Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae 26


tsugumi-leaving

Episode 26 of Jigoku Mitsuganae, “Locus of the Soul” and the final episode, begins with a review of the case of Mayama Azusa, the first intended target for Yuzuki as the new Jigoku Shoujo, which Yuzuki finds to be appropriate. The client is unsurprisingly Akie’s father. Meanwhile, having failed to keep Yuzuki from becoming the Jigoku Shoujo, Shibata Tsugumi leaves the city as she is seen off by Ichimokuren and Hone Onna, who are still hanging around the area. Apparently whatever happened to Hajime subconsciously prevented her from helping Yuzuki out much, though. Tsugumi thinks that she will not be seeing the Jigoku Tsushin gang again: for someone who has previously been so fatalistic, she is being very optimistic …

yuzuki-at-work

Akie’s father had correctly guessed that Azusa was responsible for Akie’s disappearance, but for a while his investigations turned up nothing even after quitting the police to focus on searching for Akie. He eventually heard rumors about the Jigoku Tsushin, and he finally figured out what had happened when he discovered the Jigoku Tsushin mark on Azusa’s chest. Yuzuki does a pretty good job at giving the Jigoku Shoujo spiel, having witnessed Ai giving it so many times, although she is more polite. But there’s a glaring difference from Ai: Yuzuki actually encourages Akie’s father to send Azusa to hell. Akie’s father plans to see Azusa being sent to hell in person. Elsewhere, Kikuri’s forehead itches like hell, which shortly reveals a third eye, and Kikuri’s head falls off and turns into the spider.

a-change-of-heart

Akie’s father is all fired up to send Azusa to hell, but when he actually arrives outside Azusa’s home and looks into the room, he has a change of heart. I strongly suspect that he realized what he had done to Azusa’s father, and perhaps that he is ultimately responsible for Akie’s disappearance. But he says nothing of the sort to Yuzuki, only saying that Azusa would eventually end up in hell anyways, and gives back the voodoo doll. Back from being a voodoo doll, Wanyuudo is ready to head back to home base, but Yuzuki drops a bombshell and reveals her intention to send Azusa to hell anyways, her personal emotions getting the better of her job requirements.

Ai then appears to convince Yuzuki otherwise, saying that it is against the rules. Yuzuki thinks that Ai is just uncaring and cannot understand the grudge held by those that have been unjustly wronged and are powerless to do anything about it, something she herself understands all too well: Yuzuki is just too predisposed to think ill of Ai that she can’t imagine Ai having gone through anything like she did. Yuzuki just blasts Ai and goes on her own way to send Azusa to hell. When Wanyuudo goes to Ai to check whether she’s OK, she asks him to gather everyone. Soon after, Yuzuki is standing over a sleeping Azusa, ready to send her to hell.

try-dying

But it’s a trap: when Azusa begins to wake up, she turns into Akie, and the spider climbs out of her eye. Taking Yuzuki outside the real world, the spider tells Yuzuki that the Jigoku Shoujo has no right to judge people, that the Jigoku Shoujo should merely accept requests and fulfill them. Yuzuki is unpersuaded, to which the spider replies that the Jigoku Shoujo needs no heart, which prompts Yuzuki to try to blast the spider. But with Yuzuki’s power coming from being the Jigoku Shoujo, this is like trying to cast a magic attack against a demon lord against that very same demon lord and is utterly ineffective. This just ends up with Yuzuki being ensnared by the spider’s web, who intends to send Yuzuki to hell for her failure, but the Jigoku Tsushin gang manage a daring rescue of Yuzuki, leaving the spider to wonder what Ai is up to.

Having made their escape, Yuzuki finds herself facing Ai in front of the gate to hell and wonders what is going on, why Ai would help her when it could mean that Ai herself might end up in hell. Ai takes Yuzuki to the past when Yuzuki was dying, with no one coming to help. Ai points out that humans are weak, that they always try to protect themselves, which is why they pretend to not see certain things that are quite clearly visible. Yuzuki isn’t quite sure what Ai is getting at, so she is shown all the times that Yuzuki tried to stop the Jigoku Tsushin but failed. The implication is that it’s the same for Yuzuki, to which she vehemently denies doing nothing, that she did what she could but it couldn’t have been helped. Ai emphasizes what Yuzuki said, It couldn’t be helped.

ai-crying

This could be taken as Ai pointing out that it’s the most common excuse for people letting bad things happen. But I don’t think so: it could be a partial explanation for why no one had helped Yuzuki when she was dying. In particular, it might be Ai trying to explain why she couldn’t help Yuzuki even when she wanted to, either because her actions were constrained by being the Jigoku Shoujo, or because she was powerless to do anything after her second death at the end of Futakomori. Whatever the case may be, Ai does something that might never be seen again: she cries. Ai cries for Yuzuki, and as her tears fall on the Yuzuki of the past, the Yuzuki of the present might be remembering feeling someone’s tears as she was dying, that someone did come for her. Or Yuzuki might be crying simply because someone cares about what happened to her.

ai-and-yuzuki-facing-the-lord-of-hell

Back at the gate to hell, Ai shows why Akie’s father ended up not sending Azusa to hell: he had seen her take care of her invalid father, which reminds Yuzuki how she had also took care of her mother and sends her crying. But the spider soon shows up, ready to send Yuzuki to hell, although at least it respects Yuzuki’s wishes not to speak to it through the form of Akie. However, Ai offers to sacrifice herself in Yuzuki’s stead, even though this would mean that Ai would have to be the Jigoku Shoujo forever as long as there is hate among people. And the spider accepts her offer.

Yuzuki and Ai then find themselves in a field of blue flowers, and Yuzuki starts to disappear to her fright. Ai hugs Yuzuki to reassure her that it is OK: Yuzuki isn’t going to hell but rather heaven, whatever it may be in the Jigoku Shoujo world (for that matter, I don’t even know what hell is). With Yuzuki wondering why Ai did what she did, Ai kisses Yuzuki and shows memories of her past, how Yuzuki was just like herself. Yuzuki jokingly mentions being a little envious of Ai having had a boyfriend and disappears in gratitude to Ai, leaving behind a sad Ai, who is once again the Jigoku Shoujo.

goodbye

As the ending credits roll, Ai rejoins the gang in a scene reminiscent of the scene in episode 13, where this time Yamawaro is also present. They must have mixed feelings about Ai being back: they’re happy about her being back, but they must know what being the Jigoku Shoujo again means to Ai. Of course, Kikuri complains about not getting the job again (I wonder if she got a new body: it’s not clear if she still has a wind-up key on her back). At the very end of the episode, Azusa’s father has died, and Azusa herself shows up at the airport to tie a loose end, killing the young man directly responsible for what had happened to her father, before getting sent to hell herself by Akie’s old housekeeper, with Ai calmly walking among the panicking crowd.

the-gang-back-together

The last episode did not go into plot points that I thought it would go into: the coverup in the investigation into the accident that killed Yuzuki’s father, how Akie’s father might be involved, how Yamawaro might have been involved with Yuzuki, or even how Azusa would react to the new Jigoku Shoujo. And we still have no definitive answer as to what has happened to Shibata Hajime. Yet I found the ending to be one of the more emotional and sad endings to a story I have encountered: I must be an emotional sap, not to mention having become too much attached to Yuzuki and Ai. I must admit that as a fan of the show it’s nice to see Ai continue to be the Jigoku Shoujo, even if it is a personal tragedy for her. There was only one thing missing that I really wanted to see: Yuzuki saying I am Enma Yuzuki, the Jigoku Shoujo.

ai-at-the-end

I’m still not sure why Ai had come back as the Jigoku Shoujo with Yuzuki as the vessel and showed her all the things related to the Jigoku Tsushin. But it’s now clear that she never wanted Yuzuki to be the Jigoku Shoujo, and with being the Jigoku Shoujo a sort of hell for Ai herself, she may have been forced into coming back to prepare Yuzuki to be the Jigoku Shoujo. That would explain why she only said that it was Yuzuki’s destiny to be the Jigoku Shoujo (which was fulfilled, even if Yuzuki never sent a soul to hell), never anything about how Yuzuki could avoid her fate. But showing Yuzuki how unjust the Jigoku Tsushin system often was may have been within her powers: it certainly had Yuzuki feeling strongly against becoming the Jigoku Shoujo and almost worked to prevent Yuzuki from becoming the Jigoku Shoujo willingly, although I’m not sure what happened once Yuzuki became the Jigoku Shoujo was planned or a last-minute effort to save her from hell …

fodder-for-fan-gossip

It’s too bad that Yuzuki and Ai could never get the chance to become friends, with them knowing intimately what the other has gone through, even if they parted lovingly at the end. (Lovingly as in very, very close friends or sisters, but I’m sure it would be fodder for girly love fan gossip.) With Ai being the Jigoku Shoujo most of the season, Yuzuki being one this episode, and with no time to relax after emotionally connecting, they never had the chance.

With this season of Jigoku Shoujo over, I’m going to miss the series. Maybe there will be a sequel, in which case I have a feeling that Ai will act out what’s on her mind much more than she had so far. I do wonder if the scene in this episode with Ai standing over a dying Yuzuki in the past was the actual past or just a recreation: if the former, it could imply something about the nature of time in the Jigoku Shoujo world, not to mention a crazy way to potentially intertwine grudges and their motivating events in sequels.

  1. #1 by John on April 6, 2009 - 11:34 am

    The plot ain’t the greatest, but this eps was so beautifully animated!

    Also liked the side story at the very end. Also, Ai cries more often than she smiles. I would LOVE to see her smile even if the next thing she says is: Ippen Shinde Miru. The closest thing is probably your screen shot above, after the kiss…

    Damn, the kissing scene was HoT! Ai’s final look at the airport was wonderful as well.

    • #2 by Shounen A on April 6, 2009 - 11:44 am

      Somehow I think that even though Ai smiling while saying “Ippen Shinde Miru” would not look scary at all, I might still find it most terrifying. ^_^;;

      • #3 by darkpsyche on February 18, 2010 - 4:34 am

        yeah but Ai looks and acts really scary on season 1

  2. #4 by Aimi on April 7, 2009 - 4:45 am

    Yuzuki went to heaven? What about the scene at the end where she was standing in front of the mirror in her uniform?

    I was watching the raw with Chinese subs, so I couldn’t really understand what was going on. ^^”

    • #5 by Shounen A on April 7, 2009 - 5:07 am

      It’s not explicitly mentioned that Yuzuki went to heaven, but where else would a soul go if it’s not going to hell and not staying around in this world? :)

      I’m pretty sure the scene you mention was among the previous scenes shown that had appeared throughout the season. You could say it was a memorial montage for Yuzuki …

  3. #6 by MHS YKG on April 7, 2009 - 9:29 am

    New here :)

    Gahhh… I have so many issues with the plot of this episodes – but it was animated rather beautifully than its predeccesor so I guess I still have a smile on my face.

    Tsugumi’s character and Yuzuki too had sooo much potential… but for some odd reasons, the writer were not using them.

    I’m a fan of the show, don’t get me wrong, but all the characters, except Ai and the gang, were pretty much pretty plot devices.

    But still.. here goes for a fourth season :)… just hope they get new writers.

  4. #7 by exlibris on April 7, 2009 - 10:42 am

    awwww but I was getting used to yuzuki ;0; I still have no idea where did ai came from after futakomori buth oh well

  5. #8 by Meg on April 14, 2009 - 2:55 pm

    I loved this ending so tragically romantic, *Yuri fan-girl mode* he he. No but really I don’t think there will be another season regretfully, for really what can they do with Ai now after she has an eternity. I also thought the comment about being jealous about having a boy friend was lame, I mean it was her cousin O_O AND your dying (couldn’t she of thought of something better to say XD. Anyway I’m glad Ai’s back, I was getting worried that she would be fully replaced it the show.

  6. #9 by mimi on April 28, 2009 - 6:41 pm

    oh how i wish there’s gonna be season 4 or ova or the movie… i love this anime , the only anime i watch full 30 minutes… meaningful anime… ToT

    • #10 by Shounen A on April 29, 2009 - 8:39 am

      Given that Jigoku Shoujo continued in Mitsuganae despite the apparent finality at the end of Futakomori, there might actually be a good chance for a sequel …

  7. #11 by Khrizy on April 30, 2009 - 8:45 am

    Ai kissed a girl and she likes it~ She kissed her twice this season~! *sings*

    • #12 by Shounen A on May 1, 2009 - 3:13 am

      Ai wouldn’t just kiss any girl, and with Yuzuki gone …

  8. #13 by delena on May 2, 2009 - 1:36 am

    Lets hope that they have a sequel.
    I really enjoyed this anime, and I want to know where Yuzuki went!
    This anime is so confusing yet beautiful at the same time! (:

    • #14 by Shounen A on May 2, 2009 - 3:45 am

      I’m hoping for the unlikely possibility that Yuzuki comes back to save Akie …

  9. #15 by pokefreaks on June 4, 2009 - 10:08 am

    I guess they can either end the show since Ai will be jigoku shoujo forever n ever or
    they can do sequel after sequel depending on fan reactions bcoz of the same reason.

    Maybe we will have a chance to see a story about the previous jigoku shoujo , or maybe abt other jigoku shoujo probably who operates outside of japan , lol.

    • #16 by Shounen A on June 4, 2009 - 11:44 pm

      I think they will try to continue the franchise as long as the story of Tsugumi and Hajime is not fully revealed. In fact, this is probably why only a little of the story has been trickled out each season. (That, or they don’t have a story in the first place …)

  10. #17 by ariel on June 17, 2009 - 7:11 am

    wow…i cried…hopefully season 4 comes out.

    • #18 by darkpsyche on February 18, 2010 - 4:36 am

      maybe at 2011 :D

  11. #19 by manu on June 30, 2009 - 8:41 pm

    Well im really waiting for a season 4 since there are many things that were unclear especially about how hajime went missing and how tsugumi is related to jigoku shoujo and jigoku tsuushin, i think she might have a mayor role if there is a sequel… also i was very sad to see ai going to be jigoku shoujo forever since in season 2 it was “clear” that it was all over and that she was free, so why did they send her back?? and what will happen to her… i guess ai was actually trying to stop the chain of jigoku shoujos so no more innocent souls like yuzuki will be picked to be jigoku shoujo as tsugumi said there were many who didnt accept it and went wandering between worlds, which is a quite an unfair fate considering the case of yuzuki for example… im a big fan of her btw pretty bad she is gone XD! anyway… i think they should stop the jigoku tsushin and free ai (i really like her and feel bad about her T_T she just cant be happy) since i think everyone nows that letting humans judge who goes to hell is just insane, seen most of the unfair cases of season 3… well if anyone knows something about a coming sequel i would be very happy to hear (read XD) it…

  12. #20 by manu on June 30, 2009 - 8:44 pm

    oh and btw i think it is pretty one sided story XD! no one knows about how heaven is reacting about the jigoku tsuushin XD! haha this is a pretty lame comment but i just thought about it XD!

  13. #21 by Abby on October 4, 2009 - 3:07 am

    I just finished watching the episode, and I personally hope for a season 4. I thought it was pretty sad for a series finale, and I admit I am a sucker for happy endings even with an anime as depressing as Hell Girl. Thanks for the blogs though, they were great! :)

  14. #22 by Seventeen on October 22, 2009 - 12:12 pm

    What did Ai mean when she said, “You are me.”? :-\

    • #23 by Shounen A on October 22, 2009 - 12:45 pm

      The tragic experience for Yuzuki reminded Ai of her own tragic experience: with the parallels, Ai would know quite well how Yuzuki felt. It was not to be in any sense literal.

      Either that, or I totally misread the mood and context.

  15. #24 by tuesday on November 3, 2009 - 10:30 am

    woahh. why did ai do that for yuzuki?

    • #25 by Shounen A on November 3, 2009 - 4:30 pm

      Isn’t the answer obvious? Ai loves Yuzuki.

      (As a serious answer, that would just mean pure love, but no doubt it can inspire all sorts of perverted scenarios. ;)

      • #26 by darkpsyche on February 18, 2010 - 4:52 am

        perverted scenarios eh? looks like it is also in my mind. lol

  16. #27 by darkpsyche on February 18, 2010 - 4:50 am

    Love begets hatred and hatred begets love. Hatred is not really inherently evil, hatred with violence is what makes it evil. Indeed it is true that when you curse someone, two graves are dug for there is no justification for hatred because when you curse another, you curse yourselves and the curse returns to you.

    This anime Jigoku Shoujo has taught me many things, it has a great storyline like Death Note which has some similarity in Jigoku Shoujo. But if Hell Girl would be given the chance to really exist, would you guys agree??? I’m still wondering about it since if hell girl exists then there would be immediate justice but would be temporary only. But if ever hell girl exist then I would gladly be recruited by Ai as her assistant forever (yeah!!)

    Seriously, when you done something wrong isn’t it be better to be ferried to hell by Enma Ai rather than be caught by Jigsaw(from the movie SAW) and be tortured? (haha!)
    Anyway, it is really true that hell is inside each person.

    By the way, I don’t really understand how and why was Yuzuki the chosen one? Since Tsugumi said that there are many fated to be the Jigoku Shoujo.

    I am hoping for season 4 because there are still missing puzzle pieces plus… I miss Enma Ai :D

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