I might have to rename my blog to Helu’s Hobby Diary, lol, since I’m beginning to include more posts about manga in here, but nah :p
Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni is another work by Ryukishi07’s (Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Umineko No Naku Koro Ni) and it’s been in my radar for a while, but it’s only recently that I bought volume 1 from BOOK☆WALKER. Once I started reading it, I quickly purchased and gulped down the whole 6 volumes, lol.
As a side track, I do prefer BOOK☆WALKER to BookLive! now as a Japanese digital bookstore because of its exclusive content and its app is better in quite a number of aspects (most importantly, BookLive! didn’t survive iOS 7 Beta for me as its iPad app now fails to ‘obtain license’ required to read my purchased books regardless of my various attempts to fix it).
BookLive! does have more selection though and it still works on my iPhone iOS 7 and my problem can probably be fixed when I have a new iPad (I suspect upgrading my iPad to iOS 7 Beta changes something about the device’s IDs which BookLive! depends on, and they might misidentify it as illegal attempt etc).
It’s nice that BOOK☆WALKER app has in-app store but it’s still more expensive to purchase directly within the app (since they need to pay some amount to Apple) so in the end I still go to and purchase from its website instead ^^;
Anyway, back to Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni, it doesn’t have the repeating cycles thing like the No Naku Koro Ni series lol (Ryukishi07’s latest work Rose Guns Days doesn’t seem to have it either, I almost thought it’s his trademark and that his every story must have it). It’s actually about bullying and the supernatural characters are the school’s 7 mysteries (though there will be an 8th soon after the first arc).
The manga series only has 4 arcs and only 4 of the 7 mysteries’ characters were introduced (not including the 8th one). Among the 4 arcs, I like the first and the last best (the 2nd and 3rd ones are kinda like side stories, and although the 4th one can be considered as another side story, it does have a more satisfying conclusion to it).
I read that after the end of the manga series, Ryukishi07 adapted it to visual novel (so it’s backward to what happened to Higurashi and Umineko series, lol) and the visual novel probably added more stories including more 7 mysteries’ characters. The visual novel has 2 games now and I’m not sure if that’s complete. I would probably read it in the future but it’s got the ugly art, again -_-;
As a side track (again!), Oshikiri Rensuke (author of Highscore Girl) also did a manga about bullying before. It’s called Misumisou and it’s 3 volumes and I also have all the volumes digitally (I guess you can’t run away from the suspense of these stories, lol).
Why do both my favorite authors have a manga about bullying? I recently discovered that Oshikiri Rensuke has a Pixiv account and he actually did Higurashi and Umineko’s fanarts:
So he at least knows Ryukishi07’s works and is probably a fan of him and Ryukishi07 might even have some influence in his works, though these are just my guesses :p
One other interesting point is that both Misumisou and Higanbana are flower names, lol (flowers are associated to bullying?).
As always, stories about bullying are generally very heavy and depressing and it’s not the kind that I would read time and time again as it would ruin my days and this one is no exception. But it definitely has Ryukishi07’s trademark roller-coaster rides and insane moments, lol.
Misumisou btw is much more depressing because it’s an instance of bullying gone very wrong (and it’s very gory, too). Higanbana on the other hand takes bullying as a central theme and tries to tackle various issues such as why people bully and stuffs.
Of course, the most interesting character in Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni is Higanbana, lol.
She is the 3rd ranked mystery, which is a doll in the infirmary that dances in the middle of the night, hence ‘Dancing Higanbana’:
She is often seen smiling but she can be extremely cruel, lol (I bet you won’t be able to imagine the extent of what she did in the last arc).
I have read descriptions of her online and ‘anti-hero’ is quite a good description for her. It’s very hard to tell whether she is an ultimately good character. She is comparable to the witch characters in Umineko (Bernkastel and Lambdadelta).
So how cruel is she? This is a spoiler so highlight only if you’re absolutely sure: She killed the whole class students by making their bus fall off the cliff and burn during school trip (except the bullied, who was injured prior to the trip) to free the bullied from bullying.
So yeah, I have read 2 of Ryukishi07’s works now (Umineko and Higanbana) (though I still haven’t read Higanbana’s visual novel exclusive arcs. I wish they would remake Higanbana to PS3/Vita with the manga’s art lol). I haven’t completely read Higurashi (the remake is on PS2 and DS) and I might read Rose Guns Days after it has more episodes. Ryukishi07 also actually directed a PSP visual novel game for Konami before, called Ookami Kakushi. I might have to hunt for this game, lol.