Characters / Haibane Renmei
A list of the important characters appearing in Haibane Renmei and their tropes
Tropes That Apply to All Characters:
- 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
The main character, for all intended 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
- Break the Cutie: During her Sin-bound phase.
- Curtains Match the Window
- 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 into a depression well over a full month afterwards. She only gets worse when she discovers that she's Sin-bound, but thankfully, she eventually gets better.
- Idiot Hair: Her hair succumbs to high amounts of static during the first couple episodes. It eventually calms down.
- Na´ve Newcomer: At first
- 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.
- 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 herself goes through when she realizes that the bird in her cocoon dream symbolized somewhat that previously knew and cared for her, which is what causes her to snap out of her Heroic B.S.O.D.. She latter 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..
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 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, Reki felt abandoned and ran away to the Abandoned Factory, where she befriended Hyoko. She talked Hyoko into helping her escape and when she was caught, she was forbidden from ever setting foot on the Abandoned Factory grounds. 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.
- 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
- Despair Event Horizon: She hits 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 devolve 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.
- Heaven Seeker
- 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, particularly 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. Thankfully, she is proven wrong.
- Railroad Tracks of Doom: Her dream.
- Room Full of Crazy: Her studio, as seen in the final episode.
- 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.
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 some 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.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Her glasses are definitely presented as a sign of how bright she is.
- Team Chef: She cooks for the Haibane of Old Home when Reki isn't available.
A hyperactive, tomboyish young Haibane, Kanna 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.
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
Voiced by: Kazusa Murai (JP), Karen Strassman
(credited as "Kirsty Pape") (US)
The oldest Haibane in Old Home, Nemu works as a librarian 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. Nemu was the one to discover Reki after Reki had already hatched from her cocoon and had sprouted her wings.
While the two young Haibane did not get along at first due to Nemu feeling frightened and alienated by Reki's black, sin-bound wings
, the two bonded while watching over Kuramori when she was sick.
- 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: Despite her constant naps, she actually does do phenomenally good work at her job.
- Not a Morning Person
- Sleepyhead: Nemu has a reputation for constantly falling asleep.
The leader of all the Haibane, the Communicator is also the only one allowed to communicate and trade with the strange 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
- 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.
The primary caretaker of the Young Feathers years ago, Kuramori was at first the only person to accept Reki and truly care for her.
A Haibane living in the Abandoned Factory. She's friends with Hyouko, but dislikes Reki.
A male Haibane living in the Abandoned Factory. He and Reki have a sordid history together.