Higanbana is a neat collection of short stories surrounding the mysteries of a particular school building, the way that the characters are framed and the leitmotif of the Higanbanas ‘blooming’ are central to the themes of the story. As I’ve layered throughout my forum posts I’ve realized that this work is a depiction of the worst that humanity has to offer, but also the best. As we watch the characters struggle we come to realize the importance of living, the cruelty of the human world, and the hope that one can find even in the darkest of places.
The journey from beginning to end was a bumpy one, I don’t think the story is perfect and i don’t think it has to be. I enjoyed getting a chance to understand Ryukishi’s approach to art in a more direct way, without the cryptic puzzles of his previous work. I feel that Higanbana is his most straightforward story of the three of them and I much appreciated this peek into the heart of the author that I hold so dearly. This story that Ryukishi wanted to tell is coated in emotion from his own heart and it shines through, to me this was a call out to all that would listen to stop the injustices of the world, to preach appreciation of others and as a whole is an excellent attempt at tackling the complicated topic of abuse in schools.
In the end I take all of his arguments, all of the discussion on the forums and I bundle it up into a ball, and I process it. Everything anyone has ever said to me about this story condensed into ‘my opinion’, something I don’t think I can entirely express with the words I type. I’m very happy to have had the experience of travelling through this shadowy valley of night with everyone else who joined along the way, whether you were on the podcast, joined in on the forum discussion, or just made a passing comment about the outrageous emojis on Discord. To me all of this is a part of Higanbana, and even though I have put the story down I will still remember all of the arguments I’ve had over the meaning of the chapters, the bonding with others over the soundtrack, and the individual experiences others have told me about which are echoed through the tale. To me all of this is important, all of this creates my own unique perspective and it shapes me to become a different, better person.
Heh, have I managed to become an old softie… just from this? It’s ‘only natural’ I suppose.