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Haibane Renmei - Free Bird (Vol. 3)

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(Dec 16, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

As winter approaches, Rakka is still depressed as she struggles getting over the loss of Kuu. Falling deeper into sadness, Rakka discovers the connection between her and mysterious birds and seeks to touch the forbidden walls of the town. Unfortunately, she soon falls ill with a deadly fever. While nursing Rakka, a pensive Reki relfects upon her own troubled past and pays a visit to the Communicator, who warns her that she doesn't have much time left as a Haibane.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ryô Hirohashi, Junko Noda, Eri Miyajima, Fumiko Orikasa, Kazusa Murai
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Digital Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 25 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DFZZ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,247 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Haibane Renmei - Free Bird (Vol. 3)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Larry W. Stearns on December 17, 2003
Verified Purchase
The third volume of the Haibane Renmei story (Episodes 8, 9 and 10) continues the beautiful tradition of the previous episodes. While the previous episodes have set up plenty of mysteries, this volume begins to answer some of them while raising new questions. In fact, Rakka is asking a number of questions about the nature and purpose of the Haibane, the town, and the wall. Some of her questions are universal: for example, if we all come suddenly into this world and leave just as suddenly, what is the purpose of my existence?
Despite the new bond that forms between Rakka and Reki at the end of the second volume, Rakka's instincts are still to isolate herself from others whenever she faces emotional pain. She feels that she does not belong in this world. The kindness that she receives from the other Haibane at Old Home and from the people of the town only makes her feel unworthy and guilty. She wishes that she could just disappear. She nearly gets her wish when she becomes trapped at the bottom of a dry well. There she finds the key to her cocoon dream. As a result, Rakka learns (and finds out that she needs to learn more) about the nature of sin, of forgiveness and of atonement, but not before she breaks a cardinal rule of the Haibane Renmei.
In the tenth episode, there is a flashback to Reki's birth as a Haibane and the relationship between her, Kuramori and Nemu. It is a bittersweet story about how Nemu and Reki became true friends under the loving protection of Kuramori. Also, the episode contains an important revelation about the wall that surrounds the town.
The Haibane Renmei series is beautiful animation telling an engaging story with characters about whom the viewer will truly care. If you have not seen this series, you are denying yourself a great treasure.
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It is a shame that this mini-series has only one DVD left to go. Heavily influenced by the same creative controls that produced Serial Experiments: Lain, Haibane-Renmei (Charcoal Feathers) is a story that tussles with the limitations of anime and comes up a winner. Drawing on the unusual premise of children who find themselves reborn with wings in a small town community. there they come to grips with a new reality (and no memory of their past) biding their time until they reach a mystical point where they can fly 'over the wall' into a new, and unknown life.
One would expect this tale of angelic creatures to be a bit lightweight and fluffy, but it is the exact opposite. The tale has a bitter-sweet turn to itself as it weighs the grief of departure against the promise of transformation. That change is always a little death. While the Haibane live special lives in the town's social matrix, they live them as real people. Squabbling, sharing, adventuring and growing - sometimes joyful and sometimes sorrowful.
In these three episodes Rakka's story, which has been a main focus comes to a head. Depressed by the loss of Kuu, a friend who flew over the wall, and haunted by the dream of someone making a sacrifice for her, Rakku struggles with her own guilt and dismay. Even as this reaches for an unexpected resolution, Reki, her mentor, moves into the center light.
Reki and Rakka are both sin-bound, haunted not so much by a deed in their past as they are by their own feelings about their actions. And, because of this, holding back from making the passage. But Rakka is a young girl who can seek forgiveness. Reki, however, is already a woman, so far unable to deal with the core of her problems, and now facing a time limit beyond which a haibane cannot remain.
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By A Customer on February 26, 2004
I don't think I've ever watched a series quite like Haibane Renmei. The first few episodes really got me aching to watch more. An almost impromptu anime based on a doujinshi by the artist of SE Lain, the story is quietly compelling and has a mystical feel to it. The characters are charming and very realistic, and the settings are wonderfully drawn to resemble a rustic european town. Much of color scheme is soft, warm colors. Paired with realistic character design, HR becomes very down-to-earth. The central plot revolves around Rakka her mysterious 'birth' into an enclosed city of winged people who cannot fly. The story unfolds slowly, and I've no clue how the plot will develop and how the series will end. It's rare to have an anime with such a mysterious and totally unpredictable storyline, so I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series.
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Haibane are youths with halos and charcoal grey wings. They live in a town surrounded by walls that they are forbidden from crossing over. Reki, an older Haibane, discovers a new coccoon. A girl named Rakka comes from the coccoon and possesses no memories. Questions about her new life cloud her mind as she tries to fit in and help Reki escape the circle of sin and move beyond the walls.

This is a very beautifully done 13 episode anime drama. At first I was a little surprised by the unique animatoin. After getting used to it I came to love the beautiful artwork. The music is equally stunning in this series. It fits the mood of the story perfectly. All of the voice actors also do a great job. The plot of this anime is very unique. I've never seen a story quite like this before. It has lots of emotion and drama. There is no action, but it doesn't matter. It has a very relaxing yet deep plot. This anime is a keeper. A great buy for a muture anime fan.
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