Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo Ep. 17

Episode title: 硝子ノ風景 (Garasu no Fuukei: The Window Scene)

Tsugumi and Nina
Creepy eyes
"Touch my hair," Nina says
Enma Ai watches close by... is she concerned?
Ai's helpers wonder what's up

Hajime and Tsugumi head toward another Jigoku Shoujo case. Tsugumi has had a vision of a girl saying, "help me." The road is foggy, however, and Tsugumi has misgivings... she hates the fog because she's afraid of what's hidden. They hear music box tones (Bach's "Air") and see a shadowy figure on the road and Hajime brakes. Tsugumi goes into an Ai trance and says, "Don't go... return..." The place they have stopped though, is a sanatorium, but it looks like no one's there. Tsugumi's creeped out and wishes to leave. But they go to the room where Tsugumi's had a vision, but she said it's a little different. They are about to return, but they see a girl with long blond hair and bright blue eyes. She's called Nina. Tsugumi introduces herself and Hajime. "He's my father," she says (funny, cause she always calls him "Hajime-chan."). "How nice," says Nina, "to have a father..."

At a table in the garden, she explains that she's the only patient there, that her father left her. Hajime says he's seen no staff or doctors, but she says they exist, and points to a walkway and sure enough, they see a nurse. Hajime says he'll go and greet them and runs off, but he can't find the nurse he'd just seen. He goes to a room and sees the back of what looks like a doctor. He's horrified to see that the doctor seems to be extracting blood from a vial that also contains a catapillar.

While Hajime was off chasing phantoms, Nina and Tsugumi continue to talk. Tsugumi comments how beautiful Nina's eyes are and how beautiful her hair his. "You can touch it," she says. She reluctantly does so. Suddenly Nina grabs Tsugumi's arm. "How warm," she says. "How can she be so cold!" thinks Tsugumi. Hajime returns and says that he couldn't find anyone. Nina says the director often leaves on business. Nina invites them to sleep over, as there are many beds. Hajime says that they have reservations at a nearby hotel and say they'll leave, but Nina says they can't leave with the thick fog. Suddenly, the fog gets heavier and encroaches in. They have no choice but to stay.

Later, Hajime and Tsugumi are having tea by themselves. Hajime speculates about Nina (among the things he said was that Nina's got to be the one trying to make a contract with the Jigoku Shoujo, but that there were no PCs in sight in the Sanatorium), but Tsugumi doesn't want to hear any more. She's feeling stressed and scared and wants to leave.

Meanwhile, both Ai and her helpers had been watching the trio. Her helpers comment how Hajime and Tsugumi had shown up once again and that he must have gotten tipped off. They conclude that it must be from Ai herself, albeit subconsciously, and they wonder why. "I don't understand her, lately," says Hone Onna.

We see Ai facing Nina. "Jigoku Shoujo....you're late. I got tired of waiting," says Nina. "I can't accept your request," says Ai. "What do you mean? You're supposed to grant vengence. That's your job, right?" replies Nina angrily. "I can't clear your hatred," says Ai and fades into a wall. "Wait! Jigoku Shoujo!" says Nina. Hajime and Tsugumi had been approaching the room and hearing that, run into her room. "Liar..." says Nina. "By 'Jigoku Shoujo' do you mean..." starts Hajime. "Forget it," says Nina, "I don't care anymore. Because now... I have.." and she looks at Tsugumi and smiles evily. Tsugumi reels back in fright. "I'm hungry," says Nina, "Let's go eat something." She leads them to the dining hall and Hajime and Tsugumi are surprised to see food laid out on a table.

Imaginably, Hajime and Tsugumi are feeling weirded out, but Nina lightheartedly entreats them to eat and laughs musically. Tsugumi lets out a half hearted laugh and Hajime says he'll get the tea. "Your father's so nice," says Nina, "Unlike mine. My father left me here and died." "And your mother," says Tsugumi. "My mother? I don't know anything about my mother." Hajime brings the tea and asks her if she's accessed the Jigoku Tsushin. Nina replies that she has and that her target was her father because ever since he abandoned here, she's had hatred for him and wanted him sent to hell. "But now, it's okay... because now Tsugumi's here... and now I have a new father." Hajime is taken aback. "You'll stay with me forever right? You won't make me feel lonely, right?" "What are you saying, Nina-chan," says Tsugumi. "Nina-chan, we've just come here to say hello to the director, that's all," adds Hajime. "There's no director," says Nina, "I'm the only one here. The three of us will live here as a family, right?" She touches Tsugumi's arm and she jerks away and runs to Hajime's side. "What's wrong," says Nina. "Stay away!" says Tsugumi. "The same, says Nina... you're the same as my father..."

(At this point, my girlfriend, who got bored from watching regular TV, changed to the tuner and switched channels to the Discovery Channel. In horror, I grabbed the remote from her and switched the channel back the Kids Station, which airs Jigoku Shoujo... so I missed about 10 seconds of action...)

Hajime and Tsugumi are running away, but notices that Tsugumi's face is made up by vines. The vines shoot out and wrap around Hajime, choking him. Suddenly, several knife-like magical shuriken strike the back of vine-Tsugumi and it screams and burns. Hone Onna and Wanyuudo are on the far side of the hall. "Even though it's Mistress Ai's orders, to think that I'm helping this man..." she complains. Meanwhile, Tsugumi is outside the building, running toward the trees. She sees a figure that looks like Hajime and runs to him, but sees that his face is made up of vines. She faints and the vine-Hajime and Nina bend down toward Tsugumi. "You'll come with me," says Nina. Suddenly, a figure swoops down, grabs Tsugumi and leaves away. It's Ichimoku Ren. Vine-Hajime stretches out his arm and vines shoot out, choking Ichimoku Ren. A large eye opens up on his head, flashes golden, then a tornado like wind appears around Ichimoku Ren and Tsugumi. They disappear.

Hajime finds Tsugumi unconscious on a bench, and takes her. Ichimoku's eye is watching from a wall and closes, satisfied. Hajime takes Tsugumi and they are trying to start their car, but it won't, in true Hollywood fashion. The engiine finally starts, but as he steps on the gas, vines grab ahold of the car and Nina approaches. Her fingers flow through the window, vines choke Hajime, and Nina chokes Tsugumi herself. Ai appears. "Stop it," she says. Hajime sees her and blacks out.

"You didn't clear away my hatred," says Nina, "I have no more business with you! Don't interfere!" "Don't involve others." "It's their fault!" says Nina, "They were going me leave me alone again... just like my father did." "You are not Nina," says Ai. "What are you talking about? I'm Nina!" she says. "Remember," says Ai, "your Master died." We see flashbacks of Nina dying on a hospital bed, and "Nina" remembers.

Hajime and Tsugumi awaken, and the sanatorium looks run down. They go to Nina's room and the music box plays. The room is in tatters. "This is it," says Tsugumi, "The scene that I had a vision of." They see a blond, blue-eyed doll on the chair. We see a flashback of Nina looking out the window, pleading out loud for her father to return. The doll had observed and absorbed the memories and deep feelings. Tsugumi understands and hugs the doll. It turns to dust and the eyes roll on the ground. The scene cuts to Ai sitting on her porch of her house, looking pensive. What's she thinking of, I wonder...

That was an awesome episode...

Some pics (click to enlarge):
Vine-Tsugumi attacks
Hajime's in trouble
Hone Onna makes a good ninja
Vine-Hajime attacks
Ai and Nina face off
An old photo of Nina and her doll
Tsugumi holds the doll
An eye rolls on the floor
Ai is pensive


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