- Haibane may not pass beyond the Walls of Glie.
- Haibane may only live in places that have been abandoned after prolonged use.
- Haibane are obligated to work in the town that hosts them.
- Haibane are forbidden from handling actual money; only their notebooks.
- Haibane may only wear used clothing.
Haibane Life StagesEdit
See: Main Article
A cocoon materializes within a haibane nest, the size of a dandelion puff at first, growing to accommodate whomever is inside. When the cocoon is mature, the haibane inside begins to dream. The walls of the cocoon turn gray, and the haibane awakens within and forces their way out.
New Feather Edit
The other members of a nest care for and teach the newborn haibane of their new existence. New feathers are given a name based on their cocoon dream, provided with a halo, and allowed to rest. Shortly after hatching, a high fever will set in and wings (which have been developing sub-dermally) violently break through the skin. During this time, the haibane must be watched carefully, as they are subject to the fever and trauma, and may inadvertently injure themselves or pass out. After the wings breach the skin, they must be cleaned of blood or their light charcoal feathers may become stained. After this time, the Haibane Renmei will provide them with a name plaque and notebook.
Citizen of Glie Edit
Sin-bound Haibane Edit
The first step to becoming a failed Haibane, the sin-bound Haibane are different than normal Haibane. This brings up another Haibane origin theory. While the normal ones probably died unfulfilled or prematurely, the sin-bound Haibane left behind regrets and feelings that tie them to their past lives, even after having them erased entirely.
Reki and Rakka are the only two known sin-bound Haibane in Glie. How a Haibane becomes sin-bound isn't completely sound. Rakka was born normal and became sin-bound after Kuu took her Day of Flight. However Reki was sin-bound from the very beginning, so there doesn't seem to be a logical selection process.
The Communicator explains that sin-bound Haibane will never reach their Day of Flight, as they continue to spin in the same circle of doubt, trying to find where their original sin lies and eventually getting lost in the process. The idea is for the sin-bound Haibane to try to find closure or security with whatever the sin was, even though they can't remember it. Unfortunately, if sin-bound Haibane can't find their way out, they become Failed Haibane.
Day of Flight Edit
When living in the town for some time, in some cases up to nine years, a Haibane will have their Day of Flight, where they go to some ruins near the Wall and ascend in a burst of blinding white light. A Haibane on the verge of their Day of Flight tells no one and leaves suddenly. It is said that on their Day of Flight a Haibane is at last permitted to cross the walls of the town. All that is left is a deadened halo and a few feathers.
Failed Haibane Edit
Just what it sounds like, Haibane who, for whatever reason, just couldn't receive the blessings from the town and couldn't be happy. There are a few theories floating around about these Haibane, mostly concerning what they ultimately become. The Communicator describes these failed Haibane as those who lose their wings and halos and must live far apart from both humans and Haibane. They will eventually grow old and die. As he says this, close up shots of the wing decorations he wears are seen, as well as a wide-eyed shot from Rakka. This could suggest that the Haibane Renmei were once Haibane themselves, but failed and became a part of the organization in order to prevent others from following their lonely path.
Another speculation concerning the failed Haibane has to do with the enigmatic Toga, the traders from outside the walls. Prohibited from speaking or interacting with anyone other than the Communicator, the Toga's story will never be revealed. However some people believe that the failed Haibane leave the safety of the walled city unblessed and join the wandering band of Toga. They live far from Haibane and humans and are never allowed to speak to either. With these facts in mind, it's a plausible theory that failed Haibane join the Toga in the end.
Symbolism, Interpretation, and Theories Edit
The whole series is really nothing but symbolism, as the original author left more questions than he did answers. As such, the actual truths of this series may never be known. It's left to the audience to decide what's real or symbolic.
One theory exists that the Haibane are humans who once lived outside the town of Glie. It's believed that they either died before their times or died without accomplishing anything worthwhile, as seems to be the case with Kana. The whole premise bears strong resemblance to another show, Angel Beats, which allowed deceased young people to enjoy a fun, fulfilling life in a form of afterlife before passing on. Perhaps the town of Glie is a crossroads between life and afterlife in which people are reborn as Haibane in order to accomplish what they failed to finish previously.
The walls surrounding Glie seem to represent protection and safety for the Haibane, since the town of Glie appears to be a paradise to live in. The people are friendly, the atmosphere is peaceful, and the setting is almost surreally relaxing. The fact that the Haibane are not allowed to leave it makes it almost seem like one big nest in and of itself; they are forbidden to leave until their Day of Flight comes, after which they never return. This is very similar to how baby birds grow and leave their own nests.
The one thing we can be certain of is that Glie is at least located somewhere in our world. A shot of Rakka in the library shows her standing near a Roman soldier's helmet. Also, the clocks all have Roman Numerals on them, suggesting the town is located somewhere in eastern Europe. Kana's clothes are typical garb worn by a Chinese boy, and Hikari wears prescription glasses, which wouldn't exist easily without the technology used in the outside world to create them.