of the entire show, if the whole series had been as good as this, it would have easily been an 8/10, but i found the pacing veeery slow and most of the show very boring although the premise was pretty great.
May 17, 2018 1:03 AM

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 613
I didn't like the end. I was hoping for something better to tell the truth.

The way Reki was saved didn't felt very felt. It seems that all she had to do to be forgiven was to call for help, which is fine, but i don't like how things were done. At least Reki was saved.

The anime was not bad, the premise was interesting and i wanted to know more about the Haibanes, but in the end nothing REALLY interesting happened and since i didn't like the conclusion that much i can't rate this anime very high.

A few things were not explained which is normal, but i would like to know why Reki time had expired while Nemu was still fine despite Nemu being there already when Reki arrived.

Overall 6/10
Modified by KaeUBW, May 17, 2018 1:45 AM
Signature removed <----- that was totally BS. MAL mods nowadays...sigh.
Aug 21, 2018 9:12 AM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 2597
The first half wss boring, the it got better.
I'm glad reki's day of flight came. It would be sad for her to remain in the town.
Aug 24, 2018 10:49 PM

Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 32
I didn't care much for the show in general but this was a very good finale. The majority of these episodes focus on Rakka's inner turmoil, and it's always Reki who she confides in. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the story go in this direction. In the end, everything was brought full circle.

With Rakka, you really get the impression of what it's like adjusting to life as a newborn Haibane. Considering how upset she was over Kuu's Day of Flight, it's ideal to see her so determined in helping another friend achieve salvation (even if it means they'll possibly never see each other again).

Reki on the other hand provided the other side's perspective--what it's like when your borrowed time in Gile is beginning to dwindle. She had many facets in regards to her character, though. I think Stripes' post is right on the money. It may seem odd that we don't find out the extent she's suffering until late in the story, but even in real life some people find ways to hide their pain behind masks and those around them have no idea until it's too late.

I can also understand why she would be so apprehensive about the idea of reaching out to others for help. When every relationship you've built has either ended horribly or prematurely, it becomes difficult to truly put your trust into others. Those aspects of Reki's struggle felt very human and relatable to me.

It's ironically sweet how even when she's relying on Rakka to save her, Reki inadvertently finds a way to help the younger Haibane grow.
Modified by tascamvillain, Aug 24, 2018 11:27 PM
Sep 18, 2018 1:50 PM

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 2
The ending was excellent, Reki overcomes her delusion and allows Rakka to help her, so she is now worthy of taking the Flight. Just a really outstanding show in every way.
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