Two steps forward, one step back. This is another one of those forgettable single-episode grudges, but at least they’re listening to those of us who complained of a compelling thread. Yuzuki is finally getting herself involved and also finally realizings the difficulty of the task lying before her. That in itself is an improvement over previous episodes, and bodes well for the remaining episodes in the series.
Too bad the grudge was idiotic.
Kashiwagi Hidemi is a typical country girl with no real knowledge of the big city. With her friends talking about Harajuku and the things to do in a big city atmosphere, Hidemi decides to pay a visit to Shinjuku. However, she misses the last train home because she dropped her cell phone, leaving her stranded and without her phone. Without anything better to do, she starts wandering the city in search of something to do without getting into trouble with the local denizens.
In a back alley, Suzuki Kinya is getting punked by some people for the money he owes, and is helped back on his feet by some old homeless-looking guy who suggests that he go home soon. Kinya refuses, since his pride doesn’t let him leave things be, and the homeless guy suggests there’s something else he could do, like a good deed for someone else. Sure enough, Kinya happens upon the hapless Hidemi, and after learning she’s from the faraway town of Saigawara, decides to take her into the convenience shop he works at until the morning train. Meanwhile, Enma Ai has returned home to find things ALMOST the same as before, but Ichimoku Ren has to move her PC a bit to the right before she truly feels like she’s home.
At first Kinya believes that Hidemi is a bit of a delinquent for staying out so late, but quickly learns the opposite. Hidemi had truly come out to the city for the experience, but had become distracted and then missed her train. At the shop, she even considered calling home, but something compelled her to stick around for a while. Kinya warns her that she might turn into someone like him soon, and Hidemi jokingly responds in the same speech pattern. The next day, Kinya takes her to the station, and Hidemi is clearly falling for him; someone on the sidelines, however, snaps a picture of the two without their knowledge. As Hidemi later passes by, Yuzuki suddenly realizes that she’ll be contacting Jigoku Tsuushin in the future.
Yuzuki finds out from her friends that someone in her class posted a picture of her walking with Kinya to the station, and as they part, Yuzuki quickly makes her way into the bookstore to confront Hidemi. The Jigoku Tsuushin team looks on and realizes Yuzuki plans to try and stop Hidemi, which Wanyuudou this is a difficult task to perform. Yuzuki gets to the point quickly, surprising Hidemi. Hidemi is clearly worried about her reputation in the town, now that she’s been spotted next to basically a delinquent boy. However, Hidemi listens to her as she talks about how Akie, an innocent person, disappeared by the Jigoku Tsuushin. Yuzuki convinces her to go back to Shinjuku with her and talk to Kinya and see if they could clear things up.
Back in the city, Kinya is found beating up his homeless buddy since he heard that the “homeless guy” is actually a nosey old man with a ton of money. As he tries to steal his wallet, the police come and find him. He remains defiant in his arrest, however, and knows that someday he’ll be huge in Shinjuku, so this is nothing to worry about; his kouhai, the other working from the conbini, praises Kinya for being “cool”. Hidemi, having seen it all, however, panics and contacts the Jigoku Tsuushin. Yuzuki loses sight of Hidemi for a few minutes, but sees the ghost of Enma Ai. She pleads Ai to give Akie back, but Ai admits that it’s impossible, and informs Yuzuki that she has other things to worry about.
Hidemi is hiding out by the police station when shots are fired in the station and Kinya comes rushing out. He grabs Yuzuki as his hostage, and Hidemi implores him to stop. However, Kinya, boneheaded as he is, doesn’t recognize the girl he had befriended earlier. By the time he comes to his senses, it’s already too late, and Hidemi pulls the string. Kinya is reduced in size by the Jigoku Tsuushin, tortured, and squished by Ai before being transported to Hell. Soon after, Yuzuki looks for Hidemi only to find that she’s been engulfed by the city lifestyle, completely changing her appearance. Yuzuki vows to try and stop everybody else from uses Jigoku Tsuushin to bring forth their revenge, but soon realizes that there’s so many of them, and nearly collapses from it all.
- First thing that popped in my head after this episode: oh, so THAT’S why Japanese girls dress like that… >_< to be fair, I only know a few who dress with the same sense of fashion Hidemi displays later on. It’d be an interesting thing to see though – put a country girl in the city and see what happens. Maybe it’s like a soul-tainting or something. They always said the city was a rough place to live…
- It’s been mentioned already, but I do agree Kinya does look like a somewhat wussified version of Kittan (TTGL, if you don’t know). However, he’s also a douchebag with no sense to “read the air”, as you might say, with a girl who’s becoming infatuated with him. Furthermore, he thinks that it’s cool to get arrested, because he’s gonna be a badass in the future and nobody will be able to stop him. What a load of crap, but unfortunately (sans the girl part, maybe) a lot of teenage boys think like this. They have big dreams and high expectations, but go them in the totally wrong way.
- So in light of all this, maybe Kinya had what was coming to him? Just imagine, if Kinya remembered Hidemi, he probably would’ve taken his sentence fine, then gone out with a cute girl like her. Massive failure!
- Yuzuki can still hear the bells of Hell? That’s rather odd, considering that Ai is gone. Speaking of which, it’s classic Ai, this time, complete with her still taking a bath when the call comes through. I wonder if this means that Wanyuudou doesn’t get to be a straw doll anymore, because he’ll have to ferry Ai to the real world again. But now Yuzuki is basically a less-tuned version of season one’s Tsugumi. Except unlike, Tsugumi, she has the determination (for now) to try and stop Jigoku Tsuushin herself. I still feel for her losing Akie.
- Throw out all theories about Ai and her being a remnant and such. She’s back, and I can’t fathom WHY she’d be back. It’s as if Hell took in all of those souls and went “ehhhh….nah.” Poor Kikuri though, she’s all jealous that Ai’s back. Waaah, waaah, cry Kikuri, cry!
Can’t we all just get along…? Also known as: Life as a female Japanese high school student can be pretty tough…