Hell Girl Episode 15: Island Woman Review

Hell Girl ep 15

Plot: Mina Minato is under the firm thumb of her aunt in a little island town. Mina has fallen for a diver named Yuji, but her aunt, Fujie, is strongly against the relationship. After an incident, Mina calls upon Hell Girl and targets her aunt.

Breakdown: This episode, quality wise, is like the antithesis of the previous episode. Let’s go over what I praised in episode 14.

Episode 14 – The story was intricate, interesting and had a touch of mystery.

Episode 15 – Outside of one big twist you’ll figure out early on, is about as clear-cut as the early episodes, and the story itself is rushed and fairly poorly written.

Episode 14 – Hajime, despite ultimately failing, seemed like he was drastically impacting the plot for a change.

Episode 15 – Being fair to Hajime, he did nearly succeed here, but the execution is ridiculous. He’s borderline obnoxious.

Episode 14 – The situation with the target was complex and left you thinking about the entire situation long after the episode ended.

Episode 15 – The target is clear, extremely hateable, and you’re not even thinking about it after the credits start rolling.

To explore more of where this episode went wrong, let’s delve into the full story.

Tsugumi and Hajime head to an island called Rogetsu, which is the location in Tsugumi’s latest vision. Hajime tries to interview the townsfolk about the situation between Mina and Fujie, but everyone’s incredibly secretive and distrusting when it comes to this topic.

It’s never explained why this topic is so sensitive to the other townsfolk, either. I get that some small towns, particularly isolated areas like islands, commonly have citizens who play it close to the vest. However, in media, this is usually because the people know of something very horrible that, should the information leak, something terrible would happen. Here, there’s no reason given as to why they’re so closed off about it. Unless they know about ‘the twist’, and there’s no reason they should. If they do, why the unholy hell have they not contacted the authorities?

They eventually find some people willing to talk, and they learn that Mina’s mother committed suicide when she was very young, but her body was never found. Remember that. It’s important.

Her mother left the island, fell in love with a man, got pregnant with Mina, and returned to the island after she broke up with her boyfriend. Supposedly, she simply never got over the breakup and killed herself, leaving her daughter in the care of her sister, Fujie.

Mina, now an adult, has been controlled by her aunt her whole life. Fujie even pulled Mina out of school before she reached high school when she wanted to pursue studies that weren’t conducive to being an inn owner like herself.

She eventually fell in love with a diver named Yuji, but Fujie always fought against the relationship, despising and distrusting anyone who wasn’t from the island. Mina called Hell Girl when she found out that Fujie had attacked Yuji with a knife while he was diving.

In and out, Fujie will spontaneously be heard talking to someone that the audience can’t see, and she even slips up in dialogue once or twice that she believes her sister is still alive. Remember that. It’s important.

Mina presents the doll to Yuji, but he believes it to be evil and wants to throw it off the cliff into the ocean. Judging from Ai’s dialogue, this scene does answer the question of what happens if you lose or discard the doll – it really does just go away. Ai might change up the rules sometimes, but it’s meant to be the end of the potential contract.

Hajime, having been notified through ‘I’m just a plot device at this point’ Tsugumi’s vision of Mina and Yuji’s whereabouts, tries to stop them. And by ‘tries to stop them,’ I mean he gives them a sudden loud and manic lecture about how it’s not worth it and they have their whole lives ahead of them etc.

Despite the cliche-ness of the speech, it actually works like a charm. A little too well, actually, because they suddenly decide to leave the island and elope. Hajime decides to try and stop them from eloping too because it’s such a rash decision.

Dude, stop. They’re fixing their problem in a way that doesn’t involve eternal damnation. Just take your win and go home.

As Mina is about to pack up and leave for good, she hears Fujie talking to someone in the cellar. She investigates further when it starts to sound like Fujie is talking with Mina’s mother somehow. Mina is horrified to discover – Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNNNNNN – Fujie is nuckin’ futs, and is having a discussion with the decayed corpse of Mina’s mother like she were still alive, just sick and unable to care for Mina.

Yeah, this is played out to be a huge twist, but anyone paying attention to the hints they peppered throughout the episode figured this out before the first commercial. Remember, her body was never found and Fujie’s been acting like she’s alive? It was either this or she really was keeping Mina’s mother alive in her cellar, which wouldn’t make sense but would be less predictable.

Also, see what I mean about this not making sense in regards to the townsfolk? Either they, for some reason, really want to keep a tragic suicide a secret or they know of this insane bullshit and just decided to leave Fujie be for some reason. In which case, wow.

Turns out, Mina’s mother wanted to leave the island again after Mina was born. They don’t explain why outside of her hatred of the island, but she was intent on it.

Fujie wasn’t having any of that since she believed it was dangerous and terrible outside of the island, so she tied her up in the cellar and murdered her with a hatchet so they’d be together forever. She took a bloody shoe from her and threw it into the ocean so it would be assumed that she committed suicide.

Since Mina discovered what Fujie did, Fujie realizes that Mina must die too and suffer the same creepy fate as her mother. She tries to fight back with the doll, but gets injured. Yuji discovers the situation and tries to defend her.

As she and Yuji are about to be chopped up like firewood, Mina manages to pull the string and send Fujie to hell. Hajime somehow arrives a moment later, despite being pushed to a cliffside that looked difficult to climb…..Oh yeah, Ren pushed him down there…He and Hone Onna have been screwing with him all episode in order to stop him from interfering—it doesn’t matter. He’s disappointed that he’s too late to stop her.

I get that he’s tired of losing these cases, but what did he expect to do? He could’ve strong-armed Fujie I suppose, but it’s more like he’s disappointed that Mina used the doll to save themselves….In which case, wow.

Tsugumi is back to feeling bad after a case ends, which is better but still confuses me given the way she acted in the previous episode.

Hajime believes he was naive to think that he had actually saved them. He did, though. It’s not like they changed their minds or lied to him about not using the doll – they were going to take his advice and leave, but she was forced into using the doll to save her and Yuji’s life. He wasn’t naive – it was just really bad luck that Mina happened to hear her aunt talking.

This episode was not good. There are several aspects of it that don’t make sense. The writing, even in dialogue, was poorly done. I was almost embarrassed by how terrible that scene at the cliff was written. The case was a little interesting with a crazy, but incredibly predictable, given lazy hints, twist.

The characters weren’t compelling, the townsfolk were irritating and made no sense in their motivations, and Hajime, despite nearly getting a win, was obnoxious and whiny. Even Ren and Hone Onna were irritating since their role was literally just to screw with Hajime to get him to stop collecting information. And that push at the cliff was after Hajime had convinced them not to pull the string. They did that purely out of spite.

We don’t even get a torture this time around, which is ridiculous since this is one of the more hateable and insane targets so far.

Next Episode….

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