Haibane Renmei is a 2002 television anime series based on Yoshitoshi ABe’s doujin manga The Haibanes of Old Home. The series is directed by Tomokazu Tokoro and produced by studio Radix Ace Entertainment. Staff credits also include character designer and writer Yoshitoshi ABe, and music composed by Kow Otani. The series first aired in Japan on October 2002.
“Inside the walled-off city of Glie is Old Home, where the Haibane live. One day, unexpectedly, Rakka appears. Confused at first, she eventually gets used to her new world. But things will change again when one farewell comes at the end of a short summer.”Plot Synopsis via MVM Entertainment, February 2022.
When it comes to getting into anime for the first time, one Japanese creator that I recall hearing praise for was Yoshitoshi ABe with Serial Experiments Lain being the standing out title of his. I did watch Lain and thought it was pretty interesting, though complex. The creator did work on other projects that aired during the 00s era, like Texnolyze, NieA 7, and Haibane Renmei.
While I don’t yet own NieA 7 or Texnolyze, I do own Serial Experiments Lain and now I finally own Haibane Renmei. This series has an interesting concept, and yet I don’t really hear much about it nowadays. So it’s going to be interesting to see what I will think of the series when I watch it for the first time after all of these years.
In terms of licensing history, the series did get a release in the west through Geneon Entertainment and MVM Entertainment for North America and the United Kingdom. Haibane Renmei was also a series that MVM released quite early on, and while they did lose the rights at one point they were able to rescue it years later. A Blu-ray release was then made possible after Funimation put one out, though the series is an upscale with a lot of people stating the DVD presentation looks better due to the upscale being smeary.
Collector’s Edition Contents:
Haibane Renmei received a random out of nowhere Blu-ray release in North America without any special edition options or even a slipcase, so MVM decided to provide something for the UK.
The package is pretty much similar to how Paranoia Agent was handled, with a rigid box containing an Amaray case to house the discs. The artwork is pretty much based on MVM’s previous DVD re-release which I believe used the Australian artwork. Also included were 4 art cards.
The artwork is clean of information with the MVM logo on the spine. The collector’s edition Blu-ray set is limited to 1000 units for SRP £49.99. A standard Blu-ray was released a few months after this release.
- Rigid Box with Amaray packaging
- Information for specification and BBFC description on back cover
- 4 Art Cards
Distributor: MVM Entertainment
Released: 28th February 2022
The collector’s edition release for Haibane Renmei contains all 13 episodes across two Blu-ray discs, with the encode and authoring from Funimation’s release. The audio options include Japanese with English subtitles and the Soundscape English dub commissioned by Geneon Entertainment.
The white subtitles are unlockable during playback, and the regions are locked to Blu-ray players set to B.
|Audio||English Dolby TrueHD 2.0|
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0
|Video||1080p High Definition Upscaled format|
16:9 aspect ratio
Blu-ray On-Disc Extra Features:
- Next Episode Previews
- Creator Interview
- Hane Haeterun
- Special Ending
- TV Commercials
- New Program Commercial
- Promotional Trailer
- Textless Opening Song “Free Bird”
- Textless Closing Song “Blue Flow”
(Disclaimer: Amazon links are also included when available. They are affiliated so if you decide to order them, I’ll earn a small percentage if they ship which will help me with any hauls or small bills.)