Hell Girl Episode 16: A Night Among Traveling Entertainers Review

Hell Girl Ep 16

Plot: Yumi is a performer in Happy Circus, but she is viciously beaten regularly by the ringmaster. Yumi manages to contact Hell Girl, wishing for vengeance. Hajime, following a tip from Tsugumi’s vision, goes to the circus and tries to save them. Will he finally save someone from hell?

Breakdown: A brief moment to go over some more questions as to how Hell Girl works.

Is there a time limit to using the doll? Can someone just sit on their hands for months or even years deciding if they want to use the doll? I believe the longest I’ve seen someone go is around a week.

I only ask because Hone Onna and Ren are, again, masquerading as workers in the place where the client works for the sake of keeping an eye on them, which is just something they keep deciding to do for no reason.

In the beginning, they didn’t really appear until the ending torture. Now they’re jammed into the episode all the time, watching from the shadows. I’m not complaining about them being here, I just don’t understand why they are.

I don’t know if Ai started instructing them to do this even when there’s nothing to investigate (and, even then, it’s not necessary) when Hajime started coming on the scene, but, what, do they just keep their jobs until whenever the client decides to pull the string?

Is there a one or three client at a time rule? I know Hone Onna and Ren can also turn into dolls, but surely there are a lot of vengeful people in the world, or at least Japan, who would use Hell Girl. Do the other clients have to wait until a case is done to free up a space? I believe either in this season or Two Mirrors we have two dolls out at once, but that’s all I remember about it.

What about people without Internet access? Surely there are many tormented people out there who desperately wish vengeance, but don’t have access to a computer or Internet. I know Ai has changed her messaging system to keep up with the times, but still. The client in this episode looks like she is kept in a mostly empty room. If her boss didn’t have a laptop, she’d be screwed.

Back to business at hand, today’s episode centers on the client, Yumi – a performer in the circus who is frequently abused and locked up. Tsugumi gets a vision about it, but the only useful information she gets from it is that the client was in a room with a circus poster on the wall.

Hajime and Tsugumi head to the circus and enjoy the show, wondering who the client is. They see a female performer do a disappearing act, she stumbles a bit and…I guess that’s a good enough reason for Hajime to believe that she’s the client. *shrug*

He also somehow figures out that she’s being abused from the knife thrower throwing a knife at a moth when they talk about a feuding couple with the wife cheating on her husband with another circus performer? *bigger shrug* The knife thrower isn’t even the one doing the abuse, by the way.

The only useful information Tsugumi saw in that vision was the poster, so how he’s connecting dots that aren’t even in the same time zone is beyond me.

Ren, in disguise, leads him to where the female performer is and….*sigh* He bluntly tells this young girl, no older than 13, I’d say, to come with him, vehement in the belief that she’s the client.

She fights him off, not understanding what he’s talking about, so he decides to tell her that he’ll take her somewhere safe and tries to grab her. And by that I mean he does grab her by the shoulders and won’t release her even though she’s screaming for him to stop and let her go.

It’s only when Ren walks in on them that he finally lets her go. If Ren wasn’t aware of what Hajime was doing, anyone walking in on this, especially from the back, would think he’s trying to rape her. Hajime would have a hard time trying to save Hell Girl clients while he’s in prison.

Seriously, what the hell was Hajime thinking? He’s being unreasonably stupid today. He’s making huge leaps in logic from little hints he’s seeing, and now he’s just man-handling anyone he thinks might have used the service, no matter if they’re little girls. Hajime was being way too pushy with the last client too, but at least he had tons of evidence that pointed to Mina being the client and knew the reason why she called Hell Girl. He may have yelled a lecture in her face, but at least he didn’t grab Mina and try to kidnap her.

Not like he’s being intelligent in any manner lately. He leaves Tsugumi, his seven year old daughter, alone without any supervision on a regular basis, which is bad enough, but today he decides to leave her alone by the car for hours near a damn circus. I cannot see anything dangerous about that.

Is Hajime going insane from all of the failings he’s had in trying to save Hell Girl clients? That’s the only way I can explain this behavior.

Later, Tsugumi has another vision – this time of the girl being whipped by the ringmaster. I don’t know why, but Tsugumi is blushing while having the vision. Hajime realizes that he was both right and wrong before. He was right to believe the performer was the client and that the ringmaster was the target, but there were actually two performers; Yuki, the girl he met before who seems to be pampered, and Yumi, who is kept locked up and savagely beaten regularly, particularly when she messes up during a show.

As you can tell, Yuki and Yumi are twin sisters, which is how they pull off the disappear and reappear act. Yumi was the one who reappeared and stumbled, causing her to get beaten again.

Hajime finds Yumi, but he’s too late. Yumi has already pulled the string. Hajime tries to get the ringmaster to flee….not sure why he thinks that would help. I’d think it would be obvious that you can’t hide from Ai, but far be it from me to try to convince him. He does the same thing to the ringmaster as he did to Yuki, grabbing him by the shoulders and demanding he come with him. You’re being a little obnoxious today, Hajime.

Also, the deed has been done. This guy is human garbage. You can’t save Yumi’s soul now. Just let him go.

In a surprising and very sad scene, we get a flashback of Yumi and Yuki as kids. They used to be very close, doing nearly everything together. They joined the circus (or were adopted into it? It’s not very clear) and Yuki was always a little better than Yumi, earning the constant praise of the ringmaster while Yumi would get punished for every mistake.

Eventually, it got to the point where Yuki would take delight in her sister’s anguish, and she would sabotage her equipment so she would keep screwing up and get beaten. As time went on, Yumi was relegated to staying in what was essentially a cage. She would get worse and worse beatings every time she messed up.

Yumi sings a song to herself while curled up on the floor. Ai, in a rare show of emotion and sympathy, appears before Yumi and brushes away her tears before leaving to do her job.

In a surprising twist, as the ringmaster and Hajime fight, Yuki gets sucked through the mirror, revealing that it was actually her and not the ringmaster that she had targeted.

During the torture, Yuki reveals that she hated her sister because she is always treated like half a person with her around. Yuki never gets the glory all to herself, so she believed Yumi deserved everything she got…..Wow….bitch.

I don’t even get it. Yeah, given the order of their trick, Yumi got to take the final bow, but if it was bothering her that much, why not change it to have Yumi be the first part of the trick? Yuki was getting all the attention from nearly the instant they joined the circus. This girl is a crazy selfish bitch.

Ai, can we get a two-for-one deal here? Because despite the harpy queen here needing a ride in your boat, that ringbastard needs to go too.

After Yuki gets sent to hell, we get an early episode-esque wipe because now it’s like Yuki never existed and Yumi is being spoiled by the ringmaster.

All in all, this episode was surprisingly a lot better and much sadder than I ever anticipated. Truthfully, this just looked like filler from the preview, but I was nearly crying at Yumi’s situation.

While the target definitely deserved to hell, it’s been a while since I’ve felt so bad for the client. This might be the worst I’ve felt for a client, to be honest. Yumi is clearly very emotionally damaged by all of this abuse. She spends a lot of time in a daze, singing to herself, and doesn’t even take notice of Ai when she enters the room and touches her cheek. The fact that she’s now also damned to hell is just heartbreaking.

While I’m more than happy Yuki got her just desserts, I’m a bit mad that the ringleader didn’t get any comeuppance for what he did. Yuki’s petty sabotage wouldn’t have meant much if the ringmaster didn’t respond to all of the failings with neglect and abuse.

The twist this time actually got me. While I pretty much figured out the twin thing before they revealed it, the fact that the target was her sister threw me for a loop. During one of the flashback shots, we see that Yumi had watched Yuki sabotage her unicycle once. She was well aware that her sister was screwing her over and enjoying her pain, but realized that no one would believe her if she told anyone because Yuki was the perfect golden child.

It’s not just the ringmaster either. It’s obvious several other people in the circus, maybe even the entire troupe, knew about the treatment Yumi was getting, yet they turned a blind eye to it. It’s infuriating.

The first part of the episode is what hurts it the most. Hajime’s actions are ridiculous, and it just seems like a clump of bad writing.

Next Episode…

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