Jigoku Shoujo – 21
Tsugumi has a vision of Murai Yuuko, the daughter of one of Hajime’s acquaintances. They drive out to the Murai farm and find the fields barren. Yuuko is sitting in a daze inside the house, but there is no sign of her father. According to Yuuko, the farm had done well at first with the help of a man named Sekine Ryousuke. However, when the crops started dying because of insects, Sekine suggested a plant medicine. Believing in the man’s words, Yuuko’s father had used the medicine. Yuuko found out too late that the mixture was only juice and water, but by that time, her father had drunken himself to death. As a result, Yuuko blamed Sekine and contacted the Jigoku Shoujo. Hajime tries to convince her that her father wouldn’t want her to get revenge, and that she’d be burdened for the rest of her life by her sin. When Yuuko shows them the doll, Hajime confiscates it from her.
Later that night, as Yuuko remembers the fond memories she shared with her father, Hajime goes outside and throws the doll into a barrel of garbage. Tsugumi calls it unfair that he took the doll from her, and the two once again get into an argument. When Tsugumi says that it would be good if Sekine died quickly, Hajime slaps her. In near tears, Tsugumi declares that if Hajime we’re killed, she would revenge him, and then runs out of the room. Meanwhile in other world, Ai has another vision of the boy she saw before. Her helpers appear to tell her about what’s been going on in the real world. With the rain picking up outside, Yuuko is paid a visit by Ai who tells her that it’s up to her to decide. Yuuko follows Ai’s gaze outside and sees Sekine standing in the nearby woods with a smile on his face. Yuuko rushes outside and finds the doll on the steps. She is about to pull the string when Hajime comes running looking for Tsugumi.
The two end up searching and eventually finding Tsugumi, and Hajime yells at her for worrying him. She thinks that he’s going to hit her again, but he instead hugs her. Yuuko is reminded of a similar event that happened with her own father after she had gone out picking spider lilies one night. The next morning, she tells the Shibatas that she’s not going to pursue revenge. She does want to stay at the house because it’s filled with memories of her father. However, Sekine shows up to evict her because her father had borrowed money to cover the mortgage. Hajime is about to beat him up, but Yuuko stops him. The two take her to an orphanage and Tsugumi is very unhappy with the outcome. Inside, Yuuko is shown a room with a computer, reminding her of the Jigoku Shoujo. Indeed, Ai, who is standing right behind her, repeats that it is a matter for you to decide.
Hajime actually succeeded! No one dies from revenge, but the outcome is pretty bad. This episode shows a clear break between Hajime and Tsugumi, and in the heat of things he even slaps her. Tsugumi definitely isn’t happy about the way things turned out because if Yuuko had pulled the string earlier, then at least she would have been able to stay in the house that held the memories of her father. The computer at the end embodies Yuuko’s regret for not having gotten her revenge, but also implies that she may still do it. The decision, as Ai states, is up to her.
There’s also another brief shot of the boy that Ai had a vision of last week, though that’s about all we get. I wish Ai’s memories had played a bigger part in story, since we’re so near the end, but at least they didn’t leave it out entirely. I do find it interesting that Tsugumi declares that she would revenge her father if he were killed. Maybe that will come into play sometime in the near future?
Next week, a Tsugumi and Hajime episode that will hopefully reveal a lot about Hajime’s wife (the official spoilers say that it’s the anniversary of her death).