Episode 3: The Wind’s Warning
Plot: A man comes home to his empty house and finds the side door open. He shuts it and goes on with his night, but the door keeps inexplicably opening on its own. Who or what won’t let him shut the door?
Breakdown: Sometimes, Yami Shibai truly surprises me by having sad and even touching entries in their lineup. This is one of those entries.
I won’t spoil the story for you, but it was a really sad and sweet story that actually has a happy ending for a change. Some stories can bring you chills and make you concerned for the characters without needing to kill everyone off, and this was a great example of that.
Episode 4: Swamp Offering
Plot: A pair of newlyweds move to the country to be with the groom’s family. The bride’s mother-in-law is very strict and cruel towards the bride, but she takes it in stride in order to be a fitting wife. The village has a custom where you throw your most precious item into the nearby swamp in order to protect yourself from harm in times of disaster. If you throw in worthless junk, a creature called ‘the muddy’ will emerge and take what is truly precious to you. How will this year’s offering go?
Breakdown: This one’s a little confusing, but also cathartic in a very Hell Girl sense.
A woman moved to the country to be with her husband and his mother. The mother-in-law was very strict and treated the woman poorly, even taking her deceased mother’s ring off her hands and keeping it because wearing the ring in respect to her mother was viewed as an affront to her ‘new’ mother.
The swamp offering was that night, and the mother-in-law threw in the woman’s ring for her, against her wishes of course, because that was what was most precious to her. The woman was distraught, but decided to accept it in order to be a good wife.
Now, here’s where things get odd. That night, the husband follows a trail of gross water to his wife, who is sitting in their room babbling about losing her ‘mother’ and desperately apologizing for not being a good wife. She’s shown to have her ring back on her hand, which is muddy, and the mother-in-law is mysteriously missing.
From what I could gather in the comments, since the woman herself threw in something that wasn’t precious to her (an old pen from school) the muddy took what was most precious to her. She had convinced herself that her ‘new’ mother was most important, so the muddy took her, I guess?
That didn’t mesh entirely with me, but there was another theory. Since the mother-in-law only threw in the ring and not something precious to her, the muddy came and took what was most precious to her, which was her life. However, that doesn’t explain how the woman got her ring back, unless the muddy returned it for some reason.
It was also theorized that the woman went back to the swamp and got the ring back herself, which angered the muddy. As a sacrifice to the muddy, the woman killed her mother-in-law and threw her in the swamp or killed her by throwing her in the swamp.
I’m not sure the mother-in-law deserved to die here, but, hey, if we’re giving all these terrible fates to innocent people, why not have this shrill harpy take a dip in a swamp?
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