Asano Mitsuki is floating in the school pool thinking about how his sister had compared a pool at night to swimming in space. He suddenly hears a bell noise, and a girl clad in white appears before him. She tells him that he’s going to die and that he should live his life to the fullest. After the girl and her cat disappear, Asano is spotted by his classmate Fujishima Yutaka. Of course, she didn’t see Momo, but more importantly, she tells him that she dumped a piranha into the pool, so he should get out. As a result, pool class the next day gets cancelled. Because he knows that she’s the one responsible, he starts to notice her more and more. By chance, the two get assigned to science duty together. Asano promises that he won’t tell anyone about what she did, and the topic of the conversation turns to her father because that’s who she got the fish from. He notices that Fujishima refers to her father as “otou-san,” which starts a dialogue that eventually has Asano revealing that he called his father “daddy.” Hearing this amuses Fujishima to no end, and so she teases him about it. Afterwards, as the two are walking outside talking about how much Fujishima doesn’t like the pool, Asano hears the bell sound again.
At home, Asano’s room has a sign with his sister’s name – Subaru – on the door. He is reminiscing about how she was a swimmer when the girl in white shows up again. This time, she introduces herself as Momo the shinigami. Asano begins to think that maybe he is going to die, but Momo can’t reveal when, only that he’s got a bit of time left. Momo notices that Asano feels that it would have been better if he died instead of someone else. But Momo tells him that because of fate, no one can replace another. She goes on to explain that fate is when a life is taken and fate cannot be changed. Asano suddenly asks Momo if he’s seen her before, but she denies having met him earlier than the night before. Momo tells him to do his best and then disappears. Asano has a dream about his sister on her deathbed, asking to go to the pool at night together again. After being woken up by his mother, Asano thinks to himself that he’ll also die soon.
The next day, Fujishima is once again alone with Asano and tells him that she’s jealous of his sense of freedom. She feels that she’s only a fake and wants to be more like him. She also wants to go somewhere with him, like the ocean or the pool. Asano remembers how much she doesn’t like going into them, forcing her to say that she just wants to go somewhere with him. He realizes that she probably has feelings for him and proceeds to ask her what’s so good about him. She doesn’t directly respond and instead asks what his favorite food is. He tells her that he likes hamburger because it tastes good, and she responds by indicating those type of feelings are why she likes him. However, Asano’s mind is heavy with what Momo told him, so he can’t help but spoil the mood by saying that he’s going to die soon. Taking that as a joke of a rejection, Fujishima runs out crying. Momo appears again and comments on how he made her cry. Asano thinks that if it wasn’t him, then there wouldn’t be a problem giving her a direct answer. Momo says that he should just tell her that he likes her. He’s not the only one who’s going to die, which is why she had told him to do his best. Right before she disappears, Momo reveals that she’s doing this by request of Asano’s sister. Asano ends up checking himself into the nurse’s office, and Fujishima happens to be in the next bed over from him. She’s realized how much she likes him and is willing to accept however he feels about her.
In his room after school, Asano thinks about how his sister related fish and thirst to why people like to swim. This causes him to run to school and dive into the pool. He’s surrounded by schools of brightly colored fish and there’s a bright white spot at the bottom. As he swims towards the white circle, it disappears and he begins to drown. However, a hand appears and pulls him out. Fujishima had saved him even though she hates the water. She didn’t want him to die and expresses her relief that he’s alive by crying and holding him. Thinking of his sister, Asano realizes that he really doesn’t want to die – he wants to live. On the way home, he tells Fujishima about Momo. She points out that Momo never said when and that everyone will eventually die. Yet despite knowing this, everyone keeps on living. Asano hears the bell again, and this time he remembers meeting Momo when his sister died. He had wanted to go together with his sister, but Momo had told him that he needed to live his own life. While holding Fujishima’s hand, Asano says to his sister that he’s ok now. Watching the two, Momo is once again crying.
The next time pool class is held, Asano finds out that Fujishima has a scar on her chest. But she doesn’t seem to mind anymore and wants to swim.
Asano bothers me a little: although it was probably very traumatic for him to have lost his sister, he seems way too overly attached to her. There were several instances where I thought he was talking to Fujishima (after she saved him or when they’re holding hands), but he’s actually addressing his dead sister. I guess that’s part of him moving on with his life and getting over how he feels that it should have been him instead of his sister, but I kept thinking that he should be paying attention to the girl in front of him.
I actually enjoyed episode a lot more than the previous one. I’m not sure if everyone was expecting this, but I personally thought that Momo would take someone (one of the main characters)
to hell away every episode. So for me, this was a bit of “breaking convention” already. Yea, Jigoku Shoujo does have an influence on my way of thinking, which is why I liked this episode. Oh and Ueda Kana voicing Fujishima helps too 🙂
But thinking about the series as a whole (all two episodes so far), I’m still not quite sold on it yet. The story hasn’t been the best or the worst, but what I’d really like to see is an episode from Momo’s point of view. But…that’s not what next episode appears to be, at least from the preview. I’m back to being afraid that six episodes isn’t enough to do the series justice.