|Barreling Towards Hell|
Jigoku E No Bousou
|Next:||Where the Sun Shines|
"Barreling Towards Hell" is the 5th episode of the season "Two Mirrors" and the 31st episode from total.
The episode opens with a scene of Kikuri, staring intently at the tall, red flowers of Ai Enma's sunset, parallel world. She produces a pair of sharp scissors, and as she begins to slice the heads off all the beautiful scarlet flowers, she laughs with the glee of a small child, taking great pleasure in the destruction of the blossoms. She stops suddenly when Ai appears behind her on the deck of her house. There is a palpable silence as the two girls stare at each other, before Ai asks Kikuri, "Is it fun?" To which Kikuri replies, "Sort of..."
Cut to the real world, and in his darkened bedroom a young, bespectacled man named Oi-chan sits at his computer attempting to access the Hell Link. As the clock strikes midnight on his sailor-moon style alarm clock, Hell Girl's website comes up with its characteristic sparking flame. Oi types in a name... Leon Yamada. But he cannot bring himself to click the submit button.
The next day, and Oi is at the local convenience where he and his friends hang out, where he is happily looking through the comic books, when suddenly he is approached by a rough looking youth with a motor-cycle helmet hanging down the back of his neck. Oi-chan becomes instantly uncomfortable and tries to make his escape, saying that he'll "skip the second time, so sorry." But this hoodlum doesn't let Oi get away that easily, grabbing him by the shoulder and swinging him back around yelling "Bastard! Who do you think you are talking to?! Are you looking down on me?!" This is the person who Oi-chan was contacting the Hell Link about last night, Leon Yamada.
As Leon pushes and kicks Oi to the front of the queue at the cash register, telling the other customers that they're in the way, the store clerk asks the young two men to please line up at the end of the line. Leon has no intention of doing this and picks up a ladle of hot sauce from the counter and flings it in the clerks face. Laughing at the poor man's fear, Leon turns to Oi and the other patrons of the store, making fun of the scared and injured convenience store attendant and looking for agreement. They all move away, turning a blind eye to Leon's violent actions. Leon makes for Oi, telling him to make with his wallet. A request which Oi politely declines, much to his own misfortune, as Leon pulverizes Oi's face with a vicious, bone crunching punch, shattering his glasses and grinding the broken glass into his eyes. Oi collapses to the floor with blood flying everywhere.
As the blood drips onto Oi's crushed glasses lying on the linoleum, the scene cuts to Leon sitting outside the convenience store on the footpath next to his motor-scooter having scored himself a bag of free snacks and magazines thanks to Oi's forced generosity, laughing to himself as he enjoys the spoils of his despicable behaviour. When a hungry puppy comes along and walks tentatively over to Leon, he encourages the innocent, little dog over to him, telling it he has something for it. As the pup makes his way up to Leon, he gets out his lighter, pretending that he has something for the puppy to eat. And just as the dog sniffs at Leon's outstretched hand, he lights the lighter, burning the poor animal and sending it scurrying away, whimpering and crying.
As he watches the dog run away, Leon calls out after it in a fog-horn voice, Idiot!!!" after yet another of his victims fleeing in terror. Unbeknownst to him, from across the street, Ai's three assistants, the Three Straws, are watching Leon as he goes about his daily rampaging, as Leon has now become the teams next target. A temporary one at least, as Oi has entered the name several times, although he has yet to actually submit the name. As the three of them discuss the case, they comment upon Leon's westernized name, as the popularity of such names is rising among Japanese parents, with Wanyudo wondering what sort of parents could wind up turning out a child like Leon. While he rides away on his motor-scooter, Hone Onna and Ren Ichimoku arrange to trail Leon and keep an eye on him, while Wanyudo goes on a separate mission to investigate Oi and the rest of the case.
However, as soon as he is on his own and on his way, he notices Kikuri, perched, standing on the top of a power pole, dressed in her best short, purple kimono. He calls up to her, asking her what she is doing here, to which she responds by asking if it is bad that she has come. Wanyudo asks her if she asked the Mistress before coming out and Kikuri answers with her silence, to which Wanyudo replies "So that's how it is..." as Kikuri runs off down the power lines giggling her signature giggle. Wanyudo resigns himself to the fact that it can't be helped,and with a sigh, gathers up his kimono and makes after her, down an alley. Back in Ai's crimson Universe, Ai is standing on the deck once more, looking at the scissors Kikuri left amongst the flowers while her Grandmother informs her that Kikuri went out to play, hoping that, since Kikuri is "that type of girl" she doesn't cause too much of a ruckus in the human world.
On the other side, in the world of humans, the school day is just ending at a Catholic girls school where a beautiful young school girl named Izumi Miyahara is just heading out of class, all the while being watched from the other side of the street by Leon Yamada on his motor-scooter. It's this girl that Leon has fallen for, and it's because of this that he is planning to leave the gang he is in. It's this very topic that the leader of the gang, Rikiua Hashizume, is currently discussing with an underling as they sit in a purple sports car just down the street from the Catholic school, watching Leon, while he is watching Izumi. Rikiua is far from impressed with Leon's lack of devotion and loyalty to the gang and isn't about to let a girl come between the pact Leon had made to the gang when he joined. Rikiua has checked up on Izumi and has discovered that her parents are very rich bankers and he knows all about Leon's plans to ditch the gang as soon as he can get Izumi to agree to be with him. He is displeased by this to put it mildly and isn't about to sit still and allow Leon to play the situation out the way he would like to.
As Izumi makes her way down the road away from her school, Rikiua snaps a photograph of her on his mobile phone and as he casually raises a hand to wave at Izumi they start the car and drive down the road to where Leon is still sitting on his scooter, thinking of Izumi. Leon is surprised to see his friends here and as he mumbles out a greeting, Rikiua asks him to stick around later on tonight. Leon is curious as to what it is but Rikiua just tells him that he'll find out when he comes tonight. With that the two of them drive away leaving Leon in their dust.
Later that night, and Wanyudo is still scouring the city looking for Kikuri, but he isn't having much luck, being verbally abused by rude strangers and looking on in disgust as careless passers by litter the street with their burning cigarette butts. He makes his way through the park, interrupting a woman rummaging through a trash can, who responds angrily to Wanyudo's presence, yelling that she's doing nothing wrong and that lots of people are doing what she is doing. Wanyudo remains silent as he watches her storm off and with a sigh of pity he continues his search for Kikuri. He eventually finds her down a dark alley, where she is being accosted by two young hoodlums. As one of the young men asks her why she won't talk to them, he touches the red flower in Kikuri's hair, angering her to the point where she slams her heavy, wooden geta onto his foot. As the man falls over in pain the other one turns to Kikuri and grabs the top of her head, twisting it around in preparation to strike her when Wanyudo suddenly intercedes, coming between Kikuri and her attacker and asking the man to leave it at that. The young men will hear nothing of it, and as they prepare to attack him, Wanyudo asks Kikuri to stay back for a moment, while he deals with these "despicable humans". With nothing more than a few well aimed chops and punches, Wanyudo quickly incapacitates the two men. And with a flick of his sleeve he regains his composure while Kikuri makes her way back over to him, only to tug at his sleeve and ask "Carry me?"
As he piggy-backs her through the park, Wanyudo asks Kikuri if this is the first time she has been in the human realm. As she answers him with sleepy silence, he goes on to tell her about how the world was better before, when people remembered, and more importantly, believed that all it took was one bad thing to land you in Hell. As they come to a bridge, with Kikuri still clinging to Wanyudo's back, he begins to tell her that it doesn't really have anything to do with them anymore anyway, when he notices that Kikuri has fallen asleep, and with that they disappear into the night. Later, as the clock strikes midnight, a half-blinded, bandaged Oi-chan is once again attempting to access the Hell Link. He enters the name of Leon Yamada, but this time he submits it.
Later still, in an abandoned fairy-tale, theme-park castle that Leon's gang uses on the outskirts of the city, Rikiua Hashizume and three underlings are bashing the life out of Leon. As he lies whimpering on the floor, Rikiua shows Leon the picture on his mobile phone of Izumi. He confronts Leon with the rumour that he is going to cut all ties with the gang and date this girl and advises him not to act high and mighty and that if he does something stupid then... Bang! Rikiua headbutts Leon in the face, spraying blood. Before leaving him on the floor alone, he tells Leon not to ever touch Izumi again, as she is now his girl.
The next morning outside the convenience store, Leon is crouching next to his scooter sweating and having an anxiety attack. He imagines them in bed together, Izumi clinging to Rikiua's muscular body and whispering sweet nothings in his ear. As he pictures the two of them making love he is overcome with the stress of not knowing what to do. Meanwhile, inside the store, Oi-chan is looking at comics with two of his friends and telling them about his encounter with the Hell Girl. One of his friends ask if he made a request, to which Oi replies that he didn't, being that the cost is way too high.
Unbeknownst to the three boys, Leon is right behind them listening to their conversation, and just as Oi is saying that he isn't prepared to sacrifice his eternal salvation for an idiot like that, Leon startles them from behind. As they turn to run he cuts them off and savagely kicks Oi in the stomach with enough force to double him over. While Oi gasps for breath, Leon asks him to explain that all again very clearly.
Later on as the clock strikes midnight, Leon is in Oi's bedroom trying to access the Hell Link, but as he is too stupid to work a Japanese keyboard, Oi has to do it for him. As soon as Leon clicks the mouse to submit his request, the wall of Oi's room expands and swallows Leon into Ai's crimson, sunset world. There he meets Ai Enma and Wanyudo, who seems surprised that it is Leon who eventually became the client instead of Oi, and he apologises to his mistress for not investigating the case properly. As Leon cries that he doesn't know what they're blabbering about, Wanyudo orders him to shut up, which illicits the usual response from Leon. As he lunges at Wanyudo, calling him a shitty old bastard, he is shocked to hit nothing but air as Wanyudo transforms into his straw doll form. Ai tells Leon to take the doll and explains the covenant that he will enter into should he pull the red string. As she says, when someone is cursed, two graves are dug. Leon doesn't understand, but he tells Ai that he doesn't care anyway as he doesn't believe in Hell, a rather stupid idea considering the circumstances he now finds himself in.
Back in the real world, and school lets out for Izumi and her classmates, and just as she is coming out of the school gate a suspicious purple sports car pulls up out the front of the school. Back at the convenience store, and Leon waits worriedly with his motor-scooter as Rikiua pulls up. They call him over to the car and as he sticks his head in the window he sees Izumi sprawled unconscious on the backseat. As the men speed off in their car, Leon is left raging, furiously telling himself that Izumi is his woman, when Wanyudo's voice, coming from his pocket, reminds him that she is most certainly not his. With this, Leon pulls out the straw doll and pulls the thread, just as a gust of wind grabs the doll and whisks it away, up into the air, while Wanyudo's voice promises that he has heard Leon's hatred.
Cut to the sunset world, and Kikuri watches from the deck as Ai washes her hair in the stream and Ai's Grandmother once again calls out, "Ai, I've prepared your naga-juban." And as she put's on her ceremonial kimono, the drums begin to beat, and Ai begins her preparations for the duty that awaits her. With Wanyudo at the wheel, her carriage blazes across the sky. At the gang's castle, Izumi sits forlornly in the darkness of her prison cell, when suddenly, Honne Onna appears behind her and helps her to escape.
While downstairs, Rikiua and an underling prepare to video tape their immenent attack on Izumi. As Rikiua leaves the room to get Izumi, his underling peers into the viewfinder of the video camera only to see Ren Ichimoku's all seeing eye staring back at him, the blazing sight of which renders the man unconscious. As he collapses on the couch, Ren appears and tells him to "sleep for a while". Back in Izumi's room, and Rikiua enters to find Izumi sitting the bed with her head hung low and her hair obscuring her face. As we warns her not to retaliate, she simply agrees in a lifeless tone, and he tells her that she has guts, considering what's about to happen to her. As Rikiua grips her chin and raises her face to the light, her skin starts to peel away, revealing the skull beneath. Rikiua turns and flees in terror, only to make it outside to his purple car and realise that the wheel of the car is actually Wanyudo's flaming wheel-face.
Rikiua decides to leg it only to find that the further he runs the further he sinks into the ground, which has become some kind of quicksand. As he becomes stuck in the waist-deep sand, a novelty car horn can be heard blaring from behind him. He turns to see his car, aflame with Wanyudo, burning as the wheel, starting to turn in a circle to reveal Ai Enma, leaning out the driver's side window. As Rikiua screams at Ai the to tell him who the hell she is, the car takes position right in front of where he stuck in the sand and the wheels begin to spin, revving higher and higher as he screams at them not to come for him.
With this, Ai utters her condemnation in the usual way, "O pitiful shadow bound in the darkness, looking down on people and causing them pain. A soul drowned in sinful karma... Want to try dying this once?" As she passes her judgment upon him, Rikiua screams in horror as he is run down with a vision of Ai, ringing the bells on her bracelet as she transports him to the River Sanzu and onto Hell. He wakes, as do all of Ai's victims, in the ferry on the river to Hell. He turns to Ai and realises where he is, begging her to take him back home, as she informs him that it is not possible, that his fate is sealed. He doesn't accept this and begs her to save him, to which Ai responds, "Don't patronise me, idiot".
The next day, back in the real world, and Leon is back at the convenience store, stealing and harassing the customers. As Oi and his friends decide whether or not to call the police, Leon gets up and throws what he was eating at one of the boys, informing them that he can hear them and that they can call who ever they like, he's 17 and he's protected, and with that he once again, bashes the boys and robs them. Telling them that if they'd just handed it over to start with they wouldn't have had to have gotten hurt, Leon jumps on his scooter and makes off, without his helmet on as usual. However, as he is speeding down the street, telling Izumi-chan to wait for him and that now he has money he will confess to her, he becomes distracted while looking at the fire symbol tattoo on his chest and doesn't notice that that the same little puppy that he burnt the other day has walked out into the street in front of him. As he swerves and skids to miss the dog he slides out in front of a bus causing a horrific accident. As Leon lies on the road, bleeding out, he calls for someone to save him, only to be ignored by all the passersby. Only Kikuri comes to him, holding two bunches of the red flowers that she so loved destroying, and asks him if it hurts. As he dies, crying for her to help him, Kikuri asks him if he was aware that Hell, in fact, does really exist, and that's just where he's heading.
As Leon dies, Kikuri throws her flowers over his corpse and runs off laughing, apparently overjoyed, leaving Ai and Wanyudo looking at his twisted body, lying on the pavement. Surprised that he died the very next day after he released his hatred, Wanyudo wonders if he is having fun fighting with Rikiua in Hell. However as they stand, staring out at the river, he reminds Ai that there are bad people walking tall on this side too, making it Hell here as well as there. When Izumi comes walking along drinking something from a large tumbler and straw, she drops her rubbish into somebody's bicycle basket and she realises she is being watched by Ai and Wanyudo. As Wanyudo comments that that sort of behavior isn't very good and reminds her that God and the Devil are always watching, she quickly picks her mess back up, embarrassed. She apologises and runs off, being at least one person involved in this twisted state of events lucky enough to live her life unfettered by eternal damnation and bottomless sorrow, leaving Wanyudo and Ai hoping that there may just be hope in this Hell yet. As for the last part of the show,the candle lighted has Leon's name. Since Leon died,the fire of the candle blown out.
- The client in this episode dies within it.