Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae 18


chiriko

Episode 18 of Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae, “Special Radio”, starts off with Yuzuki listening to the radio. She’s alarmed when she hears a bell, and even worse, someone suggested that the radio show include a Jigoku Tsushin corner. So it’s a relief when it turns out to be a suggestion for a corner where people can air their grievances, not something related to Enma Ai. Elsewhere, a girl is quite happy that her message has been read on the same radio show hosted by a Shijima Joutaro, making it the fifth time that she has received mention and gifted a bell from the radio show.

The girl is Hamano Chiriko and happens to be a classmate of Yuzuki’s. One of Yuzuki’s closer friends somehow realized that Chiriko was the “Chi-chan” from the radio show last night, which makes her an instant celebrity within the school. While Chiriko is somewhat shy about the attention, she does manage to promote the radio show to everyone, and many of her classmates, including all of Yuzuki’s close friends, listen in to Joutaro’s radio show that night. Chiriko does notice that Jotaro started off the show with an opening line suggested by “Frog Princess”, another person who often gets her postcards mentioned on the show.

ai-listening-to-the-radio

Joutaro’s radio show is popular with younger girls, something that Hone Onna can’t quite understand. However, Ai does seem to have taken a liking to the show, as the show is being played on a very old radio. One might be tempted to just sweep it away as research for a potential client, but it’s a bit harder to do so when Ai says the closing lines along with Joutaro. It is curious how Ai seems to be working on her computer while listening to the show, something I don’t think she’s ever done before. I wonder what she is working on? Kikuri is even more enthusiastic about Joutaro’s show, or at least excited about the possibility of being mentioned on the radio, since she is forcing Yamawaro to write more than a hundred postcards to send to the show.

The next day, Chiriko again receives a lot of attention, being invited to be part of the broadcasting club and a teacher being envious about her getting stuff on the radio. This is also true in class, with Chiriko being the center of attention among her classmates, which is when we see Ai walking past the class. Yuzuki herself hears a bell, but instead of Ai, she sees another girl who seems to be watching Chiriko. On her way home, Chiriko is approached by the girl Yuzuki saw earlier. She is Shimura Kaname, and she is the “Frog Princess” that Chiriko knew from Joutaro’s radio show. Chiriko is really excited about meeting Kaname, and this would be a great chance for the two girls to become good friends, but they’re in the wrong show and something twisted is most likely to happen. It’s also not a good sign that Ai is watching them.

kaname

After the break, Chiriko and Kaname have become pretty tight, regularly discussing Joutaro’s show together. When asked about why Chiriko likes Joutaro’s radio show, she answers that she likes it because it’s not fake and exposes Joutaro the way he is. This answer seems to trouble Kaname, but when Chiriko expresses the desire to thank Joutaro, Kaname suggests that they visit him and thank him in person.

Later that day, Chiriko and Kaname are waiting in front of the radio station where Joutaro’s show is broadcast. The first person they encounter is Kiuchi Yume, Joutaro’s assistant who can occasionally be heard on the radio show. She’s actually the writer for the show, and Kaname expresses her admiration for Yume and her desire to be a writer for a radio show. As encouragement, Yume gives Kaname a copy of that night’s script. Naive Chiriko is confused about what’s going on, and only then does she learn that Joutaro’s radio show is completely scripted, which is an utter shock to her. That night, Chiriko contacts the Jigoku Tsushin, which Yuzuki witnesses right after Jotaro’s radio show ends for the day.

chiriko-and-the-voodoo-doll

Before Chiriko and Kaname met the writer, I had been duped that it might have been Kaname who had held a grudge, but in retrospect it’s obvious that Kaname was just nervous about meeting a fellow fan. It’s Chiriko who goes off an emotional cliff, and Yuzuki is waiting at the school gate the next morning hoping to stop Chiriko from being an idiot. Unfortunately, Chiriko and Kaname are walking to school together. Chiriko asks Kaname whether she had told anyone that Joutaro’s show was completely scripted, and when Kaname replies in the negative, Chiriko pulls out the voodoo doll from her bag and pulls the red string. Kaname is sent to hell with no idea of what has just happened. And Yuzuki is late once again when she hurriedly arrives only to see the aftermath.

Not surprisingly, Chiriko eventually turns into a crazy shut-in who is obsessed with Joutaro’s radio show, still wholly embracing the delusion which she sent Kaname to hell in order to protect. Poor Yuzuki: she might have had a good chance of stopping Chiriko if it were not for the bad timing.

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