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"Bonds" is the 7th episode of the season "Two Mirrors" and the 33rd episode from total.
The episode opens on a scene of Ai Enma's crimson, parallel universe, where the sun is always setting. Ai is there, with a young man, and she hands him a straw doll, the seal of the covenant between the Hell Girl and the client who accesses the Hell Link and seeks out Ai's special services. The straw doll is the key to releasing the clients hatred, and more importantly, sending their tormentor to Hell.
Back in the human world, and the young man who had just contacted Ai is riding his motorcycle on a dark and stormy night. As he flies through the rain he loses control of the bike and skids, sliding into a roadside shrine in a fatal accident.
At his funeral, Tatsuya Ougi is mourned by a loving family, devastated by the untimely loss of their young son and brother. While Tatsuya's sister, Emi, and his grieving father greet the guests attending the wake, the Ougi family's matriarch, Kazuko, kneels at Tatsuya's shrine, crying and wailing with despair. She turns to her husband, and in front of all the guests, blames him for causing Tatsuya's death by buying the motorcycle he died on. Tatsuya's father reminds his wife that he was actually against getting their son that bike, and that if it wasn't for her urging he would never have gotten it in the first place. The couples' argument is interrupted by parents their daughter Emi, who tells her to stop fighting. Kazuko turns back to her late son's shrine and starts wailing once more.
49 days after Tatsuya's death, back at the Ougi family home, Emi is climbing the stairs to her brother's room on the second floor. Sitting in the dark, looking at her website in Tatsuya's empty room, is Kazuko Ougi. Emi opens the door and tells her mother that dinner is ready downstairs, but she receives no response as Kazuko stares at the computer screen displaying the details of her son's untimely demise. Downstairs, Ougi-san is drinking a beer at the dinner table while waiting for his wife and daughter, however when only Emi comes down he displays little surprise at his wife's reluctance to engage in normal family life. Emi and her father decide it's pointless to wait for Kazuko and go ahead and eat alone, not for the first time presumably. Emi is more understanding of her mother's absence than her father, who can't seem to understand his wife's reluctance to resume her place in the family and move on with their lives. Emi tells her father that under such circumstances it can't be helped.
Later that night, as Emi washes the dishes from dinner, she finally hears her mother coming downstairs, and as she notices the time is twenty to eleven, she hears Kazuko heading for the front door. While her mother heads out, Emi calls after her that she can't possibly be going out at such a time and in such miserable weather, however Kazuko doesn't even seem to notice her daughter and continues on her way. As she closes the door behind her, Kazuko's husband comes out from the bathroom in his pyjamas and asks Emi if that was her mother heading out. Emi tells him it was and once again he cannot understand why Kazuko is still going out every evening to visit the site of the shrine where her son crashed and lost his life even after all this time. Emi decides to accompany her mother and rushes after her with raincoats and umbrellas. At the shrine, and Kazuko is asking Tatsuya why he had to die when Emi asks her mother to come home as she will catch a cold if she stays out in the rain like this.
When they finally get home, Emi realizes that her family has become dysfunctional. The desolate girl goes to sit in Tatsuya's room alone. She turns on his desk lamp, and as she looks at all of her brother's sporting medals and trophies, she opens his desk drawer and finds the black straw doll that Tatsuya had received from Ai Enma. As soon as Emi touches the doll, a dark form appears from out of the shadows. As the ominous figure steps into the moonlight, Emi sees that the person before her is Ai Enma, the Hell Girl.
Kazuko strives for a good outcome of Tatsuya's death against the government which neglects the construction of roadways (which may be the cause of his death). She gradually goes insane. With Ren Ichimoku's investigation, it's revealed that Kazuko's preference of her son to her daughter goes to extreme which totally destroys the family relationship. Later on Kazuko borrows a lot of cash and is going to support the publishing of a book which describes "the greatness of her son", while Mr Ougi is weighed down by the pressure and goes home drunk, Emi's hatred and grievance finally bursts out.
Ai tells Emi that the black straw doll is now hers. Then Emi has a flashback, in which Tatsuya said that his mother was after him too much, and he wanted to send her to die in Hell. Emi realizes than no matter how hard she tries, her mother won't pay attention because of Tatsuya so she pulls the string. Later, when Kazuko is ferried to Hell by Ai, she asks if Tatsuya is in Hell. Ren Ichimoku replies that "probably not" but Kazuko doesn't listen and says that she wants to arrive soon to see Tatsuya again. It's shown that Emi's father went "to find his wife" so now Emi is all alone. Emi puts photographs in her parents and Tatsuya's seats and pretends that they're having dinner together.