Jigoku Shoujo Live Action 04: 柴田 一 と つぐみ (Shibata Hajime and Tsugumi)


逢魔の砌 (Ouma no Migiri)

I’m glad that I was right in guessing the girl at the end of episode 3 was Tsugumi. Hopefully, the story is going to start focusing more on the continuing tension with the Shibatas rather than stand alone episodes. This episode is mostly about Hajime finding out about Jigoku Tsuushin, and less about the victim and the target.

Summary:

The episode began with a flashback to the end of episode 3, where Emma Ai was staring at a girl at a railroad crossing, but it turned out to be only a dream. The girl, Tsugumi (つぐみ), woke from her dream drenched with cold sweat, and heard that her father had returned home late at night. Her father, Shibata Hajime (柴田 一), asked Tsugumi if she saw the same dream again and asked if she’s all right, then tugged her in bed. The scene then went to a man accessing the Jigoku Tsuushin, and it seemed that someone close to him was killed in a car accident. He typed in the name Katsuragi Yoshitaka (葛城吉隆) into Jigoku Tsuushin and hit send.

The next morning, Hajime and Tsugumi were having breakfast, and Tsugumi asked her dad to get her some juice. Instead, Hajime handed her some milk, telling her that it’s good for her chest (セクハラ!). When they finished breakfast, Tsugumi went to school. Hajime, however, did not go to “work” like most fathers, but he was found at a coffee shop making a deal with a lady. It turned out that he was blackmailing Aso Marin (麻生マリン), a starlet of some sort with pictures of her dating someone. Aso paid Hajime with a small wallet of cash for the pictures and stormed off after dumping a glass of water on Hajime. It also seemed that the Master of the coffee shop Nishi (西) is an acquaintance of Hajime, and advised him to get a real job so he could look after Tsugumi better, but Hajime answered that he would never get a job and leaves the shop. In the background, Wanyuudo watched the whole thing.

After leaving the shop, Hajime went to the office of another acquaintance, this time an editor of a gossip magazine. The editor friend wanted Hajime to investigate Katsuragi on a hit-and-run accident. It seemed that Katsuragi’s assistant gave himself up and was arrested by the police after a reported hit-and-run accident, but the car involved was Katsuragi’s. Katsuragi was known for his Traffic Accident Charity Funds, but the situation was too much of a “human interest” one for the editor to let go. Hajime faint disinterest but took the job anyway. He immediate went to see Aso, since she was alleged to be with Katsuargi when the car accident happened, but Aso ignored Hajime and began to drive away. Suddenly, her car slowed, and when Hajime caught up to the car, there was no one inside.

Hajime went back to the coffee shop, and when he told the story to Nishi, he told Hajime that Aso plays around a lot and someone must have put her name in Jigoku Tsuushin. Nishi also began to explain to Hajime what the Jigoku Tsuushin is. Hajime began to argue with Nishi about Jigoku Tsuushin, but Tsugumi then showed up at the café, so she and Hajime went home together. At the door, however, Nishi looked at the setting sum and said, “Ouma no Toki” (逢う魔の時) meaning the time during the dusk when one might meet mamono (魔物) or disasters. Hajime became protective of his daughter and told Nishi not to scare Tsugumi, but Tsugumi said that she was not scared. They then walked away hand-in-hand (aww how cute).

Meanwhile the young man who entered Katsuragi’s name into Jigoku Tsuushin was seen thrown out of Katsuragi’s office. We also see that Emma Ai was observing him, and the creepy vocal song began to play. Meanwhile Tsugumi began to have an headache because of the creepy song and started to have visions of Emma Ai giving the grass doll to the young man. That night at home, Hajime search on Mahoo for Jigoku Tsuushin, and when the page appeared exactly at midnight, he scoffed at it.

The next day, when Hajime arrived at Katsuragi’s office, he saw the young man in Tsugumi’s vision get thrown out of the building again. When the guards threw the young man onto the ground, he pulled out the black grass doll and began to pull the red string, but Hajime stopped him. Hajime pulled the young man, Nakajima Kenta (中島健太), aside and began to question him. It turned out that he was the boyfriend of the girl, Nemoto Mayumi (根本真由美), who was killed in Katsuragi’s hit-and-run, and he witnessed the whole thing. It was Katsuragi who was driving that night, with Aso in the passenger seat. After the accident, Katsuragi just fled from the scene and left Nemoto to die. Nakajima was also the one who reported the accident to the police, but when Katsuragi’s assistant was arrested instead, he complained to the police with no results. In desperation, he entered Katsuragi’s name into Jigoku Tsuushin, and got the grass doll from Jigoku Shoujo. Hajime thought that the whole Jigoku Shoujo thing was only a child’s game, but promised Nakajima that he would get the whole story published. Unfortunately, when he called his editor friend telling him that he had the whole scoop, the story was called off. It appeared that pressure was applied from above to stop the story. Nakajima was angry about Hajime breaking the promise and that Katsuragi was using his influence to do whatever he liked and angrily stalked away. At the same time, Hone no Onna and Ichimoku spied the whole thing and commented on Hajime meddling on other’s business.

That night, Hajime arrived at Katsuragi’s office to shadow him, but when Katsuragi’s car drove away, Hajime found his scooter unable to catch up. When Katsuragi arrived at his house, he found Nakajima waiting to confront him. He, however, managed to trip Nakajima, and told Nakajima that he would not waste his power and life over something as insignificant as the life of a college girl. He further told Nakajima that his money was there to fix such things. He laughed at Nakajima over his foolishness, and Nakajima angily did the “許さない、許さない! (urusanai!) *pulls string*” thing. Katsuragi was immediately sent to hell, where he tried to bribe Emma Ai. *laughs*

Meanwhile, back in the mortal realm, Nakajima could be seen with the Hell mark on his chest, and drunkenly walked away from Katsuragi’s house. Next to him, Hajime was dumb-struck by the Katsuragi’s sudden disappearance.

Impression:

This episode had minimal screen time for Emma Ai (and gang), but focused largely on Hajime and Tsugumi. The acting by Tsugumi was a little stiff and left a bit to be desired, but compared to the rest of the cast, it’s okay. Hajime is a little better, although I thought the whole milk thing was not as funny as in the anime version. I guess that’s because everyone in the live action version looks older. It was a lot funnier in the anime version since Tsugumi looks to be in grade school instead of middle or high school in the LA and it felt wrong here (boobless kiddy Tsugumi = funny vs. teenage Tsugumi = sekuhara). Oh, she’s also a few thousand percent cuter in the anime version with her “Hajime-chan”. I guess it’s one of the problems of this series being a midnight low budget one, and they can’t hired much better actors.

The plot was also quite predictable, but since they started the Hajime and Tsugumi thread, I’m happy. I *do* hope they keep up with this and not go back to the “victim of the week” format.

Anyway, time for me to load up the next episode, and hopefully, I’ll catch up on the Jigoku Shoujo entries soon.

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