Higanbana 1st Night Ch. 3: The Princess' Lie


General discussion topic for Chapter 3: The Princess Lie of Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni: The First Night. Please tag any references to later chapters or outside works with the [spoiler] tag, providing adequate context in parenthesis.
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Oh god dem feels…

Where do I begin? I must honestly say I saw th twist coming up from the beginning. The name of the chapter gives it away, come on! But I kept reading and it never got revealed that Midori was delusional, so I was like, okay, maybe I was wrong. Maybe she really gets treated like a princess. Damn you Ryukishi for lulling me into a false sense of security!

Black Tea Gentleman… Totally my favorite youkai so far. I believe he did the right thing with Midori. If Midori had the will to change her fate, living in such a lie would be cruel but… I like to think BTG helped her to live with herself and her environment. But of course it isn’t that easy. That face of Midori’s at the end… Why is Ryukishi so good at drawing expressions…


This one hurt me on an almost physical level… I expected it to take a turn, but not quite that much of a turn.

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Higanbana time yet again~

So, this is my favorite chapter in all of Higanbana! I hope others enjoy it as much as I did!

This time we meet a girl named Midori Kusunoki, or “Princess Midori” as all of her classmates lovingly call her. Too bad none of it’s real. She’s in a contract with the mysterious Black Tea Gentleman, who true to his name, drinks almost as much tea as Beatrice. But in exchange for her soul, she gets to live inside of her fantasy world. In this world she is loved by everyone. Marie and the Black Tea Gentleman have a fight and Midori gets to glimpse into reality, where she is hated and bullied. Higanbana explains that if the Black Tea Gentleman didn’t step in to Midori’s life that she would have been the one to eat Midori’s soul… So, I guess he saved Midori from a worse fate?

Screen shot time~

First and foremost I just want to point out that with the amount of crowns on his outfit, the Black Tea Gentleman could totally fit into a Kingdom Hearts game.

The Umineko references are through the roof in this chapter. And not just the little references to the play “Rokkenjima”. Midori’s journey is somewhat similar to the journey Ange takes in Ep4 of Umineko. Like Ange, Midori is choosing to believe in a fantasy to protect herself from the bullying that surrounds her. Only Midori chooses to stay inside of this fantasy, rather than escaping it as Ange does. It’s a little too real at times, but it’s the good kind of real.

Midori’s expressions are the best thing. I found it interesting that the Black Tea Gentleman is somewhat justified in his actions. We’ve already seen how terrifying and ruthless Higanbana can be as a killer. I’m sure she’d make Midori suffer a horrible death. So, is it better to live authentically where all the pain is all at once or is it better to live a lie where your life is slowly chipped away? That’s a question ultimately left to the readers.


Don’t have a lot to add right now, but I guess one thing that I somewhat saw coming was that this story clearly demonstrates that not every chapter will have a satisfying conclusion (much like real life) and Marie, despite her apparent strength, isn’t going to always be there to save the day. She seems to play a very similar role to that of the observer, wanting to butt in and help the character when they’re being treated unfairly. But in this case, we like Marie were unaware of the full circumstances, and butting in didn’t really help anything at all.

I find it hard to attach to stories of such blatant bullying like this. We’ve seen it in all the St Lucia stories. Ryukishi likes writing these faceless bullies with little motivation who commit some really harsh atrocities. I’m not about to deny bullying exists in the real world, but it feels like the level of abuse she cops is something that would have serious consequences in the real world. The bullying is too severe for nobody to notice and do anything to stop it.


Like many others, I saw the twist coming. And yeah, sure, Higanbana does have a point that Midori probably would have been off far worse if the Black Tea Gentleman hadn’t intervened and thus would have been become prey for her immediately. However, I don’t think that it’s best for Midori to keep living that lie. And I even have parts of the story to back that up. You see, in the beginning Midori was thinking that Nozomi (so technically herself) could escape being bullied if she’d just change how she’s acting. Basically, what the Black Tea Gentleman gave Midori as well, is to look at her situation from an outside perspective. So I honestly firmly believe that Midori could indeed change her situation after her experience if the Black Tea Gentleman would just release her.

But then again, if we look at this story as more of an allegory, isn’t it that the Black Tea Gentleman continues to haunt her because Midori wants to continue to lie to herself? Certainly something to consider.

That I agree with. Once I stop and start thinking about it, it’s on a level that it basically breaks suspension of disbelief a bit.

I wonder if the degree people get bullied is more severe in Japan compared to the West and if bullying gets more overlooked in Japan compared to the West.

The way the bullying got portrayed felt too excessive to be realistic.


Alright, I don’t much time, I’m jsut gonna throw out some raw thoughts:

I could feel a twist coming from the beginning, though I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting exactly that. I am somewhat disappointed that so far the Youkai’s powers seem to be really similar to Umineko’s unreliable narrator mechanics. I appreciate that we’re taking another look at truth and how it’s constructed, but come on Ryu I want to be surprised by the Youkai at every turn. That said it may make me sounds like a monster but I really appreciated the dark ending. It’s thematically appropriate for the story and it shows that Ryukishi doesn’t always employ the Shonen-esque “succeed through the power of love/friendsship/protagonist power” that has been present in the past. For the story he’s trying to tell it’s much more appropriate.

I want to echo @Aspirety in his criticism of the bullying. I couldn’t take the last bombardment of bullying seriously at all and honestly I didn’t get a lot of impact from the ending as a result. It was also a really short chapter, I finished it in just over an hour with note-taking.

I feel like I should say something positive to soft-cap my analysis here. The new Youkai’s visual design and personality are really cool. i thought it was strange that Marie beat him so easily and it’s because, well, he’s a smug badass. I really want to see more of him in the future. Also the visual design of him collecting soul-steam off of Midori’s body was super cool. I also couldn’t help but notice his grin was very similar to kanamori’s from Chapter One, and that the relationship between Marie and Kanamori was very similar to the relationship between Midori and the Vice Principal. Both relationships consisting of a person of power deluding their victim into giving them what they want and forcing them to stop thinking about it (something which is the same as death in Ryukishi’s Umineko, obvious parallel is obvious).

Promise this is my final note: i had previously theorised that the Youkai either have no real power or are evil by reputation rather than action, but the Vice Principal seems to be pretty evil, although arguably saved her from suicide and subsequent consumption by Higanbana. I still think that the Youkai don’t actively force people to suicide or delusion but they certainly take advantage of it in order to feed, and keep their victim where they want them.

After seeing Takeshi choose Truth and Midori choose Peace, i wonder what the next chapter will show us~


I want to pick your brain a little bit, I think it’s super neat that Ryukishi is writing all these short stories to cover a wide span of experiences in a short time, but I would love to know why this chapter is your favourite of all of them.

I think it’s pretty clear I had a lot of criticism of this chapter on my first read, and I would like to hear your experience and understand why it is your favourite. I’ve been trying to write my thoughts without any influence from other interpretations so apologies if I seemed a little rude. Hopefully we can learn from each other’s perspectives!

So, a couple questions. Feel free to answer all or none as you see fit.

  1. Why do you like this chapter? What is your favourite moment/scene and why does it stick out to you?

  2. To me it seems the ‘Truth or Peace’ question is very one sided in the fiction. Even though this chapter is supposedly in support of ‘Peace’ it still ends on a dark note and seems to imply this is the incorrect answer. Do you think Ryukishi is trying to promote discussion or a straight answer here?

  3. The references to Umineko. What do you like about them? How do they contribute to the story?

  4. Finally, you suggest that Higanbana is a savage killer. Why do you think this is the case?

If anyone else wants to jump on these questions I would love to hear your answers. Let’s all work to understand Higanbana as best we can.


Maybe I just like this chapter because I knew no one else would like it? Kihihihi~ No, I have actual reasons for liking it, I swear.

While yes this is my favorite, I will admit that a later story is a very close second. I’d almost say they’re tied for my favorite spot, actually. What that story is… Well, I’ll keep it a secret for now! I’ll reveal it once we get to that point in Higanbana!

Anyways, as to why I clung to The Princess’ Lie… I guess it was really relatable for me. The U4ea you know through this forum may seem really energetic and genki-esque, but in reality I’m much more shy and withdrawn. I’d say my irl personality is more like a mix of Deku from MHA and Tomoko from WataMote. I really only become more energetic once I get to know people, hahaha. :blushing:

Because of my somewhat introverted nature, I was bullied as a young kid. It was nowhere as extreme as Ryukishi describes it, but when you are in the moment and the one being bullied, it often feels that big. I know I tended to exaggerate the bullying internally. To me, when I was bullied, it felt like the world hated me and yet somehow it was all my fault. And so, to escape the torment of both my reality and the reality my mind created for me, I drove myself into a fantasy world where I wasn’t bullied. That’s when I really began to read a bunch, an activity that I still love to this day (though I don’t use it to cope anymore, my days of being bullied are long past).

So, I guess my favorite thing about this chapter is the concept of using fantasy to escape reality. When I first read this story, I had to stop because it was a little to real for me. Midori reminded me of my past self, the self who had no friends, and really no other choices than to separate myself from the real world. Umineko did this too.

The only difference is, I felt Umineko did it in more of a positive light? In Umineko the concept of using fantasy to escape reality is fairly positive. While yes, we get to see it how it destroys Marie’s and Ange’s sanity. And later we get to see how it destroys (Umineko Ep7 spoilers) Yasu’s connections with reality/her overall sanity, at the same time she’s never discouraged from using magic as a coping mechanic. Meanwhile in Higanbana, it scoffs at the idea of setting yourself up as a sort of martyr figure and burying your head in the sand. I think this is because doing these things may help in the short term, but actually escalate bullying long term. And we kind of see the same answer towards the end of Umineko. Running away from things you don’t like doesn’t solve the problem. It only makes the problem worse. That’s something I wish I realized back in third grade, hahaha.

Anyway, I hope you find that answer satisfactory~ Onto the next question…

I think Ryukishi is trying to commentate on Maria’s perspective in Umineko. So, in episode 4 we see that Maria is abused by her mother, and only holds onto hope by breathing life into her stuffed animals, such as Sakutaro. Through Sakutaro she is able to have someone to vent to about her problems, and she feels better about her situation. But eventually, Rosa destroys Sakutaro and she must find another way to deal with her life. This is when Maria turns to mentally “killing” Rosa over and over. This is an incredibly unhealthy thing to do. I think this is why Higanbana tries to encourage reality rather than fantasy, because a fantasy that starts nice can easily turn violent when a person is stressed enough. He may be trying to create a discussion about it. Because I do think the conversation of fantasy vs reality to be interesting. And I also think another interesting question he wants to ask is how much of relying on fantasy to escape is too much! Higanbana rejects fantasy all together, while Umineko encourages it in small doses.

Onto the third question~ Really all I have to say here is I think the references to Umineko are absolutely intentional, and a little fun! But the focus on this story is more on the themes of Umineko. I think Higanbana is trying to take the themes of Umineko and put them into a slightly different perspective in order to help analyze them. I don’t think it adds much to the overall of Higanbana, but I think it’s a bit fun to look at Umineko in retrospect, hahaha.

And finally, to answer your last question. I’ve read all of Higanbana, teehee. I know things that happen in later chapters. Keep reading, and you’ll find your answer~

These are really interesting questions you posed, Magus! I’m glad everyone’s giving Higanbana so much thought and analysis. This has made a great tea party thus far (I’d argue, our best one yet), and I want it to keep coming! Great job, everyone! :joyful:


Thanks for answering! I’m sure it took a lot of courage to answer that first question in particular, I really appreciate the personal response. I hope both the story and my fellow book club members challenge my current theories going forward, that’s where the most interesting discussion happens.


Very interesting chapter. I expected a twist, but when it did come, it was intriguing, particularly the justification put forward by the Black Tea Gentlemen, when he says
When you hear the word ‘lie’, you can only think it is wrong, correct?
However, it’s the same with painkillers or anaesthetics.
Isn’t there some pain that must be forgotten in order to keep living?
This is how I relieved this girl of her pain.

Also interesting to note is the following dialogue between the Black Tea Gentlemen and Higanbana:
"Humans have the right to run away from harsh realities.
And if you think of it as granting the person involved a happy dream,… is that not a beautiful thing?"
Humans live in reality. If one runs away, they will have to pay for it dearly one day.
“That’s correct, isn’t it? Once they return to reality, they will have to pay for it.”
… However, if they do not come back, they’d be fine never paying it back.


One thing I’ve been wondering is, what Youkai is the Black Tea Gentleman meant to represent? His appearance gives me alice in wonderland vibes, but I’m not sure if that’s significant. Damn he has a lot of bling though.

Any thoughts @kyuketsukimiyu?

Midori played so much otome games that she can see imaginary buttler husbando either that or Midori is on weed, because talking to a teacups is not ok! Hehehe.
Anyway, I really liked this chapter, it was pretty suspenful.
That twist was amazing. Sweet lie or harst reality :yum: Still I think that no matter what, you have to face this harsh reality and change your life. But I guess it’s better for Midori to live in this world where everyone loves her, her face says it all!
The only thing I’m wondering, what would have happened if Nozomi actually tried to end bullying and befriended Midori? She is the princess of the class, she realizes that she has a lot of influence.

(They better not watch that Seacats anime :wink: )
(Yum-yum, dead bugs free protein! :yum: )
(The music that plays during that buttler scenes is so funky :hauu: I like it)
(Also, holy shit Maria is kicking ass!)


I read this one a little over a week ago now, but just now have the time to do a post for it.

The first thing I wanted to talk about was the bullying. There was a lot of talk early on about how excessive the bullying feels, but while there is no denying that it is terrible bullying the problem of bullying and these kinds of methods are documented and have been a problem in Japan for years now. Bullying in school is a known social problem in Japan that they have been trying to address, but there are aspects of the culture that are entrenched and continue to encourage it. I think this is actually why Higanbana (the story) works, and is why Ryuukishi was relentless at getting Higanbana out and out correctly. This is probably a deeply personal issue for Ryuukishi, and I would not be surprised if he has been effected by it first hand, even he himself was not bullied, the story of Higanbana shows he has spent a lot of time reflecting on the roles of the bullies, the bullied, and those too passive to do anything that it basically just is a social commentary on bullying wrapped in the package of good series of ghost stories.

I liked this chapter, though not the pacing of it. It felt muddled to me, and as others have mentioned it had kind of a non ending. It gave the whole story the feeling of an interlude rather than a proper chapter.

I think Midori is a good character. I think she represents the ease of turning to delusions. At the end, even though there is no way to feel right about Midori returning to the delusion, I think it is significant that no one really has a better answer for her. If Midori herself will not face reality and the bullies no one can do it for her, and Midori is not strong enough for that. We are not supposed to idolize her turning to a world of dreams, but it is hard to really criticize someone directly for it like this. Delusions do not help, but weak people find releif in them and taking that away from them is also not going to help.

And in that something is becoming very apparent about tonal differences between Higanbana and Umineko/Higurashi . Umineko/Higurashi are fundamentally optimistic - even as certain characters fall further into despair or face death and torture in every fragment there is the feeling of reading towards the answer. The power of love! of friendship! can guide you. But Higanbana is in many ways (so far!) fundamentally pessimistic. The world is against these characters, and they mostly have to face it alone. Each character has had very different strength of personality and that so far has had a tonally different ending each time- one girl dies and finds some form of peace in that, one boy forgives and lives on, and another girl is unable to even face the hell that is her life and has removed her spirit from reality. And it was the strength of personality in the first place that determined the uneven endings. One of the realest and most cruel truths of Higanbana is that strength is not doled out evenly, and the weak will often not be able to escape the torment of the strong.

As for if the Black Tea Gentleman represents a known yokai…I am honestly not sure if he ties directly back to specific legend. The idea that a demon can offer you a dream - a dream of happiness - one that you use to escape the real world has been done though. Rather than tying back to a specific legend I think these kinds of characters are there to challenge our concepts of happiness, duty, and perception/realtiy. How many times does something have an arc where the character must face a perfect world - one where they get everything they have wanted and denied to them by the story so far? In these the character normally eventually realizes that it is all fake and that they must leave this dream where they are happy because they must go fight in the real world. Because maybe everything sucks for them there, but it is the real world and it is important to not run from it. Then their willpower is shown to be so strong that they shatter the illusion and go get a much more satisfying ending for the audience. Gurren Laggan and Sailor Moon both have sections like this for starters, but it is a trope at this point.

One other thing I’ve found noteworthy while reading is that I find it really interesting that the demons are all very western so far. Besides Marie they, all have western appearance - especially our title character of Higanbana who is supposed to be a fine European doll. I wonder if this was just done due to Ryuukishi’s preferences, to create a stronger feeling foreign-ness for the youkai, or if it will serve the story as a whole more down the line. I imagine it is some combination and I look forward to reading on.


Firstly, thank you so much for clearing this up. This has been a topic of discussion with my friend as of late. We watched Koe no Katachi together recently, and I have been pre-screening Higanbana as a way to see if he’ll truly enjoy it, as he gets really annoyed with how extreme the bullying tends to be in Japanese media. He wanted to doubt that the bullying in Japan was really that bad, but I showed him these articles and it seemed to become a little more clear to him.

I saw the “twist” of this chapter coming, too. It was obvious from the context clues of the story, the constant pains she was feeling, her relationship with the Black Tea Gentlemen–who has become one of my favorite youkai.

I don’t have a lot to say on this chapter that hasn’t been said already. It was rather short compared to the previous two and it had ended so unexpectedly with no real resolution, but as it has already been said, that is not the way real life always works. Marie stood up for what she believed was right, only to be unable to save this girl from the sad lie that she was living in. However, I stand with Marie’s morality: I do not feel it is healthy to believe in such lies, because then the circumstances one are in will truly never change. She is trapped in a delusion created by a youkai and will always be bullied and looked down upon, even if she is not aware of it. She will never be able to make a positive change for herself or be able to overcome these negative experiences. Essentially, all she is doing is seeing herself from the eyes of Nozomi, who seems to just pity her.

On a side note, I loved the references to Umineko in this chapter.


Not much to add to this chapter, it was a nice reading and very Ryukishi-like. I’m hoping Black Tea Gentleman shows up more times, he seems quite the curious type of youkai, almost as mysterious as Higanbana.

Sem título

This face is truly unforgettable. A real lunatic, that’s what she is, I can even pity her.

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And I finished this chapter as well :midori:
And seeing as how there were people who didn’t like this chapter as much, my expectations were once again lowered to the point where this chapter could go ahead of it as I read. Thanks guys~

Before I start though, I will say that most of what I thought of this chapter were already mentioned by other people, especially the people that liked the chapter, so I’ll just keep my points to stuff that I personally would like to add.

Anyway, what I didn’t like? Excessive bullying. Already noted. It’s Japan. Next.
…Guess there’s nothing else that I particularly disliked.

I guess could criticize the predictability of this chapter, tho’ that seems like a theme going on throughout these chapters. How predictable they were. However, if it were not for the name of the chapter, or Midori being referred to as ‘Princess’, I’m pretty sure it would have been hard for me to figure out the twist.

…But even then, the twist caught me a little off guard, and I honestly felt stupid for not figuring this out completely earlier. The pieces were there: ‘Princess’ Midori projecting her feelings onto the ‘bullied’ Nozomi, Nozomi pretty much doing what Midori ‘did’, the bruises, it just… didn’t go full circle for me. Aaah…
But I guess this happened because I was so immersed into Midori’s character… Empathy is truly my worst enemy here, haha. Indeed, I related to this delusional girl. All too well, but not because of the suffering and the bullying.
…It was because of the jealousy.
You see, she said that she didn’t really care about being bullied. She wanted to be on the spotlight, she said she loved the drama club, because she thought that she might get a part where everyone would look at her, adore her, make her shine, make everyone see her true worth.
(As a plus, she comes from a rich family, so she must have been spoiled at home, but probably neglected and not paid enough attention to. The chapter was too short, so we don’t know how her family was, but media seems to depict that rich parents are neglectful. So I make that my headcanon since I’ve been through neglect.)
She envied Nozomi, she wanted to be appreciated and loved. But despite both being girls that came from rich families (thus being similar), it was Midori who got bullied and not Nozomi. In fact, Midori mentioned that she approached Nozomi to help her, but she rejected her help right? She rejected to be her friend. But not for the reasons that we thought of. That was how far Midori’s delusions went.
I went through a similar phase of jealousy. I envied someone who was extremely similar to me, who had similar issues, who had similar or even superior drawings skills, and… you get the idea. We were so similar, and yet… my friends were closer to them than to me. Deep down, I thought that she might have stolen my friends away from me, and I thought that I needed to work hard to make sure my friends didn’t abandon me, forget about me and… god, this got personal. I’m… not sure if I’m still over it honestly, hard to tell. Sure I got sucker punched by reality but… well, I’ll stop here before I go too hard on myself, ahah.
Point is, I knew how it was like to be jealous to the point of trying to escape to fantasy. Thinking yourself so much better than others, thinking of how it would be like to be in their position and imagining how much people would like me if they saw me in a different light. (But I don’t talk enough for people to get an actual opinion on me, or get close enough, so whoops, I’m still too deep into the rabbit hole it seems. :wahaha:) So I really feel for Midori’s envy.

…Damn Higanbana and making me reflect on how I protect myself mentally and calling me out on my bullshit. At least I didn’t cry this time!!!
But anyway, Midori wanted to be appreciated, add there some bullying to make her want to escape and voila, perfect cocktail of delusions that I drink every day of my life :cackle:
Another thing that I related to immensely that threw me waaaay off track was the fact that Midori had supposedly made a choice that changed her whole life, saved her from her suffering. Let’s just say I made a choice that made my life turn for the better after a really rough phase when I younger and I understood why Midori looked at everyone else the way she did. No, the choice didn’t involve selling my soul to a spirit, thankfully.

Anyway, what else can I say… well, I also noticed the Midori/Vice Principal and Marie/Kanamori dynamic. Not much to comment about that hasn’t been commented about.

Next, the umineko references made me wanna punch the screen, but I loved them so much anyway. Everyone else already said what I had to say on this subject. Moving on.

More youkai! But this chapter was short, so there was not much to analyze this time around. But I’m curious what other tastes youkai can have on souls… And what does Marie even feed on? Her magical buns?! Speaking of:

This made me laugh harder than it should.

And I guess to end it on a brighter and not so personal note, I really enjoyed the little bits about how acting is hard work and how it’s more than just reading lines in a certain tone with a certain pose. Acting is not lying in my opinion, it’s just seeing the truth in a different way. And… Midori was seeing Nozomi’s truth, despite delusions and all, right?~


This chapter was quite a curveball for me. I expected a twist, but not that much of a twist. Is it better to live a lie or accept the truth? An analogous question would be, is it better to die and be free of pain or live and accept that pain? Questions that have haunted mankind since we were capable of thought, buried in our primal soul. I loved this chapter because it presents a difficult situation that we all can relate to, and just shows the balance of gray that Ryukishi struck perfectly in Higanbana as a whole.


I can’t believe I haven’t replied here yet.

This chapter of Higanbana was especially close to home for me, and unlike most of you, I certainly didn’t expect the twist at the end. It hit me like a brick wall.

The Princess’ Lie is more personal to me than I want to admit, because in its own ways, it’s really sad. Just as Midori escapes her world by relying on illusions, I also escape my world by relying on illusions. I understand entirely Midori’s desire to get out of reality by writing over it with her own desires, and I can’t criticize her for it. I was never bullied in school, I was the quiet kid that never spoke, always wore dark colors, and was probably suspected of planning to blow up the school. I was ignored, I had no friends, and the few friends I did have in elementary weren’t true friends at all. I wanted someone to like me for who I was, not just pretend to like me to save me from hurt. So I commonly escaped to my fantasy worlds, something my mom hated, even though she was a large role in why. My mom was very emotionally abusive and made it clear that I could do nothing right in school or at home. My grades were average, but I struggled particularly with math and that’s something that used to get me in a lot of trouble. Every day after school, if I was late leaving, I would hear about it for weeks on end. At home, she was always yelling at me about this or that, I forgot to do XXXX or YYYY. I could never do well enough, no matter what I did. I had a chore list, and my 3 sisters did not. When I was told to do something it had to be done, and if I asked about it it would only bring her anger. I was never physically hit, but the emotional pain and constant ridicule took a major toll on my mental stability. I began self harming at 9.

Also at the young age of 9, I developed interest in anime and manga, usually whatever Adult Swim was airing Saturday nights. I wanted so badly to get away from the world I was in that I’d build up personas and mentally join the worlds I thought were better. My first friend was Link from the Zelda series. Within months, I had a whole new family and friends. My first crush was Bankotsu from the Inuyasha series. I had it all. I could be whatever I wanted, and no one would yell at me. I could imagine tons of enemies that I could destroy over and over without consequence, and any person I had feelings for I could get, because they were fictional. They couldn’t tell me no, and they couldn’t leave me or argue back.

I grew afraid of people. I felt so superior to others that I had no interest in speaking to them, and at the same time I was so afraid of what they’d say to me that I hid away from it all. My only friends were characters I took a liking to. I made one friend in high school, that’s all. One. And we’re still friends today. Anyway, life at home continued to get worse, and screaming and blaming continued. The bad, but also good thing was it never happened to my sisters. Everything was normal for them. I was the only one that got told constantly that I wasn’t good enough, that I was grounded for X amount of months. I grew so far from reality I began hiding my homework and pretending I didn’t have it. I’d skip class sometimes, too, just enough to give myself a mental break.

As I mentioned earlier, at 9 I began self harming. As all the events unfolded I was taken to multiple therapists, the first of them blamed me entirely. My mom’s first boyfriend molested me, the second called me disgusting and took everything from my room (with exception to my mattress) when he first found out I self harmed. I wasn’t aloud to touch anything or go anywhere. Even when I told my mom this hurt my feelings deeply, she did nothing but shrug. But if I avoided talking to her, she couldn’t understand why. “You know you can tell me anything, right?” is what she’d say. She’d act nice until I actually had something to say, and then it became “stop feeling sorry for yourself”, “pity party, pity party”. She went about a year without talking to me, too.

So I’d recede further into dreams and into fantasy. I wanted to die. I tried to die at 12, then 14, 15, 17. All I wanted was someone to listen to me, and I’d grown so worried about everything that I couldn’t express how I felt even to the one friend I made in high school. I had deep worries that she was going to reveal that she was just pretending, and I didn’t need her knowing so much about me. The self isolation and the dreams continued. I began researching numerous drugs, reading up on near death experiences, trying to figure out if anything good would happen after I died. I tried to get into church but I couldn’t believe. Eventually, I had to balance a job with my delusions, and I did fairly well.

At 15, I found Vocaloid, and grew to love Len without limits until…I turned 19. That’s when I found Umineko, and it became my identity. (Full Umineko Spoilers) I want so badly to be part of the catbox, to go to the Golden Land. Umineko became everything I wanted to be part of. The Ushiromiyas, no matter how dysfunctional, became my family. One of them, the biggest and most powerful love I’ve ever known. Looking at Yasu, I was reminded of me. I know it sounds nuts. That’s why Umineko, and this chapter of Higanbana, resonate so deeply with me. I really need to start the second night of Higanbana, so that’s what I intend to do next…

I know I’ll be judged harshly for this post, showing my blatant escapism, but… that’s part of why I appreciate the magic of Umineko, and the power of the Black Tea Gentleman. The difference between Midori and I is, I know reality is waiting. I have to balance my fantasy prone self with living life here, even though I don’t want to. I want to simply fade away and live on Rokkenjima. I expect many of you’ll be weirded out, and maybe I’ve gotten too personal with this post, but this is why The Princess’ Lie resonates with me as much as it does. Sorry for the wall.