Eighth Rank of the School Youkai
Maria Moriya (森谷 毬枝, Moriya Marie) is the protagonist of Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni's first story, Mesomeso-san, and is a recurring character thereafter. She originally appears as a human, though she later becomes the eighth-ranked youkai of the school known as Mesomeso. As a youkai, Marie is rumored to live in the old school building's bathroom. If one hears the cry of "Mesomeso...You there? Won't you listen to my tragic story?" from across a stall door, they must not reply nor open the stall door. Otherwise, Marie will transform into a fearsome creature and crush every bone in their body.
As a human, Marie was constantly bullied by her classmates. She is taken under the wing of her teacher Yoshihito Kanamori, though he soon after begins to abuse his position of power to molest Marie. Marie spent a lot of time crying in the old school building's bathroom and her cries became associated with the legend of Mesomeso. After Kanamori strangles Marie to death, she is reborn as a youkai and utilizes the legend of Mesomeso to kill Kanamori.
As a youkai, Marie often attempts to help humans overcome bullying and occasionally attempts to save humans from other youkai. Unlike most other youkai, Marie is against hunting humans and instead gets her energy solely from the waxing and waning of the moon.
Marie appears as a young girl with orange hair and purple eyes. She wears a typical school uniform with an orange skirt and red name tag. Her hair falls to her shoulders and is adorned with a pink bunny pin.
With the exception of "Reaper of the 13th Step" and "The Boy's Portrait", Marie appears in every story in Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni. In "Welcome to the Mirror World", Marie's mirror world counterpart is Geragera Marie, the First Ranked Youkai of the school. Geragera Marie is a ruthless tyrant who attempts to take over Mesomeso Marie's world. Her legend is altered so that the whispers beyond the stall door are "Geragera! You there? Won't you listen to my heroic story?" Geragera Marie easily defeats Higanbana in combat and forces her into submission. Shortly after, Kyou and his mirror world counterpart banish Geragera Marie back to the mirror world.
- After becoming a youkai, Marie develops an ability to easily locate tea cakes.
- The word "mesomeso" is a Japanese onomatopoeia for sobbing or weeping. Conversely, the word "geragera" is Japanese onomatopoeia for guffawing or roaring laughter.
- Marie is in third grade.