Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo Ep. 25

Ai's energy blast only partially hits Hajime and Tsugumi and they both fall into the waters. Ai may have thought they died and she disappears after enveloping the tree in flames. Her helpers don't know where she went. Meanwhile, the Spider watches on. Hajime and Tsugumi begin to drown... though it looks like they're heading toward the surface... while that happens, they both have a vision:

We see Sentaro as the son of a poor sandal maker. Because of his poor health, the father depends on the help of the other villagers. In thanks, he makes sandals for them. Sentaro had been sleeping, and his father tells him that his cousin Ai came to visit earlier and would be back. He tells him to play with her. Sentaro said he'll help his father make sandals today, but Ai shows up at their doorstep and she's crying. Sentaro asks if the other kids picked on her again. She answers, "yes," and Sentaro goes running down toward the village despite his father's pleas not to.

Sentaro fights a group of kids who say that Ai is a "mononoke" (like a magical spirit). They say that she brought a butterfly back to life and that she'll bring ill fortune to the village... everyone in the villagers feel so. They beat up Sentaro for siding with her. Later, Sentaro and Ai are playing at their favorite spot in the mountains. Ai apologizes to him and says the butterfly was not dead. Sentaro says he doesn't think she is a mononoke; she is just Ai.

Later, Sentaro learns that Ai's been selected to become the priestess for the Nanatsu festival. Sentaro accuses them of selecting her because they consider her a mononoke. But Ai's parents ask a favor of Sentaro; they want him to visit her time to time to give her food and comfort (it appears that the priestess's job is to live solitarily in the mountains in the shrine). Sentaro agrees and says he'll protect her. Ai, hearing this, is very happy.

In the present, we see Ai asleep or unconscious on her hell boat.

Meanwhile, the crops are not growing well... the villagers are frightened about surviving the winter. Sentaro visits her often, and Ai's hair has grown long. They softly sing a song together about cherry blossoms, she takes a skinny dip in the pool, but later, they are discovered by the village kids. They blame their poor crops on Sentaro's forbidden visits to the priestess and that they couldn't forgive Ai. Sentaro tells her to run while he fends them off, but they overpower him and catch Ai and punish her in the water.

Back in the present, Ai's helpers are still at the mountain spot and are worried about Ai. Ren mentions how they owe her a big debt.

Later, the village has Ai and her parents bound and blindfolded. They've dug a pit, then they strike their heads and they fall in. They give Sentaro a shovel and force him to bury them. His tears hits Ai and she regains consciousness while a part of her blindfold slides down. She can hear what's going on... only, she doesn't know what kind of struggle Sentaro's having... all she knows is that the person who vowed to protect her is now burying her alive. She cries out his name and Sentaro can't do it... he runs from the site while the rest of the villagers bury Ai and her parents. Ai burns with hatred and vows vengence.

Later in the evening, we see a while female hand burst out of the ground. Sentaro suddenly awakens as if from a nightmare. He gets up and decides to leave the village. When he turns back, he sees there's a fire... the village houses are on fire. Upon closer inspection, he sees a young girl setting the houses on fire magically. It's Ai... she's singing the sakura song that she and Sentaro used to sing, she dances, her eyes are wide and vacant... she looks like she's fallen off the deep end. Sentaro, in horror, runs away, but he starts laughing... he's become crazed himself and doesn't notice getting cut as he runs past thin branches. He reaches a hilltop and he looks back at the burning village... his eyes turn sad.

Tsugumi breaks out of her vision; she's crying. Hajime's sitting next to her. "Did you see?" he asks her. They are by the temple. "I don't understand," says Tsugumi. "I do," says Hajime. End of episode.

Comment: it was very tragic and chilling what happened to Ai. However, I was disappointed that they didn't go into how Ai officially became the Jigoku Shoujo and what the Spider/"granny" said/did to her.

Next week's preview has Ai's voiceover of her usual instructions and warnings to those sending people to hell... but she ends with "Tsugumi." Tsugumi has a hell doll... why? They show the Spider quite prominently as well.

Pics (click to enlarge):

Kagihime 12

I loved this episode. In a nutshell, Riddle explains how she planted the idea of the "Neverending Alice" story in Takion because he had stopped telling stories and she was afraid he'd dump her, and he came up with the rest of the game/story. He wanted eternal life; Riddle was looking for another person who could tell wonderful stories, and found him in Aruto. She kills Takion and fights and defeats Kiraha because she can now control the Alice world. Kiraha, before her story is taken, tells Aruto that Arisu was real, and kicks him out of his state of shock and he realizes he can affect the world by writing the Alice story. He frees Arisu, she takes away the story that Riddle had just taken from Kiraha, returns the book to Kiraha and togther they fight Riddle. Kiraha realizes that she's come to love everyone's companionship and that she'd grown as a person because of them and this game/story. She knocks down Riddle and rams her key in her heart, but Arisu stops her. She thinks Aruto is writing strange things in the story, but it is Arisu's will. She says she'll remain behind to protect the Alice world, and that it is something that both she and Aruto agreed on. Indeed, he said that he learned from her that it takes two to write a story. They hug and Aruto and Kiraha leave the Alice World. Back in reality, everyone's happy and things are normal, but Arisu isn't there. Aruto isn't sad, however; he knows that if he wants to see her, he just has to use his imagination. I wonder what twist episode 13 will hold...

And now, the pics with captions (click to enlarge):

Monday, March 27, 2006

Kagihime 11

Kiraha and Kisa try to free Arisu from the crystal, but with no results and the Alice twins taunt them. Aruto is still in a state of self-horror. Then the Alice Master and Riddle appear. He says that she can't be freed by power. If they complete the Neverending Alice Story and give it to them, he'll free her. Kiraha asks about his wish to publish the story, but he said he never had the intention; he just said that to spur them on to continue the battles to collect the stories. And he thought in the end that Arisu would be the last one remaining, but he never imagined that she'd tried to erase herself of her own will; only the fast action of Riddle encasing her in the crystal allowed them to stop her from disappearing. He says they should be thankful to Riddle. If they continue the battles, they can free Arisu.

Kisa believes the Alice Master's words and attacks Kiraha. Kiraha doesn't have the will to fight, but nearly gets impaled, and she fights back; however, Kisa had no intention of trying to win and lets Kiraha hit her heart. Sadly, she says that she wanted to stay with her to the end and protect her, but this is the only way to save Arisu. She believes that Aruto will copy her story and that it will be okay; she also wanted Kiraha to take her story; her secret story. She feels happy that her story will be taken by Kiraha. In tears, Kiraha says the spell to release her story. She asks her brother to quickly copy the story, but the idiot says he can't do it. They see her story of how she was a little girl unloved by her mother; a little girl depressed with no friends. One day she decided to drown herself but is saved by Kiraha. Because that mind-numbing idiot Aruto can't move, Kisa fades away.

Kiraha is angered and takes Aruto by the hand and brings him in front of Arisu. She tells him to look at Arisu. She says it was his fault she's like this. She tells him to pull it together... that he was being pathetic. This is not the brother she admires. She asks him to think about her. However, he drifts into some kind of dream land and he thinks all the events so far had been a dream; he sees a picnic with everyone, but something's not right; he then goes back to the scene (in ep. 5) when he and Arisu were trapped in a cave and she freed him from a vine-net with a kiss; but Arisu turns in Kiraha and he screams and runs. The scene fades out again and he sees the Alice Master and a little girl on a boat. She asks him to tell a story and hugs him... her eyes are Riddle's... he realizes that the Alice Master is not a descendant of Takion... he IS Takion... and Riddle is the Alice Liddell that he modeled Alice on. The Alice Twins tell him that Takion and Alice want eternal life.

Aruto snaps out of his dreamworld and he tells Kiraha that the Alice Master is the original Alternate L. Takion. Takion confirms this and he says he needs the stories in Kiraha and Arisu so that they can gain eternal life. He says that those that don't follow their roles are just eyesores. He tells Riddle to take care of them. Riddle brings out her key weapon, and she tells she'll fight Kiraha... however, there is something she must do first. She points her weapon at Takion, who is visibly surprised and frightened. "Why?!" he asks.

Pics (click to enlarge):

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Blood+ Episode 24

Episode title: Airy Singing Voice (Karoyaka na Utagoe)(click on pic to enlarge; more pics below)

Seeing Diva holding Riku's unmoving body, Saya screams. Haji and Solomon fights fiercely. Solomon comments that even if their organs get pierced, they can recover completely... but he wonders what will happen if their bodies get crushed completely. Moments later, he manages to bury Haji under tons of mountain rock.

Back in the tower, Diva sings, recognizes her sister. Saya asks how she could kill their father. "Father? That old man that locked me up in this tower for so long? I hate him! I killed him!" She proceeds to tell her that Saya was the one who freed her. Indeed, that makes Saya remember how she felt sorry for Diva, freed her so that she could attend Joel's party. However, we know what Diva did with her freedom. Suddenly, Saya remembers the thing she has to do: kill Diva. Her eyes turn red, she stabs her had with a metal stake and attacks. Diva smirks. David and Kai are running toward the cell and they hear a crashing noise. The see Saya slumped against the wall... worse, Riku's on the floor, blood on his neck. David shoots Diva, but she recovers, tells him he doesn't look that tasty, and slams him against the wall. She says Kai looks tasty, though, and heads toward him. Saya runs between them, and Diva throws Saya against the wall again. This time, the force breaks the wall, Saya falls to the ground below and falls through the ground to an underground passage. Diva jumps down, tells Lewis he doesn't look tasty either, then enters the underground passage to find Saya. Saya, hearing her voice, runs away.

Saya finds an old armory and grabs a sword. But Solomon shows up, saying that it looks like she's made her decision. Diva shows up, Saya attacks, and Solomon takes Diva outside. Saya follows and she and Solomon fight (though the doesn't really attack). He breaks her sword in half. He says that she should realize they she has no hope against them. He extends his hand and asks her once more to join them but she cuts his hand with her broken sword. Diva laughs, saying that he got rejected. Saya's eyes turn normal at this point and she collapses. Diva says it's because she's lacking blood... even though there's so much to drink around her. Saya says she's not like them. Diva says they are. She picks up the shard of the broken sword and says she'll kill Saya herself. She grabs Saya from behind, cuts her hand the sword shard. She says that Saya's blood is poison for her, but her hand's poison for Saya. She'll stab Saya in the heart. But just as she's about to strike her, she fades away; Haji has thrown his cello case (what's that thing made of? adamantium?) and Diva's dodged it. Haji catches Saya's body. Diva decides it's time to leave and the two of them disappear.

Lewis shows up with a rifle, Saya breaks out of her helpless state; she's remembered Riku. In the cell, David says the ambulance is far away... Riku's not going to make it. Saya mentions there is one way. Kai's excited and wants to know how. Saya replies explains she can give her blood to freeze his time but she's reluctant to do it, knowing it may not be something that Riku wants. Kai demands she do it... he's his brother and if he dies, he'd be alone. Those words strike Saya hard... she sees that Kai no longer thinks of her as a sister. But she'll do it because she wants to save Riku too. She cuts her hand, sucks the blood and gives the blood to Riku mouth to mouth. Moments later Riku convulses; Saya collapses against the wall, drained by the day's turn of events.

Meanwhile, Diva and Solomon are on the stone bridge in the Zoo. They see Anschel and Diva runs to him, saying her dress has a hole in it. Anschel jokes that she did it herself just so that she'd get a new dress. Solomon asks why he brought her here. Anschel answers he was just following her desires. But more importantly, he asks why Solomon's here (very menacing air). Diva laughs, breaking of the flowers from the stem, saying that Solomon loves Saya. End of story.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Kagihime 10

Awesome episode for me. Arisu seems in her own world; she knocks over a photo album of Aruto and Kiraha's childhood. As they pick up the photos, Aruto and Kiraha chat nostalgically. This makes Arisu feel even worse and she runs off. Aruto chases after her. She says that maybe she felt jealous. Aruto says they can create new memories together. Meanwhile, Asuka's pondering why her memory magic didn't work on Arisu. She reads Aruto's book and realizes why.

Later, Aruto and Arisu go on a date; he wants to know about places related to her past. She's reluctant (since she has no memories), but she shows him around telling stories about her childhood; however, Aruto learns they are false stories but doesn't reveal he knows. Later that night, Asuka meets Arisu and tells her there's an important reason for Arisu to fight Kiraha. She tells her she's solved her mystery after reading Aruto's book; she gives the book to Arisu.

The next day, Kiraha sees an Alice-invitation from Arisu. She keeps it a secret from her brother but he thought something was up as she tries to sneak out to leave. However, she runs out and flies toward the meeting spot. He chases after her but can't catch up. Kiraha calls forth Arisu and Arisu attacks her, saying she'll take her story. Outside, Kisa meets up with Aruto; she says her "Kiraha Danger Antenna" was acting up. They reach the building where Kiraha and Arisu are fighting. Asuka's there to stop them, but gets knocked out by a punch by Kirika. Inside, they are fighting and Arisu plunges her key into Kiraha's heart. Aruto and Kisa plead for her to stop. Arisu says that she needs to do this because one who completes all the stories will be granted a wish and there's a wish she needs granted more than anyone else. Kisa offers to give her story if she let's Kiraha go. Arisu says she'll take Kisa's story... but also Kiraha's. Aruto asks why she's doing this, and she asks if he doesn't know. Basically, she reveals several bombshells: she says that she's only a creation of Aruto... bigger yet, the person that Aruto truly loves is his sister, Kiraha. She returns Aruto's book to him... he starts to fall apart, mentally. Arisu says that if you read Aruto's book carefully, you'd understand everything; he loved Kiraha, but of course it was a forbidden love. Thus he created Arisu as a substitute. If Aruto would say that he needed her and wanted her to always stay as his lover, she could continue to exist. She asks Aruto to say it, but he's a blithering idiot at this point. After pleading several times, she flies towards the ceiling. "It's too late... goodbye," she says, and she fades away.

Asuka arrives, disappointed that things turned out this way; she had wanted more infighting between them. Kiraha's pissed at this point, having lost someone who'd become her friend and sick of the manipulations. Asuka thinks she can handle Kiraha, but her anger has made her faster and stronger and she defeats Asuka and takes her story.

Then suddenly, the scenery changes, and they are shocked at what they see. The Alice Twins are laughing evily and Takion's voice welcomes them to the "Final Stage." And they see Arisu encased in a large crystal.

Pics (click to enlarge):