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Characters / Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni Youkai

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Given the numerous Youkai that haunt the school, each of them with their own set of powers and mysteries to them, they're all detailed here. Read at your own risk, teehee~

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    Youkai in General 
Youkai are ghost-like creatures who are responsible for mysterious phenomena that occur within the school. Whenever someone gets mysteriously injured or suddenly suffers an unfortunate fate, 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. All of them tend to share these characteristics.

  • Bad Samaritan: Most of them tend to make it look like they're doing their victims a favor when they're really thinking only about how they'll devour their next meal, which of course consists of human souls. To what degree of "bad" tends to differ with the Youkai in question.
  • 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. Marie herself sometimes hunts on accident, like in "Utopia".
  • 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. It's mentioned in the Lunar Festival that the old school building used to have their own seven mysteries, but they disappeared when everything moved over to the new school.
  • Driven to Suicide: A common method of "hunting" apparently.
  • Karma Houdini: Since they’re so powerful, they never suffer for devouring people’s souls. Even Sumire only received a slap on the wrist for her crimes.
  • 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, Mesomeso Marie.
  • Telepathy: A common power they all share is the ability to listen to others thoughts, even that of other Youkai. They tend to respond to those thoughts as if their owner said them out loud.
  • Youkai: Duh.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Type 2B.

The Eight Mysteries

The major Youkai who haunt the new school building, with the exception of Marie. Each of these youkai are divided up into their ranks based on how much power they have or how well known their legend is. And of course, a good portion of them have some of the stories revolving around their antics and hunts.

     The Headmaster

The First Ranked Youkai, the Headmaster. His legend is that he is said to emerge from one of the pictures in the school principal's office, and eats anyone he happens across. Of course, he's supplemented by his powerful ability to erase memories, making it quite easy for him to hide the disappearance of any victims he devours or others make. This results in abit of a give and take relationship between himself and the other Youkai, ensuring that the other youkai don't have problems hiding their victims so long as the Headmaster is granted portions of the victim's souls.

  • Affably Evil: He's an otherwise polite and respectful gentleman who doesn't mind making conversation with normal humans, and is even somewhat fatherly towards even other youkai like Higanbana and Marie. Of course, this only lasts so long as you remain respectful to him.
  • Alien Geometries: He has the power to enforce this on places, trapping people within twisted labyrinths where they can't escape lest they're shown the way out by a Youkai.
  • Berserk Button: Being disrespectful to him. Takeshi nearly dies for it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's said to be a gentle guy most of the time, but he is absolutely terrifying the rest of the time.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He's only ever known as "The Headmaster", and has no other titles than that.
  • Eyes Always Shut: But when he does open them, you know something scary is going to happen.
    • Prophet Eyes: When his singular eye is open, he only has white scalera. No irises, no pupils, only white.
  • High-Class Glass: The VN adds a creepy red eye insignia on his monocle. If it even is an insignia...
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: His power is this in a nutshell, erasing whoever he devours from everyone's memories, including making people oblivious to any other personal belongings of theirs that may remain in the world. But as the trope below indicates, it's not absolute.
  • Logical Weakness: The Spirit Camera in Chapter 2 is apparently one to him. If people caught pictures of victims and made others remember them, it would effectively negate his power and in a sense, remove the victim from his stomach.
  • Memory-Wiping Crew: He's responsible for keeping people from searching out for the victims of Youkai via his powers. If people manage to remember them anyways, then he goes hunting for them himself and tries to make them forget or remove from them things that made them remember the people he devoured.
  • Nice Hat
  • The Patriarch: The head of the Seven Mysteries and possibly the strongest, most of the other Youkai defer to him or give him proper respect.
  • Pet the Dog: After Takeshi and Yoko's ghost break the Cycle of Revenge that caused them so much suffering, the Headmaster escorts Yoko's ghost back to Hell and ensures her that she will no longer suffer eternal torment there, allowing her to achieve peace.

     The 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 the main antagonist of "The Princess’s Lie."

  • Above Good and Evil: He reasons his contracts as a necessary anesthetic that allows people to go on in their lives despite the pain they face, placing himself above both of them.
  • Affably Evil: He's somewhere between this and Faux Affably Evil. On one hand, he makes deals with tormented children, offering them a way to escape the pain by escaping reality and believing their own lies, and in exchange he eats only portions of their souls, not their whole lives. He does somewhat reason that his methods are akin to anesthetia or painkillers.
  • Arc Villain: For "The Princess’s Lie."
  • Broken Masquerade: His hold over Midori is broken once Marie beats him, though it turns out to be more harmful to Midori than beneficial.
  • Deal with the Devil: Makes contracts with a sacrifice of a small sliver of one's soul.
  • The Dragon: To the Headmaster. He is known as "The Second Rank In the Shadows" for a reason.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Midori calls him "Black Tea Gentleman" due to him arriving with a cup of tea in hand.
  • Evil Redhead: Somewhat.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Not once are his eyes ever opened.
  • Graceful Loser
    • In The Princess's Lie, he's quite fine with being beaten by Marie to break his hold on Midori. This is only because breaking his hold on Midori is actually more harmful to her and she'd come back to him. No matter what happened, he'd win.
    • In Reaper of the 13th Step, he admits that he wanted to take Aya's soul for his own and in his own way praises how she has outwitted Izanami.
  • Human Disguise: In "Reaper of the Thirteenth Step", the Black Tea Gentleman also seems to serve as the genuine Vice Principal to the school when he's asked to award prizes to winners of the race, complete with a more mundane outfit.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: He turns out to be this to the Principal. His bio notes that taking care of problems before they reach the Principal's ears is one of his virtues.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: He pretty much embodies this trope by allowing humans to escape reality and believe their dreams to be real in exchange for a bit of their soul.
  • Skunk Stripe: One long strand of white hair
  • Spot of Tea: Usually seen with a tea cup in hand, which is where his name comes from.
  • The Unfettered
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: His contract with Midori is actually to protect her from Higanbana, who he knows would've done something much worse to her.
  • Wicked Cultured: Is almost never seen without a tea set lying around and he keeps a refined air about him.

     Izanami of the Thirteenth Step 
The second ranked youkai, also known as the "Reaper of the 13th Step". His legend is that if a human steps on the 13th step on a staircase, 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. He is the main antagonist of "Reaper of the Thirteenth Step".

  • Affably Evil
    • He devours souls like the others, but is kind enough to not go for immediately killing his victims, give them a head-start in his game and explains most of the rules he has, encourages them to succeed, and he also befriends Aya after she succeeds in avoiding him.
    • The time limit for his game starts out at 5 minutes of avoiding him, of which he increases by five minutes per day. However, he willingly reduces it overall if the victim ran during the day. This includes between classes, for PE classes, or even running in their free time. He also allows his victims to choose a peaceful death if they've impressed him enough.
    • If we also take the dream he shows Aya into account, he does seem to give a chance for even those who collapse to get back up and run again, only actually killing them if they refuse to. Then again, he does throw them into an And I Must Scream situation...
  • And I Must Scream: Not to him, but his victims. Those who remain as "failures" in his eyes are killed by his scythe, then sent into a world where their soul is eternally tormented by hot and cold flames, piercing needle flesh and being essentially eternally digested in his stomach. It's shown that there's some souls who've been there long enough that they're essentially living lumps of meat that cannot scream anymore.
  • Arc Villain: For "The Reaper of the Thirteenth Step".
  • Foil: To the Black Tea Gentleman.
    • Black Tea Gentleman is refined, wears a suit and is shown to be Faux Affably Evil underneath his calm manner while Izanami is known to swear, wears a track suit and shows Tough Love on his victims.
    • Their methods are also complete opposites: the Black Tea Gentleman is all about having children make contracts to go into their dream worlds to run away from reality, Izanami is about scaring the living daylights out of them and making them face reality.
    • The Black Tea Gentleman practices Exact Words while Izanami Will Not Tell a Lie.
    • How they devour their prey differs. The Black Tea Gentleman seeks out his targets, isn't content with taking lives and takes portions of their souls like he would drink tea, letting his victims live in blissful ignorance of their situations. Izanami only chases prey that step on the thirteenth step, forces them to fear for their lives, killing them when they give up and eternally torments them in a realm that essentially serves as his stomach.
    • Finally, they're both the second ranked Youkai in different ways. Izanami is the official second ranked Youkai of the Eight Mysteries, but the Black Tea Gentleman is the Principal's right hand man and equated as "the Second Rank in the Shadows".
  • Graceful Loser: Congratulates Aya on successfully avoiding him for the 49 day limit and states that he'll be keeping an eye out on her from now on.
  • Human Disguise: At the end of "Reaper of the Thirteenth Step", he takes off his cloak to reveal a track suit and Aya refers to him as "Sensei". Given that the Black Tea Gentleman is seen serving as an actual Vice Principal, it's also likely that Izanami serves as a gym teacher.
  • Shinigami: He mentions that he can ferry people to any afterlife he wants, when offering Aya the peaceful way out she originally wanted.
  • Sinister Scythe: One he only uses to kill those who give up in his game.
  • Slasher Smile: Predominantly shown when chasing people. Becomes abit more of a genuine one as time goes on.
  • Skunk Stripe: His hair has white streaks.
  • Stealth Mentor: Possibly this to Aya; he seems glad to be helping her find real meaning in life, even if it’s by endangering her.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Played with. He originally didn't have a name, but someone started to add on "Izanami" as his name alongside the "Shinigami of the 13 Stairs". Despite the fact that it refers to the mythologically female Izanami, it does have the "Ruler of the Underworld" motif, so he goes with it. He refers to this when introducing himself to Aya.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: He's the "Shinigami of the 13 Stairs" and his track suit at the end of his story has the number "13" on it. His 49 day limit also adds to the motif (4 + 9 = 13).
  • Tough Love: He shows an odd form of this to his victims, trying to encourage them to live their lives and appreciate what they have. He accomplishes this by chasing them down in his exhausting game and threatening with the torment of Hell if he catches them.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: He admits this when Aya accuses him of being dishonest with his bargain of offering to let Aya die peacefully like she originally wanted to. To his credit, he does seem to hold this up.

     Azami the Vengeful 
The fourth ranked youkai, also known as "Azami the Vengeful". Her legend deals with how when bullied children seem to make a complete 180% turnabout in personality, becoming violent bullies. Some may attribute it to long vacations, but others reason that they were approached by Azami and ate one of her magic thistles. Eating one of her thistles grants them the opportunity to become bullies themselves.

  • Berserk Button: Being called an old lady. Or a Hypocrite.
  • Evil Duo: With Sumire of the Dusk. This goes back to the days the school opened up in "When the Spider Lillies Bloomed", where she and Sumire were able to survive because they stuck together and took on other youkai together.
  • Faux Affably Evil: At first she seems to be Affably Evil, offering power to bullied kids by turning them into bullies, and she even extends the offer to Yukari if the bullying becomes too much to handle for her. She even seems to wear a gentle appearance and smile, and justifies all of her actions as karma and divine intervention. But in reality, her real motive is to keep up a cycle of bullying and vengeance that feeds herself and Sumire, not to mention she uses honeyed words to dress up her actions as giving said kids a chance of exacting karma when in reality they're causing Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Flower Motifs: Fittingly enough, Azami has thistles. They represent devotion, strength, durability, determination, and punishment, all of which befit how she turns the bullied into bullies. They're also commonly thought of as weeds and bear thorns, which befits how Azami, for all her beauty, ultimately masks a thorned side that can bite if you don't expect it.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Her powers turn bullied children into bullies, but it's mentioned that the bullied who've had higher levels of pain and suffering before taking one of her thistles become even worse as a bully.
  • Graceful Loser: She seems to take Yukari's breaking her and Sumire's cycle of bullying with grace. Although it's left somewhat ambiguous as to whether she's being Faux Affably Evil about it or genuine, given her Manipulative Bastard nature.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One!: When Sumire praises Azami for her cruelty being on par with Higanbana's, Azami takes offense to one particular note...
    Sumire: "My sister's cruelty is on par with Higanbana's! She's a diabolical, heinous, malicious and hypocritical youka-! Fugey-!"
  • Kimono Is Traditional: Her style of dress.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Of a sort. She makes children into bullies by enticing and persuading them, compared to other Youkai who threaten or hurt their victims. Sumire denotes it as one of her strengths.
  • Onee-sama: To Sumire.
  • The Corrupter: As with most parts of her powers, she excels at turning bullied kids into bullies.

     Kyou of the Mirror 
The fifth ranked youkai, also known as "Kyou of the Mirror". He presides over numerous legends about the nature of mirrors, namely the ideas of there being a parallel universe known as the Mirror World behind the glass, finding ominous shapes in mirrors and even bumping into your doppelganger and meeting an early demise. He polishes all of the mirrors in the school, particularly one that is capable of becoming a doorway to the Mirror World.

  • Almighty Janitor: Given he presides over an alarmingly high number of myths dealing with mirrors and is capable of summoning beings from other mirror worlds to his realm, even he doesn't know the full extent of his power. But then he's also only the fifth ranked Youkai, and spends most of his time polishing the 40 potential magical mirrors throughout the school.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Has a pair of wolf ears and a wolf's tail, though that comes with being an inugami.
  • Magic Mirror: He's actually a collection of myths that deal with the magical power of mirrors, and his powers resolve around taking care of the mirrors around the school and guarding them. It also helps that he's an Inugami on top of that.
  • Nice Guy: Compared to the other Youkai (particularly Higanbana), he's nice and courteous to Marie.
  • Noble Wolf: Has wolf ears and a tail and he's known to be one of the nicer Youkai of the bunch.
  • Right Under Their Noses: As "Before the Spider Lillies Bloomed" says, he apparently hid himself away and stood at the sidelines while the other youkai slaughtered each other in order to survive.
  • Token Good Teammate: Pretty much one of the nicer Youkai you'll meet.

     Renoir of the Art Room 
The sixth ranked youkai, also known as "Renoir of the Art Room". His legend is that you may be approached by someone who looks like the "Child With a Whip" portrait by Pierre Auguste Renoir in the Art Room. This being may offer you a brush, pencil or pen, may ask you who made a painting that's hanging in the art room. If you take up his offer, answer incorrectly or lie to him at all, he can trap you within a painting on the art room's walls to suffer the fate it shows. Granted, he spends most of his time sleeping within the portraits of the art room and only gets up occasionally to hunt. He's the Anti-Hero of "Renoir of the Art Room" story.
  • And I Must Scream: One of the possible fates he can cause on his victims. Those who break his rules are forced into a painting on the art room's walls, of which he can choose to kill them there or make them suffer there eternally. This may not sound as bad depending on the painting, but considering how some of the ones presented are "Saturn Devouring His Son" by Francisco Goya, "Guernica" by Pablo Picasso, and "The Four Stages of Cruelty" by William Hogarth, the fate of being eaten alive, burned in the flames of war, and being dissected eternally are horrid fates. Renoir even makes non-lethal paintings terrifying, as he traps Nafumi into Ascending and Descending by M.C. Escher, where she runs the stairs eternally without pause out of fear of being sent to the other ones.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: As it turns out, Renoir was originally a tsukumogami who became one of the school's seven mysteries.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Is one of the nicer Youkai besides Kyou. However, he shows exactly how terrifying he can be when dealing with Nafumi, Yuki's murderer. He traps Nafumi in an M.C. Escher painting, but declares the minute Nafumi stops running she will be transported to another painting where she'll be killed.
  • Blinding Bangs: You never see his eyes.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Played with. He's really a boy, and only appears like a girl because the painting he's a tsukumogami of is that of a boy dressed like a girl, a common theme in Pierre Auguste Renoir's pieces. It goes as far as the chapter he appears in uses female pronouns to refer to him before The Reveal.
  • The Ghost: He's never seen nor heard of in "Lunar Festival" which is most to keep his appearance a surprise in his focus story.
  • Humans Are Interesting: What he believes in after learning about his friendship with Yuki. He then decides to show himself to the students in the Art Room from then on.
  • It's All My Fault: Renoir is legitimately saddened and guilty by Yuki's death because he wasn't strong enough to intervene. He feels, at least, that torturing Yuki's killer could help Yuki rest until he finds Yuki's soul.
  • Nice Hat: Wears a lavender hat with a purple ribbon.
  • Phantom Zone Picture: His preferred method of punishing rulebreakers is trapping them inside paintings.
  • Power Perversion Potential: In "After School", the Nurse asks him to send her into her manga to flirt with the hot guys in them.
  • Right Under Their Noses: While the school was still new and youkai were flooding in to find a place to stay and/or survive, Renoir hid within his paintings to avoid being found and eaten. This kept him alive and earned him the Sixth Rank.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Reveal in his chapter that he's actually a boy.

     Sumire of the Twilight

The Seventh Ranked Youkai, also known as "Sumire of the Twilight". She is the main antagonist of "Utopia", where she disguises herself as a transfer student named Reiko, and the antagonist of "A Thistle of Vengeance", and the true main antagonist of the overall story. Really looks up to Azami, who she refers to as an older sister.


Other Youkai


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.
  • Older Than They Look: He might look like a kid, but he's by far the oldest of the known spirits inhabiting the school. This is because his shrine was built before there was a school. It's also the reason why he wasn't involved in establishing the youkai hierarchy.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Played with. Though he takes the form of a child, he's much older than any of the school youkai as his shrine was there before the school was.
  • The Scapegoat: He's blamed for the "curse" that Michiru tries carrying out in "Shrine of the Guardian Spirit".
  • Verbal Tic: "Uryuu~!"note 

     Hameln of the Music Room

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, but hopes to be. He is the main antagonist of "Hameln’s Castanets."

  • Arc Villain: In "Hameln’s Castanets."
  • 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.
  • Kill and Replace: Subverted in that he's not taking Marie's exact form and powers, but his intentions to replace her as the eighth school mystery (and later Higanbana when she gets in the way) has him have this as his modus operandi.
  • Lazy Bum: As Higanbana points out, he's using a human being to do his work for him instead of getting his victims by himself.
  • 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 at all times.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He aims to become one of the Eight School Mysteries, but also seeks to surpass the school and bathe the whole city in fear and terror thanks to his legend.

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