Jigoku Shoujo – 18
Kamikawa Miki is a girl who is forced to cook for a woman named Shimono Meiko because Shimono is holding her two dogs – Welsh Corgis named Yuki and Pinky – captive. Shimono, who used to be a teacher, now lives alone after getting her parent’s inheritance. However, one day Shimono kills Yuki because she thinks that Miki told her teacher at school about their situation. As a result, Miki goes home and inputs Shimono’s name into the Jigoku Tsuushin. At the Shibata residence, Tsugumi has a vision of Enma Ai giving Miki the doll and stating the terms of the deal. Hajime wants to know where it was, but Tsugumi questions why he has to go stop it. Hajime tracks down Shimono’s place, where a pair of store-owners tells him about Shimono’s inheritance and tip him off about Miki.
Three days pass, but Miki still hasn’t pulled the string even though she thinks about it every day. In the meantime, Hajime learns about the disappearance her dogs and connects that with Shimono. However, he’s seen by Shimono and so she suspects that Miki told someone. She goes over to threaten Pinky’s life, but to her dismay, she discovers that Pinky has given birth. Miki, who was prepared to pull the string, refrains after seeing the puppies. Of course, Miki’s happiness is short-lived as Shimono kills Pinky the next day. In her sorrow, Miki remembers how this mess started after Yuki and Pinky bit Shimono’s leg. Unfortunately, now Shimono has the puppies to hold over Miki’s head.
Outside the house, Tsugumi brings Hajime a change of clothes. She asks him if what the Jigoku Shoujo does is bad, to which he responds that taking a life is unforgivable. Tsugumi raises the point that there are people who do worse things and need to be punished. The two then notice a police officer and Miki’s teacher at Shimono’s gate. After hearing screaming through the intercom, Hajime leads them around the house and through the bushes. Shimono comes out and confronts them, but Miki, who has the doll in her hands, tells Hajime about her dog’s deaths. Shimono becomes locked in a struggle with the police and starts babbling about not giving up her fortune. Suddenly, her foot slips and uncovers a child’s skeleton underneath the soil.
The police arrest Shimono after figuring out that she killed her children to protect her own fortune. With the conflict seemingly over, Hajime tries to get the doll from Miki. However, Miki remembers the puppies and, to her horror, finds them drowned in the bathtub. In her anger and regret, Miki pulls the red string. In a police car, Shimono admits to having killed her parents for the fortune and is then taken to hell. Even on the river, she’s is still concerned about her wealth, but Ai shows her that she’s been turned into what she hated – a dog. Back in the real world, Hajime and Tsugumi watch on as Miki cries in regret over not having pulled the red string earlier.
This counts as another regular episode where someone is sent to hell for being evil (and Shimono was really evil). I think it’s important that Miki regrets so much about not pulling the string earlier because it really would have saved her puppies. Then again, if she had stood up to Shimono in the first place or gone to her parents, then a lot of this could have been prevented. But because of that regret, Miki ends up pulling the string anyway, despite the fact that Shimono is already in police custody. The reason I think it’s important is because it shows that the Jigoku Shoujo system could have prevented some deaths (i.e. doing good).
The other highlight of the episode is Tsugumi questioning more and more what Hajime is doing. Her whole point is that someone has to punish all of the bad people who would otherwise go free. I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that she recites Ai’s lines during her trance scene; Tsugumi is definitely becoming more and more like Jigoku Shoujo-material. Whether or not she’ll actually take Enma Ai’s place remains to be seen.
As a side note, this episode reminds me of the “Dead Puppies” video (watch the entire thing, it’s pretty funny despite the topic).