Episode 05:

Library - Abandoned Factory - The Beginning of the World

Short Summary:
Rakka helps Nemu out at the library, where she meets Sumika. Sumika is taking maternity leave soon, and Rakka discovers that Nemu is working on a present for her and wants to help out. On their way back they see Reki and follow her. Reki has a confrontation with some other haibane and drives off on her scooter. Nemu tells Rakka about the other haibane nest.

Detailed Summary:
Standard Opening.
Nemu is working at the library, and is approached by Sumika, her sempai who is about to go on maternity leave. Sumika says she'll be leaving at the end of the month, which is in four days. Sumika asks after the head of library and goes off to find him.

Downstairs, Rakka is there to help out. She's trying to figure out how she can get a cart of books up the stairs. Sumika comes down the stairs and sees her, asking if she's Nemu's friend. Sumika helps Rakka get the books upstairs, asking her a few questions on the way. Sumika is curious about what being born was like, and is pleased with Rakka's answers.

Upstairs, Nemu has Rakka start putting labels on books that have just been brought in by the Tooga. Nemu goes out to take some books to be repaired, and Rakka gets absorbed in reading a story book. Sumika comes in looking for Nemu and ends up helping Rakka with the labeling. Rakka says she was wondering about what was outside the city, and Sumika says she used to feel the same way and had looked for books about it, but didn't find any. Sumika adds that she once thought about leaving the city to find out about the beginning of the world, but gave it up. They're interrupted by the bell indicating the library's opening, meaning they're both late.

Nemu tells Rakka not to cause trouble for Sumika, and Rakka apologizes. Sumika comes up to the two at the counter, telling Nemu it's time for her to tell a story to the kids. All the Old Home haibane except for Kana have gathered, and Nemu tells the kids a fairy tale.

Reki has the kids thank Nemu, and they all talk before leaving. Reki asks Hikari and Kuu to take the kids home because she's got some errands to run in town. After the others are gone, Rakka tells Nemu she's good with kids, but Nemu says she couldn't handle doing it all the time.

As the library closes, Rakka is looking at a really old book that's on display in the library. Nemu thanks her for her help, but adds that she's not sure if she'll get it done in time. "It" turns out to be a present for Sumika, but Nemu won't tell Rakka what she's making. Rakka wants to help, but Nemu will only give her a hint: the beginning of the world. Nemu tells Rakka about a book she and Sumika found once, with that title. It was falling apart and most of it was illegible, so they made up their own endings for it.

While walking home, they notice Reki. Rakka calls out to her, but she doesn't hear, heading away from Old Home. Nemu is worried, and the two of them follow Reki. Reki meets up with an old guy who is returning her scooter, which relieves Nemu. As they watch, another group of haibane come up on scooters, plus a guy on a skateboard. They confront Reki and the one on the skateboard takes her cigarette from her. Reki calls him an idiot and swipes at him, managing to untie the string holding his hat on. The hat pops up, revealing a halo, and he's startled enough to pop his wings out. Reki rides off, and the other haibane tell Hyouko he lost.

Nemu and Rakka sneak away before they get noticed. On the walk back to to Old Home Nemu tells Rakka about the other haibane nest, at an abandoned factory. She also tells Rakka a little about Reki and Hyouko, saying that Reki once ran away and eloped. Rakka's impressed, but Nemu tells her that now Reki and Hyouko can't go into each other's territory. She adds that she doesn't like the guys from the factory.

Back at Old Home that night, Rakka goes out on the verandah. She's still wondering about her family and what happened before she became a haibane, but is finding she's quite happy. She also thinks about the other haibane, and what holds them all together.

Rakka goes to help Nemu work at the library again, but Nemu says she's working late. Rakka instead goes to investigate the beginning of the world. Sumika is curious about what Rakka's doing, but Nemu doesn't tell her.

There's a short flashback/dream sequence, with a much younger Nemu and Sumika reading from the book they had found, Sekai no Hajimari, a fairy tale about the beginning of the world. The voice-over of the story is accompanied by a scene of Nemu and Sumika on the hill near the windmills. Nemu is crying, and Sumika is comforting her.

Rakka goes to find Nemu and sees her sleeping on her desk. Rakka almost wakes her up, but decides not to. Then the bell rings, which wakes Nemu. Nemu tells Rakka she should have woken her. Nemu asks Rakka if she found anything, and Rakka tells her a little about the stories she found. Rakka gets Nemu to tell her what she was making for Sumika, which turns out to be a book. Rakka asks to read it, and does so while Nemu nervously waits for her to finish.

The book isn't finished yet, and Rakka says she has an idea. Nemu laughs at it, and says she wants something more elegant. Rakka says she thinks the reader should remember Nemu after reading the book, but Nemu thinks that would be rude.

Kana gives Rakka a ride home while Nemu is doing some overtime. Rakka is impressed by how hard Nemu works, and Kana says that's why no one minds if she takes a nap sometimes.

Kuu finishes her work at the cafe, and gets some sugar cubes. As she leaves, she bows and says good-bye. Heading into the alley, she feeds the sugar to a cat, which then runs off down the alley. Kuu says bye again. Then Kana and Rakka ride by. Rakka has Kana stop, and she goes to ask Kuu what she's doing.

At Old Home the next morning, Reki comes in and talks with Rakka. Reki is amused that Nemu is sleeping late -- again. Rakka tells her that Nemu was working late last night. Reki goes to make lunch for Nemu, and Rakka helps. Rakka can't help but think about the scene with the other haibane. Nemu breaks in on them, in a hurry, and gets her lunch.

Riding in to town, Rakka and Nemu talk. Nemu says she finished the story, following Rakka's suggestion. Rakka's a little worried, but Nemu doesn't mind. Rakka adds that she's sure Sumika will like it, before hurrying up.

Over the end credits is Nemu and Rakka's story.


The pregnancy highlights the birth themes that have been running through the entire series.

Rakka really doesn't understand why Sumika is asking her those questions, but if you were an expectant parent and were able to talk to someone recently born, what would you ask?

Rakka's comment that someone was protecting her should be remembered.

It's very interesting that the Tooga bring in that many books, and yet none of them have any real information about the world outside the city. They must be selected extremely carefully. They probably don't lack fiction, however. There are probably a lot of story books like the one Rakka gets absorbed in.

We get to find out a little more about the restrictions on the town. The haibane may have more rules imposed on them, but the people of the town aren't exempted from some of them.

Sumika's talk of wondering about the beginning of the world (combined with the story at the end) seems to have given several people the idea that Glie represents the Garden of Eden. I don't agree, that doesn't seem to fit at all. I won't be getting into that until the episode 13 commentary, however.

We get to see Nemu's maternal side more in this episode. Even Rakka comments on it, although Nemu insists she couldn't handle kids all the time. She seems to get embarrassed easily, though.
She also seems to have had a fair bit to do with changing the atmosphere of the library, as Reki mentions. It's become much more family friendly.

Kuu is quite pleased at the thought of being a teacher, even a substitute one.

The library seems to have some odd books on display.

Nemu is a bit of a tease, dropping hints about a present she's making but not saying what it is.

Nemu must have been really worried about Reki to follow her in secret like that. She later tells Rakka about how Reki was a bit of a troublemaker a long time ago, but she must be leaving a lot unsaid for Reki's walk to worry her that much.

This is the first time we find out about the other haibane. They don't seem to like Reki all that much, do they?
Hyouko in particular. He doesn't seem to like being a haibane, either.

I'm still kind of curious as to why Rakka's impressed when Nemu tells her that Reki eloped. That just doesn't seem quite the reaction I'd expect from her.
The story does help explain why Hyouko was so confrontational, however.

We get another shot of the moon, and as always, it's related to the story. This is the half moon, showing that things are balanced on the cusp. Neither one thing nor the other, much like the haibane's wings. This does mark a turning point in the nature of the story.

Rakka's scene on the verandah is important in another way. She's still not reconciled to the new life, or used to her wings. She is starting to learn something very important about people, especially herself.
Note also how she comments about being happy. I think this is a big clue as to what Glie is mostly based on, but I'm going to withhold my speculations there until the episode 13 commentary.

Nemu and Sumika seem to have been close for a long time. It looks like Sumika acted as either an older sister or a mother for Nemu during a tough time.
Although this isn't placed specifically in the timeline, it probably has something to do with what Nemu told Rakka earlier about Reki.

It isn't that surprising that Nemu has turned to writing. As she mentioned, she and Sumika used to try to come up with their own endings for the book they had found, Sekai no Hajimari. She's also around books all the time, and in episode two claimed she's read them all. Given all that, it'd be more surprising if she didn't try to write something.
Her nervousness while Rakka is reading her story is also perfectly understandable.

Rakka thinks Nemu should be remembered by people reading her book. Being remembered is another one of the themes that shows up often in the show.

Kana's not the only tomboy. The cafe owner keeps calling Kuu "boy".

Kuu also really likes cats. This isn't the first time we see her playing with them. She was messing around with a different cat in episode two, while the haibane had a snack at the fountain.

The story Nemu and Rakka tell is actually similar to a number of creation myths in various ways. The closest I've found so far is from Columbia.
I suspect I'll be able to find a closer match eventually, but the imagination/thoughts/story theme seems to appear in many of them.

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