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2 May (Taurus)
Ichiyō Higuchi (樋口 一葉, Higuchi Ichiyō?) is a mafioso of the Port Mafia. She works under Ryunosuke Akutagawa's orders and acts as his assistant and bodyguard. Although its name and function is unknown, she has an ability.
Higuchi is a fairly tall, young woman in her 20s. Her hair is blonde and comes down to her shoulders, which she usually keeps tied up into a messy bun. Her eyes are a deep brown color. She wears a black suit that she leaves unbuttoned,and is also usually seen wearing a pair of rectangular, blue sunglasses.
When attempting to deceive the Armed Detective Agency, she has a more refined appearance. Her hair is let out of its usual bun and is brushed neatly. She is also seen without her sunglasses and her jacket and shirt buttoned up properly.
As a mafioso, Higuchi proves ruthless and fearsome, not shying away from killing her targets. When confronted by the enemy, she has a distant atmosphere to herself, often strictly no-nonsense and showing little sympathy for them. Quick to act, she seldom tolerates disrespect and detests those who underestimate Port Mafia.
However, Higuchi's personality, as her boss and she herself notes, is rather unfit in the Port Mafia. Beneath her tough exterior, she is easy to upset, hesitant, and quick to question herself. She even contemplated leaving several times, despite the inevitable hardships defection foretold. As a result, her subordinates seldom show her respect, many following her orders out of fear of Akutagawa's wrath. An impulsive spirit also leads her to tend toward drastic measures, consequently going against orders.
Her biggest weakness is her intense, bordering obsessive loyalty to Ryunosuke Akutagawa, whom she obeys almost unconditionally. She often insists on filling in for Akutagawa, worried about his poor health. Unfortunately, her loyalty is met with a frustrated Akutagawa's abusive and harsh treatment, often being called "unnecessary" to him. Nonetheless, Higuchi remains loyal to him.
Her instinct to tell Akutagawa everything she knows ends up a key component to luring Akutagawa to the Guild's Moby Dick. However, Higuchi makes up her weaknesses for having a strong resolve, and she refuses to turn away when allies, especially Akutagawa, are in danger.
Thankfully, her determined and honest nature earns her Black Lizard's respect. She proves reliable and incredibly brave, even if her judgement is easily clouded under pressure. Even if questioning her position in the mafia, Higuchi shoulders its burdens and responsibilities to this day, understanding its vital role in Yokohama's safety. She also makes it a point to not be unnecessarily cruel to her opponents, acting strictly professional in Akutagawa and Port Mafia's names.
Her composure can often waver. Sometimes she is cool-headed and intimidating, other times easily unsettled and stressed out. Ultimately, she seems to excel more in covert operations than the frontlines, as a tendency to panic leaves her wide open in battle.
Higuchi has an unknown ability, however she is shown to be highly proficient with firearms. She is shown wielding pistols and sub-machine guns several times, and can easily wipe out a group using her firearms only.
Why Higuchi joined the mafia is unknown. As of now, all that's known of her personal life is that she lives with her younger sister.
Higuchi contacts the Agency with a job, arriving at their office with the impression of a mild-mannered office worker. Jun'ichirō Tanizaki attempts to ask her what the job is, but Osamu Dazai interrupts with his usual waxing lyrical of beauty and requesting a "lovers' suicide" with him. Doppo Kunikida promptly shuts him down, and despite the commotion going on and Higuchi's rattled state, Tanizaki asks Higuchi not to mind them. Surprisingly, Higuchi gets right down to business - Tanizaki notices her 180 but assumes she's simply used to odd company.
Higuchi explains that some people of "low character" are hanging around behind her company's building. Kunikida asks her to clarify, and Higuchi answers that they're foreigners dressed in rags that skulk in the shadows. Kunikida concludes that they're smugglers, a given in any port city. Higuchi agrees, claiming that if she had evidence, she'd take the issue straight to the police, hence requesting the Agency perform a stakeout.
Higuchi leads Tanizaki, Naomi Tanizaki, and Atsushi Nakajima to the scene, ignoring their off-colour antics. She lures them into an alleyway, which, after learning Higuchi's name, Tanizaki notes as an odd place for smugglers to loiter, pointing out there's no escape route, and anyone would be trapped. Higuchi confirms his suspicions, suddenly putting her hair in a bun and unbuttoning her jacket. She confesses it to be "rude", but she's lured them into a trap. She calls Akutagawa, confirming her success and that she's "taking care of them" now.
Drawing dual guns, Higuchi intends to kill them for the sake of her "overseer". She opens fire, and Naomi shields Tanizaki from the barrage of bullets, collapsing covered in her own blood. Numb to Tanizaki's panic, Higuchi states they're aware Tanizaki's a "non-combative" ability user, "inviting" him to join his sister in death. Enraged, Tanizaki activates Light Snow, confusing Higuchi, who mistakes it as real snow.
Higuchi tries to mow him down, but with Light Snow as his cover, Tanizaki is essentially invisible to Higuchi. Undeterred, Higuchi attempts to blindly shoot in hopes of hitting him, assuming her bullets will hit him anyway. She misses entirely, and Tanizaki almost breaks her neck from behind. At that moment, Akutgawa severely wounds Tanizaki, essentially "saving" Higuchi.
Higuchi insists Akutagawa has to be mindful of his well-being and that she can handle the mission alone, to which Akutagawa snaps and slaps her. He points out that they're to take the weretiger alive, questioning what good killing them will do and calling Higuchi useless. Higuchi backs down with a meek apology.
She stays out of Akutagawa and Atsushi's battle, ordered to stay back when they realise the weretiger can regenerate, as it is nothing Higuchi can handle, further asserting her "uselessness" in the mission. However, when the weretiger lands a hit on Akutagawa, Higuchi disobeys him and attacks anyway, but her bullets do not penetrate the tiger's body. This directs the tiger's attention to Higuchi, but just before it kills her, Akutagawa slices it in half.
It's revealed the tiger was a mirage of Light Snow, and Atsushi, the real tiger, again comes to blows with Akutagawa. At that moment, Dazai suddenly appears, nullifying both ability users with No Longer Human. Higuchi demands how he found them, and Dazai reveals he slipped a tracking and recording device in her coat pocket during his little "lovers' suicide" tangent earlier. Disheartened, Higuchi realises Dazai saw through her the whole time. Nonetheless, she tries to stop Dazai from taking the others back to the Agency, but Akutagawa tells her there's no point.
Akutagawa's confidence in Dazai, and Dazai's nonchalance irritate Higuchi, and she mocks Dazai as nothing more than an Agency detective, whereas the Port Mafia has a nigh endless supply of support and manpower, spanning from companies to political and economic branches. As a result, no one who defies Port Mafia lives to tell about it. None of this fazes Dazai, a former Port Mafia executive. With the mission failed and Dazai's arrival changing the game, Akutagawa and Higuchi are forced to retreat.
Only a day after a traumatising experience against Akutagawa, Atsushi learns of Black Lizard, a battalion squad of the Port Mafia operating directly under Akutagawa and Higucih. Aware of the bounty of his head and the Port Mafia's ruthless methods, Atsushi decides to contact the Port Mafia himself. Higuchi answers the call, at first shocked he was able to contact her until she recalls leaving a "business card" during her failed mission. Higuchi notes the Agency saved Atsushi this time, but vows he won't be lucky next time. To her shock, Atsushi proclaims he's leaving the Agency, which Higuchi understands to mean the Port Mafia targets him, instead of endangering the Agency.
Sceptical, Higuchi orders a summons for Black Lizard. Ryūrō Hirotsu later contacts her, and Higuchi states their mission is to destroy the Agency's office. Higuchi reasons that they failed to obtain the mantiger because of the Agency's involvement, and they must be eliminated first. Hirotsu asks if they're to kill everyone, to which Higuchi simply tells Black Lizard to "do as they will". Hanging up, Higuchi scowls in deep-seated anger, recalling how Akutagawa backed down in Dazai's presence, which enrages her, and she won't stand for it.
Higuchi does not take action for the rest of Atsushi's bounty until after Akutagawa's brutal defeat. Using a motorboat, she discovers Akutagawa's unconscious, gravely injured body floating in the ocean. She's quick to rescue him and get him the medical attention he needs.
She faces Ōgai Mori, Port Mafia's infamous boss. Mori sums up Akutgawa's dire state, offering no sympathy for his failure, and calmly points out he may remain comatose for good, much to Higuchi's dismay. Mori assures her she needn't be discouraged, as they both did their best despite failure, stating "effort is what matters, results come second". Unsurprisingly, his "encouragement" does little to reassure Higuchi.
Mori informs her "Karma Transit", the smuggling group Akutagawa massacred, are regrouping, intent on exacting revenge against Akutagawa. Mori equivalates Port Mafia's violence as a sort of "currency" for economic gain, but for someone to retaliate against them is a liability they cannot afford. As in, Akutagawa is a liability, to which Higuchi points out Akutagawa's remarkable capabilities and contributions, Mori doesn't deny his efforts. However, he questions Higuchi's place in Port Mafia, shutting down her argument.
Having been dismissed, Higuchi tries to recollect herself in the restroom, soon interrupted by Gin Akutagawa, who appears behind her with a knife to her throat. The remaining two Black Lizard members, Hirotsu and Michizō Tachihara, come to confront Higuchi, warning her that she's contemplating a huge risk.
Hirotsu points out that she and Akutagawa command a group that answers only to Mori, holding authority over a squad like Black Lizard. However, their titles aren't what makes Black Lizard obey - it is Akutagawa's fearsome ability and temper. With Akutagawa out of commission, Hirotsu questions what Higuchi has to compel Black Lizard to obey her.
Frustrated, Higuchi visits Akutagawa, remembering an earlier incident where he continually rejected her assistance, his one-track mind obsessed with gaining Dazai's attention. As usual, Akutagawa's stubborn refusal of her assistance leaves Higuchi distraught.
Higuchi returns home, slumping to the floor and remembering Mori's question. Higuchi admits she has no place in Port Mafia.
Soon after, Higuchi is informed Akutagawa's been captured, as Mori anticipated. Against Mori's orders, Higuchi makes a move, but Hirotsu urges her to reconsider. Higuchi ignores him, only for Tachihara to try stopping her as well, going as far as grabbing her arm to hold her back. He points out "Karma Transit" hired mercenaries, of which Higuchi can do nothing against alone, and she should just wait for Mori to give the order to save Akutagawa. Higuchi yanks away, shooting him a harsh look, stating that that order will never come. 
Higuchi understands that if the Port Mafia involves themselves, it'll spread into an all-out turf war with other groups, so the higher-ups want it to stay under wraps as a "squabble" between individual agents, calling Akutagawa a "sacrifice" in their eyes. Higuchi's aware she can't do anything on her own, but she can't just stand around and do nothing.
She runs off, remembering how flustered she gets for missions, knowing she isn't fit for the Port Mafia. She admits contemplating trying to leave, even if it isn't easy, but the only thing that stopped her was her devotion towards Akutagawa.
Making it to the mercenaries' hideout, she fights off her fears, throwing a bomb before going in guns blazing against them. She is quickly outmanned and overpowered, injured by a bullet through her thigh. She knows she can't fight like this, but persists for Akutagawa's sake. Just then, Black Lizard bursts through, providing assistance. At Higuchi's disbelief, Hirotsu reasons that as their commanding officer, Black Lizard cannot stand by when she's in trouble, mirroring Higuchi's resolve to save Akutagawa.
Higuchi reunites with Akutagawa, who weakly apologises to her. With tears in her eyes, Higuchi assures him she's just doing her job.
Higuchi and Gin work together in tracking Dazai, later confronting him when he's isolated. Higuchi gives Dazai a message directly from Mori: a return to his seat as a Port Mafia leader. Dazai's surprise is short-lived, and his fit of laughter catches Higuchi off guard. Higuchi points out she's looked into Dazai's records, well aware of how cruel and blood-stained his past is. She goes as far as saying that his blood is "as dark as the mafia itself", claiming his is darkest than anyone else in Japan. Dazai brushes her claims off, derailing the conversation from himself and to Gin, leading to the first time Higuchi realises Gin is a girl, surprised at her cute voice.
Dazai questions why Mori would bother sending personnel after him, and Higuchi's quick to correct him. After Kyūsaku Yumeno's release, Higuchi and Gin are tasked with "protecting" Dazai, whom the child harbours a grudge against. Dazai attempts to deny such a statement, but Higuchi points out Mori will use any possible option to eliminate the Guild. Quick to understand why Higuchi and Gin are meant to "protect" Dazai, he rushes off, leaving an unfazed Higuchi.
Later, while Higuchi remains largely uninvolved in the Guild war, it's revealed that after receiving information from Dazai, Hirotsu informed Higuchi of the Moby Dick infiltration. True to her nature, Higuchi then informed Akutagawa, leading to his solo mission on the Moby Dick, all part of Dazai's plan to form the new "Twin Dark" against a looming threat.
After Fyodor Dostoevesky stabs Mori, infecting him with Alexander Pushkin's virus, Higuchi is the first to rush in and aid Mori. Naturally, she participates in the Port Mafia and Agency's feud. While patrolling their headquarters, she is ambushed by Kyōka Izumi's Demon Snow, dragged into another room. Kyōka threatens her for the security code of Mori's safe room.
Undeterred, Higuchi notes how it seems Kyōka hasn't sworn off killing as records claimed. Kyōka responds that she doesn't kill idly, instead warning Higuchi that if she doesn't answer, Demon Snow will cut off Higuchi's hand. With a bitter smile, Higuchi notes that she's been prepared for such an incident since joining Port Mafia. However, just before Kyōka can do anything, Akutagawa intervenes, cutting a hole in the floor and separating the two. He instructs Higuchi to alert the others of the Agency's raid.
As the situation worsens, Higuchi orders everyone to stop frontal assaults, alerting them that Mori disappeared. Hirotsu arrives, informing her that there's word bodyguards saw Mori leave of his own volition. Higuchi questions Mori's decision, but Hirotsu alludes that this may be Mori's way of protecting Port Mafia.
Befitting of the Port Mafia's major mafiosi, she arrives to confront Pushkin after his defeat.
- Higuchi is the namesake of a famous writer who is one of three women to be represented on bills in Japan.
- The real Higuchi also lived with her sister, noted for being rather "useless" and "helpless" without her sibling's assistance.
- The real Higuchi's most well-known literary work is a short story titled "Growing Pains".