The way this girl, Yoko, was seeing this day as being wonderful in the beginning made me wonder if she wanted to have that mindset for a reason, as if she knew it was her last day and that she should try to enjoy it and have as much fun as she could. I wasn’t sure if it’s because she had to change schools and move away soon, she was actually very ill, or if she had a feeling her life would abruptly end because of an accident that would happen. Then it revealed who she really was and what was going. There’s something bittersweet about it, this girl reliving a school day one last time as happily as she can before passing on. It’s hard for me to tell if Higanbana’s antics in this is her actually playfully teasing her prey for her own amusement or if she’s actually helping Yoko by giving her experiences that she wants. Yoko mentioned wanting to be in the infirmary’s bed, and her classmates showed concern for her when she showed up.
This also showed a little more about Marie and Higanbana, which is what I ended up having more interest and curiosity for. I’ve been feeling mixed about Marie, and this chapter has made me feel even more ambivalent.
On one hand, the youkai are shown to hunt after and feed off of humans. So Marie trying to be nice and scolding Higanbana for her nature as a youkai seems like Marie isn’t that fit to be a youkai herself and that she’s still clinging to her humanity. What will that mean for her? Does she eventually have to starve if she doesn’t feed as well, or could she end up being forced to change her attitude at some point?
However, the fact that Higanbana and Marie still put up with each other and stay as friends is interesting. It seems like Higanbana’s loneliness and envy as a youkai was hinted at, so perhaps being with Marie is helping her with that? Did Higanbana decide against feeding on Yoko’s soul show how far she’s willing to change to stay friends with Marie, or is this showing me that youkai don’t have to be monsters and that even Higanbana can change if given a chance? I would even wonder if this is a peek at Higanbana’s true self and that she’s only being cruel as part of an act, but the brutal way chapter 5 ended makes me doubt that.
In the beginning, I’ve been seeing humans and youkai as separate beings that shouldn’t be compared when I started, but the more I read this the more it seems like there’s more that overlaps than I initially though. Even Higanbana’s craftiness and cruelness I can understand as her simply being a non-human and that her thoughts and actions are naturally going to be unusual to my human mind. However, if all youkai don’t have to start off like monsters and it’s not necessarily how they are at heart… did something happen to Higanbana to make her this way? Or is Marie really the exception, and for how long will that remain the case?