Haibane RenmeiHaibane Renmei (灰羽連盟, lit. Ash Feather Federation, translated by the author as Charcoal Feather Federation) is a 13-episode anime series based on the work of Yoshitoshi ABe. It began as an original dōjinshi comic series, The Haibanes of Old Home (オールドホームの灰羽達, Ōrudo-hōmu no Haibane-tachi), but this was quickly superseded by the anime and was never completed. The anime series was also broadcast by Animax in its respective networks around the world, including its English networks in Southeast Asia under the French title Ailes Grises (Grey Wings).
The series follows Rakka, a newly hatched Haibane (灰羽, Haibane) (a being resembling an angel), and other characters in the city of Glie (グリ, guri), a walled town with a single gate through which only the mysterious group the Toga are allowed to enter or exit.
The music for the series is composed by Kō Ōtani.
Adaptation historyThe very first version of Haibane Renmei was a short dōjinshi of the same title by Yoshitoshi ABe. Released in 1998, it bore little resemblance to the final anime aside from being about people with halos and grey wings.
ABe later reworked his idea into The Haibane of Old Home, with completely new characters and a different plot. The first issue, released in late 2001, was some 24 pages long and ends roughly two-thirds of the way through the story covered by the first anime episode. The second issue covers the end of the first episode and about a third of the second episode.
ABe next released two special dōjinshi: the "Lifestyle Diary" and the "Extra Edition". The former explains that the story has been licensed as an anime to be released later that year, and so he will not be continuing the dōjinshi. The book's contents cover the specifics of character design, from personality to shoe-style, and lay out maps of the town and some of its buildings. It also features several four-panel comics depicting the lives and behaviors of the specific Haibane, and the protagonist Rakka's curiosity about her halo and wings. The Extra Edition is a flashback story to the character Reki's experiences as a young girl shortly after her mentor, Kuramori, left their home. This part of the story is covered in the anime, but the dōjinshi adds some additional detail. It was released after the completion of the anime series.
The anime series aired in Japan in late 2002 and was released on DVD the following year. It was subsequently aired by Animax in its respective networks around the world, also translating, dubbing and subtitling the series into English for broadcast across its English language networks in Southeast Asia under the French title Ailes Grises (Grey Wings), where the series received its English-language television premiere.It was licensed in North America by Geneon Entertainment, which published dubbed and subtitled releases from mid-2003 to early 2004. It has also been released in Australia by Madman Entertainment and in Europe by MVM Films.