|A Window in the Early Afternoon|
Hirusagari No Mado
|Previous:||The Woman in the Tall Tower|
"A Window in the Early Afternoon" is the 6th episode of the season "Jigoku Shoujo".
In a housing community, Keiko Yasuda walks home with her daughter, Haruka and notices her neighbor's window is being shut. Then, a strange man comes out of Namiko Todaka's house, and the two head home, not realizing that Namiko has spotted them. Later that night, Keiko seems to spacing out while making gyoza, although she is thinking about what she saw at the Todaka's residence. Then, the same man comes to the door and delivers a batch of cherries from Namiko, and the man gives a warning from Namiko, "You'll be sorry if you tell anyone". In Ai's world, the Hell Girl is seen fiddling with a cherry, and her grandmother asks if she likes cherries, but Ai doesn't answer. In a panic, Keiko dumps the cherries down the sink, Haruka asks why her mom threw them away, but Keiko tells her to forget about it. The next morning, Keiko sees Namiko talking to two other women, and Namiko asks if she eaten the cherries the strange man had delivered. Keiko lies that she did and Namiko says if the cherries "removed the gyoza's aftertaste" and Keiko is shocked. Then the two other women start taunting her about being careful of using garlic, because they could smell it from Keiko's place. Namiko asks if Haruka is in the same class as her daughter, Yuria, and Keiko becomes scared of Namiko. The other two women warn Keiko that if Namiko dislikes her, she'll give her a hard time while she stays at the community. At school, Yuria starts to target Haruka, and bullies her through the day, because she smelled of garlic.
That evening, while having dinner with her mom, Haruka asks if they did anything wrong to the Todaka's, but at that moment, Keiko drops her spoon, and stares at her daughter. Haruka explains that Yuria taunted her because she ate gyoza the other day. Then, there is a loud knock at the door, Keiko is scared at first, but calms down when she realizes it's her husband. Mr. Yasuda explains that his boss told him things that were not true and then the two get into an argument, and Haruka overhears them.
The next day, Namiko calls Keiko that "a friend" of hers is coming over to see Keiko, and advices her to not pretend to be out. At that moment, someone knocks at the door and Keiko sees through the peek hole that it is a hitman, and tries to ignore his continuous loud knocking. That afternoon, Haruka comes home from school, only to be confronted by Yuria and her friends, telling her that a man entered in to her house. They believe that Keiko is committing adultery and she is completely unfaithful to her family and the community. Haruka runs home to find her mom on the floor and the gas has been turned on. Haruka quickly shuts off the gas, opens the doors and windows to let it out, and asks her mom what had happened. Keiko says that they are doomed, because Namiko had spotted them that day when they past by her window. Keiko is sent to the hospital and has to spend the night there.
At midnight, Haruka logs into Hell Correspondence and enters Namiko's name, wanting revenge for what she has done to her mother. Later, Haruka walks to the Todaka residence, where Yuria celebrates her birthday, and Haruka is angry. Then, Ai arrives, and Haruka says she doesn't want her mom to suffer, but Ai, feeling sorry for Haruka, says that she can only take revenge. She gives Wanyuudou as the black straw doll to Haruka and gives the same explanation as she did with her other clients, but also gives the warning of what will happen after Haruka dies. Ai then asks if she truly wishes revenge, then she shows what Keiko has been through, since that fateful afternoon. Keiko spotted Namiko committing adultery and Namiko saw her, and since then, she wanted to keep her quiet, such as hiring the hitman to rape Keiko and kill her by setting on the gas. Haruka asks why her mom was targeted, but Ai says she's "unfortunate" to see the event unfold. Haruka returns home to find her father yelling at her mom for a rumor that she committed adultery, but Keiko tries to tell him the truth, but he won't listen. In her room, Haruka remembers what Namiko has done to her mother through the flashbacks, and pulls the string from the doll.
Ai prepares herself to do her duty and goes to the Todaka residence with her assistants. Ren arrives at the Todaka's, where Namiko takes him in and they start to have sex. Then, Namiko's husband catches them and she tries to tell him she was forced to do it, but Ren changes into Mr. Todaka, and there is a multitude of him, and Namiko runs out of the room. The whole community is there to witness the punishment unfold, as Mr. Todaka continues to yell at her. Then, Yuria appears and asks why her mom committed such an act and she'll be bullied at school for it. Namiko tries to explain through her tears, but it all goes in vain, and she yells at them to leave, then they disappear, except for Yuria, who changes to Ai. The Hell Girl delivers her speech, "Perhaps, it is time to die" and she teleports Namiko to her ferryboat. While sailing towards Hell, Namiko has clearly lost her mind and laughs like crazy. Ai says that Hell may be bleak, but it will suit Namiko completely, but the woman only laughs at her, as they enter into Hell.
Back at the housing community, Haruka asks herself if she did the right thing. Although she is happy to see her mom is well, again, as the truth had been told throughout the community. Keiko becomes friends with the women who were friends with Namiko, therefore, they toy with Yuria about her mom being "a boss' wife is a bad one." While taking a shower, Haruka looks at the black fire symbol on her chest, reminding herself of her fate to come after her death.
Haruka's candle is lit and joins with the others who wait for Hell to claim them.