Short Synopsis: A boy whose mother is pregnant calls Jigoku Tsuushin.
Episode Rating: 9/10 (Fantastic)
Easily the best episode of the third season. Oh, it’s awesome to see how good the final third of this series has become, compared to the huge trainwrecks of the first two thirds. They definitely served their purpose, and it’s really episodes like this one that remind me why I’m such a big fan of this series. Originally when it started out, it was the second-biggest reason after Mahou Shoujotai for me to start blogging, and now more than three years later it’s still going really strong.
First of all: Muahaha! Kikuri is also planning to become the next Jigoku Shoujo (I loved the “Ai no Baka!”, by the way). This just begs the question why she didn’t just take over Ai’s role when she died for the first time, and why she was the one who reunited the dolls again after Ai came back. She may prove to become an unexpected ally of Mizuki, though. That’s going to be interesting. :P
As for the story this episode, it really was a sad yet typical case of domestic violence: one parent is abusing her child (who isn’t even hers), and the other parent knows about it but turns a blind eye to it. The ironic thing is that the stepmother used to be very nice, until she got pregnant. She really wanted to have a happy family at all costs, and when the boy didn’t turn into the only one who could provide her with this she started seeing him just as second fodder (plus, pregnant women can be scary).
The perspective of the boy was also awesome, and the exact reason why any sort of domestic violence is BAD. Even though he’s constantly abused by his step mother, all he thinks about is the fun times they had, and the one responsible in his eyes isn’t his mother, but the about-to-be-born baby, so he ends up sending his future little sister to hell. Since he’s just a small boy who just happens to be a bit more mature for his age and so able to find Jigoku Tsuushin on his own, as he grows up he’s steadily going to be able to see the huge mistake he made in his childhood.
I also loved the effects that the previous episode had on this one: the dolls now start involving themselves more and more with the cases, and they now talk to Yuzuki on a much more personal level, instead of having to remain in the shadows all of the time.
And you also HAVE to love the final scene of this episode. That explains exactly why the creators waited so long with letting Yuzuki getting close to the different people who accessed Jigoku Tsuushin. Even though in this episode she did a lot of work to prevent the boy from using Jigoku Shoujo, when she looked at the end result and how he was happy, she couldn’t help but smile, and we immediately see Ai spying on her. Bring on the character-development!