|This article is about the character nicknamed Reaper of the 13th Step. For the story arc of the same name, see Reaper of the Thirteenth Step.|
|This article is about a character in Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni.|
Izanami (イザナミ) is the second ranked of the school youkai and is known as the Reaper of the 13th Step (１３階段の死神 13 Kaidan no Shinigami). If a human steps on the 13th step on the stairs he presides over, they become trapped in his personal world for a deadly game of tag.
|The Second Ranked School Youkai. The Reaper of the 13th step. He curses whoever steps on the 13th step to be chased for 49 days straight. If you're caught, it's over. You'll be locked away in an unearthly cage of a world, left to melt for all eternity.
He loves to breach his beliefs about enthusiasm as his prey runs from him. He decorates his living quarters with quotes from Shuzo Matsuoka.
He's been on bad terms with the Vice Principal (Black Tea Gentlemen) ever since he was scolded for running in the halls.
|The hot-blooded gym teacher that advises the track and field club. The temporary appearance that Izanami takes when he needs a human form.
"If you've got time to worry, then run!" he spouts off his motto while driving the students to keep running with his bamboo sword. Most of the student are frightened by him, but there are a good amount of girls that are enthusiastic fans of his.
He's had so much fun training the students that he's been forgetting to hunt.
Izanami has olive green and white striped hair with red eyes. In his youkai form he wears a black and green cloak with a flame pattern (said to actually be a kotatsu blanket) over a red tracksuit and blue shoes. He is also said to carry a scythe with him. In his human form he simply wears the tracksuit and has a bamboo sword instead.
Izanami is crass and cruel, delighting in torturing souls in his stomach and chasing victims slowly so he can see their anguish, but he is noble and offers Aya the choice of dying a peaceful death after chasing her for some time.
Izanami used to be a nameless youkai and was known simply as the Reaper of the 13th Step. He adopted the name of Izanami when he learned it was used by the Japanese god of the underworld. At some point he took a human form and became employed by the school as a gym teacher.
Izanami haunts the second mystery of the school, a stairway with 12 steps that has a phantom 13th step. Those who step on that 13th step become trapped in Izanami's world, a sealed-off version of the school, where they must run from the youkai until time runs out. Every day after school, for 49 days, the victim is transported to Izanami's world and must run, the time it takes getting longer every day. There is a trick to Izanami's curse however, as the amount of time spent running in the real world takes away from Izanami's time.
Role in the Story
Izanami is introduced attending the moon viewing festival with the other school youkai.
Izanami chases after a girl who ends up in his realm and kills her, consuming her soul and digesting her for eternity in his stomach-like hellworld.
Aya Souma winds up trapped in Izanami's world but manages to escape after running for a while. Even afterwards, Izanami taunts Aya in her dreams and continues to chase her for the next few days. Aya gets information about how to escape Izanami's curse and learns that by running in the real world, she can shorten the amount of time she spends running from Izanami in his world.
Although Aya has learned the trick behind Izanami's curse, he still entices her by claiming he can give her the death she wants and bring her to a good afterlife instead. Aya turns him down.
On the last of the 49 days, Aya encounters Izanami during a marathon, who wants to spend this last day doing something different. Izanami will still chase Aya during the marathon, but he promises to give her a gentle death if he catches her. Aya wins the marathon and frees herself from the curse, and she sees Izanami change to a human form. Izanami praises Aya for coming so far as a person.
Izanami and other youkai reminisce on the past, especially with how different Higanbana used to be.
In this dream world, Izanami bickers with Black Tea Gentleman and tries to pit Aya against Midori.