The story of Reki

Steven has a spoiler-laden discussion of Reki’s name that has some excellent screen grabs.

When Rakka gives Reki the box containing her true name, Reki opens it and finds a note from the Washii that tells of two stories, one for each name. The first story seemed to be of her pre-cocoon existence, whereas the second was of her existence as Haibane. But how can the Washii know so much detail about her previous life? And yet, if he was speaking of Reki’s possible fates in Glie, then the story was simply wrong; for example he says that Reki lost everyone she loved, and thus had to face her struggles alone. But she always had Kuramori – and then Nemu, and Rakka.

Update – here is the transcription from the last episode:


This is a story about a girl named Reki. She was doomed by an unfortunate fate, and even lost the people that she could share her sorrow with. Feeling herself worthless, she called herself Reki, using the letters which meant “small stone.” However, the letter that expresses her true name means, “the one who was run over and torn apart.”

after Rakka saves Reki:

REKI: Have I been.. forgiven?”

(Rakka sees that the Reki “small stone” name is on the stone, instead of the rekishi “run over” name)

RAKKA: I saw this break…

narration continues:

“If a bird brings you salvation, the name Reki will disappear, and the Reki that means stone will become your true name. With the belief that it will come true, I hereby introduce a new story of Reki, that is stone.

(and we see – Reki’s wings are gray.)

10 thoughts on “The story of Reki”

  1. From ep 10:

    Reki: The Day of Flight never comes to one who is Sin-Bound, right? I’ll stay here. Besides, the kids need to be taken care of.
    Washii: That is not for you to decide. You know what becomes of a Haibane whose time expires before she becomes ready to take the Flight. You have no choice but to prevail against your own ordeal. The Day of Flight comes equally to all good Haibane.
    Reki: What do you mean “equally”? Kuu was the youngest of us all.
    Washii: Yet, she was not afraid of the walls, and she thought that if she went beyond the walls the rest of you would follow soon. Kuu’s dream was to become a role model to you all.
    Reki: How do you know?
    Washii: I know nothing. I am merely voicing the thoughts you have deep in your mind.

    I think it’s a mistake to assume that the Washii knows everything. He’s just a person, albeit an experienced one. It isn’t necessarily the case that everything he says is gospel truth. And that’s exactly what he himself says: I am merely voicing the thoughts you have deep in your mind.

    I think that’s the case in the note he wrote, too; he was trying to force Reki to face her own thoughts. What he wrote may not have been factually correct, and that’s precisely the point, because Reki’s view of the situation and of her relationship to everyone else is much too dark.

    The Washii says that Reki lost everyone — but that’s not true. The point is that Reki thinks she did, even though that was not the case. What the Washii was writing was not the truth, but rather what Reki thought was the truth.

  2. I definitely agree that the Washiis statement about knowing only what the Haibane’s own thoughts are is important – along with his statement that “your wings and halo are proof you have no sin to atone for in this world” earlier to Rakka.

    I am starting to wonder though if the Haibane truly are blank slates when they arrive. The cocoon dreams after all are influenced by their previous existences, a sort of symbolic record of their death. Yet Rakka is able to remember pretty much her entire emotional state prior to arriving in Glie, after her encounter with the crow’s corpse in the well.

    Even earlier than that, Rakka remembers that she used to sing when she felt happy, as she biked home with Kana. So, there clearly are still impressions and memories from the previous life. If so, then the Washii might well be telling Reki what she already knew.

    I guess I am still looking for added dimensions of complexity, trying on what fits, to see what new insights into the characters themselves I can squeeze out…

  3. What I find interesting is that Reki is destined for her Day of Flight, or whatever other fate awaits her, regardless of whether she had resolved the issue that had left her sin-bound. So her “original sin” does not appear to be related to her Day of Flight date. Instead, there is either some other issue she had to resolve that determined the date, or it is something else altogether.

    As soon as Reki is forgiven by asking for Rakka’s help, she has her Day of Flight. But Rakka will not have her Day of Flight for a long time after being forgiven, so there is something else she needs to work out… or is there? Is the date predestined for each Haibane and they better have their issue resolved or they will not fly beyond the wall? In that case, is Rakka already determined to fly when her day comes? But that contradicts what the Washii says about Nemu, that she is holding back for Reki’s sake.

    Also, in the Japanese, the Day of flight is su-dachi no hi, which is “the day of leaving the nest”. Su-dachi is used to refer to children who grow up and leave home to be independent.

  4. But is that true? I don’t think Reki was destined for her Flight at all – only that her sinbound state was an obstacle, which needed to be removed as a prerequisite.

    I think that there are two concentric criteria at work here. One is Glie, which itself is a circle. The second is the circle of sin. Most Haibane never enter the latter but those that do have to escape it first before they can escape the circle of Glie.

    Presumably Reki had already met her challenge for Flight from Glie – I assume that was her efforts at taking care of the nenshougoumi and her general self-sacrifice. As she tells Rakka, “you’re not a good Haibane unless you work” – and work she did. That preceded her resolution of the circle of sin, so once she was no longer sin bound, there were no more obstacles to Flight.

    As for Rakka, she only really escpaed the circle of sin, but seems not to have completed her other task required to escape Glie. What that might be is left unspecified but it seems to be related to personal growth in some sense. What is really more interesting to my mind was what Rakka’s sin was – and the question of what being sin-bound actually means, and to which existence it pertains, Glie or pre-Glie. Thats something I will explore in future posts.

  5. Reki was destined for something that day — the Washii said as much. The only question was whether it would be flight or disappearance/banishment.

    Reki’s true name changed when she was forgiven, so that suggests a true name represents one’s true character, and is not directly related to the Day of Flight. That would explain why Rakka knows her true name already. It seems like “involved nut” is related to Rakka’s sin, which had its roots in her feeling all alone. But that can’t be the whole of her challenge — to open up to others and involve herself in their lives, because she’s doing that already in Glie.

    I wonder why all the Haibane don’t know their “true names”. Or perhaps they do and we just aren’t in on the secret.

  6. I have trouble with the idea that Reki was destined – I think it was more of a “your time is up”. I don’t think even the Washii foresaw that Reki was seeking oblivion – he probably assumed that Reki would simply give up and ultimately become a failed Haibane – much like the Washii himself.

  7. Contrary to the Washii’s statement about not being able to forgive yourself, it appears to me that Reki’s problem was that she refused to forgive herself, and required that her solution come from someone who could prove to their love and devotion to her, forgive her, and “rescue” her from the fate she was condemning herself to as her “punishment”.
    Reki was obviously devoted to the children and the other Haibane, but was unwilling to accept her own actions as proof of her worthiness. Rakka was her gift to herself (Reki), as she decided before Rakka was birthed that she would be Reki’s saviour.
    Since there are no coincidences in the universe, the timing of Rakka’s coming was meant to fulfill Reki’s need (independent of Rakka’s).
    I also see that Rakka is destined to become the new mother figure of the Haibane at the old home, and a truly wise Haibane. She has been trained to know more than the others by the Washii, and perhaps will be able to give a sense of continuity to them. The references to the library and books hints that a book or books might be written by Rakka to help Haibane understand themselves. These things could be the reasons Rakka had not yet ascended.
    I loved this series, and would love to see a new series come forth based on it.

    Pat Phillips

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