Hell Girl Episode 19: Bride Doll Review

Hell Girl Ep 19

Plot: Inori was an orphan who was promised to marry the benefactor of the orphanage’s son, Yukio. At first, she was enthralled at the prospect of her future, but she quickly realized that her soon-to-be mother-in-law, Kyogetsu, was fiercely strict and controlling, beating Inori when she stepped even slightly out of line. She must be perfect – just like a doll.

Breakdown: Bleh, this episode. The best part about this episode is the hell torture, and even that’s not all that good.

That’s not to say this episode is really ‘bad,’ but, again, after straying so far from the norm, it’s difficult to keep returning to the same old song.

Kyogetsu is ridiculously cruel again. Not nearly as bad as Meiko, but still. She’s obsessed with dolls, and wishes for her son’s bride-to-be to be as obedient and perfect as a doll. This basically means never doing anything, never leaving without permission and basically having her every move controlled by Kyogetsu. If she so much as breathes in the improper way, she gets beaten, verbally harassed and locked in small rooms. Inori, however, wants to do chores and actually contribute to the home and marriage.

Inori would just run away, but Kyogetsu is the owner of the orphanage, and if she doesn’t comply, she’ll have the orphanage shut down. She feels she cannot do that to her friends and the nuns running the place, so she calls Hell Girl instead.

This is one of those episodes where I’m left scratching my head as to how Hell Girl works. Numerous times, it’s like the string pull alters reality to make the client’s life better, supposedly so they can live a happy life before they go to hell. However, just as many other clients don’t experience this.

This, sadly, is one of those times. Kyogetsu’s abuse gets worse and worse, to the point where she implies she might paralyze Inori or break her legs so she will be unable to walk – just like a doll. Inori pulls the string, sends Kyogetsu to hell and she’s set to live a perfect life with her future husband.

Until, that is, you realize that he has the same views as his mother and will not allow Inori to work at anything, even being a housewife. All she needs to do is sit there doing nothing – just like a doll.

While I’m not sure Yukio is or will be abusive or psycho like Kyogetsu, this basically means she sent Kyogetsu to hell for no reason. I guess she could divorce Yukio or never marry him in the first place, but, again, who knows if he wouldn’t be petty like his mother and shut down the orphanage because of it?

Like Ren stated, she’s essentially going to be in a living hell until she gets to hell, and that’s just depressing….as hell.

Not only that, but you can see this ‘twist’ from a mile away. Not only does Yukio share the same dead ‘doll’ eyes as his mother, something brought up several times in the episode, but it’s obvious from the start that he doesn’t care about Inori’s problems with his mother and wants the same things she wants.

He doesn’t do shit to help her. Even when he concedes a little and says she can make him breakfast in the morning, he not only eats a servant-prepared breakfast without telling her, but he also doesn’t tell Inori that he’s doing this, basically tricking her so she’ll be chastised by Kyogetsu when she presents her breakfast to him.

Not to mention, this is probably the most shoe-horned in appearance of Hajime and Tsugumi in a while. It’s nearly halfway into the episode before they even show up, like they forgot they had to include them. And it’s the exact shtick they always do, just really fast.

Tsugumi has a vision, they meet with the client, try to convince her not to pull the string and fail. After she’s escorted away by her servants during their first and only meeting, we never see them again. Hajime’s not losing his passion for this, but he just disappears with no follow-up – Not even a tag at the very end.

I will say that their appearance prompted a hilarious metaphor. Inori says emergency exits are something anyone can use, but only when the situation is grave. Hell Girl is her emergency exit.

Pbbbbttthahahahah. What? I get what they were trying to say, but that is just such a silly metaphor. You can compare Hell Girl to a lot of things, but an emergency exit? There has to be a better way to put that. Not to mention, people can technically use emergency exits whenever they please, it’s just best to use them when there’s a serious situation.

Does that mean Hajime is the guy standing in front of the fire exit that security guards tell to move because he’s blocking it?

Mitch Hedberg: “’You’re going to have to move, you’re blocking the fire exit.’ As if, if there was a fire, I wasn’t gonna run. If you are flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.”

This episode isn’t even that good on an animation standpoint. For some reason, the art and animation got knocked down a peg for this episode. I imagine it’s because it’s filler, but it’s still a negative mark.

I will note that this is the first time in a long time Ai has taken a client to the Realm of Eternal Twilight to discuss the conditions of the agreement. That was kinda nice, I guess.

All in all, this episode is just filler and it shows. I feel like they should’ve rearranged some of these episodes so that stuff like this is earlier, maybe before Hajime and Tsugumi show up, and more intricate plots were reserved for later. Hajime’s presence would’ve been very beneficial in The Tarnished Mound, for example. He could’ve written an article or done something to help Iwashida, even if he still pulled the string.

Rating: 4/10

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