The Spirit Camera (心霊写真機 The Spirit Camera) is the Second chapter of Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni - Dai Ichi Ya.
In this chapter, Takeshi Nonomiya the camera lover, once falsely accused of breaking school equipment, finds an old camera in the Newspaper Club's room. This camera was rumored to be a spirit camera. Upon finding this he meets a mysterious girl.
On a fateful day, Takeshi Nonomiya was cleaning the science prep room for his class. He found himself alone, the only one left cleaning. Due to unfortunate circumstances, a group of girls were running around and knocked over an anatomy dummy, breaking it. Denying being near the classroom, Takeshi Nonomiya, with no evidence to prove his innocence, was blamed.
Due to this incident, Takeshi wished for a camera that could capture the truth, which set him on the path of photography. Cameras consumed his life until he was synonymous with them. To continue on his path, he joined the Newspaper Club.
While digging around in the Newspaper Club's room, Takeshi found an old dusty instant camera. To the entire club's surprise, after replacing the camera's batteries, the camera worked! There was a rumor that there was a hidden camera in the room that could photograph souls. Supposedly its pictures would include students who shouldn't have been there. Due to the camera's strange nature, club members began to wonder if this was the camera in question.
At night, when no one should be around, Takeshi was excited to try out the newfound camera. To his surprise, he saw a girl in the hallway. This girl was none other than Higanbana. This startle caused him to drop the camera, but Higanbana caught it before it hit the ground.
Higanbana suggests to Takeshi that the camera is indeed a spirit camera. It is a camera that records the truth for eternity. Death may cause people to disappear, but a photograph will continue to expose them for all to see. Takeshi retort with statements about ethical photography, but Higanbana does not believe it is feasible. She invites him to go play with the camera. As Takeshi attempts to take a picture of Higanbana, she breaks a window next to him to stop him from capturing her likeness.
With limited film left in the camera, Takeshi commits to himself that once the film runs out he will return the camera to where he found it. One day, he found himself with only 2 pictures left in the camera. He decided to test a rumor. They say that if one takes a class picture, there will be students that shouldn't be there in the image. The film took significantly longer to develop, but eventually, that night, the image developed. Within the picture was Marie Moriya. He couldn't remember her name only her face and that they had been in the same class every semester.
Trying to remember her name, Takeshi checks his class guidebook, only to not be able to find her. Scared, he counts the students in the guidebook and the students in the picture; both were 48. Suddenly, he realized that since he was behind the camera, there should have only been 47 in the picture. Takeshi reasons that the girl in the picture must have been a girl from another class.
Classmates in the Newspaper Club ask if Takeshi had taken an image of anything interesting with the camera. Unnerved by the image, Takeshi hides the fact of the extra girl in the image. This makes Takeshi question whether he is really moral or not.
Takeshi encounters Higanbana once more. Higanbana tells Takeshi that the girl in the photograph is indeed his classmate. She suggests that he should check the shoe racks to see if he can remember her name. He finds an old name tag on one "Marie Moriya." Initially, Takeshi didn't remember the name, but then he was haunted by a scene of his classmates all bullying Marie. He then finds her name on the list of bell marked names in his classroom. He also finds a new warped desk with the name of Marie Moriya on it. Marie now appeared in his class guide. Takeshi was confused at how everyone could forget Marie. He wondered if it was tied to the story of Mesomeso-san.
Takeshi decided to see if she existed. He found the Moriya household, but there was no name "Marie" on it, only a weathered imprint. He speaks to Marie's mother, but she seems to not remember Marie. Takeshi shows her the image of Marie and wonders if it will cause her to remember. With a burst of emotion, she remembers Marie, figuring that Marie must have run away and it was all her fault. Takeshi ran away in confusion.
He found himself in an alley he had never seen before. Attempting to head home, Takeshi kept getting lost. He found himself in front of a man that didn't seem to belong, the Headmaster. Takeshi turned to walk a different route, only to be blocked by the man again. Upon attempting to turn around, he was again blocked. There must have been two of the same man, or he must be a youkai able to move at the speed of light. Takeshi rejected such an idea of youkai existing. The man greeted him. Takeshi thought that there is no way that he could be a youkai as youkai don't need to speak. Reading his mind, the Headmaster reminded Takeshi of all the fairy tales where spirits spoke with humans.
The Headmaster asks Takeshi about the camera and where he found it. He comments that the camera was securely sealed away and it is something that isn't supposed to be found by humans. The Headmaster asks Takeshi for the camera back. Takeshi asks what would happen if he refused, only to be caught in a delusion where the Headmaster grew in size, even covering the sun, casting everything into darkness.
The delusion broke, as Higanbana arrived. She purported herself as Takeshi's friend. Takeshi felt his legs being swallowed. into the tar of the Headmaster's shadows. He ran behind Higanbana. The Headmaster spread his darkness to Higanbana's feet but she remained calm. Higanbana made spearheads grow and wrap around the Headmaster. The Headmaster asks Takeshi whether he values truth or peace more. Recalling past events, he chooses truth.
Acknowledging each other's strength, the youkai quit the fight. The Headmaster leaves. Takeshi thanks Higanbana for her help. Higanbana, in turn, tells him that the Headmaster is the First Rank of the school youkai and that she is the Third rank of the school youkai. He asks her why she helped him, only to be informed he is getting revenge for her friend. He asks her about the camera only to be told it is equipment from the youkai's class. It releases people that the Headmaster eats, that is the person's humanity and their existence. Higanbana tells him that she had given him that camera. With Higanbana, Takeshi was finally able to leave the alleys.
In return for her help, Higanbana requested a cup of tea from Takeshi and to see the photos he had taken with the spirit camera. Confused at the request, he accepted and brought her home to his place. He brought her into his room and brought two mugs of hot cocoa. She insisted on looking at his albums right away. Flipping through the pages, she was enamored with the non-school scenery.
Higanbana was able to determine how Takeshi was feeling when the images were taken. He initially started cruelly due to the incident in the science prep room, but eventually, his photographs became gentler. Higanbana found the exact page where the change occurred. She questions if he forgot what happened to cause the change. Ridiculing Takeshi, Higanbana continued to ask him how he could forget. She knocked photos from the album on the ground. Takeshi looked at the photos but he didn't remember them and he remembers every single photo that he ever took.
Higanbana tries to help him remember, saying that he wanted revenge on that girl that framed him in the science prep room. She again asks if he remembers. Just like Marie, he could remember her face, but not her name. Higanbana reminds him that her name was Yoko Numata. Just hearing the name filled Takeshi with rage. Higanbana reminds him of how he stalked Yoko, wanting to expose her. Takeshi would secretly take pictures of Yoko's daily mistakes and send them to her. She became estranged from everyone, isolated. Her friends even admitted Takeshi wasn't at fault for the science prep room incident, yet he persisted. That is until she committed suicide. A youkai had killed her and eaten her. That is the true reason why Takeshi lost his rage.
Higanbana wanted Takeshi to take pictures with the spirit camera so she could eat souls without having to give any to the Headmaster for their existence to be erased. She also reveals that she wanted Takeshi to help her friend, not Marie, but Yoko.
Yoko emerged from behind Higanbana. Higanbana had brought her back to get revenge on the ringleader, Takeshi. Higanbana encourages them to kill one another. Yoko admits that she may have lied on that day, but says that Takeshi took his revenge too far. They both accepted they were bad people. Both apologized to each other. Yoko decided that she would rather return to hell than kill Takeshi. The Headmaster arrives and erases Yoko once more. Takeshi alone had his memories spared.
Higanbana was unamused. She now had to take things into her own hands. The window broke and Higanbana sent the fragments to kill Takeshi. He was pulled down by Marie. Higanbana and Marie argue. Higanbana's blades attacked Marie, but she was able to easily deflect them with her arms. Eventually, her arms began to bleed. Marie and Takeshi ran into the hallway, closing the door. Marie said he tagline, "Mesomeso, Mesomeso." The door grew thicker and heavier. Higanbana was reluctant to open the door but spoke to her instead. This was in violation to the Mesomeso-san story. Marie and Higanbana had decided to head home to the school. Higanbana immediately left, but Marie remained.
Upon opening the door, the room was completely unscathed. Takeshi decided to return the camera to Marie, but she refused. Marie tells Takeshi to use the last piece of film to take a picture of his own reflection. His photo revealed Yoko with him, how she was naturally, not hideous or gory.
Higanbana and Marie enjoy tea in the infirmary while discussing the events of the day. Higanbana insists on meddling with more students, but Marie doesn't want her to meddle anymore. Higanbana resolves to take a break from hunting and to enjoy rice cakes and crackers with Marie.