Animating Halloween: Hell Girl – Two Mirrors: Episode 7 – Bonds

HGTM EP7

Plot: Emi’s brother, Tatsuya, died in a tragic motorcycle accident, and now her mother is obsessed with avenging his death by going after the city for a dangerous roadway. Her family is falling apart before her eyes. Despite her best efforts at keeping the family together, Emi is living in a house with no love or attention. Before his death, Tatsuya contacted Hell Girl and got the signature straw doll. Strangely, even though Tatsuya has died, the doll is seemingly passed down to Emi. Who is the doll’s target, and will Emi pull the string to restore happiness back to her family?

Breakdown: This episode certainly was interesting and incredibly tragic.

They depicted the impact of a death of a child in a family very realistically, almost to the point where you want to cry for nearly everyone involved. The dad is drinking all the time and ignoring the problems his wife is currently having, pretty much just letting her grieve in her own way.

Emi is doing everything in her power to keep it together. She’s taking care of her mother, doing all of the household chores and is keeping up activities at school.

Meanwhile, the mother has gone off the rails. She spends her days consumed with thoughts of Tatsuya. She’s gone on a warpath to attack the city for a road that she deems was so unsafe that it caused her son’s accident. It’s also created a massive media storm that…I find unrealistic to be honest. Some media attention, sure, but they are being attacked by mobs of journalists for this issue that’s not really all that news-worthy.

I know a lot of local roads that have issues and end up having a lot of accidents, fatalities included. It’s quite possible to lock the city into a lawsuit over safety issues resulting in a fatality, but it would hardly garner this level of media attention.

Plus, honestly, that road doesn’t look all that unsafe. It’s a sharp turn…with plenty of signs. It was extremely rainy out and he looked like he was speeding. It was an accident. Even Emi and her father agree it was just an accident.

Throughout the episode, Emi’s mother keeps slipping further and further from sanity. She pays Emi absolutely no mind and focuses her all into Tatsuya and getting vengeance for his death.

It’s made a mystery throughout most of the episode as to who Tatsuya was targeting when he called Hell Girl, but about halfway through the episode, considering no one else is really showing up, you come to realize it’s the mother.

Before his death, their mother was still focused entirely on Tatsuya. She never cared at all about Emi. She never paid her any attention or noticed her achievements. No matter how hard she tried, she could never get her mother’s attention because Tatsuya consumed it all.

Tatsuya hated the attention because their mother was always on his ass about every little thing. She was suffocating him and driving him insane. He believed that their family would be perfect if she weren’t around. However, he died before he was able to use the doll.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a client die before using the doll. I always assumed the doll went back to normal if the client died before the contract could be made, but not only does it stick around, the power gets transferred to someone else without them accessing Hell Girl.

I had no idea you could do that. I could swear that accessing the website was necessary for any deal to start. The only reason I can think of for this happening is maybe, since Emi also had it out for their mother deep down, the feeling of vengeance and the pending contract already in play was enough to transfer it to her? I dunno. Sometimes, I feel like Hell Girl plays it fast and loose with the rules to get a plot going.

The third act is rather heart-breaking. Absolutely everything is falling apart in Emi’s family.

Her dad is becoming more of a drunk, who even seems like he quit his job near the end or got fired.

Her mother is completely insane now, spending her time cuddling a broken Buddha statue head that broke in the accident, acting like it’s somehow Tatsuya or a link to him, borrowing a ton of money for who knows where to get a book deal for Tatsuya’s story and, despite the city deciding to fix the road, they won’t admit responsibility for Tatsuya’s death, which makes her even more infuriated.

Emi is left with complete responsibility in the house and no one’s paying a lick of attention to her. Unable to take it any longer, Emi takes his earlier statement to heart. Maybe their family really would be better off without their mom. She pulls the string and her mother is sent to hell.

We get no hell torture this time around, but we do see her in the boat with Ai and Ren. They tell her she’s going to hell, and she asks if Tatsuya’s there. Even though Ren tells her it’s extremely unlikely, she gleefully yells out over and over that she’s going to see Tatsuya. I know she’s not right in the head, but why would she want to believe Tatsuya’s in hell, even if she’s going there too?

And it doesn’t stop there. Obviously, this doesn’t really fix the issue. Emi’s father believes her mother is merely missing and seemingly spends his days going out to look for her. Emi spends all her days alone and lives in a delusion of a happy family by setting up photos of everyone around the dinner table and pretending they’re the real thing.

God. Damn.

I can’t even really bring myself to say the mother deserved to go to hell. I have no idea how much of a bitch she was before Tatsuya died. From what Emi and Tatsuya said, her entire world was Tatsuya, and she was very neglectful of Emi, but I never got to see to what levels they’re talking about. A flashback or two in that regard would’ve been nice.

Even if she was that way, it’s hard to say that’s enough to warrant being damned to hell.

After the fact, it’s even harder to say she deserves it because she’s obviously spiraling in grief to the point of extremely mental illness. She won’t eat, she won’t pay attention to anything that doesn’t involve Tatsuya and she eventually gets so bad that she just sits on the floor clutching that Buddha head chanting ‘Tatsuya’ over and over.

I know Emi’s in a lot of pain and is frustrated at how her parents, particularly her mother, is acting, but while she may have meant to ignore her before Tatsuya died, I don’t think she’s meaning to do it now. It’s just how some people grieve. This is an extreme case, but it still counts.

Now Emi’s damned to hell too. It’s just a terrible situation on all sides.

Rating: 9/10

10 thoughts on “Animating Halloween: Hell Girl – Two Mirrors: Episode 7 – Bonds

  1. “Unable to take it any longer, Tatsuya takes his earlier statement to heart.”

    Shouldn’t that be Emi, not Tatsuya? Tatsuya’s dead.

    Other than that, I’ve loved your posts so far; I just haven’t come up with anything to say about them.

  2. Also, don’t know where else to put this, but I got myself caught up on your tweets. First of all, what is TWD?

    And second, I’m lucky enough to have dodged shipping wars so far. The closest I’ve seen is Tokyo Mew Mew fans who hate Masaya Aoyama, but 1) it’s for valid reasons, not just ‘cause he gets in the way of a preferred ship, and 2) they hate the character, not real people.

    • TWD = The Walking Dead

      What kinds of criticisms do they have against Aoyama? I mean, I know a lot of people ship IchigoxKisshu and IchigoxRyou (Though I think the latter is the least popular?) but what’s so wrong with Aoyama? He’s a great guy. I mean, he’s a bit on the perfect side and seems a bit too well snug into the overall plot (Still have trouble accepting that he was both TBK AND DB.) but other than that I don’t see any issue.

      • I’m glad you don’t, because I don’t either! From the reviews, I thought that you thought he was boring, but not insufferable. Generally, the problems Aoyama haters have are that he’s too perfect and too boring, especially in comparison to Ryou and Quiche. That’s not to say everyone hates him, or even a majority of the fandom (though it may be a majority; it’s hard to take a census).

        By the way, can we make a spin-off of the DK Rap called the BK Rap?

      • Strictly speaking, I think Aoyama and Ichigo are best for each other. They bring out the best sides of each other and make each other better people, particularly on Aoyama’s side given his backstory.

        Aoyama is a bit perfect and snuggly well-fit into the plot IMO, but that doesn’t make him really boring per se. I particularly like when he goes philosophical, because not only are the things he says interesting (sometimes preachy, but eh) but he only tends to do that around Ichigo. He opens up, he shares his mind and he’s more than willing to change his mind and see Ichigo’s view of the world through her eyes.

        In IchigoxKisshu, I think Ichigo brings out the best side of Kisshu but not vice versa, and likewise she makes him grow but she doesn’t really grow in response.

        I think Ryou and Ichigo just kinda stagnate. They’re a cute couple and they can bring out brighter sides to each other, plus I sometimes enjoy their bickering, but I’m not sure there’s real growth there. Understanding, yes, but growth is more uncertain.

        I’ve always really liked Lettuce and Ryou because Lettuce would really get Ryou to soften up and Ryou would give her more confidence, but the writers decided to just poof that away for whatever reason.

        Also, yes, we definitely need the BK Rap.

  3. I couldn’t come up with a BK Rap, so I did this instead.

    AOYAMA MASAYA (parody of “Alexander Hamilton”)

    RYOU:
    How does a hippie, orphan, son of Deep Blue and no
    Mama, dropped in a forgotten
    Forest near an orphanage, by providence, impoverished, in squalor
    Grow up to be a heartthrob and a martyr?

    KEIICHIROU:
    The much-hated Gary Stu who makes the fans holler
    Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
    By being a lot smarter
    By being a self-starter
    By seven, they put him in charge of a kendo charter

    RYOU:
    And while the animals were being slaughtered and hunted
    Into oblivion, he struggled and kept his guard up
    He wanted an environmental group to be a part of
    The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter

    KEIICHIROU:
    Then a tsunami came and devastation reigned
    Our man’s possessions were drip, dripping down the drain
    Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain
    And he got a bunch of A’s, went up a couple grades

    RYOU:
    Well, the word got around, they said,
    “This kid is insane, man”
    People lined up round the building trying to adopt him
    “Get your education, don’t forget from where you came
    And the world’s gonna know your name.
    What’s your name, man?”

    MASAYA:
    Aoyama Masaya
    My name is Aoyama Masaya
    And there’s a million things I haven’t done
    But just you wait, just you wait…

    When he was ten, his father spent all their yen, debt-ridden
    A year later, see Aoyama-kun’s mother bed-ridden
    Hooked up to machines, her heartbeat on a screen

    EVERYONE EXCEPT MASAYA (whispering):
    And Aoyama told his mother, “Rest in peace.”

    KEIICHIROU:
    Dad married a new wife, the new wife beat Aoyama’s hide
    Left him with nothing but ruined sides, something new inside,
    A voice saying,
    “Masaya, time to fend for yourself.”
    He started retreatin’ and readin’ every textbook on the shelf

    RYOU & KEIICHIROU:
    There would’ve been nothing left to do
    For someone less astute
    Woulda been some kind of prostitute
    Without a cent of restitution
    Started workin’, doin’ government forest cleanup
    With inmates he collaborated, he had to team up
    Scammin’ for every book he could get his hands on
    Plannin’ for the future, see him as he stands on
    The floor of a train headed for a new land
    In Tokyo you can be a new man

    EVERYONE:
    In Tokyo you can be a new man (Just you wait)
    In Tokyo you can be a new man (Just you wait)
    In Tokyo you can be a new man
    In Tokyo, Tokyo
    Just you wait!

    EVERYONE EXCEPT MASAYA:
    Aoyama Masaya (Aoyama Masaya)
    We are waiting the wings for you (waiting in the wings for you)
    You never could predict
    You never learned to tame yourself!
    Oh, Aoyama Masaya (Aoyama Masaya)
    When the fangirls all sing for you
    Will they know what you overcame?
    Will they know you rewrote the game?
    The world will never be the same, oh

    The train is in the station now, see if you can spot him
    (Just you wait)
    Another foster kid
    Comin’ up from the bottom
    (Just you wait)
    The other boys destroyed his rep
    The fanbase, they forgot him

    MINT, LETTUCE, PUDDING, AND ZAKURO:
    We fought by him.

    BLUE KNIGHT:
    Me? I died for him.

    QUICHE:
    Me? I tortured him!

    FANGIRLS:
    Me? I loved him.

    ICHIGO:
    And me? I’m the damn fool that killed him.

    EVERYONE EXCEPT MASAYA:
    There’s a million things he hasn’t done
    But just you wait!

    MARY MCGUIRE:
    What’s your name, man?

    EVERYONE:
    Aoyama Masaya!

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