Characters: Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni
The cast of Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni
and associated tropes. Beware of spoilers
from the first episode onward.
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Marie Moriya / Mesomeso
Marie is a hopeless girl who is harassed by everyone in her class and abused by her homeroom teacher. While despairing over her troubles in the bathroom of the old school building where she regularly meets her teacher for "supplementary lessons
", she accidentally starts the rumor of a youkai named Mesomeso who haunts the bathroom. Higanbana gives her the chance to actually become Mesomeso, which she does after being strangled to death by her teacher. Instead of seeking revenge, however, Marie uses her newfound status to help other bullied students in her school.
- Alliterative Name
- All of the Other Reindeer
- Badass Adorable: After becoming a youkai.
- Break the Cutie: Though she's already broken by the time the story begins.
- Byronic Hero
- Cute Ghost Girl: Face it, dead or not she is just adorable.
- The Dog Bites Back: After being abused by Kanamori for god knows how long, she get the chance to eat him once she becomes a youkai.
- First Episode Resurrection
- Hair Decorations: A bunny clip in the visual novel.
- Hot for Teacher: She says to Kanamori that she loved him… whether she still had feelings for him at the end is anyone's guess though.
- Kill the Cutie
- Meaningful Name: Her youkai nickname is taken from the Japanese phrase meso meso, which is the sound one makes while weeping and sobbing.
- Mundane Utility: Apparently, one of her powers is to find… rice cakes. Somehow.
- Odd Friendship: With Higanbana.
- The Red Baron: Mesomeso.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Higanbana's red.
- She Knows Too Much: The reason why Kanamori kills her.
- Sailor Fuku: She wears one for the Yōkai's Tsukimi in the eighth story. She based it on the one her sister wore in middle school.
- Secret Test of Character: She and Kanamori were teleported to the bathroom to see who was capable of becoming Mesomeso. She wins due to Kanamori breaking the rules in regards to becoming Mesomeso.
- Sixth Ranger: Introducing Mesomeso, the eighth of the seven school youkai.
- White Sheep: Just compare her character to the other youkai…minus Kyou who is pretty much courteous and kind to her.
- The Worf Effect: While she often tries to help the protagonist, she rarely manages to do anything, much to her dismay. Though she at least talks Yukari out of the suicide option the latter was contemplating.
- She actually battled with the Black Tea Gentleman in "The Princess's Lie", but accidentally broke his masquerade on Midori in the process.
- You Got Balls: Izanami praises her for her honesty against the Black Tea Gentlemen's use of lies, instantly saying that he likes her for that.
Higanbana is ranked third among the seven major youkai who haunt the school, also known as the "Dancing Higanbana". She often takes the form of a doll that sits on one of the shelves in the school infirmary, and is rumored to dance around in the middle of the night. She forms an Odd Couple
with Marie after she effortlessly starts the rumor of Mesomeso, opening a spot for an eighth youkai.
- Anti-Hero: While she helps the desperate Marie from the awful situation her teacher has placed her in, Higanbana's intentions are not exactly good. The antagonists are just worse.
- Bad Samaritan: It's part of her nature as a youkai. She may seem to help people, but she really just wants to eat them in the end. The only real exception to this is Marie, especially after she becomes a youkai, though she openly states that she would've eaten Marie if she hadn't.
- Break the Haughty: Played for Laughs in "Welcome to the Mirror World". Higanbana gets into a fight with Marie's Mirror Universe counterpart Geragera, who is ranked first among the youkai in the mirror world. By the end of their fight, the once-haughty Higanbana is turned into Geragera's sniveling errand-girl, and even continues to act this way when she meets the real Marie afterward.
- Catch Phrase: "It's a pity."
- Creepy Doll: Likes to take this form. Her true form resembles a doll as well.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Irony: Loves using it in her trolling, especially to Hikaru.
- Flower Motifs - Meaningful Name: Higanbana is one of the Japanese names for the red spider lily, a flower that the Japanese associate with death.
- Kick the Dog/Kick the Son of a Bitch: It doesn't matter who or how she kicks. She just likes to do it a lot.
- Lack of Empathy: She curses and kills humans without a second thought, and she could really care less about her fellow youkai. The only person she even remotely cares for is Marie, if only because she's interested in her capabilities as a youkai.
- Large Ham: Higanbana likes her job.
- Leitmotif: Yoi no kagefumi.
- Pet the Dog: Letting Yoko's ghost go to Heaven in "One Girl's Day". She's even stated to have done it on a whim.
- Psychotic Smirk
- The Red Baron: The Dancing Higanbana
- Troll: What would be one of 07th Expansion's works without one? She loves to plunge her preys into despair to make their soul tastier.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Marie's blue.
- Signature Laugh: You can hide under your bed, nobody will blame you.
- Smug Snake
- Telepathy: One of her youkai powers.
are ghost-like creatures who are responsible for mysterious phenomena that occur within the school. Whenever someone gets mysteriously injured or suddenly becomes misfortunate, a youkai is usually the one responsible. The youkai have their own hierarchy based around the school's mysteries
, which are caused by the top seven youkai (well, eight counting Mesomeso). Besides these youkai, there are numerous other youkai who try to contend for spots in the hierarchy.
- Bad Samaritan
- Blue and Orange Morality: They certainly have no qualms in killing humans, but they don't see anything wrong with Marie refusing to do it or even trying to get in their way. Basically, hunting is part of their daily life, and even if Marie doesn't like it, she rapidly accepts it as something ordinary, remaining Higanbana's friend despite all that.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: A variant. The school yōkai are born by the ghost stories of the school; which means that if these stories cease to be told, they disappear with them.
- Driven to Suicide: A common method of "hunting" apparently.
- The Red Baron: Every youkai has at least some sort of title relating to the mystery they represent. Some of their names are their titles.
- The Seven Mysteries: Each of the school's youkai is responsible for one. The start of the story, though, features the creation of an eighth...
- Telepathy: They tend to respond to questions and comments that other characters think to themselves.
- Youkai: Duh.
- Your Soul Is Mine: Type 2B.
The highest ranked youkai in the school. He is said to emerge from one of the pictures in the school principal's office, and eats anyone he happens across. He also has the ability to erase memories, thus his position as the top ranked youkai.
Black Tea Gentleman
The Headmaster's right-hand man, also known as the Vice-Principal, unofficially ranked second among the school youkai. He is never seen without a fully-prepared tea set. He makes contracts with humans by offering them his power to escape reality and believe their own lies
in exchange for a small portion of their souls. He is currently contracted with Midori Kusunoki.
The second ranked youkai, also known as the "Shinigami of the 13 Stairs". If a human steps on the 13th stair, he forces them into playing a game of tag each day, where if the human ever stops running, they are dumped straight into hell. Granted, if the human can last 49 days of this, they will be free but...
The fourth ranked youkai, also known as "Azami the Vengeful". Using her magical azamis, she can turn bullied kids into bullies themselves.
The fifth ranked youkai, also known as "Kyou of the Mirror". He polishes all of the mirrors in the school, particularly one that is capable of becoming a doorway to the Mirror World.
- Little Bit Beastly: Has a pair of wolf ears and a wolf's tail.
- Nice Guy: Compared to the other Youkai (particularly Higanbana), he's nice and courteous to Marie.
- Token Good Teammate: Pretty much one of the nicer Youkai you'll meet.
The sixth ranked youkai, also known as "Renoir of the Art Room". He spends most of his time sleeping within portraits in the art room, but every once in a while awakens to eat. If a human breaks one of the rules regarding Renoir (borrowing a brush from Renoir, giving an incorrect answer as to the artist of one of the portraits in the room, or lying at all during a conversation with Renoir) they are sucked into a portrait where they are doomed to live forever.
Sumire / Reiko Oosumi
The seventh ranked youkai, also known as "Sumire of the Dusk". She is the main antagonist of "Utopia", where she disguises herself as a transfer student named Reiko
. Really looks up to Azami, who she refers to as an older sister.
The leader of the animal spirits who inhabit the school. He lives in a Shinto
shrine on the school grounds.
- Cheerful Child
- Expecting Someone Taller: Judging from Michiru's description of him, Marie expected him to be a terrifying and vengeful spirit, and doubted she'd be able to speak on even terms with him, even as one of the eight highest ranking youkai in the school.
- Expy: He is basically Sakutaro in all but name.
- Hand-Hiding Sleeves: As with Sakutaro, it's to make him look cuter.
- Insistent Terminology: The way he's described makes him appear to be a Kitsune but, being the "king of animals", he insists that he is a lion.
- Leitmotif: A remix of "Sakutaro no ganbarimonogatari" plays during his appearance.
- Little Bit Beastly: While the narrative implies that he may be a fox, he insists that he's really a lion.
- The Scapegoat: He's blamed for the "curse" that Michiru tries carrying out in "Shrine of the Guardian Spirit".
- Verbal Tic: "Uryuu~!"note
A youkai who haunts the school's music room, also known as "Hameln of the Music Room". According to his legend, anyone who enters the music room at night when no one else is around will hear the sound of his castanets playing, and then will turn into an animal to be lured away to their doom. He is not one of the eight ranked youkai of the school.
- Baleful Polymorph: His power allows him to turn students who hear his music to turn into small animals.
- Cool Mask
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Hameln, after cursing Higanbana into the form of a bunny, tries to eat her. Higanbana responds by biting onto his tongue and then eat it along with the rest of Hameln's insides.
- Improbable Weapon User: Hameln uses a pair of castanets for his magic spells.
- The Red Baron: "Hameln of the Music Room"...or at least, he'd like people to call him this, since he's not yet recognized as a mystery by the school.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: He's never seen without his mask, but when he leans close to Hikaru, he is described as having "stunningly red" eyes like a rabbit.
- Slasher Smile: Sports one of these.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He aims to become one of the Eight School Mysteries.
Kanamori is Marie's homeroom teacher. He originally defended Marie against her tormentors, but has long since taken to molesting her in the bathroom of the old school building to relieve the daily stress of his job. He is the main antagonist of the first chapter, "Mesomeso-san".
- A God Am I: Well, not necessarily a god, but he declares himself to be Mesomeso after strangling Marie to death and pretending to be a youkai to ward off potential witnesses who came because of a Scare Dare.
- Asshole Victim
- Beneath the Mask: He'd be a fairly likable guy if he weren't secretly a brutal, animalistic child molester.
- Bishōnen: Is said to be very popular with the girls. Well, except for Marie.
- Blackmail: Kanamori always videotapes Marie while molesting her, and threatens to expose the tapes in order to keep her quiet. The moment Marie tried to turn this around on Kanamori, it led to her death.
- Break Them by Talking: What he does to the ghost of Marie (see "The Reason You Suck" Speech below). Alas, he should have stayed silent.
- Corrupt the Cutie: He actually started out as a Wide-Eyed Idealist before the unbearable stress of work and his unhealthy lolicon fetish twisted him into what he is now.
- Faux Affably Evil
- Freak Out!: Does this a lot while trying to cover up his "supplementary lessons" with Marie.
- Freudian Excuse
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He dies because he broke all the rules regarding the legend of Mesomeso. Mainly, he wasn't supposed to respond to or even look at her, and should've just run away had he not assumed the test was to see who could become a better youkai instead of seeing who could be a better Mesomeso.
- Hot Teacher
- Ignored Epiphany: There are numerous points in the story.
- Large Ham: "TREMBLE BEFORE MESOMESO-SAN!!! AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH!"
- Lolicon: Kanamori is one of these toward Marie, and his "supplementary lessons" with her are basically an excuse to molest and abuse her.
- Psychopathic Manchild
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He lays one on Marie during the poll to see which one of them would become Mesomeso, telling her that she could've solved all her problems ages ago if she'd just grow a backbone and call the police. See Hoist by His Own Petard above for why it would've been better for him to just stay quiet.
- Sadist Teacher
- Smug Snake
- Villain Protagonist: The "Mesomeso-san" chapter is as much his chapter as it is Marie's, since it's told from both their perspectives.
- Villainous Breakdown: Kanamori has two. The first was when Marie threatened to turn over the evidence of his "supplementary lessons" to the police and put him away, which resulted in him strangling her to death. The other was when he learned he had failed the test to become Mesomeso and that Marie has become the youkai instead — and is ready to take vengeance upon him.
- Villain with Good Publicity
NurseExactly What It Says on the Tin
. She is a friendly and good-natured young woman who works at the school infirmary, and is Higanbana's owner. She is quite knowledgeable on the topic of The Seven Mysteries
of the school, and may in fact seem to know more about them than she lets on…
Takeshi is a photographer and member of the school's journalism club. He was once falsely accused of breaking school equipment by Yoko Numata and her friends; unable to prove his innocence, he became obsessed with finding "the truth" in the pictures he takes. He also harassed Yoko out of revenge by stalking her and sending her photos he took of her in secret, inadvertently causing her suicide
. He is the main protagonist of "The Spirit Camera".
- Brainy Brunette: A male example.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He got scolded by his teacher because Yoko blamed him for an accident she caused. His response? To turn the student body of the entire school (a huge school, mind you) against her with embarrassing photos. That said, he never imagined she'd kill herself over it.
- Heel Realization
- Intrepid Reporter
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Due to the Headmaster's power of erasing the memories of anyone he eats, Takeshi forgot ever stalking Yoko since her corpse was eaten.
- Meganekko: Again, a male example.
- Nice Guy
- Stalker Without a Crush: He used to take pictures of his classmate Yoko from afar and left them everywhere for her to find (even going as far as to clutter her locker with them), all out of revenge for being framed for something he didn't commit. He promptly stopped after she killed herself and her corpse was eaten by the Headmaster.
- What the Hell, Hero?
- You Are Worth Hell: When he finds out the kind of suffering Yoko had to endure in Hell, he becomes perfectly content with following her there to be with her if he can't go there in her place.
Yoko is a girl who accidentally broke some school equipment and blamed it on Takeshi to avoid getting in trouble. She committed suicide after Takeshi started stalking her, sending her harassing photos of her and getting her bullied by the whole school, dooming her to an eternity of torment as the youkai's plaything in Hell. Her ghost appears in "The Spirit Camera" as part of Higanbana's bid to eat Takeshi's soul, and again as the protagonist of "One Girl's Day".
Midori is a wealthy student and member of the school drama club who was bullied by other students for flaunting her wealth
. Ever since making a contract with the Black Tea Gentleman to get a role in a play she wanted to be in, she has gained popularity and become the most beloved student in her class. In reality, this is all part of an illusion fabricated by the Black Tea Gentleman, who granted her wish to have her literally switch places with another student she was jealous of
. She is the main protagonist of "The Princess's Lie".
- Break the Haughty: See Rich Bitch and Freak Out! below.
- Deal with the Devil: Her contract with the Black Tea Gentleman in exchange for a bit of her soul.
- Determinator: Despite all of the bullying, she will never give up in improving her acting skills. A line from the second novel states that a few students have changed their opinion on her because of it.
- Driven by Envy
- Freak Out!: After Marie frees her from her Dream World, all her experiences of being bullied in the real world hit her like a truck. She only gets a hold of herself once she's returned to the Dream World.
- Genre Blindness: When she begins experiencing sharp pains on her body, she initially assumes it's just caused by anxiety over an audition for the lead role in a play. Once these pains become more frequent, and dead bugs appear in her food during lunchtime, Midori reasons that her jealous classmate is using the Black Tea Gentleman's powers to curse her and get the lead role herself. She's actually feeling the pain from the beatings her classmates inflict on her while she's in the Dream World—because of A Glitch in the Matrix, some of their pranks also make their way through.
- I Just Want to Be You
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: While in the Dream World, she has no memory of wanting to switch places with another student and instead believes she made a contract with the Black Tea Gentleman for a role she wanted for a play.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Initially. She brought it on herself, though.
- Meaningful Name: "Midori" means "green".
- Rich Bitch: By the start of "The Princess's Lie", though, she seems to have grown out of it thanks to the contract she made with the Black Tea Gentleman. Doubly subverted in that she's still a Rich Bitch, but as long as the Black Tea Gentleman's powers are in effect, she doesn't realize this.
- Stepford Smiler
- Took a Level in Kindness: Subverted. The narrative leads us to believe this, and Midori herself believes she has, but in the real world she hasn't and she's still being bullied for it.
- Your Mind Makes It Real
Michiru is a girl with the ability to sense spirits. She is the main protagonist of "Shrine of the Guardian Deity" and "My Best Friend".
Hikaru is a very intelligent cram school student and member of the animal raising committee. He looks down on his more inept classmates, which ended up getting him bullied by them. He vents his frustrations by abusing the rabbits kept on the school grounds, which he is supposed to be caring for. He is the main protagonist of "Hameln's Castanets".
- And I Must Scream: His eventual fate (see Karmic Transformation below), which leaves him screaming for Higanbana's mercy until he can no longer scream (as rabbits can't scream out in human language). And even afterward, he is described as attempting to scream for her mercy as she left...
- Baleful Polymorph: As a result of his Karmic Transformation below.
- Bully Hunter: A very dark variant once he teams up with Hameln.
- Death Seeker: Once Higanbana Mind Rapes him and hammers home that he's been murdering humans.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette
- Freak Out!: He practically loses his mind when Higanbana shows him the scene of him killing his classmates, this time as humans instead of rabbits, to show him what it really means to kill.
- Freudian Excuse: He tortures rabbits out of frustration with being bullied and having little evidence backing it. When offered to take revenge, he targets bullies, the ones who know he's being bullied but don't speak up about it, and people who just plain piss him off.
- Hit Me, Dammit!: He hates that the boys who pick on him never lay a finger on him, making it easy for them to deny ever bullying him in the first place.
- Insufferable Genius
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: One moment he's petting rabbits after news of them being tortured starts to spread. Then we find out just who's been torturing those rabbits. And if that wasn't enough, we find out that none of his bullies were ever unprovoked in tormenting him; they'd been merely sticking up for a girl Hikaru himself picked on.
- Karmic Transformation: He's turned into a rabbit by Higanbana and left to be gang raped by a bunch of other rabbits. As Higanbana points out, rabbits aren't picky about doing it with other rabbits of the same sex...
- Kick the Dog: He abuses rabbits on the school grounds to vent his frustrations with being bullied.
- Loners Are Freaks
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He knows it's wrong to torture innocent rabbits. But if Hameln turns bullies into rabbits, then he wouldn't be torturing "innocent rabbits", would he... Of course, you may be surprised how much this trope goes both ways.
- Villain Protagonist
Yukari is a girl who comes from a poor, dysfunctional family, for which she is quite cruelly bullied. She is the main protagonist of "Utopia".
- Attempted Rape: The abuse she suffered after Sumire disapeared was starting to go way beyond mere bullying. She just barely manages to escape.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: She's had some major issues with her life at home, particularly after the death of her mother. It's one of the reasons why she's bullied all the time.
- Bully Hunter: In "A Thistle of Vengeance", she becomes this to her class.
- Butt Monkey
- Character Development: Going from someone who goes Just Ignore It to bullying, who in the end of her story decides to stand up against it. Needless to say she got that happy ending.
- Expy: Design-wise, she is the series entitled expy of Rika, after Bernkastel and before Stella.
- Hime Cut
- Huge Schoolgirl: She has a bit of a complex over it.
- Just Ignore It: She strongly believes this at first when it comes to dealing with bullies. After Sumire makes things worse for her, however, she takes on a far more assertive role against bullying.
- The Power of Hate: Azami's thistle gives her power to become a bully, and she uses it to become a tyrant in the class to kill off any other threats of bullying, if only for a limited amount of time.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: See above trope: Nice and enduring but not a pushover. The Hime Cut pushes her into this trope.
- The "Thistle of Vengeance" chapter totally subverts that though.
Aya is a girl who lost the will to live, but continued to do so because she didn't want anything other than a peaceful, sleep-like death. After hearing the rumors of the 13 steps, she tests it out and accidentally steps on the 13th step, forcing her to participate in Izanami's game. She is the main protagonist of "The Thirteenth Step's Shinigami".
- Death Seeker: She believed that she has no reason to continue on living, so all she want is a peaceful death. Until...
- Determinator: Her story pretty much is about her outlasting the 49 day time limit by running as fast as she could. Due to this, she became praised throughout the school for her running and gained a better outlook on life.
Yuki is a young boy who enjoys art and loves his art teacher, Shintani-sensei.
- I See Dead People: Was able to see Renoir and converse with him, with Renoir stating he possessed a valuable wavelength. Unfortunately....
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: He was ultimately killed by Shintani-sensei and Renoir was deeply saddened by his loss.
An art teacher who considers herself the queen of the art room. She particularly enjoys having her favorite young male students model for her, although art isn't all she wants them for...
- Fate Worse Than Death: She is forever trapped in the "Accending and Descending" portrait in an endless loop of running down the stairs where there's no escape for her.
- I Didn't Mean to Kill Him: How she reacts when she was cornered by Higanbana and Renoir in regards to Yuki's death.
- Shotacon: She has a rather disturbing attraction towards young boys, with Yuki being one of them.
Michiru's best friend who ends up dying at the beginning of "My Best Friend" after slipping and hitting her head while on vacation with her family
. Like Michiru, she loves occult stuff, but compared to her best friend, she leans more towards sci-fi.
- Back from the Dead: For a short period of time
- Beneath the Mask: She was the only person who was ever nice to Michiru and share the same interest to the occult, but once she was revived, she reveals her true feeling that she grew bored of her.
- Conspiracy Theorist
- Jerkass Façade: It was later revealed to be an act, as Tomoko is aware of the price that Michiru will pay for her revival, that she did because she wants Michiru live happily in her Life and have her move on by making new friends. Even in Death, this is Tomoko's true act of friendship.