|The Night of the Traveling Entertainers|
Tabigeinin No Yoru
|Previous:||The Woman of the Island|
"The Night of the Traveling Entertainers" is the 16th episode of the season "Jigoku Shoujo".
A young girl named Yumi is seen in a dark shed with circus posters on the walls. Her back reveals horrible scars and it is hinted she that has gone through abuse and still is. Then, Yumi sees Hell Girl, but is delighted to see her. At the Shibata's apartment, Tsugumi wakes up from a vision of Yumi receiving the black straw doll from Hell Girl. Ai informs her of what will come when Yumi pulls the string, but also warns her of the consequences, therefore Yumi sees herself in a field of fire, but snaps out of it. The Shibata's head out to find the Happy Circus that Tsugumi saw the poster in her vision. Upon arrival, Hone and Ren, disguised as circus helpers, are shocked to see that the Shibata's are still going after them. Yumi is seen to be happy as a performer and she does a disappearance act, but takes a mis-step when she walks up the stairs of the stage.
Awhile later, Hajime talks with the ringmaster and Ren, who is called Moku by the performers, gives a tour of the place. Hajime then meets with the girl who did the disappearance act, but Hajime realizes it's not her who accessed Hell Correspondence, and they spend the night at a town near the circus. The ringmaster heads towards the shed and Yumi is there. He berates her for making the mis-step and starts to whip her with no mercy. At a restaurant, Tsugumi has a vision of Yumi being beaten by the ringmaster and the two head back to the circus. Hajime then realizes that Yumi has a twin sister, Yuki; this would explain the disappearance act, because it was Yuki who was in the box and Yumi appeared in the audience.
They find Yumi in the shed, covered in bruises and cuts, and Hajime sees that Yumi has pulled the string. Hajime runs off to find the ringmaster, who is attending to Yuki, and Hajime confronts him that he is in danger. Tsugumi hears Yumi singing, then spots Ai in the darkness, but the Hell Girl, taking pity on Yumi, brushes away a tear from her cheek before doing her duty. In flashbacks, both Yuki and Yumi were close at an early age, but the two began to separate themselves, as the ringmaster began to favor Yuki, and would severely abuse Yumi for any mistakes she would do in her performances. It is revealed that Yuki would sabotage Yumi's equipment and that's why Yumi would always be locked up in the circus shed, much to the enjoyment of Yuki.
In the ringmaster's RV, both Hajime and the ringmaster continue to fight, when Yuki is pulled into her mirror and disappears. Yuki wakes up in a desert-like setting and the three assistants appear and welcome her in 'The Circus of Hell'. They order her to get on a unicycle, but she states she can't do it. Then, skeleton arms emerge from the ground and crawl toward her. Yuki than falls through the ground and lands on a large checkerboard, where skeletons, armed with long swords approach her. She screams as one is about to strike her, but she finds herself on a rope over a pit of lava, and she slips, but catches the rope. The assistants tell Yuki that she should apologize to her sister, but Yuki states she is second-best compared to her sister, and she wanted to stand on the stage by herself. Then, Ai appears, and Yuki loses her grip on the rope, but Ai teleports her to her boat. Yuki wakes up, then sees the entrance to hell, and she orders her to turn the boat around until she was stoped by swords, she screams that she doesn't want to go to hell, but Ai ignores her pleas.
The next day, the circus starts to leave for the next town, and the Shibata's see that Yumi is now favored by the ringmaster which made her smile again. Although Hajime couldn't stop Hell Girl at that time, he insists he will find her the next time.
Yumi's candle is lit and she waits for her time to enter hell.