Reki

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Vital statistics
Kanji
Meaning small stone (from 瓦礫 - pebbles)
Cocoon dream Walking on a stone-laden path at night
Haibane age 7
Biological age 20?
True name
Meaning (death by) being run over

Reki is the unspoken leader of Old Home.

Together with Nemu they run the Southern Guri Mafia, employing Young Feathers for unpaid day-long sweatshop work. Kana, one of their henchmen, is also know as the Great Carrot Monster.

Actually, no. The previous paragraph was a half-baked attempt at humour.

For others, Reki is both a mother and father figure, distanced yet concerned. She is haunted by her past and recurring nightmares. Incompletely remembering her cocoon dream, she paints (pictures, not walls) in a hope of recovering it.

Profiling

Before the series' events

Reki hatched 7 years before the beginning of the story, in a storage shack at Old Home, during winter. Probably due to this was the apparent lack of noticing her cocoon by Old Home's inhabitants at that time. She was found by Nemu, frost-bitten andf lying uncosciously on the floor, with her wings already grown. The wings were stained black.

Noticing this evoked fear (and possibly, disgust) in Nemu, who, believing this to be a sign of impurity (see Sin-Bound), initially avoided her. Kuramori, however, showed acceptance and trust towards her, going as far as entering the depths of the Western Woods to gather medicinal herbs for making a dye to cover Reki's stained wings, as told to her by Washi. However, these trips (and the apparent closeness of the Wall to the Woods) posed a threat to her very delicate health. In the episode 10 flashback she is shown to have collapsed in exhaustion while returning from the Woods.[1].

This furthered Nemu's hatred. In addition to Reki being apparently responsible for endangering Kuramori, it seems that Nemu was jealous of having to "share" her "personal privileges" to the benefits from Kuramori's labours with a seemingly careless outsider. (someone, please, rewrite this sentence)

Seeing Reki's apparent concerns (in the flashback she returned food from the town to cook for Kuramori, who was still recovering) relieved Nemu and began to break up her coldness towards Reki. She is assigned the job of looking after newly arrived haibane. (Perhaps this foreshadows Kuramori's impending Flight?)

Kuramori promised Reki to be always by her side, however, she was unaware just how seriously Reki took those words. Because of her traumatic birth as a haibane (echoing the abandonment that most probably lead to her death as a human) she was in desperate need for caring and love. Kuramori's taking of the Flight devastated Reki. Nemu's bringing up the legend of the Day of Flight from her research at the library did not help the case either.

In grief, Reki ran away from Old Home. She was found loitering in Guri during a storm by Hyohko who, seeing her helplessness, brought her to the Abandoned Factory, where he also belonged. He found out about Reki's black wings and offered to paint them so she wouldn't have to use the dye. (This is stated explicitly in the doujinshi's Extra Chapter. Also note the colour of the paint he uses.)

Reki told him about Kuramori's leaving. Hyohko, seeing her despair, decided to climb over the wall with Reki so she could have been reunited with Kuramori. He drove a wedge into the wall for the rope but the ladder he was standing on collapsed in the process, leaving Hyohko severely (if not critically) injured. Reki is shown to be in shock and inactivity thereafter. What happened after this is not shown.

Hyohko managed to survive. Reki was captured by the community watch and held captive in a jail, presumably in the Temple, for an unmentioned amount of time. While there, she vowed not to commit any more mistakes and act as a good haibane should. This is only shown in the Extra Chapter but is likely canon.

Years pass and unmentioned events happen. One day, while moving her belongings from the Old Home guest room, she notices a peculiar noise while passing near a room. Opening the door she sees a full-grown haibane cocoon inside.

In the series

This section is a placeholder.

Case study

This is a placeholder. See the subsection below.

Cocoon dream

Reki's dream is the other one, besides that of Rakka that the viewer actually gets to see.

From what little she mentions about the circumstances before she was run over (in her dream) by the train, it is clear that she was fleeing, presumably victimized by child abuse. It can be speculated that no one would have looked after her, therefore, even if she actually called for help, no one would have been there to hear that. ("What if I called out for help from the bottom of my heart and nobody answered?" --Reki, episode 13)

It is quite ambiguous whether her cas was actually suicide, and if so, if it was intended to be such from the beginning. One could argue that a conscious choice of suicide with full realization of the consequences arising cannot be made at such a young age (12 or so). Suicide as a means to end further suffering (from child abuse or uncaring, perhaps) can, however, be justified as a possibility.

She mentions that, moments before her death, she simply resorted to inactivity, not to suffer any more, freezing into motionlessness, akin to a stone. This may suggest that she stumbled upon the tracks and when a train was approaching, seeing no meaning in stepping aside, she simply waited there for her doom.

Slight speculation follows.

In a Freudian context, this is the desire to return to the state of non-being, the overflowing of destrudo or the death drive, usually manifesting in situations which fall beyond the capabilities of one's coping mechanisms, rendering any further resistance or intervention futile. It is also linked with the desire to return to infancy, which is probably quite egoless. But again, this is not Evangelion, so the case might be different.

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Notes

  1. It is possible that her apparent weakness was, in fact, epilepsy, as the symptoms shown can correlate to that. See this topicOHBB for more information.