The series picks up its pace as it nears the conclusion of its 26-episode run, and things get even more hectic with the return of a Season 1 fan favorite: Tsugumi! Well…a grown up Tsugumi, at least. Anyway, heads will spin, as math and science explain the concept of Hell in this episode of Jigoku Shoujo!
Yuzuki sees a vision in which she is running to the roof of a building to stop someone from using the Jigoku Tsuushin. Amusingly enough, she is overtaken by a young girl wearing butterfly earrings; however, both aren’t able to make it in time, and another soul is cast into Hell. Shortly after, Yuzuki awakens in the infirmary, where Shibata Tsugumi, wearing her butterfly earrings, is working. Yuzuki finally gets around to asking Tsugumi what she meant during the Six-Mon Lantern Festival, but only gets a laugh in reply.
Outside, the Jigoku Tsuushin crew is amazed that they missed Tsugumi’s presence in the school. In fact, the only reason they found out was because someone was rather persistent in putting her name in the website. Away from the school, Yamawaro and Kikuri investigate an old mansion where the request seemingly originated from, but are blocked by a barrier that even they cannot cross.
In the evening, both Ai and Yuzuki are enjoying themselves (Ai with a bath, Yuzuki with a phone call to her parents), but both seem to understand that something is happening with the Jigoku Tsuushin. Moments later, Tsugumi even notices that her name has been put into the website. Tsugumi seems resigned to her fate in Hell, but she quickly changes her mind when Kikyou, a servant for a certain Mizorogi, arrives and expresses Mizorogi’s interest in Hajime’s book. Everybody seems to get the same address, and meet at the old mansion: Hone-Onna, Ichimoku Ren, Wanyuudou, Yuzuki, Ai, Kikyou and Tsugumi.
As they venture inside, they come across a machine that generated the barrier from earlier. Ai, bemused that such a machine can create a supernatural existence, destroys it with some psychic punches. Further inside, the entire group meets the man who has called the meeting: Mizorogi Shougo, a well-known scientist and mathematician. Mizorogi immediately confirms that he had no idea who Tsugumi was, but respected Hajime for his work. Mizorogi himself had been active in the sciences, but disappeared after he realized his work proved the existence of alternate worlds, namely, Hell.
Mizorogi continues to elaborate on his experiences, starting from his childhood, as he watched his mother use the Jigoku Tsuushin herself. With his studies based on Shibata Hajime’s book, he traced the history of Jigoku Tsuushin, and also learned that their activities tended to concentrate in a particular area. The cases in Saigawara led him to believe the Jigoku Tsuushin was at work, and the preparations were made so that he could speak with Ai in person. With some brainwashing tactics, Mizorogi is capable of hating Tsugumi enough to access Jigoku Tsuushin. Ai and the others freely admit that there have been instances where they felt the damning was wrong, but what could they do? This is their job, regardless of its irrationality.
Mizorogi, content with his explanation, prepares to pull the string and observe what happens as Tsugumi is sent to Hell. However, he is stopped short by Kikyou pulling a string off of his straw doll. The doll symbolized the hatred of all the children Mizorogi had taken care of in his vain attempt to atone for killing their parents through his research. As he departs for Hell, he wonders if he will see his mother again. Meanwhile, Yuzuki pleads Tsugumi for help, but the school nurse simply states that destiny cannot be changed, and walks away..
- You have no idea how difficult all that talk about Heisenberg uncertainty principle and irrationality was to understand in raw Japanese. That stuff is definitely NOT on the proficiency test. Still, it’s really interesting to see an almost philosophical argument in the series. It’s an age old question, right? Do Heaven and Hell exist? Mizorogi seemed to have determined their existence through science.
- Quite a bleak social commentary, if you think about it. Constrained by the rules of morality and social decency, science states that a certain level of chaos results in the creation of Hell, a place of irrationality, a place where the dregs of humanity provide counterpoint to the normal world. How’s that for a morning thought?
- Note to any character in the Jigoku Shoujo series: do NOT mess with Ai, she can rip you apart by staring at you and pointing her fist at a certain angle.
- Tsugumi is really one of the darkest characters in the series now. She’s definitely not that little girl being haunted by Ai’s image. Instead, she has this almost fatalistic tone to her character, and I’m not sure if it’s something I like. Then again, after years of failure to stop Jigoku Tsuushin, I guess anybody would be pretty depressed, right? Poor girl’s been through so much.
- So I tried putting strawberry jam in my English tea, and I thought it tasted awful. What the hell, Yuzuki?
- On second thought, Ai might be the most compassionate person in this entire series. She’s a ferrier of souls to Hell, that much is true, but what other character has been through so much, and yet still shoulders all of the burden? She carries the weight of her village, the weight of all the souls she sends to Hell, and seems to geniunely care about her jobs. That’s in rather stark contrast to season 1, where she basically didn’t give a damn until she got riled up and went RAAAAAAAGE on everybody. There’s plenty of characters to like, but I’m sure Ai ranks waaay up there.
Jigoku Shoujo does its best Jerry Springer act with family turmoil!