‘Inari’ does not refer to the sushi, but rather the fox deity of the harvest. Think Wagaya no Oinari-sama. In any case, this episode is an improvement over the last dog disaster, but it’s still nothing to write home about. At least this time, however, it brings up some moral issues, and to me is one of the more realistic pretenses of the series. That’s saying a lot, considering the sheer ridiculousness of some of these situations (yaoi love episode takes the cake on that one). I almost feel for Kaede, but her over the top reactions at the end of the episode kill it for me.
Inao Kaede uses the Japanese version of an Ouija Board to help a friend find a lost accessory. Sone-sensei tries to get the girls to go home, but Kaede is quite adamant and continues her divining ritual. The next day the girl excitedly tells Kaede that she found her accessory where the spirit had told her to look. Another girl approaches her and asks if she can curse people as well; although hesitant, Kaede agrees and casts a curse on one of the teachers, who would suffer an accident on the stairs. Rumors begin to swirl of the Gon-san’s power, and Akie thinks back to when Kaede just got into high school. Apparently she had changed quite a bit since then, and now claims a fox spirit is following her around.
In biology class, the two boys who had mocked the Jigoku Tsuushin before are considering asking Kaede to use Kokkuri-san to curse people. Akie scolds them but a box of supplies comes crashing down on her, sending her to the infirmary. As she exits, she confesses to Yuzuki that she’s really scared someone’s placed a curse on her as well. Meanwhile, Nishino Chizuru, one of the students that mocked Kaede’s witchcraft, begs her to use the deity to kill a stalker. Although initially uneasy about it, she agrees after Chizuru’s insistence, and the mere fact that someone like Chizuru is asking her to do something. Akie and Yuzuki, confronting Kaede about whether she placed a curse on Akie or not, try to convince her not to place any more curses on people, but Kaede refuses. After all, people are now depending on her services; she returns home and completes the ritual to kill Chizuru’s target.
The next day she tells Chizuru she has faith her stalker is dead, and basks in the glory of being thanked by her client. She is somewhat disturbed by Kikuri’s appearance and her comical routine, but dismisses it after some thought. Chizuru, however, returns and tells Kaede her stalker is not dead yet. Kaede tries again and again, each time growing more desperate, but she still fails, earning Chizuru’s increased anger. After begging the fox deity at its shrine and still finding the stalker alive and well, Kaede resorts to the Jigoku Tsuushin, and pulls the red string before Ai can even finish her contract requirements. The next day, Chizuru reveals he wasn’t really a stalker, just someone she irrationally hated. Chizuru’s friend requests Kaede to kill someone as well, but she can only sit in stunned disbelief.
- It really can be hard to break into some friendship circles. Growing up alone and having different interests than your classmates can go a long way towards alienating someone. This is quite a magnified version, but the problem does exist. It’s a question of how much of this is ridiculous or not, because there are certainly some who will go to great lengths just to have someone else acknowledge their existence. A shame that they can’t wake up and realize they’re just being used.
- Yet another irrational undertaking for the Jigoku Tsuushin that continues to support my theory that this isn’t the same Ai we’re talking about in Futakomori. She clearly showed some emotional attachment there, but this one we’re seeing a completely expressionless (or maybe even amused?) Enma Ai. The greatest change, I think, is in her servants, especially Hone-Onna, who is really involved with the students. Their loyal to a fault to Enma Ai, but there’s no doubt that they’re beginning to question what is really going on. On a side note – Kikuri is once again adorable.
- Why does every class have that one prima donna that demands everybody’s attention, but in reality is a total asshole? They never fail to show up; it’s ridiculous.
- It’s a series of coincidences, and the chance of them happening in rapid succession like this is almost zero. However, how far would you take your religion or whatever beliefs you hold true? I’m amazed at some of the fanaticism some religions can stir up. I’d consider myself more of a realist, I guess.