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Old 2007-02-22, 22:25   Link #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joojoobees View Post
Spoiler for more on Kuu:
I think that argument can also be put this way: she could have been preparing to go because she KNEW that she was about to leave. She did not make that decision. She just knew that it was going to happen, hence, the preparation.

This also happens to some cases in real life when some old people are about to depart. Even if their conditions were not bad but they knew that it is their time to go. They were right. They did not make it.

As for if Raka killed herself or not, I thought she did. From the info we have from the anime, she died from jumping into a well most likely. How can someone "accidentally" fall into a well?
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Old 2007-02-23, 00:36   Link #62
Joojoobees
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Arrow

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Originally Posted by Sonhex View Post
Spoiler for Kuu:
Well, I would just respond that anybody in the real world who hears an inner voice and takes action, is making their own decision, and responsible for that action. There certainly wasn't a scene in the show where a big voice appears and makes it clear that the characters were merely responding to a force outside of themselves.

Quote:
I may rewatch it with this in mind sometime.
Yeah, it's about time I watch the whole thing over again.

Quote:
No this 'spiritual self' idea is just my theory.
That's the great thing about this show. And another reason that I think it is really an allegory for the human condition in general. As the Library episode shows, our experience is essentially open to interpretation.

Quote:
Spoiler:
I don't want to push this too far, because it was obviously a different show, but, in Serial Experiments: Lain, by the same guy (Abe), there is a character who says she disposed of her body because she didn't need it any longer.

Spoiler:


Quote:
Spoiler:
Spoiler for still Kuu, some Reki:


Oh well, this show is probably my favorite of all time, so I am sure I have over-thought it.
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Old 2007-02-23, 00:44   Link #63
Joojoobees
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Wink We all fall down

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How can someone "accidentally" fall into a well?
That happens in Batman Begins. Bruce Wayne falls into an old well and gets frightened of bats.

I guess all you have to do is be playing around on top of it and fall. A little kid who is trying to be "helpful" might climb up to get the bucket, or grab the winch.

Anyways, it is all speculation. I don't think the series gives clear answers to any question, it just encourages thinking.
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Old 2007-02-24, 00:43   Link #64
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As for if Raka killed herself or not, I thought she did. From the info we have from the anime, she died from jumping into a well most likely. How can someone "accidentally" fall into a well?
I didn't see anything in the anime that made me think that she jumped in a well. I got the impression that she fell from something high and someone died trying to save her.
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Old 2007-02-25, 06:30   Link #65
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As for if Raka killed herself or not, I thought she did. From the info we have from the anime, she died from jumping into a well most likely. How can someone "accidentally" fall into a well?
I think that she died in a well is an overinterpretation of the symbolism. But that aside, statistics is against you: every now and then kids fall into a well and die. But I can't recall anybody ever jumping into as well to commit suicide.
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Old 2007-02-25, 09:54   Link #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
I think that she died in a well is an overinterpretation of the symbolism. But that aside, statistics is against you: every now and then kids fall into a well and die. But I can't recall anybody ever jumping into as well to commit suicide.

Slightly off-topic, but I wanted to note that I was watching some Simpson's eps yesterday, and one of them was the ep where Bart plays a prank involving a phantom kid falling into a well.

Only funny to me, I suppose, because of your Moe ava.... xD
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Old 2007-02-25, 09:57   Link #67
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Quote:
I didn't see anything in the anime that made me think that she jumped in a well. I got the impression that she fell from something high and someone died trying to save her.
Spoiler:
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Old 2007-02-25, 11:33   Link #68
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I can't remember which ep but there is one that shows Rakka's cocoon dream was falling from the sky into a well. She is obssessed with this well thing and ultimately, she gets her salvation in a well. That is also where she finds the bird.

I think she died from jumping into a well because she was obssessed with the idea that nobody cares for her or she is totally alone. She said that in the later ep. I think the bird is someone who cares for her so much that they are willing to kill themselves so that they can become birds and cross the wall to where Rakka is now. I don't think the thoughts alone can become birds and cross the wall. I believe that those birds are dead people. That city is so over-protected for Haibane. I just don't think that anyone or mere thoughts can cross. After all, if it is that easy, why bother protect (or confine?) Haibane so much? And there would be WAY more birds than that. This is also why there are so few Haibane around. It is not like anyone can just becomes a Haibane. Of course, this is also on the assumption that Haibane are dead people.

The difference between Rekki and Rakka's suicide is that Rekki might have actually hurt someone (or more than one person?) before she died. That is what makes her a natural-born sin-bound. I think she might have hurt more than one person over period of time and she finally couldn't take it anymore and killed herself. But this cycle contiues after she becomes a Haibane. She still hurts people, that boy who tried to help her, and the girl who was her best friend and now lives in the abandoned factory with that boy and others, even Nemu did not like her at first. Rekki becomes a Haibane--probably not by choice, none of them does, apprently--and have to learn to solve her problem or she can't move on. She was going to end up dwelling in the destructive cycle she put herself in before if Rakka did not save her. This time, there is no second chance.

In Rakka's case, there were people who cared for her just that she did not realize that. She killed herself believing she was completely alone. She hurts the feelings of people who care for her. They even go after Rakka and become birds to let her know how much they love her and she is not alone. Rakka did not actually hurt anyone, I think. Those people becomes birds (kill themselves) out of their own free will. But that doesn't mean it is OK to hurt people's feelings like that. So Rakka becomes a Haibane and have to solve her own problem.

None of the Haibane, including Rekki and Rakka, intentionally hurt people. Most of them never did, intentionally or not. Rekki and Rakka are two exceptions. Rakka is just an extreme case that she still hurt others even if she tried very hard not to. A girl with very bad luck, indeed, like Touga describes in the end. If they have intentionally hurt anyone, they would not have become Haibane. They don't deserve it.

Of course, this is just what I think.
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Old 2007-02-25, 14:39   Link #69
Joojoobees
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Arrow I'm like a bird

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I think the bird is someone who cares for her (RAKKA) so much that they are willing to kill themselves so that they can become birds and cross the wall to where Rakka is now.
Spoiler:


The point being that even within the series, the imagery is very fluid. Symbols point to more than one meaning.

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I believe that those birds are dead people. That city is so over-protected for Haibane. I just don't think that anyone or mere thoughts can cross. After all, if it is that easy, why bother protect (or confine?) Haibane so much? And there would be WAY more birds than that. This is also why there are so few Haibane around. It is not like anyone can just becomes a Haibane. Of course, this is also on the assumption that Haibane are dead people.
I personally believe the Haibane are us ... any one, and all, of us. The exact number of Haibane, or birds or anything doesn't really matter. All that really matters is, first, that you don't get sucked into grief or despair, and two, that you find some purpose for yourself, so that your time in Glie is personally meaningful.
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Old 2007-02-25, 17:23   Link #70
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About Rakka:
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Old 2007-02-25, 18:10   Link #71
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About Rakka:
Spoiler:
I think that all the Hanbane had violent or untimely deaths, but I don't think that most of them comitted suicide. The youngest are to young to think about such things. And I would think that one who comitted suicide would start with black wings.
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Old 2007-02-25, 18:55   Link #72
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Originally Posted by PastPrime View Post
I think that all the Hanbane had violent or untimely deaths, but I don't think that most of them comitted suicide. The youngest are to young to think about such things. And I would think that one who comitted suicide would start with black wings.

Which is pretty much what I think. I couldn't imagine the little ones being so depressed at their age. The only ones who I think committed suicide are the two obvious people at the end.
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Old 2007-03-05, 22:25   Link #73
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The Joy Of Haibanology

I just discovered this thread, but I'm definitely not new to haibane.

I first watched Haibane Renmei in September, 2004, at a time when I really needed a show like that.

Since then, I've watched the complete series 57 times, written a massive fanfic based on it (my first novel), a couple of short stories (backstories for Reki and Kana) and recorded an (admittedly rough) album based on it (called Wings of Gray).

I consider Haibane Renmei not only my favorite anime of all time, but my favorite visual art production of all time. The show has opened creative doors for me I never imagined possible.

So I suppose you could say I'm something of a fan.

The Beginning Of The World

Haibane Renmei is based on many things, and studying them can be helpful, but ultimately, the true source of the story lies deep within its creator. It's sort of a gestalt of his own views of life, death and everything in between -- and beyond.

ABe describes the writing process as being very intuitive and unstructured. When he first drew the doujinshi, he didn't have the names of the characters in mind, wasn't thinking about the commercial viability of a series, and no anime was planned. It was very unfocused and ad hoc (described here).

As a result, the series contains a great deal of subconscious input from ABe, and thus could even be considered to reflect his soul.

I think that's what makes Haibane Renmei so compelling and moving.

It has a depth and emotional honesty very few other works have.

The First Rule Of Haibanology

ABe wisely set the ground rules for haibanology himself: there is no such thing as an incorrect interpretation.

Though he had many things in mind while working on the series, he freely admits he can't explain everything about the show. More poignantly, he says he doesn't think it would be appropriate to do so.

Thus it's left to the viewer to decide what it all means, just as it is left to a haibane to find the meaning of his or her existence.

The show is incredibly well-written for such an ad hoc endeavor. In 57 viewings, I've noticed something new each time -- some detail, symbolic connection or foreshadowing I hadn't noticed before. And it's not just my imagination.

They're in there, and I can point them out to any other viewer.

Yet to see them, one must look for them knowing how the rest of the story goes, and finding them is therefore possible only with many attentive viewings.

And I know there is much I have yet to discover.

Why I Love Haibane Renmei

But what I have truly come to marvel at, and the reason it's unlikely any show will bump Haibane Renmei from the top of my anime shelf, is the way it affects other viewers and the myriads of different interpretations the series evokes.

Each interpretation not only reveals something about the show, but a great deal about the person watching it, which is why there is no such thing as an incorrect interpretation.

Like all fine art, Haibane Renmei means different things to different people, though it is exquisitely beautiful to all who open their hearts to it.

Knowing that makes reading threads like these delightful and enjoyable, as well as a a rich source of amusement and enlightenment -- as I have seen interpretations here I hadn't previously considered, but will keep in mind the next time I watch the show.

Which, unsurprisingly, will probably be soon.

Haibane Renmei means something different to each person who watches it, yet simultaneously gives us all something in common: a shared and unforgettable experience in a mysterious walled city which truly exists only in our hearts, minds and souls.

That's why I love Haibane Renmei.
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Old 2007-03-05, 22:58   Link #74
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Thumbs up

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Originally Posted by Majic View Post
Since then, I've watched the complete series 57 times, written a massive fanfic based on it (my first novel), a couple of short stories (backstories for Reki and Kana) and recorded an (admittedly rough) album based on it (called Wings of Gray).
Wow! That's impressive. I've only only listened to the first four tracks so far, but it was very well constructed.

Quote:
I consider Haibane Renmei not only my favorite anime of all time, but my favorite visual art production of all time.[/i]
I agree with you. Haibane Renmei rises above categories. When I first found Volume one, I watched it over again and again, sometimes a couple of times a day, for weeks. I had never seen something so beautiful or evocative. Finally I ordered a copy of Volume two through the net. I was expecting something like the first Volume and was, therefore, thoroughly unprepared for the events that unfold. I cried and couldn't believe what I had just experienced.

I have struggled to explain how much this series means to me. I have tried to express it to people by saying that Haibane Renmei is better than any other TV show I have ever seen, which is true, but just isn't enough. Even to qualify it as "visual art production" seems to be insufficient. To me this show stands against any play or poem or novel. It seems almost unfair to compare it to works of music or paintings since it includes those elements and so much more.
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Old 2007-03-06, 04:51   Link #75
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Now, I don't really have anything to add, but I would just like to say a big thank you to all of you have posted in here. It's been incredibly interesting.

I think I'll be watching it again soon.
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Old 2007-03-06, 09:04   Link #76
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It's nice that this thread popped-up. At the constant prodding of a close friend I've just started on Haibane Renmei. The first 3 episodes in, I have the... unsettling... feeling that what's happening in HR bears too much resemblence, in atmosphere and plot even, to a story out of the Kino no Tabi universe. For me its unsettling because I didn't really have a very smooth ride with KnT.

Apart from that resemblence, what I think mostly contributes to this unsettling feeling of mine is Rakka. It's hard to describe, but I'll try. It's as if Rakka's suitation, her life, is peaceful, but yet it is an ominous peace. The fact that she no longer questions her existence makes it even more ominous, such as how silence, lack of sound, amplifies an atmosphere. Something feels wrong, but under the surface.

That said, I'm looking forward to the rest of it. Also, I really really enjoy the OP song of HR - it's very lovely.
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Old 2007-03-17, 14:55   Link #77
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Rakka's Adventures in Wonderland

There are interesting parallels between Haibane Renmei and Alice in Wonderland.

Rakka is clearly Alice, and the dream of falling is her falling down the rabbit hole to arrive in this strange world, an amnesic world where she can't quite recall who she is anymore.

The well is the treacle well that the dormouse spoke of, Rakka visits it whilst musing about the dormouse (Kuu). Note how Rakka falls ill after living in the well, just as Alice commented of the 3 sisters that they'd be ill if they lived down a treacle well.

The crows are a homage to the riddle, "Why is a raven like a writing desk", a riddle which Alice at first believes to be a genuine one that she can answer, just as Rakka feels an affinity for the crows, and gets the feeling that they have some kind of significance.

Washi is a sort of inverse Cheshire Cat (everything but his smile is visible).

Reki might be the white rabbit who keeps leading Alice on through this strange world, OTOH maybe she’s the Hatter or March Hare, since she’s one of those who seem to gently persecute the dormouse.
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Old 2007-03-17, 16:36   Link #78
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The well is the treacle well that the dormouse spoke of, Rakka visits it whilst musing about the dormouse (Kuu). Note how Rakka falls ill after living in the well, just as Alice commented of the 3 sisters that they'd be ill if they lived down a treacle well.
Cool idea, but wouldn't the dormouse be Nemu?
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Old 2007-03-17, 18:53   Link #79
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I never thought of comparing Alice in Wonderland and Haibane Renmei. That's cool. I did hear that ABe was gotten some Haibane ideas from Hard-Boiled Wonderland so I read that. I love Hard-Boiled but I don't think it's for the same reason as my love for Haibane Renmei...
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Old 2007-03-17, 20:08   Link #80
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Talking It truly is a land of wonder

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I never thought of comparing Alice in Wonderland and Haibane Renmei. That's cool. I did hear that ABe was gotten some Haibane ideas from Hard-Boiled Wonderland so I read that. I love Hard-Boiled but I don't think it's for the same reason as my love for Haibane Renmei...
It's starting to stray too far from the topic, but the author of Hard-Boiled Wonderland, Haruki Murakami, also wrote a really great novel called A Wild Sheep Chase. It is very philosophical, but in a light-hearted way, outwardly taking the form of a hard-boiled detective novel, like something Raymond Chandler might have written (if Raymond Chandler were hallucinating about Hokkaido ).

Back on-topic: Next experiment, watching Haibane-Renmei while listening to Dark Side of the Moon, backwards.
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