Jigoku Shoujo – 16
Locked up in a trailer, a girl named Yumi with bruises all over summons Enma Ai. Tsugumi has a vision of that scene and directs Hajime to the circus – the Happy Circus. After watching a show which included a performance where a man put swords though a girl in a box, Hajime becomes positive that the person who used the Jigoku Tsuushin is that girl. However, when he goes to see her, she has no idea what he’s talking about. Hajime ends up causing a scene and Ichimoku Ren, posing as part of the troupe, makes him leave. It’s not until Tsugumi has another vision of a girl being beaten by the ringmaster that Hajime realizes that there are two girls – twins. He rushes back to the circus and finds Yumi locked in her trailer, with a solitary red string at her feet.
Knowing that the ringmaster’s life was in danger, Hajime rushes to the other girl’s trailer and tries to save the man. As Tsugumi watches on, Ai comforts a Yumi who has been singing a sad lullaby the entire time. Apparently she and her sister Yuki were raised together in the circus, but her sister gained favor with the ringmaster. Back at Yuki’s trailer, Hajime realizes too late that Yuki is the target and not the ringmaster. Yuki is pulled into her mirror and emerges in a torture world where Ai’s helpers try to get her to apologize to her sister. She refuses and it’s obvious that Yuki is quite selfish in wanting the spotlight for herself. Ai arrives to complete the ritual and take the girl to hell. Back in the real world, the circus packs up and leaves. Tsugumi and Hajime watch on as the ringmaster pats a smiling Yumi’s head. The marked girl is apparently his favorite now.
This is such an impressive episode that I regret not having watched it earlier. I’ll start off by saying that my only problem with it is that I felt the plot was a tad predictable. As soon as I saw the circus act, it became apparent to me that there were most likely twins and that the target was the pampered one. But maybe that’s just me.
In any case, the episode’s good points far outweigh that. For starters, they gave Ichimoku Ren and Hone Onna key roles to play, even more so than last episode. Hajime now knows what Ichimoku Ren looks like and Tsugumi knows what Hone Onna looks like. I think their problem is that Ai’s helpers don’t know of Tsugumi’s ability. If they had somehow tried to sabotage Tsugumi and her visions along with Hajime, then Hajime wouldn’t have been able to witness everything in the second half of the episode. Granted though, once again he isn’t able to make a difference. Also, the Hone Onna in a box part was funny.
I wouldn’t blame Yuki or Yumi for what happened because I feel that those two were more victims of their situation. Based on how happy Yumi was at the end, I think that if the roles were reversed between the twins, things probably would have ended up exactly the same. It’s more the ringmaster’s fault for picking favorites and creating such an environment for the girls. I would have liked to see Yumi try to send two people to hell, but that’s a plot for maybe another episode (who knows, it could happen). I’m also curious what would have happened if Yuki had actually repented and truly apologized.
On a side note, Yumi’s song is definitely my favorite part of the episode. It’s so sad, yet I love the tune. Anyway, next week our heroes visit a sanatorium.