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Jigoku Shoujo – 18

Jigoku Shoujo   18   01 Jigoku Shoujo   18   02 Jigoku Shoujo   18   03
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Summary:
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).

February 12, 2006 at 12:58 am
8 comments »
  • February 8, 2006 at 12:17 amHaesslich

    Is it just me, or does Enma Ai look rather.. vicious this time? At least, more so than in past experiences, where she had the emotionless mask on? Perhaps it’s the puppy-killing which tore the string for her, this time, or she’s becoming less and less detached and ‘professional’ as time goes on. Or maybe it’s just the screenshot in the last row which does it – you can see more of a ‘frowning’ look there than in past appearances.

    Still, I do wonder why Hajime bothers trying to save these people from themselves sometimes… especially with Ep 16.

  • February 8, 2006 at 12:22 amOmni

    I swore I heard glee in Ai’s voice this time around. But they really did give us a despicable person to deal with, so I can understand it.
    As for Hajime, I think saving people has become a crusade for him because he sees the entire system as wrong. I still think that at the end, this series will have Ai quitting her job in some way, maybe as a direct result of Hajime and/or Tsugumi.

  • February 8, 2006 at 1:11 amHaesslich

    Well, I suppose Ai could always, y’know… DIE at the end of the series. That might actually be a mercy for her, if she’s getting tired of spending her existence conveying people to Hell – the odd deserving soul here and there probably doesn’t make up for the constant stream of the undeserving, since there’s always at least one victum which doesn’t deserve the trip… except maybe in Misato and Rika’s case. I can almost see Tsugumi taking over the role, though – but whether this happens or not remains to be seen.

    I would swear that Tsugumi gets cuter with each appearance, however – the ones in 16 and 17 were particularly precious, especially when she dealt with Hone-Onna. :D

  • February 8, 2006 at 1:17 ambaka-samurai

    Hajime sending request on Enma Ai?
    That will be pretty interesting, i think )

  • February 12, 2006 at 2:14 amHaesslich

    Yup… I’m wondering if Tsugumi will be the new Ai, and if Hajime will get to take Ai home instead, assuming he survives the series. Or, if things will end ‘happily’ by killing Ai AND Hajime, leaving Tsugumi to take over. Granted, she DOES have a point with how some deaths may save lives.. but whether that’s for a person to judge is another story, especially since it’s hard to decide when the ‘killing to save a life’ justification is actually valid, especially as one may just as well kill anyone because they MIGHT be a murderer someday if the thought is taken to extremes.

  • February 12, 2006 at 2:44 amDan

    Again, the issue is brought up…exactly like the movie, “Minority Report.” “Is it alright to whack someone who is about to whack others?”

    Yeah, that Shimono is something. Hideous 8!%C#. Again, I’m saddened to see dogs/puppies getting killed (the other time in ep 3). They bring us so much joy, and yet there are people out there who see differently…sigh.

    Hajime…just stop it. It’s people’s choices on what to do. You’re just a third wheel. Don’t think you are superman and out to change/save the world. Lastly, just stop for all our sakes…cause you’re making a fool of yourself each and every episode.

    -D

  • February 12, 2006 at 4:12 amEliteF22

    Actually, the whole system is lose-lose situation. The only people who benefit is hell. The best way to get revenge on someone who is trying to abuse you, is to instead perservere and thrive. I don’t think its coincidence that most of the victims of the Jigoku Shoujo are young girls. They haven’t the life experience yet to think rationally and get kept up in wanting revenge. They let their emotions rule their actions. Hell is just tricking these people into thinking that its helping them. Most of those antagonists are probably going to hell anyways when they die, but this way hell gets additional souls, 2 for the price of one. Tsugumi might be in the process of converting because Enma Ai might be losing her resolve. If your hell, you would want someone who’s completely devoted to be in charge of the system. The only way you can know if killing a person to save others is justified is if you already know what happens in the future and what the result of your actions is going to be. This is how the system ensnares its victim, by having them think that they are doing something noble by removing an evil person from the world. This episode highlights this point beautifully, the woman is already going to jail for the rest of her life, yet the girl pulls the string because she let her emotions control her. Thus, hell gets an additional soul that it probably wouldn’t have got if the girl hadn’t pulled the string.

  • February 12, 2006 at 7:33 amHypernova

    Well that makes sense but the series never explained what exactly hell is gaining here. Senseless torture is a bit lame to me.