Wouldn’t you just love to have a hell girl living inside of you?
After school one day, Yuzuki walks along with her friend Akie, who comments that she isn’t very energetic. Akie guesses that she’s worried about their friend Itsuko, although Yuzuki is really thinking about the dream she had about Ai. Yuzuki quickly excuses herself, and Akie doesn’t give chase, as some of her other friends approach.
At her apartment, Yuzuki sees a classmate of hers, Akira, rushing by. Akira goes to an electronics store and buys batteries, which he apparently does every day, but he is one yen short. However, the sales lady/part-owner lets him have the batteries anyway. But her husband comes along and misreads the situation, assuming she’s been flirting with Akira, and later beats her while Akira spies on them.
That night, Akira tries to send the woman’s husband to hell, but he only knows the man’s last name, so he cannot. Yuzuki wakes up from sleeping gasping, having seen it partially in a vision.
The next day, the phone rings in the electronics stores, although the woman hesitates to pick up initially. Akira sees this, but doesn’t go inside, instead opting to simply look at the nameplate on their attached apartment next door – the man is Seiji, and his wife is Mitsuko.
At school, two boys tease Yuzuki by putting a straw doll in her desk and claiming to be the Hell Boys. Yuzuki becomes upset and runs out of the classroom, leaving her classmates to wonder why it bothered her so much.
That night, Seiji beats Mitsuko again, this time because she didn’t answer the phone promptly enough; Akira is spying on the whole thing again.
Akira contacts Ai through the Jigoku Tsuushin that night and receives a straw doll. Yuzuki sees it all in a dream.
The next morning, Akira stops Yuzuki and asks if she’ll listen to him. He tells her the story of Mitsuko, except as if it is from another person’s perspective, claiming that it is a friend of his who is involved in it. Yuzuki points out that the woman hasn’t run away from her abusive husband, though, and Akira gets a bit mad. She says that she thinks that the ‘friend’ shouldn’t get involved any more. She also asks if, even though Akira’s ‘friend’ likes the woman, does the woman like him? Akira storms off angrily.
Wanyuudo, Hone Onna, Ichimoku Ren, and Yamawaro sit in their traditional house, which looks a lot like their old house in hell, sans the red landscape. They are wondering why Ai is using Yuzuki as a host body, and Yamawaro points out that its easier to get around that way than as a butterfly, since Ai lacks a body. As she looks at an empty spiderweb, Hone Onna wonders if the same thing that happened at the end of season two will happen again – if people in the city will start turning on one another and sending everyone to hell.
Akira visits the electronics store again, and confronts Mitsuko – he tells her he knows that she is being beaten, and asks her to leave with him, saying that she can stay with him and his parents, he’ll explain it to them. But Seiji bursts in, instantly convinced that his suspicions about Mitsuko and Akira have been proven. He throws Akira into a bookshelf, and begins to strangle Mitsuko, who tells Akira to run. But Akira instead grabs the straw doll and pulls the string, causing Seiji to disappear.
Yuzuki is walking home when she collapses, Ai making her escape from Yuzuki’s body because she must fulfill her duty as the Jigoku Shoujo.
Seiji is tortured by being turned into an electrical outlet which the hell crew overloads, acting out a scene as if they are a family (in particular, he gets an appliance plug jammed up his butt). When they call him out on his behavior toward his wife, he insists he was just trying to protect her. Like every other person cursed to hell, he is carried by boat into hell.
Yuzuki regains consciousness after this, and cries, knowing what has happened. Meanwhile, Akira tells Mitsuko he’ll be back the next day to take her away, and she agrees. However, when the next day comes, the store is still a mess, and Mitsuko has disappeared. Akira finds a picture under the register of Mitsuko and Seiji, the pair in front of the store on opening day with smiles on their faces. Yuzuki watches him from the street.
I have seriously mixed feelings about this episode, because it seems to, while not quite justify domestic violence, give an excuse for it – namely that, well, she really loves him, so its ok. I don’t know, it was just very ambiguous on this point, and given the fact that Japan still is a bit regressive as far as women’s rights go (don’t believe me? consider that many rape victims are considered ‘damaged goods’ still because of their having been sexually violated – not to say that this isn’t present in American society, but its much more widespread in Japan), I find it a bit disturbing as a plot element.
Also, of relation – Bad Yuzuki! You should’ve told him to go to the police! But, really, if I were Yuzuki, I think it’d have been more logical to tell Akira to talk to the police about it instead of telling him just leave it alone.
A good detail of this episode was how Mitsuko was shown from Akira’s perspective – namely, that he was looking at her chest more than her face. Pretty accurate for where a fourteen year old guy’s focus would be.
Oh, and they changed the OP this week, giving new music and animation. Really wish they’d gotten SNoW again (NightmAre was a great song), but the song is ok. The emphasis seems to really be on Yuzuki, as we see a lot of her as a child and in every day life; she pretty much looks like a lock to be our next jigoku shoujo, poor thing (the ED also has a bit of focus on the girl).