Higanbana 1st Night Ch. 1: Mesomeso-san

Late, but whatever. Just will be going over thoughts, since continously recapping the chapter is a bad habit we all keep falling into on this site and I’m actively still trying to not do that.

Marie and -
Okay let me hold myself up already, because going to write that sentence I realized I didn’t remember what the teacher’s name is, despite the fact I was about to talk about how well written he is for his role. Which is impressive, because that’s already meant I just think of him as “that scumbag teacher” rather than ‘the character Kanamori’ which is a testament to what I’m saying.

Marie and Kanamori are both really well written. Marie’s solitary tragedy and Kanamori’s extravagant over-normalcy are both intesting and I think they clash with each other really well. It’s very believable.

It’s also interesting to see how they both pursue the fantasy side of the tale to take the seat of Mesomeso-san. Now as we all know, magic is bul- no I’m kidding that’s completely irrelevant here. It’s an interesting setting to use; I’m very aware of how much japanese students enjoy the Seven Mysteries idea (surprising that they can always find enough things to make the list) and using that as a supernatural council over a territory is a really cool idea for the story. I’m interested to see who else alongside Dancing Doll Higanbana is part of Class 13. Maybe one of them is a statue in an art classroom, they absolutely adore that one over there.

To touch on Higanbana, she fits her role well in the narrative between Marie and Kanamori, but there’s honestly not a lot to say. Her design is nice and she’s very grandiose in her mannerisms, but despite her central role in the conflict (and the game I assume) she’s not in Ch.1 too much to leave a real impression outside of the hints that she’s a lot darker than she lets on. Which honestly, is fine. Much more and she would of detracted from the story arc between its two leads.

Outside of the story itself, there’s a lot of fun style choices in how Higanbana is presented. I like the way he’s handled his usual photo backgrounds. The filtering he’s done on these ones looks nice and lends itself to the mood very well. The one used as the entrance to the old girl’s bathroom, with the focus on the gender sign, is really good. As for the music, I’m really enjoying it. My favourite track that was prominent in Ch.1 was the one that incorporated the school bells into it’s melody, that was used during the build-up to and in the final confrontation.

…and then… well. You know. Art. Wish I could say it was fine, but, it’s not. It’s better, yes, and I do like how it looks. The more rounded and realistic style, along with the heavy dark shading is really nice. Marie in particular portrays very specific vibes and really looks like what the character the text describes should. It’s okay, but the fact that despite said shading style it looks bubbly most of the time detracts from the dark serious tone this work is (so far) trying to take. I’ll hopefully get over it, but eh. I legitimately can not bring myself to enjoy Ryukishi’s art in all the works I’ve read so far.

And that’s… pretty much it for Ch.1. Cool story, sold me on the setting. Which is all it needed to do, so good job on the intro chapter. I’m interested to see what ‘The Spirit Camera’ is all about (though considering the heavy parallels to existing japanese myth and stories, I’m pretty sure I already know).

Applause where it is due, however. Aspi already pointed it out, but the line Marie headed down the dark alley called ‘today’ is straight up one of the best lines I’ve ever seen written by human hand.


Okay I promised some analysis of that music track, so here I go.

So first things first, the piece is written in C-minor, and the melody uses mostly long notes, both of which contribute to the general calm, yet mysterious, perhaps even dignified vibe this piece gives.

Now going into more detail, starting with the first 16 measures. Here, in the left hand the base tone of C is basically played the entire time, and the lower note of the two goes down one tone each 4 measures. Of note here is that in the final two measures (so 15 and 16) the upper of the two tones is one minor second lower, playing a B, which is not part of the C-minor scale, thus creating a sort of dissonance in the end. The melody in the right hand already starts giving a mysterious vibe by not quite reaching the higher C, but instead the highest tone only being a Bb. The most interesting part of this intro though are the bells. These follow the same melody as the right hand in the piano voice, however the bells don’t play on every note, and furthermore often only start a bit later. One thing to note about this is that especially in Japan the type of bell that is used here is often associated with the spiritual. So what I think is expressed through that is the otherwordly things, so Higanbana in this case, represented by the bells, seeping into the normal human world, represented by the piano.

Now in the next 16 measures, the piano plays the same thing as in the first 16, however the melody of the right hand is joined by a high-pitched voice probably created by a synthesizer, further cementing the otherwordly feel. Additionally, the violin starts playing in this part. The intervals between different notes of the melody are mostly seconds, with the occasional third or fourth, which are all intervals we are used to these days and which thus sound natural. One part that stands out in this segment is the Ab in the 28th measure. This is accomplished by not only having that note on the second beat but also by the interval with the preceding note being a minor seventh, an interval that is in general not used that often and especially stands out in this piece. This has the effect that the listener now pays a bigger attention, even if only subconciously, to the music, just mere moments before the piano voice changes considerably.

Which is what we come to now, in measures 33 to 48. The piano now no longer plays the melody it did in the first 32 measures but instead supports the main melody. While it is not immediately apparent by just looking at the notes, we can view the piano voice as playing chords, as the individual notes resound through one measure, so that for example in the 33rd measure G, C and D are eventually heard at the same time. So from here on out, I’ll view these as chords. In measures 33 to 36 the piano basically plays around the C-minor triad. This can be best seen in measure 34, where we have the three notes C, Eb, and G which make up the C-minor triad. The interesting thing here is, and this goes for every single chord in this piece, that the triads aren’t played in the typical order of C, then Eb, then G, but instead first giving the base tone C in the left hand, then playing a G, then playing the next higher C in the right hand, and finally ending with Eb. Basically, the normally highest tone of the triad is instead lowered by one octave and played first in the right hand. This is another small detail that probably causes us to perceive this piece as different and unusual. In the next four measures the piano is basically playing around a Bb-major triad. In measures 41 and 42 we basically have a Ab-major triad, and then going back to Bb-major, although this time the fifth is omitted and the fourth is played instead. In the final four measures of this segment we are back to C-minor again. What we see in this chord progression is that we first start with the same idea of starting with C and then going down one tone every four measures, however later on instead of going further down we go back up to C.
The melody in this part still uses mostly seonds, although it is in general higher than the melody in the previous segment. Again, near the end of this segment the listener’s attention is supposed to be more focused thanks to the high Bb in measure 47.
The melody from the right hand of the piano from the first two segments is still present though, as if you listen closely, you can still hear the synthesizer play that melody.
I think the change in the piano voice signifies that we have truly entered Higanbana’s world now, or that she has ours, however you want to look at it, and yet it seems to be a tragic or sad world, as we are still listening to a piece in minor.

The next segment, measures 49 to 64, are very interesting. Again, I’ll start with the chords throughout this segment. In the first four measures, we have a Eb-major triad. In the next four measures we then have a F-major triad. In the last 8 measures we then have a G-major triad, although the last four are one octave lower thane the first four. You might have noticed the word major here a lot. And it’s not only the word itself, with our first chord being Eb-major, we can show that we switched to the corresponding major scale to C-minor, which is Eb-major.
The melody itself still uses mostly seconds, however in combination with the chords it sounds more hopeful due to the change to major. The lowering by one octave of the chords in measures 61 to 64 gives a sense of closure, especially as the violin only holds out one note through this part. Overall, we can interpret this as while this appearance of Higanbana seems to be a mostly sad thing, there is still something hopeful about it.

After that, we only hear the melody we heard at the very beginning, but only through the synthesizer now and it furthermore gets less and less coherent. This can be interpreted as the spiritual influence being fleeting and disappearing again, which is backed up by all appearances of Higanbana, as she’s gone as quickly as she came.

I am curious if there is a second layer I could interpret this with once I know Higanbana’s character more. So I might come back to this piece at the end of Higanbana as a whole. Also I hope this wasn’t too boring, as I went at this from a more theoretical angle than is often seen around here.


I am disgusted, Kanamori. Cause you are grown ass man, you had a choice! Where is your integrity, where are your morals, where are your values as a man, as a father, where are they.

Alrighty, so I read Mesomeso-san yesterday and now that I’ve had some time to sort out my thoughts on it I thought I would post it up here.

Firstly I’d like to join in with people saying that this was a definitely a Ryukishi novel. The abused children, check. Bubbly art, check. Terrible grownup who should be a mentor, check. Supernatural, double check. Overall, made me feel pretty comfortable reading this.

One thing that I did find enjoyable reading this is that there didn’t really seem to be any mystery. That may seem weird for me to say but I liked the fact that we were told pretty much all the facts of the matter straight up in the first few minutes, heck, the first few lines of the chapter. I found that I enjoyed the writing so much more when I wasn’t trying to piece together the narrative in a weird complex puzzle. I’m sure there are things that were foreshadowed in this chapter but they weren’t obvious or distracting.

Also, Ryukishi got the pacing right. I’m actually kind of amazed at this. There wasn’t any long slice-of-life buildup with a kind of vague notion that something was wrong. Instead we are dropped right into the story and it just keeps going with interesting and dark storytelling. I wonder if it’s because of the the length of the story but I did not feel myself ever get bored at any point in this story. I feel like I owe Ryukishi an apology for every time I’ve said that his stories start too slow.

However, there is one complaint I have. Perhaps this is mostly because I had so much in my mind that this was a Ryukishi story, but I feel like this story was just very cliche. As much as I liked the writing, characters (which I’ll get to) and world that it builds so far, the truth is that this story is so familiar it almost hurts. It almost follows every Japanese horror story I’ve ever read in any manga ever. The ending is pretty predictable. As soon as it became clear that there was going to be a showdown I knew that the teacher was going to look like he would win and then lose because he missed the point of the game. It kind of took away from the moment, at least for me.

Now, in fairness this could be Ryukishi lulling us into a sense of familiarity. Like he does in Umineko, he could be making the story seem like a common trope and then twist it later on in the story. It may be that the twist hasn’t happened yet. I don’t know if this is the case and if it is it is yet another example of brilliant writing on his part. I hope this will prove true and my criticism will prove unfounded.

Can I talk about how much I love the character Higanbana? Because I love Higanbana. The way that she’s described, the way she talks, the mystery that still surrounds her, the crazy look that she gets, the dress, the creepiness of her general appearance and aura. She’s everything that I was hoping for from a cursed doll character. I can’t wait to see more of the titular character in the rest of this story. I’m assuming that her backstory will be explained sometime in the later chapters but for now I just like having her be creepy as opposed to tragic.

The other characters were also pretty good. They were also a little cliche for my taste but I think Ryukishi writes them so well that it doesn’t really matter all that much. I particularly liked how Kanamori was written. Obviously there really isn’t a way that the reader can sympathize with him. Indeed, I don’t think you could if you tried. However, Ryukishi seems to be very adept at writing characters that, while not sympathetic per se, are very understandable. You understand how a character like Kanamori could reach the level he reaches because everyone understands being unappreciated, tired, frustrated at those above you who seem incompetent. However, the reason we judge him to be trash is because we understand what it’s like to be like that but then not give in to the temptation that he gave in to.

I don’t feel like there’s a lot to say about Marie at the moment. On the one hand, I do feel sorry for her. But, as was pointed out above, Kanamori does have a point in that, sometimes there are things that are too big for us to handle alone and we need the help of others. By not getting the help of others Marie sealed her fate. While we could try and excuse Marie with her own excuses that she brings up in the novel, we also see where those excuses led her. Instead we must acknowledge that there is definitely a lesson that Marie learned, sadly too late to save her life. Society and other people must be relied on to survive the evils we face in this world. We would never blame Marie, nor would we say that her situation was her fault. However, we can learn people in that situation do have an option other than suffering and death. I think that, when viewed in this light, we might even take a little hope away from this story.

Finally the music. I don’t have an ear like @VyseGolbez but I do like to think I know when music is good. And this music is good. I loved the music that played with the ‘going home’ bell sound to make that creepy remix. That was genius and it gave me the shivers.

I guess just as a closing remark I should add that I’ve already read ahead up to the third chapter and it’s just as good later down the road so if you need any encouraging here it is. Do it, you won’t regret it at all.


Kanamori comitted psychological suicide eh… Very interesting interpretation @Arietta. Can you further demonstrate the guilt you believe Kanamori was feeling, as opposed to the need to remove evidence related to his crime?

I hadn’t really considered the hero’s journey in relation to Kanamori, but what you’re saying seems to make a lot of sense. I’m currently constructing a theory that looks at all three nights and tries to explain their stories as if they occurred without Youkai (I was saving it for the podcast but it seems we’ve got some time now to discuss it here). I think that the Youkai in this story represent tragedies more than cause them. I think that Kanamori’s inner monologue is inherently untrustworthy and that though he claims he’s searching for the button to clear evidence I think that he could have fabricated this ‘missing button’ scenario subconsciously to drive himself into the scene of the crime, where he was overwhelmed by guilt and fear of people discovering what he’d done and killed himself. He’s obsessed with appearances so it’s only natural no one would find his body, he wouldn’t want to be known as one who committed suicide, and he certainly wouldn’t want his legacy to be associated with the death of Marie.

This isn’t Umineko but I’m convinced that you can explain all of these stories with a method that doesn’t involve the Youkai’s interference, I think they merely feed off the tragedy rather than cause it.

Based off of (chapter 2 spoilers) Higanbana’s apparent sympathy towards Yoko, who killed herself and was eaten by Higanbana and (chapter 3 spoilers): Higanbana’s claim that she could not feed off of Midori after she began denying reality I strongly suspect Higanbana as a ‘mystery’ of the school is a representative of suicide in the school. I think that’s what created her, i think that any time Higanbana consumes souls it’s from people who would have killed themselves through their own despair regardless.


3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Introducing the Higanbana Bookclub, with prizes up for grabs!

I’m in kind of an interesting position, because I just finished Umineko’s first episode just a couple of days ago, and now I’ve just finished Mesomeso-san, so it’s really easy to compare the two works.

I think this is the first thing I’ve read by Ryukishi where I didn’t have issues with the pacing. He can write a chilling horror scene like nobody’s business, but I’ve never been a fan of his slice-of-life scenes, so Higanbana automatically gains points for skipping over all of that, getting straight to the point and telling the story it wants to tell in just a couple of hours.

And what a couple of hours those were. I’ve always been a fan of stories where you’re forced into the mind of someone with a corrupt sense of morality, so Kanamori’s segments were, though occasionally infuriating, absolutely fascinating, especially when taking into consideration the contrast between the image he shows to everyone else, and the one he shows to Marie. It’s a literal difference between night and day.

I’m wondering, as I move on to the second chapter, if this contrast between inward and outward selves will be a recurring theme. Marie’s conversation with Higanbana about becoming friends certainly seems to indicate that it will be, that there are still aspects of personality to explore for characters both new and old.

Overall, though, what I’m most interested in is this group of youkai that have so far only been hinted at. There’s a lot of potential for world-building there, and I look forward to (hopefully) getting a more in-depth look at it moving forward.

So for now, onto the second night!


Mmm, so far of what I’ve read the theme of public vs private life hasn’t been toooo prevalent in chapters 2 and 3, but I expect it to crop up again, we still have many chapters to get through. It’s kind of a very popular topic in Japanese sociology/psychology so I don’t doubt it. What does keep coming up though is this idea of perceptions; how we’re seen by others and how we present ourselves to others. Might be something to keep in mind going forward, I definitely like the angle of trying to identify overarching themes.

Thanks for joining us btw Suika! If you’re willing I’d love to hear your thoughts on Umineko Episode 1 too, though I dunno if you’re a newcomer to that or not~

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I am genuinely surprised of Ryushiki’s ideas and his way of conveying them to his audience.
The start was particularly intriguing (see Aspirety’s screenshots above), with the breaking of the 4th wall. I am also amazed at how the focus of the majority of the story is on the teacher’s thoughts, and not on Moriya. If Moriya was a real focus, then arguably readers would find it difficult to symphathise with her, as when the author is blantantly trying to gain sympathy for a character, it usually backfires.

Onto the interesting quotes:
_… With just this kind of criminal conduct, I was able to imagine myself _
as having reached a complete level beyond anyone else in this staff room.
… Plenty of different philosophies have questioned how humans could elevate themselves.
How could I elevate myself as a human? How could I be at ease without being looked down upon by others?
But the solution tumbled right under my nose.
To control someone and to stand above them.
By only doing just that, I was able to conquer a complex that had vexed me since childhood.
Not only that, I didn’t feel like I was being looked down upon.
On the contrary, when no students were around, I was immersed in the superiority I felt over my chit-chatting coworkers.

Whenever you ask your friend/co-worker what they did over the weekend or how their weekend was, have you ever considered what are your true emotions/thoughts when you hear their response or what are your true intentions in asking those questions? When you read/watch something akin to a masterpiece (umineko) and thinking that something is the truth to happinness/world/etc, how do you feel when you go about your daily endeavours knowing that the people around you likely don’t know that truth?

People don’t submit to the very depths of their souls.
Until that day comes when they are released, they can only look to lessen their oppression.
That’s why, someday, she will surely betray me.

This rings very true. Can you imagine someone truly submitting to someone in a situation of oppression? What exactly is purpose of crying? Are we programmed to more likely help the weak that we can see?

School illustrates life. For humans who are bullied in school, even after they enter society, things don’t change.
They just take on the same role again.
While in school, humans who can’t break away from the bullies become unable to escape them for the rest of their lives.

I don’t think I entirely agree with this quote because I know people change, but to what extent is another question. That said, I can tell you that dreams is one thing I cannot control (and in fact after reading Chapter 1 & 2 I had some disturbing ones), and regardless how much you can stand up to bullies in everyday life, it is different in dreams…

I understood that cursing someone digs two graves.
If I’m not prepared to lose everything, I cannot have my revenge.
… The resolution to cease being human.
The resolution to throw away all of her life up until today.

Chapter 2 would be a good example. But then again, the resolution spoken of here is only temporary.
It is a gamble.

I have really enjoyed this chapter, especially the teacher’s thoughts (e.g., the one about being in a different dimension at night compared to day). I am surprised once again how many interesting and sophisticated ideas Ryushiki is able to put forth in a convincing matter. And I hope you all enjoy your own journeys and share your interpretations with us.




At last, after months of disappearing from the forums, I finished reading the first chapter of Higanbana!

Alright where do I start… I guess I’ll start off with stuff that I didn’t particularly like.
First of all I wasn’t very much impressed with this story. Mostly because I’ve seen this sort of story be executed better before. Plus I kinda predicted what would happen even before reaching the half way point, so because of that I actually felt that the story dragged on for much longer than needed. This is mostly my fault rather than the chapter’s, because I generally tend to overthink things and thus spoiling myself to what’s gonna happen, without even looking things up.

Second, Kanamori. No no, I know, we’re supposed to dislike him. He’s the “bad guy”. He’s an irredeemable scum. But in truth, I didn’t really find him believable at all. But before I go on, I’m gonna say this now, I’m aware that people like him exist, that there are people who justify themselves the way he does and that not everyone who commits a crime does so for any explainable reason. Having said that, I just don’t like how he was presented. He was half the reason why the story dragged on for me since most of the story was from his perspective and he was most of the focus. I kind of know his character archetype and how he generally should play out and what sort of things he would say. Plus with Ryukishi’s way of writing, most of his thought process became redundant over time. Like, most of what Kanamori thought you could’ve have left it at one to three phrases, instead of 2 pages or something. For me, at least.
I think this is because we were only told that school kids and teachers found him normal instead of being shown that fact, y’know? But then again, the way that the story was being written, it wouldn’t have had allowed it to show what was happening, since most of the story was either focusing on a character, or was describing their thought process.
I guess I just didn’t like how he was a huge focus. I would have tolerated most of it if he had a little more to him. Because for me right now, he’s just one thing: “The teacher who raped Marie because anger issues I guess.” Notice the “I guess” there, it’s because I just didn’t feel anything in particular towards him. No anger, disgust, pity, fear, nothing. Because it was natural for him to do these things as a scum, I didn’t expect anything else out of him. I can go on and point out some little interesting details about him. How he feared of losing control, being looked down upon, how he feared that he was the one doing Marie’s bidding and how he thought that maybe Marie was smarter than what she seemed, the way he justified his actions, how he thought about himself, how he wanted to have become something more. But fact is, I just found him boring and not worth my time or attention.
Also on another jokey side note, can we all agree that Kanamori was an idiot on how he disposed the button? He flushed it down the toilet. A toilet that hasn’t been used in probably ages. I’m pretty sure somebody would have noticed that and found it suspicious. Then again, the button might not have been real anyway, so whatever. And the food-murder analogy was kinda bad, to be honest.

…However, I’ll give you this. Look at Kanamori once more. Now, let’s imagine that he used something else as an outlet to his anger instead of raping Marie. Something similar but not as serious like… drugs, for example. Because that’s what Marie essentially was to him in the end. An addiction. Now, ignoring the part of murder, he was pretty nonchalant about it, he didn’t care about the addiction, he didn’t care that a drug could ruin his life, because it made him feel relieved, rewarded, nice. That’s all he cared about in the end. He became obsessed with finding relief to his normal day to day hardships. Which would eventually ruin his life anyway in the end. Despite what he claimed to himself, he could not live without this “drug”.

Why am I suddenly saying this? Because by making his crime less severe, removing my “all rapists are scum” bias, you can see that he also had many options available to him aside from murder. He could have talked about it to someone. A friend maybe. But from the sound of the narration, he had nobody that close to rely on. And let’s not mention the fact that he didn’t care at all about what he did. Looking from the actual situation itself, the rape, he still had these options, but they didn’t cross his mind for… rather obvious reasons.

What I concluded here was that Kanamori and Marie were very similar in their troubles, as others have as well. They both had nobody to rely on, both were closed off from society, albeit for different reasons.
The main difference here is that Kanamori didn’t care, he was apathetic towards his situation, or maybe even angry, so he didn’t bother to ask for help, it didn’t even cross his mind. So I guess on that aspect, Kanamori is interesting. I guess.
Marie on her end was afraid, sad, depressed. She couldn’t ask for help because she was afraid of being bullied again.

Which gets me to the part of what I actually liked.
Marie. I loved her, and I felt upset of what she went through. I found it interesting the way she justified getting raped over and over again. Usually it’s because the victim “loves” the abuser, or it’s because they’re afraid of them, or because they think this is the best life they can have, or they don’t even realize they’re getting abused. But in this case, it’s because she didn’t want to get bullied by her classmates. She wanted a calmer life, and if having a calmer life meant to just be abused by one individual instead of many, she accepted it. It was not about love, it was about trying to show gratitude to make sure nobody else ever hurts her ever again.

Her bits of the chapter were the ones I loved the most, and I’m sad that there weren’t more, buuut I understand the decision on why she wasn’t as much of a focus in this particular story in comparison to Kanamori. Most of the stories of this type usually over-focus on the victim and turn them into sob stories, unfortunately.
Plus, I feel like this isn’t the last time we’re gonna hear from Marie, so there’s that.

I also enjoyed Higanbana herself as a character. To me the impression she gave was of a weird mix between Bernkastel and Lambdadelta. So far at least. Dunno what to expect from her tho’, but she’s sounding like a neat character. Also, * giggle* giggle* giggle* giggle* is the new * cackle* cackle* cackle* cackle*.

Did I mention I love different takes on urban legends for story purposes? Now I did. This is something that I’m gonna be looking at very closely throughout the rest of the Higanbana reading.

And despite what I said about redundancy and the story dragging on for me, I still adored the writing in this. Especially the beginning bit about what’s strange and not. It gave off a feel of innocence despite the cruel thing that happened in that moment. This is the stuff that I love about Ryukishi’s writing, how he can make the most horrible crimes sound whimsical, as if we’re looking through a child’s eyes.
And as most everyone mentioned, the music is great! It kept holding me to the mood that was going on in each page I was reading and I loved it. It’s a shame that the friend I was reading with couldn’t listen to it, since he’s a huge music enthusiast and a composer himself.

So I liked this, despite the negative things I mentioned above, (which are at the moment rendered null to be fair, since this is only the first chapter, and I seem to tend to get impatient about every first part of any of Ryukishi’s stories.) and I can’t wait what’s in store for the next chapter!
Also sorry if I went on a lot of tangents and didn’t finish my points, I seem to have a really hard time focusing on one thing ahaha…


I’M LAAAAATEEE!!:sweat_smile:

But if Marie could have a burst of determination after her death, even though she carried out that miserable life, then I can catch up to you guys!

My first impression of the game, like almost every visual novel I play, was the music, I think the music is a key element to the story, and I must say that the music playing when Kanamori entered the bathroom to look for the button really FREAKED ME OUT. I noticed the midnight chime from Umineko, (which I love, but it’s scary) and it really surprised me!

I must say that even though I can kinda feel bad for Marie I can’t avoid saying she reaped what she sowed, and that even though it was predictable that she would be the winner of the title of “Mesomeso-san” I couldn’t say I was sure of it until Higanbana talked to Kanamori in that mischievous tone.

I feel like this chapter wanted to convey the two types of lonely people, those like Kanamori who take it as being above humans and then lash out at those below them to relieve their frustration, and those like Marie who take up everything people throw at them, for being both too weak to refuse it and too innocent to realise they have no obligation to do that. In that sense, Kanamori and Marie are a lot more alike than what might seem at first sight. He probably didn’t choose her solely because she was an easy prey, maybe, at the same time Marie relieved his anger, the sight of her brought anger to him, because it remembered him of how he was fragile, so he simply wanted to violate and humiliate that part of him, using her as a vessel to his pitiful self. This also makes me remember about Higurashi, when Hanyuu says the sins of humans are passed down to another, which is basically what Kanamori does with Marie, and maybe her becoming a youkai is a symbolical way to say she broke this chain of sin. Basically both are morons who made completely opposite decisions, and Marie’s choice was the more fortunate.

Higanbana on the other hand is a mystery to me, I could see her as emotionless, cruel, and kind without any contradictions at all, which makes me wonder how she is going to be developed.

Anyways, these are my thoughts on this chapter, it was nice for an introductory chapter, but it definitely doesn’t stand out that much. However, I liked it, so I’ll go back to more reading now…


You don’t need to avoid honorifics -san after mesomeso, because Mesomeso-san is school’s youkai. Mesomeso is -san, because Japanese children tend to add honorific suffixes to many things. For example, usagi-san can be translated as Mr. Rabbit. Mesomeso-san sounds childish. And besides, Mesomeso is onomatopoeia. So, you can use any words which are connected with sobbing. It could be something like Mr. Sobster or Mr. Sob etc.

I’m afraid I am unable to offer any interesting insights, but here are my two cents anyway.

Chapter 1 was very intriguing. I was quite shocked, but also pleasantly surprised when the chapter immediately started with a depressing moment and didn’t follow the typical ‘lighthearted-until-it-gets-serious’ pattern that I was so used to from Umineko. It was simply dark, depressing and frustrating throughout. As for the characters:

Marie Moriya is simply a pitiable human being. I felt really bad for her, but the reality is that she made some stupid decisions and should have asked someone for help. Instead, she made excuses for herself and allowed the abuse to continue despite being aware that what was happening wasn’t okay. I can understand why a person in her circumstances would be too emotionally traumatized to even dare to reveal her circumstances to anyone, but not even opening up to her own family was an unfortunate decision and ultimately led to her demise (I know she became a yokai in the end, but still, she’s died).

One thing that occurred to me during the scene where Kanamori was insulting and making fun of already-dead Marie was that it almost appeared like the moral of this chapter (delivered in a very twisted, fucked up way). Kanamori called out Marie for not asking for anyone’s help, for not asking the society for help because if she had, she would have probably been saved in some way. Is the message here that we are not supposed to follow Marie’s example and that if we do what she did, we will only end up dead or worse? That we are supposed to open up to someone, especially our family, and ask for help to avoid the worst possible fate? I’m not sure. But Marie felt like an embodiment of ‘what not to do’ when you are bullied and abused.

Kanamori is human trash. But I have to be honest and admit that I enjoyed the portrayal of a character who views the society as one enormous food chain, who viewed himself as a ‘predator’ and Marie as a ‘prey’. As despicable as he is, it is amusing how many things he has in common with Marie, particularly the fact that both Marie and Kanamori made excuses for their own actions. I have to praise Ryukishi for always being able to portray his characters, even fucked up ones, with nuance rather than them being evil for the sake of evil.

I also found it curious how both Marie and Kanamori wished to transcend their human self. Marie in particular reminded me of (When They Cry spoilers ahead) Sayo who sought to become a witch and cease being human. I thought that was a fun parallel. Not to mention the fact that both Marie and Sayo were characters in difficult circumstances who found it difficult to truly open themselves up to anyone about their issues.

The yokai, Higanbana, left a positive impression on me. She certainly seems like an entity that would prey on your soul without remorse, but by the end of the chapter, I really enjoyed her seemingly budding friendship with Marie. But I also feel like she could turn on Marie in any second, so I definitely need more information on her before I can fully judge her character.

Overall, a good start. I apologize if I said anything stupid or insensitive, these are really the only things I can think of right now.


You make an interesting point in that Kanamori and Marie are alike in the way they justify their actions. I think asking for help instead of suffering in silence is the moral here, as becoming a youkai and simply killing Kanamori is not the best solution, and most people know that.

I’m glad you liked the beginning of Higanbana, it certainly won’t let up. :smirking:


Remembering the first time I read chapter 1 it cought me very offguard. I had not expected it to get so dark right from the very beginning and I absolutely loved it only a few lines in. I will give most credit to the amazingly haunting music, the score is wonderful and completely makes this chapter for me.


Finally getting round to playing this VN. Man Kanamori’s ‘death’ (we’ll see for how long) was a satisfying read.


I’m going back and re-reading Higanbana a 2nd time because it’s such a good series that desperately needs more attention!

Ryukishi said himself that Higanbana was going to be much more darker then the When They Cry series…And it shows within its first chapter!

It starts off right away with Kanamori leaving a molested Marie in one of the stalls on the old school bathroom sobbing to her hearts content. Then, through a chance meeting with Higanbana and gaining the courage to stand up to her teacher, only for her to be brutally murdered by Kanamori. Having her body being thrown into a septic tank nevertheless.

This chapter however, is even worse in the original manga! As it graphically shows Kanamori molesting Marie. Even go so far as to full blown raping her dead body…

…There are no words for how disgusting and irredeemable this man is…

Thankfully, Ryukishi watered this down vastly in the VN.

Ironically enough though, my favorites parts included Kanamori’s philosophical and demented views about his place on the hierarchy.

I think this was a pretty solid introduction to the series, not my favorite but still a good chapter nevertheless.

Favorite Quotes/Lines/Interesting Concepts:

" That’s right, Leaving no evidence I accomplished murder and escaped unseen. …That meant that I stood above humans in the hierarchical pyramid.
In other words…I passed my test as a killer, and now, I have surpassed the so called human stage…
And what I earned was the name ‘Mesomeso-san.’
Yes…I have surpassed human beings, I have become ‘Mesomeso-san.’"

  • Kanamori after her dumps Marie’s body

"What a foolish man. There are only two things that can evaporate, or disappear from this world. Know what they are?
The things that disappear…Water and grateful souls, just these two.
Are you looking for Marie’s right sleeve button? What is that made of? Water? Grateful souls?
Right. It’s made of things that aren’t water of souls. So there is no way it can disappear from this world. It can’t dissolve or evaporate…So it must still be where it was dropped, right?..It’ll be where it was dropped, always. Until it’s found by someone,… it’ll be there forever won’t it?"

  • Higanbana to Kanamori in the Infirmary

Kanamori’s entire tangent about school being another society during the day, but at night having the rules of society no longer reaching him, therefore transcending the idea of society as a whole.

"Take my daily meals for instance, if I came to regret every single animal or plant I have eaten before, I wouldn’t be able to eat a slice of bread.
…And that’s my attitude towards Marie.
We’re firmly placed in different levels of the hierarchy. And I’m placed in a higher position than Marie on the pyramid.
…And that’s all there was to it.
So things ended up as they should, and I don’t need to regret anything. Just like there are no humans who shed tears of sadness from eating bread."

  • Kanamori in the old school bathroom

Well then first time I am ever doing something like this so here I go.

I have not heard anything about Higabana except for the fact that is the most like Higurashi/Umineko out of all the other 07th Expansion works. Also I have been through almost all the music as in the Festival of Mayhem day I was matching all the music together.

This certainly was a pretty interesting opening to Higabana, straight into a teacher abusing a student.and pretty gruesome if you ask me.

All the characters seem to be pretty good so here is a quick overview of what I think about them

Marie/Mesomeso-san - I to be honest don’t like her all that much so far, she comes off as too impressionable for me. While this is because of her situation I personally just don’t like this type of character, however she does her job.

Kanamori - I liked Kanamori more than Marie because I could more or less tell what his course of actions are. I tend to be pretty logically minded so I tend to be able to follow them a bit better, at least I am until he kind of starts going insane right at the duel for becoming Mesomeso-san. I’m pretty sure he is coming back though and I’ll say more on that matter later.

Higabana - Higabana is my favorite character that got introduced, she has kind of a mysterious aura to her especially since she is just classified as the “Dancing Doll” she is the 3rd seat which since it seemed like that was pretty ridiculously high for just a doll that dances. I’m not sure if the rankings are determined by seniority or by power but either way.

Nurse - There really isn’t too much to say about her except that I think she is more or less supposed to be the logical “reality” character.

So the story itself. I started it up at about 10:30 so I was not at all prepared to instantly be thrown into sexual abuse but whatever! While I do feel sorry for Marie’s position I personally think it is mostly brought upon her by herself. As Kanamori said in the duel to become Mesomeso-san she always had the upper hand over him its just she never saw that fact for herself.

As soon as Marie said in the bathroom that she wanted to stop doing this I knew that the Mesomeso-san story was going to be fully cemented into reality, however I thought the Kanamori was going to become Mesomeso-san by strangling Marie, then when the female student came she would see Mesomeso-san’s first victim.

When the duel to become Mesomeso-san was suggested, I thought that Kanamori was going to win it until he actually started talking to Marie. I had remembered about the clause of “Don’t talk, Don’t look” and as he started talking I was sure Marie was going to become Mesomeso-san.

As to what I think will happen in the future I think the next chapter is going to contain another story of a Youkai of the school looking at the chapter select screen there seems to be enough space for eight chapters, or basically one for each Youkai. Seeing as it is called “Spirit Camera” if this was literally any other series I would put money down that it would remove peoples clothes in the pictures, however this is a 07th Expansions work so I think it will be about a camera that either shows spirits in the pictures taken or it removes the spirit of the person who is in the photo. Either way I have a feeling that we will learn more about the “rouge spirits” that are not one of the now eight mysteries.

Further into the future I think that what will eventually happen is that the “rogue spirits” will eventually rise up against the eight mysteries, probably for some reason like “Your newest additions to the mysteries of this school are too weak while you have all of us powerful spirits.” IDK that’s just what I think.

So on to Chapter 2!