Short Synopsis: Wanyuudo hitchhikes with a truck driver, who seems to have a grudge against an old man.
Good: I love this show; Even though nothing really happened, this episode was amazing!
Bad: How long must Kikuri (not Kirika) continue to ruin the incredible mood this anime sets?
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10
Seriously, the past few episodes of Jigoku Shoujo have been one hit after another. And then to think that we’ve still got fourteen episodes to go, and something tells me that the creators are planning to save the best for last. This episode also was a special one. Not only is it a rare Wanyuudo-episode, it also is the first episode to hint about his past, when he was still a human. He seems to come from medieval Japan, probably after Ai’s time. In there, he once lead a carriage, carrying an important princess. This carriage then falls off the same cliff we see during this episode. It’s probably after this that either the spider or Ai found him, and recruited him, though we don’t get to see that part.
The case this time focused a lot on atmosphere this time. I’m not sure what it is, but seeing two people talk, while driving a truck on a lonesome road works really well, and the first half of the episode really takes its time introducing the case. It’s was almost like Mushishi. Then, with the second half of the episode, this anime gets its Jigoku Shoujo-vibes back when Enma Ai appears in front of the truck-driver, whose little brother died in a car accident on a dangerous part of the road because an old man refused to move somewhere else, forcing the road to be built dangerously around his house.
The old man, like usual, can’t really be called evil. He’s just an old man, who puts a huge value in his own principles. He’s been living inside his house for ages, it’s logical for him to not want to live somewhere else. Especially since he lost all of his family-members and is all alone, he just kept clinging on his house, which reminded him of his former loved ones. Even though he knew quite well about the dangers his decision caused.
The episode ends quite interestingly. The old man dies from a heart attack, before the truck driver could reach him. Before he dies, he gives Hone Onna the message that he gives all his possessions to the boy who died, aka the truck driver’s younger brother. This was his way of repenting for the sin he committed in order to live in peace for his last few years.
(On a side-note, I’m really looking forward to the thirteenth episode right now, seeing as most anime try to put in some spectacle at this point of the series. Especially with a concept like Jigoku Shoujo, it’s really easy to plan this. The first season already showed this when it featured an episode which focused at a guy, fifty years after he cursed someone).