Haibane Renmei

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I’m switching the posting order around a bit as the gender and Haibane Renmei post is a) easier to write from memory, and b) doesn’t depend on certain key events needed to properly assess the dub.

When I’ve discussed this topic previously [1] I’ve had the benefit of a somewhat mixed cast to assess the gender roles against. So far the only male characters have been minor characters only, and who never become more than minor characters [2]. There is one failed romantic interest with a male Haibane that pops up later, but I’m reserving comment on that [3].

The predominantly female cast does make assessing gender roles harder as there isn’t a mirror to compare to. The assessment is complicated by the protected / semi child like status of the Haibane, although somewhat offset by the requirement that the Haibane work. That the Haibane enjoy their work and generally flourish there also helps [4] to dent the image of dependency.

The general absence of fan service is obviously a plus, as are the generally sensible clothing choices [5], and the absence of any other alarming signals.

I think the final result is fairly good overall, primarily due to having a range of fully realised female characters who exist for themselves, rather than in relationship to a man.

Day 1 – Cocoon – Dream of Falling from the Sky – Old Home
Day 2 – Town and Wall – Toga – Haibane Renmei
Day 3 – The World of Haibane Renmei
Day 4 – Temple – Communicator – Pancakes
Day 5 – Trash Day – Clock Tower – Birds Flying Over the Walls
Day 6 – Gender and Haibnane Renmei
Day 7 – Library – Abandoned Factory – The Beginning of the World
Day 8 – End of Summer – Rain – Loss
Day 9 – Dub vs Sub?
Day 10 – Scar – Illness – Arrival of Winter
Day 11 – The Bird
Day 12 – ???
Day 13 – Well – Rebirth – Riddle
Day 14 – Kuramori – Haibane of Abandoned Factory – Rakka’s Job
Day 15 – ???
Day 16 – Parting – Darkness in the Heart – Irreplaceable Thing
Day 17 – Bell Nuts – Passing of the Year Festival – Reconciliation
Day 18 – ????
Day 19 – Reki’s World – Prayer – Reconciliation
Day 20 – Looking Back At Haibane Renmei


[1] The Record of Lodoss War verdict was “Oh dear”. The Vision of Escaflowne ruling was “not bad, and probably better than most”.

[2] Some of the Young Feathers, the thrift shop guy, some of the Haibane’s employers.

[3] It ties into a lot of other angst in the second half of the series so it is fairly complex to unpick.

[4] Hikari is praised for original thinking, Kana is learning valuable skills, Nemu receives gifts for the quality of her work.

[5] Especially in winter when they sew wing covers. J