Characters / Haibane Renmei

A list of the important characters appearing in Haibane Renmei and their tropes
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  • Holy Halo: Subverted. The halo does not indicate that they are angels, although speculation says otherwise.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: No Haibane remembers their pasts, but remembers how to speak, do daily tasks, etc.
  • Meaningful Name: Kana=River Fish, Kuu=Air, Reki=Little Stones, Hikari=Light, Nemu=Sleep, Rakka=Falling, Hyoko=Ice Lake.
  • True Companions: Especially the Haibane in Old Home.
  • Wings Do Nothing: They have wings, but are unable to fly.
  • Winged Humanoid: If it wasn't already obvious.

Voiced by: Ryo Hirohashi (JP), Carrie Savage (EN)

The main character, for all intents and purposes. Rakka is the newest Haibane. She is the youngest of the main characters, and throughout the series, she develops close friendships with all the characters, but especially Reki and Kuu. After Kuu's Day of Flight, Rakka becomes Sin-bound because of her inability to accept Kuu's departure and move on. With Reki's help, she eventually overcomes her grief. Later, a crow guides her outside of the boundaries permitted by the Charcoal Feather Federation, and she falls down a well and breaks her leg. She is rescued by a Toga, but she must serve a punishment for her crime. She now has to collect the materials used to make materials for the Haibane's halos and clean the interior of the wall.

  • Audience Surrogate: As the newest Haibane, she's just as confused about the world as viewers are, and has to learn about it as she goes along.
  • Break the Cutie: During her Sin-bound phase.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Chestnut hair and eyes.
  • Despair Event Horizon: She hits it in episode 8, thanks to a combination of losing her best friend aside from Reki, becoming Sin-bound without fully understanding or knowing how to deal with it, and going through an existential crisis as a result of the former. Thankfully, she slowly manages to rebound from it in the following episodes with some help from the Communicator.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: She goes through a massive one after Kuu's Day of Flight, which sent her spiralling into a depression that she still hadn't recovered from even a full month later. She only gets worse when she discovers that she's Sin-bound. Thankfully, she eventually gets better on both fronts.
  • Idiot Hair: Her hair succumbs to high amounts of static during the first couple episodes. It eventually calms down.
  • Messy Hair: Thanks to the static from her halo. Even later on, her hair is still permanently messy.
  • Naïve Newcomer: At first.
  • Sailor Fuku: Her sailor suit-style dress gives off this impression. When winter approaches, she switches to a red dress instead.
  • The Scream: After her wings fully sprout out of her back towards the end of the first episode. Given how painful it looks, it's quite understandable.
  • Self-Harm: She starts cutting her wings when her feathers start turning black.
  • Shrinking Violet: At first, she's quite shy around her fellow Haibane and even more so around the townspeople. However, she starts to become more open with everyone as the series progresses, especially with the ones who are more openly friendly towards her.
  • You Are Not Alone: What she goes through when she realizes that the bird in her cocoon dream symbolized someone that previously knew and cared for her, which is what causes her to snap out of her Heroic B.S.O.D.. She later applies this to Reki so that she can help her to break out of the Circle of Sin as well as her own Heroic B.S.O.D..

Voiced by: Junko Noda (JP), Erika Weinstein (EN)

The second-oldest Haibane in Old Home. Patient and kind to a fault, Reki is helpful to everyone, though she loses patience with the Young Feathers. Reki works with the Young Feathers as a caretaker and paints in her spare time. She knows a lot more about the world than most and seems to be hiding secrets… She arrived in Old Home Sin-bound and was ostracized as a result. Only Kuramori showed her any kindness at first, but eventually Nemu warmed up to her. When Kuramori took her Day of Flight without warning, Reki felt abandoned and ran away to the Abandoned Factory where she befriended Hyoko and Midori. She talked Hyoko into helping her escape and when they were caught, they were both forbidden from ever setting foot in each other's areas again. She almost fails to achieve her Day of Flight, but fortunately Rakka helps her achieve salvation.
  • Becoming the Mask: She thought being nice to Rakka would help her. She just didn't realize how much Rakka would return the favor.
  • Braids of Action: She wore her hair in braided pigtails in her younger days, further showing how she Used to Be a Tomboy.
  • Broken Bird: And how!
  • Cool Big Sis: Especially towards Rakka, but aside from Nemu (who's two years older), she could qualify towards the other Haibane to a lesser extent as well.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The world treated her pretty badly back in the day. Then there's her cocoon dream…
  • Despair Event Horizon: She crosses it in the final episode when Rakka brings her the stone tablet from the Haibane Renmei, which reveals the "true meaning" of her name and causes her to remember the full extent of her dream, which involved getting hit by a train, and it's also implied that she intentionally placed herself in the train's path. This causes her to instantly deteriorate into a self-loathing wreck, lamenting on how everything she did for others was out of selfishness and how she never had any chance for salvation, culminating in her yelling at Rakka to leave her like she thinks everyone else has. Thankfully, Rakka proves to her that she truly became a selfless person, that she is not alone, and breaks her out of the Circle of Sin, bringing her right back from this point almost just as quickly.
  • Deuteragonist: As the series goes on, it becomes pretty clear that this is as much her story as Rakka's.
  • Heaven Seeker: She desires to break the Circle Of Sin and have her Day Of Flight before she disappears.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: At two different points. The first is in her backstory when Kuramori unexpectedly takes her Day of Flight, followed by Hyouko trying to help her escape, which results in him getting almost fatally injured due to trying to climb the walls, which she blames herself for. The second is in the final episode when Rakka delivers the stone tablet from the Haibane Renmei with her "true name" on it, causing her to remember the full extent of her dream, and come to the conclusion that she never had any chance for salvation. Rakka proves her wrong on this point.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Rakka is this to her. In the past it was Kuramori.
  • Railroad Tracks of Doom: Her dream.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Her studio, as seen in the final episode.
  • Self-Harm: As a child she used to cut her feathers due to being ashamed of them.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Her smoking habit appears to fall under this category at first, but it becomes more of a subversion as the series progresses, as it starts to turn into a clear sign of a deeply flawed and troubled character. When she quits in episode 11, it's a sign of her positive Character Development.
  • Stepford Smiler: Played with. She sees herself this way, and while it's true to a certain extent, her acts of caring for others, including the smiling part, became more and more of a genuine trait over time.
  • Team Mom: Particularly towards the Young Feathers, since she is in charge of taking care of them, and tends to act like a caring, but reasonably strict mother figure towards them. She partly qualifies for the older Haibane as well due to her tendency to look out for and take care of them as well.
  • You Are Not Alone: She believes that everyone eventually leaves her in the end, especially when she hits the Despair Event Horizon in the final episode. However, Rakka invokes this towards her to not only prove her wrong, but to break her out of the Circle of Sin.

Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa (JP), Hunter MacKenzie Austin (EN)

Another one of the older Haibane at Old Home, Hikari works at the oldest bakery in town. Very cheerful and bright, she is the one who gives Rakka her halo. She has her mischievous side though, which Rakka finds out after they return the halo mold to the Renmei Communicator.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 3 to an extent. She has more of a prominent role than in most other episodes due to going with Rakka to the temple of the Haibane Renmei to return the halo mold, teaching her how to communicate with them without speaking, and being visited at her job at the bakery for the only time in the series.
  • Meganekko: She is the only (current) Haibane shown to wear glasses.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Her glasses are definitely presented as a sign of how bright she is. However, she's often irritated at the fact that there's a lot she doesn't know.
  • Team Chef: She cooks for the Haibane of Old Home when Reki isn't available.

Voiced by: Eri Miyajima (JP), Zarah Little (EN)

A hyperactive, tomboyish young Haibane, Kana works as an assistant mechanic in the town's clock shop and clock tower. She is the most outspoken and brash of the Old Home Haibane, and can suffer from a strong stubborn streak when the mood takes her. Has a strong vendetta against the crows that steal Old Home's garbage, though not without good reason.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 4, which is focused on her taking Rakka to her job and showing her what she does there on a regular basis. It also explores her Hidden Depths while they're at it.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Kana has the shortest hair of any of the female Haibane. However, unlike with Kuu, no one is ever shown to be confused about Kana's gender.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: She's always late to her job, often on purpose.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Easily the most obvious example in Old Home.
  • Genki Girl: Not overtly so, but applies nevertheless.
  • Tomboy
  • Wrench Wench: Single-handedly fixed the clock tower at Old Home. Sort of.

Voiced by: Akiko Yajima (JP), J-Ray Hochfield (EN)

Before Rakka arrived, Kuu was the youngest Haibane. She works at a cafe. At one point, she attempted to appear older by trying out Hikari's glasses and wearing clothes that were not her size. Next to Reki, she is the one Rakka is the closest to, so when she ascends, Rakka is quite devastated.
  • Airplane Arms: Her favorite way to run. She even does it in the opening credits.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Literally, in Episode 6.
  • Boyish Short Hair: People in town who don't know better call her a boy. She never corrects them.
  • Cheerful Child: She's the youngest of the non-Young Feathers and is noticeably cheerful.
  • Friend to All Living Things: As evidenced by her feeding an alley cat and sympathizing with the crows, wishing they could speak to and understand them, Kuu seems to care about all living things, human and non-human alike.
  • Genki Girl: You never see her frown.
  • It's All Junk: Gives her coat to Rakka.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: See above.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Her bowlcut-like haircut and unisex clothes combined with her young age make her mistakable for a boy.
  • Outdoorsy Gal: Often seen playing or lounging around the windmills.
  • The Pollyanna: She's pretty much always upbeat, cheerful, and energetic.
  • Token Mini-Moe: She's the youngest of the main characters.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Fits this trope thematically, even though she doesn't exactly die.
  • Sempai/Kohai: She is Rakka's senior despite being physically smaller. Rakka accepting this is one of the things that allows Kuu to take her Day Of Flight.
  • Tomboy: She never tried to be, but her small stature, boyish clothes, and short hair meant everyone in town mistook her for a boy. That includes her boss.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Thus her Day of Flight comes first. Seeing as she was the youngest, it's much sooner than most.

Voiced by: Kazusa Murai (JP), Karen Strassman (EN)

The oldest Haibane in Old Home, Nemu works as an assistant in the town library. Something of a researcher and amateur writer, she easily falls asleep quite often during the day, regardless of how much activity she's actually had. Back in the day, Nemu was the one who discovered Reki after Reki had already hatched from her cocoon and had sprouted her wings. While the two did not get along at first due to Nemu feeling frightened and alienated by Reki's black, sin-bound wings, they bonded while watching over Kuramori when she was sick and have since become close friends.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 5, which is focused on her job at the library and her relationship with Sumika, the senior librarian. It also focuses on Rakka helping her to finish a book she's writing as a gift she plans to give to Sumika.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: The reason no one gets onto her for her constant naps is because she is phenomenally good at her job.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: A chaste version. Nemu has hung around Glie for far longer than any Haibane reasonably should. Turns out she refuses to take her Day Of Flight until she's sure Reki has found inner peace.
  • Not a Morning Person: Or an afternoon person. Or an evening person.
  • Sleepyhead: Nemu has a reputation for constantly falling asleep.

     Renmei Communicator
Voiced by: Tamio Ohki (JP), Michael McConnohie (EN)

The leader of all the Haibane, the Communicator is also the only one allowed to communicate and trade with the enigmatic Toga, who come from outside the town walls to trade with the town. While stern, he truly cares for all his charges, and is instrumental in helping Rakka and Reki's character growth.
  • Cool Mask: Wears a spoon-like mask.
  • The Faceless: He never removes his mask.
  • Good Shepherd: In his capacity as a quasi-religious leader for the Haibane, he is very much this.
  • The Mentor: He ends up becoming something of a mentor figure to both Rakka and Reki, especially the way he starts offering advice to indirectly help them break out of the Circle of Sin they're each caught in.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Turns out to be a good source of advice and wisdom for Rakka and Reki.

Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa (JP), Wendee Lee (US)

The primary caretaker of the Young Feathers years ago, Kuramori was at first the only person to accept Reki and truly care for her. She disappeared very suddenly and without explanation (that came later via a third party), which caused Reki to go off the deep end for awhile.
  • Ill Girl: It was stated (and later shown) that she had a very delicate constitution. Her collapsing outside Old Home while fetching medicine for Reki indirectly led to Reki and Nemu patching up their differences.
  • Motherly Side Plait: Fitting with her role towards the younger Haibane.
  • Parental Substitute / Team Mom: To both Reki and Nemu years before the start of the series.
  • Posthumous Character: Already had her Day of Flight five years before Rakka's birth, but still has some effect on the events in the series.

Voiced by: Manabi Mizuno (JP), Stephanie Sheh (EN)

A Haibane living in the Abandoned Factory. She's friends with Hyouko, but dislikes Reki.

Voiced by: Chihiro Suzuki (JP), Josh Phillips (EN)

A male Haibane living in the Abandoned Factory. He and Reki have a sordid history together.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: In this case, an apology to Reki. He finally sorta does so during the New Year's Festival.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: That thing he did with Reki… She convinced him they should run away; he tried to climb the wall (even driving a spike into it!) and nearly died as a result. They're both now banned from going into each other's areas.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Has blue eyes to fit his aloof nature.
  • Nice Hat: He's almost always seen wearing a red baseball cap that he uses to hide his halo.
  • It Is Pronounced Tropay: It's not "Hiyoko" (that means 'little chick'), it's Hyouko!
  • The One Guy: He is the only male Haibane we see who isn't a little kid.