Of all the recurring symbolism in Haibane Renmei, that of the circle is the most intriguing. This will be a series of posts. Thefirst of these is teh circle of Glie itself – or rather, the existence of the Haibane.
The circle of Glie is not a physical one that appears on screen, but is implied – the circle of life, death, and rebirth. All Haibane had a previous life, they were then reborn from a cocoon into Glie. The cocoon is the womb, and the painful eruption of the wings is the first draw of breath as a true Haibane.
more, including spoilers, below the fold…
The circle of life includes death as well – and death is well-represented in Glie. Clearly, some form of tragic death is involved in the prior life for one to become a Haibane. Especially if all Haibane are suicides. However, upon arrival in Glie there is also the Day of Flight, which is also a death, or rather an ending of a stage of existence. Of course not all Haibane take Flight – as Reki nearly found out, there are other routes to exit Glie. But just like every human dies, every Haibane also leaves Glie in one way or another.