Haibane Renmei Study: Week 3 Discussion Notes

For week three of our Haibane Renmei small group study, we delved into episodes four and five of the series.  In episode four, Rakka joins Kana at her job in the clock tower, while in episode four she spends time with Nemu in the library.  The latter episode, especially, contained some of the more obvious connections to Christianity in the series.

Here are some of the highlights of our discussion:

  1. The creation story in Nemu’s book shared similarities to the Christian one, particularly in the first few lines.
  2. The God in “The Beginning of the World” shares some similarities to the Christian God, particularly in terms of mercy and power; on the other hand, dissimilarities included laziness and ability to make mistakes
  3. We discussed Kana’s conclusion that the crows need to become less dependent on humans, while we, too, must become less dependent on our own comfort zones.
  4. The group reflected on which senior haibane each of us most closely associated with.
  5. We discussed how, because of the structure created by the haibane renmei and the townsfolk, the haibane must lived by faith, and how Old Home compared to some real life institutions in this aspect (ex. monasteries and dormitories).

We also discussed a number of other topics and shared about our weeks.  If you’re interested in possibly joining us sometime during this summer, leave a comment below, entering your email when prompted.

5 thoughts on “Haibane Renmei Study: Week 3 Discussion Notes

  1. While it’s a very long endeavor, I’d be curious to see what you’d make of a Fullmetal Alchemist discussion. Specifically, the first series (not Brotherhood) had noticeably heavier spiritual elements about sin and the price we must pay for it, as well as how difficult it is to escape from the path of sin. Ironically the main character claims to be an atheist, but by the series’ end he learns to believe in something that he can’t prove or understand. I’m actually rather surprised you haven’t talked about it at all, it seems right up your alley.

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      1. No problem! Truth be told, I’ve never finished FMA – and what I’ve seen of it (actually, most of my knowledge of the series is through the manga) was what I watched years ago, before I examined anime more critically. It’s definitely a series that invites a lot of commentary – I just need to actually watch it through!

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  2. My theory is that they actually did discover the book of Genesis. Don’t forget, it was too dilapidated for them to read all the aspects of the story, but the similarities are way too uncanny.

    And after the first few lines, they filled in the gaps and finished the story themselves. So the heretical affirmations about God are forgivable.

    That was one of my favorite parts of the anime!

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    1. Yup, I can definitely see that being true. The Christian in me certainly leans toward that interpretation, but I think even the non-biased me would consider that a strong possibility also.

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