Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo Ep. 19

Episode title: 花嫁人形 (Hanayome Ningyou: Bride Doll)The client this week is Inori, an orphan girl married into the family of a famous doll maker supporting the community. At the wedding ceremony, her mother-in-law comments, "How wonderful, she looks almost like a doll..." Inori is in the garden in the evening, and she was thinking back to that time. "Why didn't I realize it then," she reflects, "the strange sparkle in her eyes as she looked at me..." Her ponderings are interrupted by her mother-in-law, who demands to know what she's doing. "I'm just feeding the koi (Japanese pond fish)," she answers. "That's the job of the servants, I told you. You don't have to do things like that," says the mother-in-law. "You look chilled; you should take a bath first then go to bed," she says. Inori then goes to the bath and as she's undressing, the mom-in-law steps in. "You've gained weight, haven't you?" she says. She rips open Inori's clothes and says, "You have! I won't forgive you for gaining weight!" She then proceeds to punish Inori in the bath (off camera).At that moment, they go to Jigoku Shoujo's house. "Looks like the wind is blowing," comments the grandma. "An ill wind," replies Ai. "Slightly warm and cold... in this kind of evening, a person weeps." The scene switches back to Inori, who is crying bitter tears.

She then goes to her husband and cries before him. She tells him she's scared. After she's calmed down, he apologizes for her. He says his mom's doesn't hate her. She probably just wants her to remain beautiful. The mom is in her workshop, carving her dolls, but she's frustrated. "How ugly!" she cries, and strikes the doll apart. Inori wants to do something for her husband, Yukio, such as a massage, but he refuses. She says she wants to do something, and he suggests that she make breakfast. She does so the next morning, quite happy. But when she brings the food, breakfast has already been prepared and everyone's at the table. The mom reminds her that she's not supposed to do anything. Yukio asks her to sit and eat, but the mom says she has different food prepared for Inori because she's gained weight. She reminds her again that she's to do nothing, just sit and remain beautfiful like a doll. These words fill Inori with despair.

Later, Inori's crying again and hugs her husband. She says she frightened out of her wits by her mother-in-law... especially her eyes. The mother-in-law is listening in the next room. Later, a servant makes her go to a small room. She says that she is to calm down and to empty her heart. Later, crying, Inori contacts Jigoku Shoujo. "Forgive me, forgive me!" she cries. She sees a partition door slightly open with a girl's face beyond. She opens the door and enters the world of Jigoku Shoujo. Tsugumi, meanwhile, receives the vision and tells Hajime.

Inori meets Ai, and is scared when Ai offers the straw doll and says, "doll." "What are you afraid of?" asks Ai. Inori thinks back to all the words the mother-in-law has said. She remembers back to when she was a child in the orphanage and the doll-maker visited, and from back then had her eye on her and commented that she was just like a doll. She eventually accepts the doll and hears the consequences.

Hajime and Tsugumi are staking out the doll-maker's house. Tsugumi asks if they have to keep doing this. He says a person is wishing unhappiness upon another person; he can't let it happen. "But it's that person's desire, right?" says Tsugumi. "But to show them the right path is the adult thing to do," says Hajime. "I'm not an adult, so I don't get it," retorts Tsugumi. But she suddenly sees Inori at a window at the second floor of their house, they make eye contact, and Inori comes down to talk.

She says she shouldn't be down there, but they talk. They go to the orphanage (funded by the dollmaker) where she grew up (and was happy) before marrying into the dollmaker's family. Tsugumi explains she sees Jigoku Shoujo visions. Hajime tries to persuade her from completing the contract with the Jigoku Shoujo. Inori talks about how they all depend on the dollmaker, which is why she has to just bear things... and that she can't talk to anyone else for help. Her only way was the Jigoku Shoujo. They are before an emergency exit. Inori says the Jigoku Shoujo is her emergency exit. Hajime says they'll do what they can to help her. She wants help, that's why she met them, right? She begins to see a little hope, but is interrupted by three servants, who have found her. They return to their mansion. Hajime thinks she'll be alright, but Tsugumi thinks she'll continue to suffer.

Back at the mansion, the mother-in-law has heard Inori's returned. In a darkened room, she interrogates Inori. Inori says she says she just took a stroll. "It can't be helped... because you have legs that can take you places, unlike a doll. It'd better if your legs couldn't move, just like a doll." (Here, I was scared, 'cause I thought she'd break her legs or something, but...) The mother-in-law gives Inori more hot water bath punishment. (Kinda ero-ero, if you ask me.) "You are my doll, aren't you?!" yells the mother-in-law. "Just do as I say! Like a doll, you don't need a heart!" Later, she strokes Inori's hair. "Those eyes, how beautiful. So young and beautiful." Ichimoku Ren and Hone Onna are watching. "Oh my, how frightful women are," comments Ren. "You've only realized that now?" retorts Hone Onna.

Later, Inori takes the straw hell doll. "I'm sorry, sister," she says, "I can't pray any more" (her name, btw, means "prayer"). She feels a presence, and Enma Ai is in the room. "Are you going to pull the string," she asks. "It's her fault" she yells, "she doesn't treat people like people. Even I get angry if I get hurt! I won't become her doll!" Jigoku Shoujo stares at her calmly (but it seems to me that she doesn't want her to pull the string)Her husband's in the next room and bangs on the door. "Who are you talking to in such a loud voice?" he asks, "I'm worried about you..." At that point, for some reason, Inori's face turns steely with determination and she makes her decision and pulls the string.It's time for the mother-in-law's punishment. She's making a doll and the doll starts talking to her (it's Hone Onna). She strikes the doll with a knife, but the face desolves and she's stabbed her own hand. Her hand turns into a wooden doll's hand. Then another doll (looks like Ichimoku Ren) and she strikes it with her other hand and that hand turns to wood also. She kicks another doll that looks like Wanyuudo and following the pattern, her foot turns into a doll's foot and she collapses to the floor. A bunch of dolls surround her, pick her up, Ai shows up, and she's sent to hell. Ai's eyes, however, look quite sad when she sends her.On the boat, the mother-in-law (crazed from her experience) looks dazed but brightens up when she sees Ai. "Oh my, you look just like a doll...I want to make a doll just like you..." etc.

Back in the dollmaker's house, Inori seems quite happy. She's hugging her husband and says, "I'll do everything I can for you, even in place of mother, with all my body and soul." "Soul?" says Yukio, "That's unnecessary. It's enough if you just keep looking up at me... just like a doll." Suddenly, Inori feels sudden despair once more and the camera pans to the hell mark on her chest. Outside, Ichimoku Ren, Hone Onna, and Ai are observing. "And in the end, she still ends up living like a doll," comments Ren. "A living hell," says Hone Onna. Ai seems to let out a soft sigh and looks on sadly as an ill-wind blows her hair about. Another candle gets added.

Next week's previews look really interesting. It's Jigoku Shoujo vs. Jigoku Shonen. His voiceover says he thinks he's stronger than her and has a bunch of questions for Ai, but she has none for him.


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