Tsugumi sees a vision of Ai’s world and then of a girl and two men, one of whom has committed suicide by hanging and the other the mayor. After she identifies both of the men in a magazine, Hajime goes to investigate. As we soon learn, the girl, Saki, saw photos her father had of the mayor, named Kusunoki, talking with yakuza. However, her father took the photos and left the house at a late hour, and she found out later that he had died by suicide. She blamed the mayor and even told him to go home when he and his son showed up at the memorial service. However, the photos disappeared with her father’s death, so the police can’t help her. So instead, it seems that she’s taken things into her own hands by contacting the Jigoku Shoujo. Hajime visits Saki after she’s received the doll, and the two make a trip to the senior citizen center that the mayor opened. The people there throw a rock at her, but she’s adamant about her beliefs. Hajime then spots the doll in her pocket, and tells her to stop seeking revenge, saying that he’ll investigate for her.
The next day, Hajime goes in and speaks with Kusunoki and his son. Apparently the land the senior citizen home was built on was connected to the crime syndicate, but the mayor got the place built. And if something were to happen to the mayor, the home would go bankrupt, affecting all of the senior citizens there. That night, Hajime calls Saki and once again tells her not to stop seeking revenge. When she goes to the home the next day, she’s confronted by Kusunoki’s son. He offers her an envelope of money for her to she stops harassing the mayor. However, his words about her being the only one crying for her father send her running off in tears. Meanwhile, Hajime is pleading Kusunoki to apologize to her, and he seems to have come around despite his son’s objections. But, after thinking about her memories of her father, Saki has made up her mind. When Hajime calls her to tell her that he’s bringing the mayor, she tells him that it’s ok because understands what she clearly has to do. With Ai watching on, she pulls the string and Kusunoki disappears. When he appears on the boat with Ai, he tells the Jigoku Shoujo that he had wanted to apologize before he died, but Ai tells him that he can’t now. Back in the real world, Tsugumi seems happy that a bad person went to hell, but Hajime knows better. And at the senior citizen home, Saki stares at a notice of closing, with a mark now apparent on her chest.
From start to finish, this episode felt a bit slow to me, and so I just couldn’t get into it. I didn’t feel like I could connect with any of the characters, and there just didn’t seem to be much happening. The story is fairly sad, with the mayor going to hell even though is actually a good person and isn’t really the one responsible. On top of that, his death causes the senior citizen home to close down. If I had to blame someone, I’d probably blame his son Yoshiyuki, because it feels like if he hadn’t tried to pay Saki off, then the painful words that helped drive her over the edge wouldn’t have been said. But Saki herself is still responsible for her own actions.
More interesting for me was when Ai tells her grandmother that it’s always the same because everyone has sad eyes, but at the same time, Ai herself has sad eyes. More signs that all is not well for Ai. Then at the end of the episode, Tsugumi seems happy that a bad person went to hell, a contrast to both Hajime at that moment, and Ai from the beginning of the episode. I can’t help but wonder if Tsugumi is supposed to be developing into the next Jigoku Shoujo. In any case, next week unfortunately looks like a recap episode based on the preview.