Reki's World - A Prayer - Epilogue
Rakka enters Reki's room and finds that the lights don't work. Pulling out Reki's lighter, she uses the light it casts to look around. She doesn't find Reki in the bedroom, and goes to check the studio. As she enters the room the lighter is blown out.
Relighting it, she looks around, seeing that the walls have been completely painted with a dark setting. Reki is standing by the shuttered window, and asks Rakka why she's there. Rakka apologizes for entering without asking. Rakka asks what the painting is, and Reki tells her that it's her dream. She says that she was walking down the pebble path while crying. She heard a noise in the distance, but ignored it. She wanted to become a pebble so that she wouldn't be hurt again. Reki then opens the window, letting the moonlight in.
Rakka offers Reki the box with her true name. Reki refuses it, saying there's no salvation for her in it. Rakka tells her she needs to end her bad dream, and Reki reluctantly takes the box. Opening it, she finds that Washi has written her a note, along with the name plaque.
Washi tells a story about a young girl named Reki. He says she had very bad luck, and lost everyone who could help her through her sadness. She lost her values as a person and was named Reki after pebbles. But the name Reki also means "run over." (As in rekishi.)
Reki drops the box, and Rakka picks it up. She looks at the plaque it contained, which reads "run over." Rakka looks up at a shivering Reki, and barely manages to get out of the way when Reki steps forward and falls to her hands and knees. Rakka kneels by her and notices that Reki's wings are turning black. Reki says she remembers her dream now. It wasn't a path, it was a steel road, where she was run over. Where she threw herself away.
Standing, Reki tells Rakka that she thought if she was a good haibane she could get away from her guilt. She adds that the town was a prison to her. The wall meant death, the whole place was built for death, and her studio was a cocoon she never got out of. She says she was looking for help that didn't exist the whole time.
There's a sequence of flashbacks. Young Reki arguing with Nemu, breaking a cup. Young Reki sitting on the bridge in the rain, approached by Hyouko and Midori. Hyouko and Midori painting her wings yellow. Reki looking over the city. Midori running after them as Hyouko and Reki ride off on a scooter. Reki sitting in the rain after Hyouko was injured, and then fighting with some men in the temple as Washi stands with his back towards her. Reki bleeding from a cut on her head after Midori threw a stone at her.
Reki falls to the floor, saying she was betrayed every time she trusted someone, and so she stopped trusting. She tried to become a pebble so she couldn't be hurt. She says that everyone called her a good haibane if she acted nice, no matter how horrible she was on the inside. Rakka says she was always nice, and that she believes in her.
Reki tells Rakka that she was jealous of her. As Rakka sits stunned Reki tells her that she was jealous of Kuu for being able to leave too. Rakka talks about all the things Reki did to help her, and Reki says she just wanted a way out. That she could forget her guilt when she was helping others. She always thought that one day she'd be forgiven.
As Rakka tells her to stop, Reki says that it didn't matter to her who was in the cocoon. She had made a gamble with herself; if she could get the haibane inside to trust her, she would be forgiven. She pretended to be nice, but it was all for her own sake. She orders Rakka to leave, and Rakka, confused and in tears, does. After Rakka leaves, Reki tells herself there wasn't any way for her to be forgiven. Rakka, crying, sits outside the door, telling herself it wasn't true.
Inside the studio, Reki hears a noise. Looking at the painting, she says if it reaches her she'll disappear. Turning, she sees a younger version of herself, who tells her that Rakka came to help. Older Reki says she doesn't have the right to ask for help, and the younger Reki starts turning to stone. Reki tells her to stop, and young Reki asks her if she's that afraid to trust someone. Reki says she didn't want to be betrayed, and she'd never been helped. The young Reki is crumbling, falling apart, and tells Reki that she never asked for help. Reki says she was afraid of asking for help and finding out that she really was alone. She runs and tries to hug the young Reki, but she crumbles to dust. The noise comes closer and Reki looks at the wall, where something in the painting is moving.
Rakka sits outside, and is distracted from Reki's earlier words by the window blowing open. The cover falls from the painting of Kuramori, and Rakka goes to look at it. She removes the cover completely, saying she wanted to believe in Reki. She finds Reki's diary with it, and looks inside. She looks at the pictures Reki's drawn of the snowmen and the clock tower, and reads the comments Reki left. She finds the page that has her cocoon on it and remembers that she heard Reki's voice inside the cocoon.
Reki knocks on the cocoon as Rakka floated asleep inside. Reki introduces herself and says it's her first time finding a cocoon. She talks about haibane losing their name and their past and promises to always be with her.
Rakka says Reki was protecting her from the beginning, and says she'll become the bird that saves Reki. She goes to open the door to the studio, and as she does so is hit by a gust of wind. When she looks around, she finds she's in a field next to a railroad track. Rakka calls for Reki, and sees her lying a short distance away on the tracks.
Rakka tries to run to Reki, but she can't move. Her arm is being held by the young version of Reki and she can't break free. Rakka calls for Reki, who stands up and watches the oncoming train. Young Reki tells Rakka that Reki decided to disappear here. Rakka keeps calling for Reki, telling her to call for help.
Reki hugs herself as the train approaches. She says Rakka's name, then asks for help. Young Reki disappears in a cloud of green light, leaving Rakka holding the plaque with Reki's name on it, which has broken. She's also standing back in the studio. Hearing a whistle, she turns to see the train slowly emerging from the wall, Reki standing in front of it. Rakka runs and pushes Reki out of the way.
Reki wakes up first and sees Rakka lying unconscious nearby. She crawls over to her and picks her up, calling her name. Rakka wakes, and Reki thanks her. They sit in the studio, and Rakka notices that the name plaque is fixed. The name on it has changed back to Reki, for pebble.
Washi's story continues as Rakka and Reki leave the room and Rakka points out that Reki's wings are gray now. He says that if a bird comes to help her, her old name will be replaced with her true name, meaning pebble.
Outside, Rakka asks if they'll meet again. Reki says they will, and tells Rakka to close her eyes. Haibane leaving the nest have to suddenly disappear. Rakka closes her eyes and Reki walks into the forest.
As the other Haibane wake and gather outside, Washi's story continues. He says she picked a difficult road. She helped others and washed away her curse, even though the action was at first not true. Later it became her true nature. He says that when haibane leave the nest there is a stepping stone, which is called Reki.
The haibane join Rakka to watch the light in the forest. They're all happy for Reki. In the factory, Midori asks Hyouko to watch the light with her, but her refuses. She then gives him a cake Reki baked... a lemon soufflé.
Rakka tells of returning to Old Home and finding Reki's paintings of the town, ones unlike her dark painting of her dream. We see the other haibane trying to take care of the kids; Kana playing with them, Hikari burning toast, Nemu watching from outside.
Rakka says the winter is almost over, and is seen walking down a hall running a cable. She says that she'll be the dependable sempai now, and passes a room with a missing door. She pauses and backtracks, shining her flashlight into the room and finding the start of a cocoon. As she watches a second one starts beside it. She runs off in a panic, and is jerked to a stop at the end of the cable, dropping her flashlight. She picks it up, gets it light again, and remembers why she was running in the first place. As she runs outside she says she'll never forget Reki.
The ominous, cloudy weather should be pretty obvious. What's really interesting is that there's no moon showing, at least not that we get shown right away.
Hikari here is an interesting study. She almost looks like she's sucking her thumb in her sleep. Her character does have an odd brand of innocence about her that is highlighted here.
There are a lot of references in this episode to things coming full circle. Rakka sleeping in the same bed she first slept in is only one of many.
Now the moon appears. This is a full moon again, with all the same symbolism as before. Only this moon gets covered by the clouds. In other words, all the things the full moon represents being repressed, or losing power.
Rakka and the lighter... the light in the darkness. This is quite common symbolism in Western religions, although it seems to be common in Eastern ones as well. The commonly known phrase, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness", apparently has its origins in a Chinese proverb.
The lighter going out as Rakka enters the studio is a nice dramatic touch, but also calls up what the room means to Reki. It's definitely a room for brooding in the darkness, not thinking in the light.
Now we call to mind the beginning of episode three, where Rakka entered Reki's room without permission. I probably won't point all of these out.
I mentioned last episode how powerful a symbol the true name is. Rakka still has no idea what's in the box, but is insistent that Reki look anyway. The true name, calling up the true essence of something, is a powerful invocation. Rakka's trusting what she knows of Reki at this point, certain that whatever is in the box, it can't be as bad as the uncertainty.
Reki. As in rekishi, death by being run over.
Reki also presents a different view on the city. I'll be covering my thoughts on the city and the haibane on separate pages.
The flashback tells us a lot about Reki, Hyouko and Midori.
Rakka seems scared of what Reki might say before she really even starts
in on her. The situation is plenty uncomfortable as it started, of course.
What Reki does to Rakka here is a sign of what Washi's note said. She tried to turn herself into a pebble so she wouldn't be hurt. The only way not to be hurt by others, of course, is to never let them close enough to hurt you. Reki's just being more forceful about it here than usual.
What happens to the young Reki, the turning to stone, is simply a visible representation of what Reki was after emotionally. I'm probably just stating the obvious in a lot of this, but it is important.
I've mentioned before that air is the element of the spirit. It's only suitable that it's the wind that reveals Kuramori's painting to Rakka. Reki's first chance shown to her last.
Here we see the Blood Moon. This has an interesting mix of positive and negative connotations. It's related to everything from the menstrual cycle, trust, and fertility to death and the end of the world.
The young Reki is at least a part of what's been hold Reki back. This is the young Reki who has managed to turn herself to stone, as the earlier scene indicated. She's also able to hold Rakka without moving, indicating she has some of the strength and implacability of stone, which likely also applies to her relationship with Reki. In the end, Reki was able to let go of the past.
Reki asking for help is enough to break the stone. This ties in with Washi's riddle, of course.
After Rakka pushes Reki out of the way of the train, we get to see the full moon again, now being uncovered. All the symbolism of the full moon regaining strength.
The name changing is a very nice touch. In the kind of magic that
relies on true names, to change something's true name is to change the
thing. It's only natural that if the thing changes, so will its name.
The "don't watch them leave" is an interesting twist on the "don't look back" theme. I'll have to think about this one more.
There's that yellow color again. And ABe came up with some interesting
uses for the halo.
The spring is coming symbolism should be obvious enough...
I've got a few thoughts on the city of Glie, as well.
Not to mention one major theory about what the haibane are.
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