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Haibane Renmei

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OP: Kana leaving for work
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 2
Cel Number: A1 END, B1
Oversize, 14W x 11H

Key Cel
Copy Matching Background

Added 6/11/2017
Updated 7/17/2017

Cut 7. After the previous scene, the setting shifts to Old Home, one of the Haibanes’ living places. Kana, who works for Glie’s watchmaker and clock repairer, is just getting ready to ride her bicycle to work. Sequence numbers: A1 END (bicycle handlebars), B1 (Kana). (According to the dougas; as usual with rilezu, all of the image was painted on a single cel layer.)

The screen cap shows the first visible frame of this cut, in which Kana is only partially visible (you get a better view of those handlebars). Then the perspective pans quickly upward as she looks up and to his right, following the “falling star” in the sky that brings Rakka to their world. You can see a rilezu from this part of the cut in Doug’s Cels (the B6) and another in Just a few cels (evidently from a moment later in the cut).

Interestingly, my rilezu came not with the usual “clean-up douga” that incorporated the two layers onto one sheet, front and back, but with two separate sheets (see thumbnails). Both are autograph dougas, and they are labeled in the top right corner like other dougas that I own (e.g., from NieA_7, which used many of the same artists).

Could they be actual production sketches, unlike the others that were made by Studio F&O from (probably) digitally scanned images of sketches that were subsequently (by all accounts) physically destroyed? Perhaps; but I see that Doug’s Cels rilezu of Kana also came with two sketches, one of which was an A1 END sketch of the handlebars like mine. That might be a photocopy, while mine, examined through an 8x lupe, is a real pencil-on-paper sketch. Or maybe both were traced in pencil by F&O artists from a digital copy. Without more information, it’s impossible to tell, but it is unusual that at least these two Kana OP images (mine and Doug’s) came with authentic-looking production dougas.

As with my other items, the copy matching background was laser-printed from “CG output.” It shows the outside of “Old Home,” the homesteaded living place of this group of Haibane. Step ahead one item to see a scan of this by itself.


The Haibane arrive in this temporary world aware that they had lived a previous life in a similar world, but with no memory of their names or the details of their lives. They only remember some key detail of the “dream” of their passing from that world to this one. Rakka, for example, remembers only falling through the air (落下“rakka” = “drop from the sky”), and Reki recalls trudging on a path made of small stones (礫 “reki” = “crushed rock, gravel”). Kana, on the other hand, simply recalls swimming through water like a fish (= 魚, sakana).

WARNING! SPOILERS! Both Rakka and Reki eventually recover enough of their memories to understand that they had ended their previous lives through suicide. Presumably they have been sent to this in-between world to recover from the karma incurred by this act before they can move ahead in their spiritual life. Rakka had jumped into a well while Reki had walked along a bed of gravel beside a railroad track and allowed herself to be struck and run over by a passing train. (Washi, “The Communicator,” later tells her that her name could also mean “dismembered” or “torn apart.”)

Fans of the series speculate that the names of the other characters encode still other common means of suicide. The scenario creator, yoshitoshi ABe, has pointedly chosen not to endorse this point of view, and so we don’t know for sure why the others were tracked into this “halfway house” afterlife. But if it is valid, then Kana may have drowned herself. (Alternatively, 悲しい, kanashii, means “sorrowful,” so in her previous life she may have committed suicide during a bout of intense depression.)

In any case, her apprenticeship to a watchmaker may provide a therapy through which she becomes increasingly aware of the precious value of passing time.

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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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