Friday, January 20, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo Ep. 15

Episode title: 島の女 "Shima no Onna" or "Island Woman"

Hajime and Tsugumi go to a small island village based on a vision that Tsugumi's had. On the boat they meet a young man with an arm injury who tells them a little about the island.

The main character this week is a girl named Mina and the target is her strict aunt. Basically, most of the people of the island have a closed mentality and distrust or dislike anything outside of their island. Mina's mom once left the island because she fell in love with a boy from the outside, but came back after he dumped her; however, she had a baby girl with her. The three of them lived together, but one day Mina's mom apparently commited suicide, and the aunt raised her. At first, they had a close bond, but things turned sour when Mina found interest in boys... especially boys outside their island village. Now Mina has a new beau, Yuuji, the young man Hajime met on the boat.

Ai's helpers are suprised and dismayed to see Hajime on the island. They try to prevent him from interfering, but he's too persistent. They get some info from a snack/souvenir shop owner (before he's scared off by a trick by Ichimoku Ren) and the school principal. They finally meet the target, Mina's aunt, and decide she's a nice woman. Meanwhile, Mina and Yuuji discuss sending the aunt to hell. Tsugumi has a vision of the location and Ai's words: "Are you going to pull it... or not pull it?" Hajime takes off to try to prevent another tragedy. Will he make it in time?

Main spoiler points: Mina convinces Yuuji that her aunt is crazy or evil; she's seen proof that her aunt was the person who tried to kill Yuuji while he was diving (that's why his arm is injured). They are about to pull the string when Hajime arrives. After desperately talking to them, he convinces them not to do it. "You can't find happiness by harming others!" he says. After thinking about it, they decide to just elope instead (finally! a sensible alternative) and thank Hajime. Although he thinks eloping may not be the best solution, he's glad they don't decide the send the aunt to hell. Ai's helpers are frustrated and they push Hajime over the railing of the lookout point (he's not hurt, though).

Mina has packed her things and is about the leave the house when she hears her aunt mention her name. It seems she's in a conversation with her dead mom, asking what she needs to do. Mina's curiousity leads her to a small shack and she's surprised to hear her mother's voice. "She's still alive?" she wonders. She goes down to the basement, but falls to her knees in shock. Her aunt is talking to a decomposed body... the corpse of her mother. By flashback, or maybe by the aunt's twisted narration, we learn that she had tied up her sister in the basement because she had wanted to leave the island again. "I hate this island!" she shouted. Those words were not the right thing to say, as the aunt decides to lodge an ax into her sister's body.

The aunt turns to Mina and Mina sees she's holding an ax in her hand. Mina takes out the straw doll but the aunt knocks it out of her hand with the ax. "The three of us will live in harmony on this island," the psycho aunt says, alternating her and her sister's voice. She raises her ax, Mina dives for the straw doll, and Yuuji arrives to try to wrestle the ax away. She knocks him down on top of Mina and tries to strike them with the ax. Mina screams and pulls the string and the aunt disappears. Hajime arrives too late on the scene and is saddened.

On the boat to hell, the aunt is lying on the boat, hugging the skeletal features of her sister's face. "I love you, dear sister," she says, tenderly, "we'll always be forever..." Wanyuudo is also sitting on the boat. "How sad," he says, looking at her.

I liked this epidode. It was well written with the full dynamics of Hajime actively trying to prevent tragedy and people trying to think clearly. But well, sometimes sh*t happens...especially when your aunt is a psycho.

Some screencaps (click to enlarge):
Tsugumi's cute drawing of the island
The real island in comparison
Mina, who's not getting along with her aunt (in the background)
Ai's helpers are dismayed to see Hajime on the island
Poor Tsugumi has to eat a bunch of island sweets so that Hajime can get some information... I love how her hair is in cute buns
Ichimoku plays a prank to scare off the person giving Hajime info
They laugh at their success
Tsugumi's cute drawing of Ai
Ai patiently waits for the lovers' decision
Long time no see? It's Mina's mom
Don't interfere with our happiness!
Together forever...


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