Haibane Renmei 1998 Cover

Cover Art

Haibane Renmei (灰羽連盟 Charcoal Feather Federation) is a 1998 doujin by Yoshitoshi ABe. It is the first work related to the haibane, and would eventually culminate in the anime series.

Artwork found in this doujin is quite different from the final version, though the basic archetypes of some characters can be seen, as well as the earliest versions of ideas that would make their way into the series, such as haibane having difficulty finding clothing.

Humorously, one page depicts a four panel comic of a young feather purchasing food from an octopus stand by plucking out a feather and concentrating on it until it turns into paper currency. Below this is a note from ABe explaining that, for this page, he completely forgot that the haibane he created aren't supposed to have special powers. This page could be the inspiration for the scene in the anime in which Rakka, who has yet to receive her Haibane Renmei notebook, leaves a feather as payment for her first outfit.