Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Jigoku Shoujo Ep. 24

Episode title: Yuugure no Sato (Twilight Village)

This episode had quite a surprise ending. I had to watch it 3 times.

Anyway, the story begins with Ai piling rocks (a kid's activity) and singing a sad tune. In school, Tsugumi's friends show a broken cellphone strap. They talk about sending the boy who did it to hell using the Jigoku Shoujo. Tsugumi's quite disturbed and after school runs home, disoriented... however, she runs into the street and a truck is heading right for her. It looks like it hits her and we hear sirens. However, she's all right, as Hajime takes her home from the hospital. Tsugumi says the driver was so nice, apologizing so many times even though it wasn't his fault. She asks if she had died from that, if Hajime would've hated that nice man enough to send him to hell. Hajime sees that she's stressing out over the Jigoku Shoujo and he says he'll stop all business with investigating or trying to stop her.

However, at home, she gets another vision from Ai (about Sentaro). She tells Hajime that they just can't stop like this; they have to see things through the end. They head toward the spot with a distinctive sakura tree (the spot where Ai sees herself playing with Sentaro). In the car, they get a spooky feeling that someone's in the backseat (indeed, it is Ai), but when they look, no one is there.

Anyway, they stay at a ryokan (Japanese inn) and ask the proprietor questions, but she doesn't know much because she's not actually from there. Tsugumi and Hajime will relax in the hotspring... Tsugumi goes first and gets a visit from Ai, who asks if she feels anything viewing the sights. Hajime arrives; Tsugumi is freaked out.

The next day, the ryokan owner suggests they visit a local temple. They do, and when Hajime shows his business card to the temple priests, he gets a bad feeling as he read the family name, "Shibata." The priest gives black candy to Tsugumi, saying it's a famous treat. When asked about local stories, he tells about a long tradition of taking girls the age of seven up to the mountain (Tsugumi is 7, btw), which went back as far as the Azuchi-Momoyama period (over 400 years ago). Ai, listening on, is shocked and seems to remember something. As she was seven, she was dressed in ceremonial robes and walked up the mountain, with villagers looking on on the sides. The priest goes on to say that this temple was built to pray for the souls of the children sent up the mountains. The temple builder moved on to make a candy store elsewhere and because successful... the black candy that Tsugumi was eating was from his store. When asked for the name of the person, the priest says it was Shibata Sentaro. Ai, hearing this, reacts with emotion.

Meanwhile, Ai's helpers had been searching for Ai without success. Ichimoku Ren jokes that maybe because she's of the age, she's looking for boys. He gets whacked by Hone Onna's flute. Wanyuudo thinks she's returned, but it's the spider/granny, also looking frantically for Ai. Suddenly, Wanyuudo has an inkling of where she might be.

Tsugumi and Hajime reach the mountain area of Tsugumi's vision. Suddenly, the air seems to change, and though it is winter, cherry blossoms fly through the air and they see the cherry tree in full bloom. Then they see a young Ai playing with Sentaro. Ai appears, and she seems menacing. She sends Tsugumi a vision... it is of Ai being buried alive, calling out to Sentaro to stop. Ai says, "Are you here to kill me again?" The poor hell girl's lost it, and she sends out an energy blast to kill Hajime and Tsugumi. Ai's helpers arrive on the scene, riding the Wanyuudo chariot. He intercepts her blast, saving the Shibata family. He tells them to run, Ren and Hone Onna plead with Ai to stop, but she says she doesn't care. She sends out another energy blast and it seems to hit them. Hajime appears to fall into the water, though... but Tsugumi seems to have disappeared. Ai's face is contorted with hatred, anger, and sadness, and she says that this enmity needs to be washed in hell. Wow!

Pics (click to enlarge):

2 Comments:

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Flood said...

Excellent review. Nice job on all the screen caps. :)

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger WRex said...

Thanks, Flood! ^_^ Just sharing the love~

 

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