Class Notes: Session 1 (2.21.16)

Welcome to our class! These notes will help folks who miss a class catch up and function as a review for those that desire one. Note the links for each episode, which will take you to a page where you can stream the episodes if you missed them.

Class Discussion

There are two goals in this class:

  1. Learn how to engage media with Christian minds and a Christian perspective
  2. Learn to engage others in Christ using media as a tool

The first few sessions will center on goal #1.

Each of us approach media in one of six ways:

  • separatist
  • moralistic
  • discerning
  • creative
  • redemptive
  • embracing

In this course, we’ll view media from the redemptive perspective, an approach I espouse.

Summaries (taken from Wikipedia):

Episode 1
A girl dreams that she is gently falling through the sky and that a crow is trying to save her. Later, she wakes up inside a giant cocoon. Upon breaking out, she is tended to by a group of winged and haloed people who introduce themselves as Haibane. They name her Rakka. Like her, none of them can remember anything before being born from cocoons into this world, and all are named after their own dreams. They give Rakka a newly-forged halo, which slides away from her head and must be temporarily strapped on, then leave for the night. Reki stays behind to help Rakka through the ordeal of growing her wings. After they erupt painfully from her back, Rakka sleeps while Reki cleans the blood from her feathers.

haibane 2

Episode 2
Rakka’s new companions introduce around Old Home, the previously abandoned dormitory in which they now live in. This place also houses numerous children referred to as the Young Feathers. Rakka is then accompanied by the Haibane, except Reki, into the nearby town of Glie, which is mainly populated by ordinary humans. Rakka learns that certain rules have been set down by an organization called the Haibane Renmei. They are required to work and are only allowed to own secondhand items that humans have stopped using. Because they are also forbidden to use money, they must instead write down their earnings and expenses in special notebooks provided by the organization. The town and local countryside are surrounded by an enormous wall through which only the mysterious traders called Toga can come and go. A masked figure called the Communicator is the one person allowed to speak with them, and then only through sign language. Rakka has an eerie feeling as she looks at the Communicator and at the crows near the walls. When the group returns home at night, Reki waits for an exhausted Rakka and watches her until she falls asleep.

Video Discussion

One thing we noted was that the haibane resemble Christians in a variety of ways:

  • They are set apart from the world by their appearance and status
  • Haibane are born into their form, as we are reborn into Christianity
  • Wings come after their birth, resembling transformation, and are gray, demonstrating the fact that they are in transition between sin (death) and purity (heaven)
  • The haibane immediately accept Rakka, as we should support newcomers into the church

Additional Questions (taken from Set Apart)

  1. What is the importance of a dream for the haibane and their ability to remember it?
  2. What is the most powerful or memorable dream you have ever had? What meaning does it carry for you?
  3. Why is it important that the haibane cannot remember their past and that no one on the outside remembers them?
  4. Would we, as Christians, act differently if we had visual reminders of our salvation, like wing or a halo?
  5. What is significant about the senior haibanes’ immediate acceptance of Rakka? How were you accepted your first day at a new church?


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