Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni General Discussion


The First Night
Chapter 1: Mesomeso-san
Chapter 2: The Spirit Camera
Chapter 3: The Princess’ Lie
Chapter 4: Shrine of the Guardian Deity
Chapter 5: Hameln’s Castanets
Chapter 6: One Girl’s Day
Chapter 7: Utopia

The Second Night
Chapter 1: The Lunar Festival
Chapter 2: Reaper of the Thirteenth Step
Chapter 3: Welcome to the Mirror World
Chapter 4: The Boys’ Portrait
Chapter 5: My Best Friend
Chapter 6: A Thistle of Vengeance
Chapter 7: Before the Spider Lilies Bloomed

General discussion topic for the Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni franchise. In the absence of any fitting topics, free to make your own topic if you have something specific you’d like to talk about. If a conversation here ends up flowing in a certain direction, don’t be afraid to continue it in your own topic! Keep the “reply as linked topic” button beside each post in mind.

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I just finished the Higanbana manga, though vndb and wikipedia say that the vn has more material. Well, fuck that… at least for now. I don’t want to read the vn because, while it has improved, I really dislike the art. Just look at Marie in the manga: she’s adorable. It’s also a lot easier to see the characters “acting” with how much attitude is added through the pictures and text. Like, it’s pretty dreadful reading when the text is a huge blob of hiragana and katakana written in exaggerated fonts. I even managed to give voices to the characters thanks to this. I read Higanbana as Nakahara Mai and Marie as Horie Yui for example.

On to the actual story, I read 3 volumes in a day, so obviously I enjoyed it greatly. Higanbana is, however, very cruel; I can say that about the story or the character, and it will be equally true. Ryuukishi definitely takes you on a gut-wrenching ride this time. With the constant theme of bullying, it’s to be expected that it gets dark. I can really get behind Marie’s final message to Yukari (Volume 6) I’m very anti suicide, so Marie’s line about no flower blooming in death isn’t just a cool title drop but something that hits a good spot.

Ultimately, the most enjoyable part of the story is Marie and Higanbana. Marie is a sweet, empathetic character and also the reader’s point of point of reference when trying to make sense of the youkai world. Higanbana on the other hand is the embodiment of everything that is “wrong” and different in that world. She always seems to act on something beyond human(Marie’s) comprehension. They just have great chemistry, and coupled with the setting of a huge school with youkai messing around, you can just make any silly story around the two living their “lives,” and it would be awesome. I would almost say the fourth arc didn’t need any third party youkai. Higanbana and Marie having a tug-of-war over a girl’s soul would be dramatic enough.

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I would highly highly recommend the VN. The music more than makes up for the art (which is still much nicer than Higu and Umi original art) and it honestly doesn’t take long to get used to. Plus the extra stories are definitely worth it.


Also the VN portraits the story in a very different manner than the manga, and Second Night has no manga and it contains a lot of precious stories My best friend, for example, the reaper of the 13th steep. This last one is really one of my favourites, and it has a Happy Ending so….


I’m reading the second story right now, and I just have to say, it feels strangely satisfying to read a horror-esque story written by Ryukishi, because his characters act like you’d imagine someone would in that situation. They don’t conveniently forget about ghost stories they’d heard, they don’t insantly reject the idea of a supernatural thing going on, they actually react to strange happenings, they think back to events that happened earlier and actually try to draw connections (even drawing wrong ones at times just because they ‘make sense in the moment’), and their reason for persevering is a naturally believable curiosity.

This satisfaction can be felt in any of Ryukishi’s stories mind you, but especially in something so horror-inspired it just sticks out because how many times have we seen the protagonist that completely sucks at dealing with the horrors presented, or pursues them fervently for no goddamn reason.


I’m so happy other people are reading Higanbana! It’s really a great story that I think needs more attention!

I recommend the VN, even though the art is not as good as the manga. There’s still something charming about the art, so please, give it another try! Besides, as the others have pointed out, the music and backgrounds really help set the mood.

My favorite story in Higanbana is the third story. In the third story, Higanbana begins to take the ideas presented in the later chapters of Umineko and turn them on their head. I really like how Ryukishi used Higanbana to further analyze ideas presented in Umineko in order provide an alternative perspective on said ideas.


Honestly, Higanbana was a little much for me. While I liked a lot of the stories and what they had to say, I had to put it down cause it was making me depressed and some aspects of it were hitting to close to home.
I haven’t gotten beyond the ‘Princess Lie,’ to this day.


I’m somewhere in the First Night vn, and I am enjoying reading it. To me Higanbana feels like a mix between Higurashi and Umineko, the creepiness and horror the Higurashi side, and the magic beings the Umineko side. I really like the sprites, and the music

So,I recently started reading Higanbana, and I’m really liking what I’m looking at so far. I’ve read the first two arcs and they’ve left a good impression on me. I really like the atmosphere of this story. It nicely reflects this “Beautiful Cruel World” feel I’ve had while reading it. I like how Higanbana feels like this character who when you think you’ve pinned down the core of her character, she unleash a surprise on you and keep you guessing. I like how the second story felt like a continuation of the Cycle of Hatred theme that appeared in Umineko EP4. I’m looking forward to reading more.


If anyone has been looking for the Higanbana OST, message me and I may be able to help you out.


Has anyone looked into what the kanji on the candles in the scenario select screen mean?

The candle kanji are 壱(1) 弐(2) 参(3) 四(4) 伍(5) 陸(6) 七(7). It’s just the number of the respective chapter.

Ehhhh. I’m not familiar with those kanji.

Well apparently they’re mostly used when you want to be extra clear about that number. Like, 一 , 二, and 三 are nice and simple but there was the worry they could be mistaken for or straight up altered into each other by malicious parties.
In this case my guess is Ryukishi just always went for whichever number-kanji works better as a flame.

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Higabana has such a great soundtrack. My personal favorite is “強く生きて、花はさく”. The piano in this touches my soul.

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So I already had that vibe for some of Umineko’s tracks, and really only few and far between, but for Higanbana, the entire OST so far gives me major Professor Layton vibes. Like, this goes so far that I’d like to see a list of the people involved with the OST of Higanbana just to check if one of these later worked on that series. Does anyone else feel similar?

I’ve really enjoyed the soundtrack so far, especially the one track that is very heavy on the percussion. I forget when it plays and what it’s called, but oh well.

Now that we’re reaching the end of the Bookclub, I’d like to open up a question that I hope many people will attempt to answer.

What does Higanbana mean to you?

Here’s my answer.
For me, Higanbana was a well deserved journey that I’d long since been putting off. Coming off the back of Umineko, I wasn’t quite ready for a trip down Ryukishi’s twisted criminal mind. But what I did, was fail to acknowledge Higanbana for the wonderful potential it had, and instead was turned away at the door by the unsettling content of the first chapter. It starts with a shock to the system, but Higanbana is much more multi-faceted than merely forcing uncomfortable material in our faces.

Being an anthology of short stories, it serves as a huge departure from his other works, and the very format leaves me feeling mixed impressions based on each individual story. But as a collective, I can safely say that Higanbana is one of the most beautiful and poignant stories Ryukishi has ever written. It’s clear that Ryukishi has a mission he’s set out to accomplish. Higanbana presents unsettling tragedy and asks the reader to reflect on them. Bullying happens everywhere, people are struggling just to live day after day. It’s not youkai that are terrifying: it’s a horrible everyday that’s the most terrifying. And, since these stories feel so real, it’s clear that Ryukishi wanted to draw our eyes to these horrible acts in the hopes that we might reflect on our own lives, and do whatever we can to prevent such suffering from happening in our own lives, to those we love, and to those we don’t. It’s been a healthy wakeup call to some important messages I’d taken for granted. Don’t underestimate the power of the majority over the minority, be mindful of how your conduct influences the lives of others around you, and don’t abuse that influence. Live for the moment, and don’t waste time worrying about questions you can’t answer. And when you see someone suffering, don’t stay silent. Listen to them, help them, show them that someone cares. Because if you don’t, you’re hardly any better than the ones causing suffering.

As a community, I feel like many of the values presented in Higanbana are things we can take upon ourselves to create the kind of community we wish to see. I take a small amount of pride in Rokkenjima serving as a sanctuary for wandering souls where the problems of the outside world don’t matter, but I also have an extremely important role of maintaining the balance of power, and making sure that everybody has a voice, even the most meek and passive. It feels I couldn’t have found a better time to read this.

So, to everyone else, I really hope you reflect on the messages Higanbana puts forward. You don’t have to necessarily agree with all of them, but for every tragedy it puts forward, please consider what you can do in your own life to prevent that tragedy occuring for you or someone you love. If Ryukishi’s thoughts can affect people like this, then I’m sure he’d be very happy, and I’d be very happy too. It’s a damn shame this wonderful work of art has often gone so unrecognised by the community, and I’m glad to have been doing my part to change that, even if only slightly.

Thanks, Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni. I won’t be forgetting you any time soon.


It’s a very thought-provoking piece of work… I find it remarkably hard to actually say something about it. Maybe because its themes hit too close to home, or… iunno, I feel like it can leave one very uncertain. The bullying in particular, although as some have pointed out it is unquestionable exaggerated to a point of potential absurdity here. But the thing is that to a bullied kid, it can feel that way anyway, regardless of what the bullies are actually doing. The feeling of abandonment and helplessness can be worse than any actual physical pain inflicted, no matter what. Which is why I still found it tough to watch, to put it mildly.

Anyway, looking at the narrative aspect:
What impressed me the most was Ryukishi’s switch from his usual tendency of a really long, overarching story. If you’d have forced me to name his weakness, I would have said ‘excess’. (Of course, having too much to say is a better problem than having too little.)
He’s surprised me here by actually writing relatively short stories that still cover so much. I think the format might have actually helped a lot since there was less of an obligation to remain focused on just the main theme(s).
Granted, some of the characters introduced had very minor relevance when it felt like they’d eventually be important, so in that sense his tendency to plan for too much might still have shown… but each of the stories can more or less stand on its own, at least.

Higanbana, in my opinion, poses more questions than it answers, and the answers that are given often aren’t fully satisfactorily or feasible from a human point of view. This feels fully intentional, the work is daring us to think about it, to find better answers, if we can. It want us to keep thinking about how to deal with these things. While also making sure to stay well ourselves even when faced with utter misery. I feel anyone who does read Higanbana in earnest will probably be an ever so slightly better person by the end.