So we all got trolled last week with a fake OP, but now we get the real thing. It’s much more in line with what I expect from Jigoku Shoujo. It is true though; I do (and will) miss SNoW’s vocals in the OP. Anyway, this week is a one-shot in terms of sending someone to hell, but I am liking the current format more than before. I think it’s because there’s a single thread connecting all of these together: Yuzuki, Ai’s human ‘host’. With her involved, this should be more successful than the previous two series were.
Yuzuki is obviously troubled by what happened earlier with Tange and Itsuka, Akie joins her and tries to cheer her up, but even she’s amazed with Itsuka’s sudden decision to transfer. The two try to talk things out while walking and eating their popsicles, but Yuzuki is still too troubled by it all and runs away, leaving Akie with her group of friends. On her way home, she runs into Akira, who lives close by.
Akira goes to an electronics shop for most of his supplies, and is on good terms with Mitsuko, the woman behind the counter. She gives him a bit of a discount because Akira didn’t bring enough money this time around; however, a violent looking man shows up, takes Mitsuko to the warehouse nearby, and starts punishing her for her actions and supposed involvement with Akira. Unbeknownst to both of them is that Akira saw the entire thing. He accesses the Jigoku Tsuushin, but realizes that he doesn’t know the guy’s first name.
Next day, Akira learns that the man’s first name is Seiji. Back at school, Yuzuki is lost in thought, but screams when she finds a straw doll in her desk. Calling the two pranksters idiots, she runs away from the classroom, missing Akie’s beating them with the broom. Evening falls, and again Akira finds Seiji beating mercilessly on Mitsuko, causing him to access Jigoku Tsuushin and input Seiji’s name. Ai appears and gives her normal contract requirements, as well as straw doll Wanyuudou. As the vision ends, Yuzuki snaps back awake and wonders why she has to see all of these horrible things.
The next day arrives, and Yuzuki hasn’t gotten a lot of sleep, but still has the energy to cook, call her parents, and then go to school. On the way, Akira asks her for advice on what he should do about Mitsuko. The kid thinks she is probably trapped and can’t leave, and realizes that he really wants to help her. Yuzuki thinks he should tell her to stop being involved with Seiji, but offers nothing more. Neither of them, after all, really understand what had happened between the two, or why Seiji continues to abuse Mitsuko. Akira decides to skip school and head to the electronics store. Later on, the Jigoku Tsuushin crew try to figure out why Ai has taken up a human host, and only Yamawaro can surmise that being inside a human makes it a lot easier to move. Still, noone has a good explanation for why Ai did something of that magnitude.
Akira begs Mitsuko to run away from the store and leave Seiji behind, even offering to put her up in his house. Mitsuko refuses and tells Akira to run away before Seiji returns, but it’s all too late. Seiji puts up his fists and starts trashing the store, and ends up lifting Mitsuko off the floor by her neck. Akira, pinned behind some equipment, reaches the doll and pulls the red string, letting Seiji disappear in front of their eyes. The Jigoku Tsuushin crew torture Seiji in their own rather amusing way, ending with about 20 electric plugs stuck into his body. Ai takes his soul to hell, even with Seiji pleading for a cell phone.
Akira is satisfied and tells Mitsuko it’s all over. She smiles for him, and after agreeing to wait for him until the next day, watches Akira leave through the doors. The next day, however, Mitsuko is nowhere to be found, and the electronic store is still a mess. Akira finds a picture under the telephone of happier times, with Seiji and Mitsuko smiling happily in front of the store.
- Half the fun in watching Jigoku Shoujo is trying to understand why exactly someone would curse another person to hell. In this episode, it’s almost saddening to see the events unfold; a high school student who clearly doesn’t understand the facts ends up sending a man to Hell, and in turn damns himself. This is quite a difference from the previous seasons of Jigoku Shoujo. Before, there were times when a person was actually satisfied to send another to Hell, whether they were truly evil or not. In the third season, though, it’s not all well and good after pulling the string. Itsuka is torn apart and leaves, and now Akira must suffer a dark fate for his actions. It’s as if the series suddenly got a moral undertone. For me, it’s quite nice to have something more to think about.
- Two episodes in, and the big question remains: why does Ai choose Yuzuki? I can’t even begin to fathom the reasons; after the Jigoku Tsuushin comments though, I feel better; even the ‘subordinates’ have no idea what’s going on. It’ll be nice to have a recurring character appear throughout the series instead of only for a few episodes though. Of course, I’m assuming this because Ai = Yuzuki at the moment, and I don’t think they’ll be splitting until the end. I wonder if we’ll get something about Yuzuki’s past? Maybe that will explain what Ai’s doing.
- There’s a bit more fanservice and comedy this time around, which is a huge contrast against the dark themes in the series. Case in point: first 2-3 minutes eating popsicles? Close-up of them eating said popsicles? There’s no point in those shots except for fanservice. Also, the way the two ‘villains’ have been tortured so far have been so outright laughable I have to wonder what happened. I vaguely remember that being tortured in previous seasons was actually something akin to torture. This? Having a humongous plug shoved up your butt? Torture, yes, but oh god is it funny to watch. It gives the series a bit more lighthearted feel, but it’s a thin line to tread. Too much, and you lose the impact and drama of the show.
- Knowing how the previous season went, I know they probably won’t change the sequences in which Ai appears from Yuzuki’s body. However, I have to say, it’s pretty damn long, and I hope they do something about it. Cut some sequences out, or make a new, shorter one. Besides, it’s so painful to see Yuzuki like that.
Rotten fruit? What does rotten fruit have to do with an idol?