Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae 9

Episode 9 of Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae, “Lost Inari”, starts off with a couple of girls using an ouija board. One of the girls had lost something and asked Inao Kaede, who has the nickname “Kokuri-chan”, for help finding it out of desperation. Kaede uses her supposed connection to Gon-san, a fox god, with the ouija board to find the lost item. As they start, Hone Onna arrives and tells the students to go home, but Kaede continues with the claim that she can’t stop once Gon-san arrives and needs to finish. Being the supernatural being she is and much more informed about such things, I wonder what Hone Onna must have been thinking.

Amazingly enough the next day, the girl manages to find her lost item where the ouija board said it was. It was somewhere where she had already searched before, which makes me think that perhaps Kaede may have placed it there. Then again, she really believes in her Inari Gon-san, so maybe it was just an amazing coincidence. This success prompts another girl to ask Kaede to curse an annoying teacher, and Kaede acquiesces. The next day, the teacher in question is injured when he falls down the stairs.

This starts a trend of more and more people asking Kaede to curse people, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Jigoku Tsushin mania at the end of the last season. It actually makes Kaede happy, though, as she feels that people are now relying on her, in contrast to being almost ignored before. She even completely ignores Yuzuki’s advice that cursing people may not be a good karmic influence, when Akie and Yuzuki approached Kaede after some lab supplies fell on Akie, which had made Akie wonder if she was being cursed. Even when Kikuri appeared in front of Kaede and said Ai’s catchphrase with great relish, Kaede didn’t think much of it.

Eventually a girl named Nishino Chizuru, who has always ridiculed Kaede, approaches her and asks to curse someone to death. The target is a college student who has been stalking Chizuru, and her multiple attempts at using the Jigoku Tsushin had been rebuffed. Despite an initial hesitation about killing people, Kaede’s desire to please Chizuru wins out and she agrees to curse the college student to death.

However, unlike her previous curses where people would attribute anything bad happening to the curse, death is a rather specific and major event, and the death of the college student is one coincidence that refuses to occur. Especially since Inao Kaede doesn’t really have the capability to channel the power of an Inari, as Hone Onna reveals during a conversation with her colleagues. Kaede’s efforts become increasingly desperate as Chizuru becomes more displeased with the college student’s survival.

After one final and exhausting cursing session, Kaede desperately hopes that the college student is dead, but her hatred of him for not dying reaches a boiling point when she sees him alive and well. At that moment, she gets a call from Nishino Chizuru, although she doesn’t receive it. But it gets her to think of one last resort, and she uses her cellphone to connect to the Jigoku Tsushin. In Kaede’s desperate quest to please Chizuru and prevent her from telling everyone that Kaede was a fraud, which would isolate Kaede from everyone once again, she doesn’t even wait for Ai to complete her spiel as she hurriedly pulls off the red string from the voodoo doll. And yet again Yuzuki can only watch what’s happening, unable to do anything about it.

The next day, Chizuru is very happy with the results, but it turns out that the college student wasn’t even a stalker. Chizuru just found him creepy and wanted to get rid of him from this world. It’s no wonder that she couldn’t connect to the Jigoku Tsushin. And Chizuru even introduces another girl who wants Kaede to curse someone else to death. Inao Kaede finally realizes how much she was taken advantage of and how she did something so terrible for something so trivial.

I found this episode rather interesting, with the parallels and contrasts between Inao Kaede and the Jigoku Shoujo. Enma Ai might have thought the same thing, as she watched Kaede curse people at the request of others. The episode also kept me wondering how the events would connect to the Jigoku Tsushin, and I only got a clue of what would happen shortly before Kaede summoned the Jigoku Shoujo. It was also fascinating to see how a combination of wishful thinking and a strong desire to be accepted by others drove a girl to madness.

By Shounen A

伝説の少年A. The Legendary Boy A. The counterpart of Konata Izumi from Lucky Star, he is an otaku of legendary reputation whose tastes foretell the rise and fall of anime series. Or not.