Shibuya Minami has developed a grudge towards her friend Shiori because Shiori made friends with other girls. Minami’s stalker-like tendencies (including sending multiple phone messages every hour) has only distanced the two. Her classmates even turned on her after it looked like she pushed Shiori down. Since then, Minami has looked at Shiori with hatred. During gym class, her stare distracts and causes Shiori to hurt her wrist from getting hit by a basketball. Minami had earlier used the Jigoku Tsuushin on Shiori, but hadn’t yet used the doll that Ai gave her. And so, returning from the nurse’s office, Shiori rummages through Minami’s desk and happens to find it. She assumes it’s some sort of curse doll and decides to keep it. Taking it to the shrine at the top of a nearby hill, she hammers it into a tree. Hajime, who is doing business in a cafe, saw Ai pass by when Shiori was headed to the shrine, but he lost sight of both of them when he went looking.
The next day, Shiori notices that Minami isn’t at school, and thinks that it’s the power of the doll. Their teacher tells them that they need to form teams of three for a school trip. Much to her dismay, Shiori finds her friends have already formed a team, leaving her out. With no one else to turn to, Shiori sends Minami an apologetic message, asking to meet. Minami is more than ready to forgive her friend, and rushes to the steps in front of the shrine. The two hug and make up, but then Shiori suggests that they should curse the people in the class. Minami explains what the doll really is, but Shiori now thinks that pulling the string will send their classmates to hell. Bent on doing just that, Shiori tries to convince Minami to pull it, even saying that she should do it because they’re friends. She finally uses Minami’s own hand to accomplish the task. Of course the doll is pinned on her name, so Shiori disappears to hell. Minami tries to tell herself that it’s not her fault, but Ai appears behind her saying that it is. Nearby, Hajime happened to hear Shiori and Minami and rushes over, but arrives too late (once again). Minami tells him that her friend probably went to hell, and seems resigned to the fact that she’ll have to go too someday.
To understand the nailing a doll to the tree thing, here’s some additional reading: Link and Link. Not the best pages, but you get the idea: nailing a doll to a tree is supposedly a method of cursing someone.
Lots of interesting things to talk about this episode, so I’ll start with the girls. Shiori and Minami are equally responsible for what happens. Minami starts the episode looking like the psycho-stalker, but Shiori ends the episode like a psycho-revenge freak. To tell the truth, it feels like Shiori actually seems to act somewhat normally except when she has the doll in her hands. I’m not certain whether it’s the doll’s effect or Shiori’s pre-developed insanities that lead her to be like she is at the end. Minami, on the other hand, has a possessiveness problem and can take on stalker properties. In any case, those two girls were just destined for trouble.
I was hoping that Shiori would pull the string herself, but apparently the owner of the doll has to do it. I guess that solves that what-if question. I also thought that maybe Hajime would arrive in time to stop it, and maybe for once no one would go to hell, but that didn’t happen either. He is getting closer and closer to the mystery though, even managing to notice Ai out of the corner of his eye. And I’m saddened that Tsugumi didn’t get to show up this episode, but it appears that next week will have her (at a railway crossing no less).
Closing Thought: As the Hone Onna notes, apparently Enma Ai hates happy endings, so she must be thrilled that this didn’t end happily.