Jigoku Shoujo – 20
Watanabe, a supposed esper, is confronted during a television performance by a sinister boy named Jill du Ronfaire. After watching Watanabe fail at trying to attack him with his nonexistent powers, Jill shows off his genuine abilities by making an illusion in Watanabe’s mind of an alternate dimension (hell). Watanabe’s body in the real world ends up flailing around like an idiot. Ai’s companions, who are investigating the Shibata home, see Tsugumi and Hajime watching the show. From the eavesdropping, they learn about Tsugumi’s visions of Ai. Jill’s mention that Watanabe is getting a glimpse of hell grabs both Ichimoku Ren and the Shibatas’ attention. After the program, Jill reveals to the producer his plan to use Watanabe to lure out the Jigoku Shoujo.
When Hajime visits the studio and tries to warn Jill about the Jigoku Shoujo, the boy responds by giving him a vision where his wife’s gravestone comes flying at him. Although it happens very quickly, Hajime realizes from the experience that Jill has some real powers. Going forward with his plan, Jill confines Watanabe and plants a computer in front of him with the Jigoku Tsuushin page already up. Following the cue, Watanabe enters Jill’s name and summons the Jigoku Shoujo in front of all the cameras. After Ai appears and goes through the usual speech, Jill reveals himself. To protect herself from the cameras, Ai quickly brings out Ichimoku Ren and Hone Onna. The two wreck havoc on the production crew, but Jill eventually uses his powers to lock the two into place. With it now being just him and Ai, Jill reveals that he went to Hell because of his parent’s fear of his abilities, but then he came back and slaughtered them. Those words trigger Ai’s memories of sakura trees and a scene of herself falling down.
Jill starts beating on Ai by throwing her around the room with his powers. He holds her down in a cross position, puts a frilly dress on her, and then burns her. However, Ai doesn’t die that easily and emerges from the flames unhurt. Watanabe, who’s been watching the entire time, finally starts to threaten to pull the string. Jill doesn’t think he can do it, but Watanabe goes and proves him wrong. A giant hand comes crashing through the glass and grabs Jill, who soon finds himself embedded in a painting while being gnawed on by demon forms of his parents and teachers. Even as he’s traveling down the river to hell, Jill promises that he’ll be back for a rematch. After Ai returns to her own world, she has another vision of her past. There’s a jingle from inside, and her grandmother tells her that there’s another request, so Ai gets up. But in front of her appears a young boy. The fleeting vision causes her to drop her shakuhachi in shock.
Wow, not only is this a very exciting episode, but they also have started to show Ai’s past. The key words about Jill slaughtering his family are the ones that seem directly to trigger Ai’s memories. The clues we get out of this episode are the sakura trees, Ai falling backwards, and the boy at the end, none of which really make senses right now. I’m betting that from next week onward, they’ll reveal a little bit each episode about her past until we get to the final ones. I also think that AI’s grandmother/the spider will end up being one of the major obstacles/enemies against Ai in whatever ultimately happens. Ai’s helpers already know enough to not talk in front of the spider about Ai’s connection with Tsugumi, making the spider seem like a sinister overlord.
Another conventional episode for next week, but it will hopefully have some good Ai revelations :)