Sunday, 2 August 2015

Review: Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni

Hmm. While the stories early on are good with the third one being the best, they tend to become rather mediocre and lacklustre thereafter. Lets begin from the first story and work our way down. It'll be easier to get my thoughts down and form a conclusion that way. Though before that, let me give you a brief introduction. Now, Higanbana is about a school haunted by its old school buildings stories of yokai who hunt and kill people with them somehow becoming involved in cases of bullying, which is Higanbana’s theme. Simple.

Chapter 1
Our beginning story to Higanbana as a whole. Overall, it's a good start but there were a few things that bugged me about it. First, rape. I don't need to explain why. Second, the character is underage and there’s unnecessary “fanservice” (nudity, an ass shot of Marie and much more) in the manga adaptation which leads me to believe that R07 was just fucking around and fantasising with the idea of molesting children. I mean, he is a known lolicon who panders just that to otaku, and since the manga came first, it’s almost as if R07 got shit for his “loli” fetish crap and then changed those parts when it came to the VN. Third, the molesting teacher is described as being good looking and has a fangirl following in the school, both of which are general tropes and hentai tropes, which backs up my argument. Fourth, an abandoned school building where nobody will know or see that a teacher takes a young girl (undefinable age. Whatever makes you feel more “comfortable”, I guess) into it for “fun time” after school? Is this hentai? How can this happen? Don't her parents notice anything different? Doesn't anyone make sure all children have left the school? If people let her and know she’s staying after school, who is accountable? Stop fantasizing, Ryukishi07! This makes no fucking sense! Gah! Put two and two together and you're conclusion is that R07 is a fucking lolicon, Japanese piece of shit self inserting under the pretext of "telling a story of bullying"! Ahem. That said, the story’s still very good overall but the abandoned school building thing, the pretty boy teacher, hentai tropes and the like are completely ridiculous, unrealistic, and stupid. R07’s fucking around and we all know it.
True. And you're an otaku pandering lolicon, R07.
Lastly, how does bullying fit in here, may you ask? Well, it is mentioned but it's not the focus of the story. Anyhow, Marie was being bullied by her classmates but the teacher stepped in and protected her, so to speak. Then one thing lead to another and they eventually entered into their little “deal”. He protects her from the bullies and she lets him “use” her. Mutually beneficial, right? Now, an elaborate plan like that could actually happen in hentai, but I live in real life. Stupid R07. I've already covered why so lets move on.

Chapter 2
I actually like this story overall, though the ending I did not. While it had great build up and events with the plot and the boy researching and finding out stuff after finding the camera, the ending with the whole lovey dovey forgiveness didn't quite cut it for me. That said, it's more of the regret part that both of the characters lived with that is cleared up during that end scene which bugs me the most. I wasn't expecting them to openly kill without any words, and laugh at it like it's great entertainment like Higanbana expected, but the whole “talk it out” thing I did not. For one, regret is something we all have to live with, it's not something we can take back. To put things bluntly, the entire scene where camera boy and the girl who knocked over the skeleton and put the blame on him forgive each other was a load of shit. She died because of him and they both regret the cause and effect of everything that led up to that point. Let’s just put this in terms of real life to simplify things. No magical entities will appear to grant you closure on anything. It's up to you and only you to deal with your own problems, and I know Ryukishi07 is just using the supernatural shit as a medium to tell his story, but the notion of that is simply ludicrous. If you're going to make a story for people to learn from and advance with their life then at least put it in terms of reality so those reading it can relate, because as we know, yokai don't fucking exist. All said and done, this was still an enjoyable chapter, except for that part. Meh.
The real yokai of Higanbana
Again, how does bullying fit in here? Well, I wouldn't really call it bullying myself, but it's something of the sort. Now, I'll have to give you a little info of this chapters backstory. Cameraboy before he became cameraboy was assigned to clean up the science room. However, a group of girls messing about knock over a human anatomy statue but put the blame on him. He became furious and realised that photos are the only thing that can provide evidence or “proof”, which is this chapter's theme of sorts, and so his fetish for cameras begins. He starts to stalk the girl that knocked it over, takes photos, spreads them around the school, people take notice of her and she eventually becomes a victim of bullying. She loses her friends and becomes all alone, but cameraboy doesn't let up and the girl eventually takes her own life due to the torture. And that is the bullying aspect of this chapter. Now, the above is a totally realistic scenario that could actually happen. I have no problems. All said and done, this chapter was very enjoyable aside from what I brought up. There’s good characterization and events to keep you interested. I loved the Headmaster part. It was like something out of a twilight zone episode. Good stuff. Check it out.

Chapter 3
Now, this was my favourite story out of the whole bunch. It's got a great story with great characterization and a heart-wretching ending. What more do you need? I have no problems. A solid story. However, I would just like to mention that the entire drama club thing was lifted from another manga. Just saying. Now, the bullying. Wa ah ah ah ah ah. It's so sad. I need to sing a song. "She'll say I'm not so tough, just because, I'm in love, with an uptown girl. She's been living in her white bread world  As long as anyone with hot blood can. And now she's looking for a downtown man. That's what I am". Ahem. Anyhow, the bullying aspects of it were well done for the most part but I found some sections to be rather extreme and unrealistic. I mean, cockroach curry? Seriously, that and an entire crowd bullying her while the teacher is in the room would never happen. All it says in the VN itself is that they crowd around her so the teacher can't see, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the teacher wouldn't notice. In fact, it could make the teacher notice even more. Think, R07.
Friendly reminder that this happened. R07 totally not pedofile.

Chapter 4
Ah, chapter 4. What a wonderful ball of love. Overall, this chapter was actually pretty good but like many of the others the ending kinda ruined it for me. That said, it’s about a bullied boy who suffers from “draw a girl, call it a boy” symptoms. Jokes aside, he tortures rabbits to vent his frustrations from bullying. However, a yokai takes notice of this and they enter a deal. He leads people to the music room to give him souls (I think. Rabbit killings maybe) and he gets to choose the targets. Win-win, wouldn't you say?
Typical R07 ending
Anyhow, he gets a few boys who bully him turned into rabbits, and he tortures them rather gruesomely (until death) may I add. However, he eventually gets what is coming to him and gets turned into a rabbit himself by Higanbana after trying to fight her with his yokai. Though this is where the stupidest thing I have ever read in an R07 story ever happens. Okay, get this. She turns him into a rabbit, and his punishment is that he must spent his entire life as such getting buttfucked by all the other rabbits………………….. What!? Overall, it is a good chapter but that freaking ending just
ruined the rest for me. I mean, there are good bits here and there but every time I think about this chapter all I remember is that it ends with a buttfuck. Stupid R07. Probably thought it was horrific or something. Idiot. Who even writes an ending like that? That said, they mention something about the new yokai being sent or invited to the school by someone but that plot thread is never brought up again after this chapter or in the second night so we get no closure on that. In other words, R07 dropped the ball again.

Chapter 5
Meh. I found this chapter to be rather pointless and boring. It’s not very good and the story isn’t interesting. Though the only thing that I did enjoy was the shameless reusing of *insert name* from Umineko. “Uruyu! I am a lion!” Aww, so cute! That said, I’ll give you some info on this story so you can at least fathom why I think the above. Let’s start. Now, the story begins with a chair falling off a roof on to a girl, injuring and placing her in hospital. However, it turns out she and her friends destroyed the front gate of the small shrine round the back of the school building. Oh, scary, divine retribution. Then, that group of girls (except the injured) discuss what happened but a eye-patched, loli, moeblob butts in and mentions the curse. Kowai! They tell her to, in other words, piss off, but a girl from that group comes to her afterwards round the back of the school buildings to talk. She recommends that they repent at the shrine for destroying its gate and bring everyone involved to calm the spirit before the end of the day (I think. My memory is kinda fuzzy). However, they cannot since one is in the hospital and another does not accept that some curse can exist. But the captain eyepatch say’s that if they not do so, then another “accident” may befall them soon. Scary! Ahem. Anyway, the girls become scared but the one who doesn’t believe attempts to leave school by herself, in fact, scared of the curse. And now we dive into what I like to call the “what a twist” segment of this story. The girl tries to leave but somebody prepares to drop a fire extinguisher from floors up on to her head. Ouch! That would fucking kill! However, as the girl prepares to leave, it cuts up to one of the floors above and we see that it was captain eyepatch all along. Duh duh duh!!! The horror! Jokes aside, Marie confronts her and convinces her to stop. The spirit was never angry at all, and it was just captain eyepatch carrying out punishment because the spirit never did it himself, or they were never punished for their vile act. Something like that. Story end!
Typical R07 plot twist
All said and done, it wasn’t very interesting or entertaining but the least we can take away from it is that it sets up characters and leads on into other stories. It’s like the first episode of an anime. It’s terrible, but it sets up the characters and general plot. Enter Lost Universe joke here. I give it a meh. Also, how does bullying fit in here, may you ask? Well, my memory is kinda fuzzy but I think it was just the fact that captain eyepatch was ignored by the rest of the class since she’s weird, and say’s she can talk to spirits. Scary, scary, scary! That’s actually very minor, and it’s not the focus of the story, either. Damn you, R07! You said this was about bullying!

Chapter 6
Another lackluster pointless story. Yay! This is taking forever to write so I’ll try and keep this one short. Remember that girl who knocked over that anatomy skeleton is chapter 2? No? Well, go fucking read that post, then. That said, she gets resurrected to live a normal, happy, fun school day. She falls on her way to school, messes about in class, has fun and a great time, and also knocks over the anatomy skeleton again but apologizes and takes the blame. Aww, how sweet! Stupid R07. However, it turns out at the end of the day that it was all in exchange for her soul by Higanbana. Yet, she say’s it tastes bad and lets her go, her soul ascending into the sky. What? Did she move from hell into heaven? Explain, R07!? Overall, it’s a fun, happy chapter full of love and joy. None of that pesky bullying theme Higanbana is supposedly meant to have. Meh. Kinda pointless if you ask me.
Typical R07 fan drawings

Chapter 7
And now we've come to the final chapter of the first night. Yay! I can wrap things up now! I'll keep it short. Let's start. Now, this is what I would say is the most developed chapter out of them all, so it was good story to end things on. However, there were a few things that bothered me about it. First, the bullying aspects of it were simply put to unrealistic extremes so those parts became rather unenjoyable and distasteful to me. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Second, the yokai amplifying/creating bullying in the class, instigating it, reaping the benefits I did not like because it takes away from the fact that people themselves are assholes and would do it regardless, not, derp it was der yokai hur hur hur. What message are you trying to teach here, R07, hmm? Fucking idiot. Third, the bullying gets so bad that they put cockroaches in her curry (reusing events, R07?). Again, like before where the same thing happened, but I don’t want to repeat myself why it’s unrealistic and makes no sense so meh.
Typical R07 characters
Fourth, I know it’s part of the story but if R07 is trying to give meaning for people to learn from these stories then this part right here makes no sense. And you don't even know what I'm talking about so let me explain. Now, a girl is getting bullied but all her class (all bullies) is killed on a trip (she was sick, couldn't go) by a yokai (Higanbana) driving their bus off a cliff. Realism. Because all your problems just get swept away like that due to supernatural beings like in real life, right? Fucking idiot. What is that meant to teach us, R07? To wait for someone else to come and fix our own problems? Think!? Didn't you yourself write Higurashi where Satoko was waiting for her Nii-Nii to come home which was the wrong decision? Hur hur hur, me R07, me retard. I can no write story properly. Fucking idiot. Rika fucking explains just that to Satoko herself and tells her that she isn't strong by taking Teppei’s beatings at all. Duh!!!? Do you even remember what you write? Fucking idiot. How many times have I said that already? Meh. Fifth, even though she is bullied by the class, the teacher joins in from time to time, also. I mean, what? This would never happen. Have you ever been to school, R07? Unrealistic and stupid. Meh meh triple meh.
Typical R07 "fanservice"
Sixth, during a section of the story one of the bullies forget his keys and has to go back into the school. However, he can't go home without them since his parents come home late and are thus passed due to stress and such, so he would get beat or shouted at if he went home without. Aww, poor bully has own problems and shitty life. Boo fucking hoo. Are you trying to make us feel sorry for someone who makes another's life hell, R07? Fuck you, asshole. People who take their own frustrations out on others are the worse kind of people, because they are fucking weak-willed pieces of shit who have no self control, fucktard. Stop trying to give bullies reason for their actions, straw man. Pathetic. I can't believe R07 actually wrote this into the story. Bullies are not meant to be sympathised with, but R07 wouldn't know that because he has never been bullied himself. He just writes all this shit from an “entertainment" perspective because he doesn't care about the effects of bullying at all, he just took inspiration from the time he worked as a social worker or whatever the fuck and said, hey, let’s make a story hur hur hur. Retard.

Seventh, when our lead doesn't come to school since she is sick or whatever, the bullies just violently kick the curtains in the corner while cursing our leads name because she never came to school. Yeah, because that's realistic. It’s not like they just find someone else to bully oh wait they fucking do! Idiot! It pisses me off even more so because they joke around and say they're just “playing” with her not bullying and laugh like fucking hyenas. Did you even research bullying, R07, because they don’t fucking do that. They know what they are doing and wouldn’t joke like that. Retard.
Ha ha ha, it's so fucking funny! Ha ha ha, ha ha! Fucking retards!
Anyhow, now we come to the part that I found to be the worst that Higanbana has to offer. Eighth. And let me just say for the record that it's fucking ridiculous. Let's begin. Okay. Now, at the tail end of the story there is a scene for how she gets injured so she doesn't board the death bus. It is a scene which starts off as her being bullied, but quickly escalates into something much more. She is getting picked on by the boys of the class during lunch, I think, because she supposedly smells like curry, which an aftereffect of the yokai’s actions from before when she spilled the curry pot during lunch and fell on it earning her the nickname captain curry.

Now, normally they'd just pick on her but things take a turn for the worse and get real weird. Get this, since she smells like curry, they surround her and begin to strip the clothes off of her piece by piece to “wash them" while the girls in the class laugh as she attempts to “defend” herself from their “assault”…………….. What!? What the fuck am I reading!? Porn!? Gah, you're so fucking annoying, R07! Why are you doing this? If you want to write porn, then just write fucking porn! And it gets worse believe me. R07 even wrote in that she cannot stop them but tries to resist when they attempt to remove her underwear.
The real conclusion to chapter 7
Meaning that they strip her down to just that in a corner of the classroom while everyone laughs and nobody does anyone to stop it or help… what? Yeah, because that part’s necessary. He probably wrote it while jerking off to porn and thinking the scene is hot, the Japanese fuck. And you’re telling me that this can just happen spontaneously and nobody stops it or hears the racket from outside the classroom? Realism. And the yokai amplifying the bullying doesn't count. Also, this isn't the end. While they attempt to remove her underwear she manages to break through their “encirclement” and dashes out into the hallway in tears. But the horror doesn't end here as the boys of the class dash out after her like a bunch of fucking rapists. However, she reaches the stairs but is tripped by Higanbana and falls down, injuring herself with blood seeping from her head. The boys stop in wonder and a teacher instantly arrives and brings her to the infirmary. Yep, it makes no reference to the teachers reaction after seeing her near naked in just her underwear or as to what punishment (if any) the boys receive. Bravo, R07, you're a fucking terrible writer who deserves to be hanged for writing what could be seen as you fantasizing about a class of 10 year old boys (presumably) surround and attempt to strip a 10 year old girl naked. Fucking pathetic. Go fucking hang yourself right now you fucking pedofile piece of shit. I mean, I’ve fucking had it with you, you fucking pathetic excuse for a man. You're a fucking terrible writer and an even shittier person with a loli fetish. And I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out he “touches” his own child. He’s Japanese and took her to a maid cafĂ© to dress as Rika, after all, and his thoughts of her go without saying. Porn, porn, porn, and more porn. Fucker!
R07 meet Rika
Ugh. Now that I got that out of my system, let’s continue. What, if the boys caught her did they intend to strip her bare and rape her on the ground? I mean, this entire scene is just ridiculous and it’s simply R07’s tiny dick doing the writing for him and that in itself is what it is. Take it at face value and don’t hide how disgusting the man truly is. That said, not covering the aftermath of this scene was freaking horrendous because shit would happen for fuck sake. It’s even worse because they still go on the school trip afterwards. I mean, what? They would get fucking expelled for pulling a stunt like that in real life, but no, this is R07 world, a world of hentai, unrealistic events and characters. What a load. This pissed me the hell off when and read it and just writing about it weeks later still makes my blood boil. R07 can’t write for shit anyway. And don't one of you bastards pull “the school didn't want a bad reputation so they hid it under the rug” bullshit. That’s not what the scene or the absence of the aftermath is. It’s bad writing and we all know it. Ugh.
My review in a nuttshell
Overall, this is a good chapter and the second best out of the first night, but there's a ton of shit that pissed me off about it which I insanely covered. Meh. The bullying is taken to unrealistic extremes and it really shows. And R07’s terrible writing style doesn't help, either. Meh, meh, meh, meh!

Yippee! All done! Yay! Now fuck off and eat a cock. Oops, sorry. Where did that come from? Ahem. Anyway, it’s hard to remember everything from the VN itself so I hope that I covered everything I wanted to. All said and done, Higanbana is actually a pretty mediocre VN with good music and atmosphere and only good. People said god-tier, but that’s really just an aftereffect of them sucking on R07’s tiny Japanese dick for so long. The music and atmosphere’s good, not god-tier, and any non-weeb neet regular human being can tell you that. Anyhow, the VN is good but suffers from what I like to call “Ryukishi07 Syndrome”. Every time you read one of his stories you can always feel that retarded magic of his at work. Unnecessarily sexualisation, otaku bait, perverted, stupid characters and character quirks, lolis, stupid stories, waifus, unrealistic as shit, troll characters and much much more. He honestly gets more credit than what he’s worth, and that’s not just me picking on him. Though I know others will say otherwise. Now, the sprites are nice and to my liking, though it feels as if some were half-assed in design.

That said, the last thing I would like to mention is that all the character seem to talk like they're freaking philosophers who have seen all the world has to offer at age 10 for some reason. It’s really fucking annoying and makes me think that R07 doesn't know what the fuck he is doing, which is probably the truth half the time. Enter Umineko joke here. Jab jab jab jab jab. Hee hee. And there’s also the fact that all the bullying is unrealistic and put to extremes. I didn't like that. And the bullying aspect of Higanbana as a whole comes off as rather poorly researched. I mean, R07 got the basics down but the rest isn't very well done. And only those who have never been bullied think it was well done, while in reality it wasn’t. Also, the actual last thing. R07 seemed to pointlessly contrast bullying to a hierarchy in a utopia and that it must be present for the utopia to exist, and bla bla bla, but saying crap like that has no real point in a story like this. It's just R07 trying to sound smart using big words, and that's all.

Now, for those of you who actually read this novel (all 5 people) I hope you all enjoyed my totally not biased review of Higanbana. It took quite a while to write, so I hope that someone can at least appreciate the effort I put into it. Also, I plan to do the same for the Second Night of Higanbana, FYI. So I'm sure you'll all love it. Ah ha ha ha ha ha.

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