Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Episode 21 – Paper Balloons Wafting Review

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Plot: The backstory of Hone Onna unfolds as she follows a case in current day that reminds her a lot of her past.

Breakdown: Barring Ai, Hone Onna definitely has the saddest backstory of everyone in the Hell team. Born as a woman named Tsuyu, her life had been one of servitude, torment and betrayal. I thought just hating the young lord, who tricked her into being sold into prostitution to help settle a debt he had, would be the worst, but nope. That award goes to her ungrateful little pissant of a friend, Kiyo.

I really don’t understand this woman. I get that she was always jealous of Hone Onna/Tsuyu, despite their close relationship, but everything Hone Onna tried to do for her, she’d brush off because she was just that bitter. The fact that it seemed like Kiyo didn’t much care that Hone Onna and another man who was trying to help her was murdered all because ‘oooh look, this douchebag bought me a pretty kimono that is way better than anything you own, onee-san,’ is infuriating. By the way, she didn’t get them murdered by accident – she ousted them as they were trying to help her escape and they got murdered as punishment.

I didn’t have an ounce of sympathy for this bitch when they revealed what happened to her after Hone Onna got murdered.

She continued her life at the brothel only to get pregnant by the guy who gave her the fancy kimono. He wasn’t having any of that, however, so he took his sword and slashed her across the stomach to kill the baby. Devastated, she committed suicide in the same river Hone Onna’s body had been dumped into.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Oh come on, Twix. You’re being a bit harsh on Kiyo. I bet she had just as terrible of a life story as Hone Onna. She made a bad decision and paid for it. Cut her some slack.” Well, maybe I would if not for her story’s resolution.

Yup, Kiyo’s not quite done yet.

Cut to present time where Kiyo is sorta-ish possessing their client of the week. While it’s very unclear exactly how much Kiyo is influencing the client, Youko, she does certainly convince her to try to commit suicide, again, via jumping off a bridge into a river, trying to replicate the circumstances of her own death.

I’m only giving half blame on this to Kiyo herself. I don’t know what circumstances turned her into this wandering spirit outside of her sad story, but she’s still knowingly doing it to continue the cycle of pain and misery through women who have similar stories to her.

She earns the rest of my ire by what she does after Hone Onna saves Youko and confronts Kiyo. Believe it not, Kiyo still has the balls to act like she has the moral high ground with Hone Onna. Apparently, Kiyo is just so woeful that Hone Onna can’t possibly understand what she’s going through. Jeepers. Someone you love betraying you and getting you murdered? Hone Onna would NEVER be able to understand that….

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The situation sucks as a whole for both of them, I get that, but Kiyo’s attitude and actions are so shitty it makes it so much more difficult to sympathize with her.

Hone Onna has been massively betrayed twice in her life, and she still managed to get up, move on and trust others, trying to help them, long after she’s died. Kiyo, on the other hand, had someone who loved her, who tried to help her, tried to free her from a life of prostitution and essential slavery, but she threw that away just to be better than Hone Onna.

And when the shit hit the fan for her, she never even apologized or expressed remorse for her actions. She was still completely wrapped up in her own problems until the very end and continued giving Hone Onna the snub. She did say she was happy to have met her one more time before she, I guess, made the conscious choice to go to hell, but that doesn’t make up for much.

You want to know what else? After all that, Hone Onna still tries to save her from going to hell and even asks Ai if she’ll pick up Kiyo at the river Styx to maybe help Kiyo like she did for her.

It’s sad, but also quite touching that Hone Onna has finally found a family that she can trust, but she had to die to get it.

As for our case this week, a woman named Youko has put out a contract on her ex-boyfriend, Makoto. He has knocked her up, took a ton of her money, and left her for some other woman. He doesn’t give a crap about her or the baby and just wants her out of his life. I did proper research on this and no, this is not Makoto from School Days, but don’t worry, he still gets his in the end.

Youko has contacted Hell Girl, but she is still desperately, and I mean desperately, trying to keep Makoto by her side. She doesn’t care if he’s with another woman or never gives her money back or if he loves her or not – she just wants him to be in her life, and he doesn’t want that at all.

Youko has a friend who basically acts like Hone Onna to Youko’s Kiyo in this situation – trying to convince her to leave him and that he’s not good for her, freeing her of a life with someone so terrible, but she won’t listen.

When Makoto makes it as painfully clear as possible that he’ll never be with her in any capacity again, even being the father to his child, she pulls the string and Kiyo guides her into trying to jump off the bridge because she feels there’s no point in giving birth to a child if Makoto isn’t around. When Kiyo’s influence is torn from her, however, she pats her belly lovingly and goes off to live a good life with her baby, so there’s no arguing that Kiyo didn’t force Youko into attempting suicide.

My question is, how long has Kiyo been influencing Youko? Does she even realize what she’s done, in regards to Hell Girl? Does she know she’s damned for hell? Did Kiyo contact Hell Girl in the first place? I’d imagine not because Ai can see Kiyo, but it’s never really confirmed and that bothers me.

Finally, there’s the hell torture this time around. I’m kinda surprised we got one this episode since the current day plot took up so little time in the episode, but Makoto is certainly a big enough jackwad to warrant one. And what a weird one he got.

He’s transported to a ramen shop where there’s a swaddled baby in his ramen. He’s then drowned in ramen broth, grabbed by Ren, Wanyuudou and Kikuri, clad in bathing suits. When we pull out, it’s revealed that it’s not really ramen broth, it’s amniotic fluid. They’re all in a big womb with a giant baby sitting by them. Zoom out even more and we reveal that they’re all inside of a fish bowl, for some reason.

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You’d think that’d be the end of it, but it’s not. They pull out all the stops with this one. As Makoto wakes up in the boat, he’s massively pregnant and, in Alien-style, whatever is in his man-womb bursts from his stomach.

Holy. Crap. I don’t know why they chose this guy to go all out on when there are so many people who have deserved creative and horrifying hell tortures, with full episodes dedicated to their assholery, but that was so insane and, quite frankly, awesome. Weird as hell, pun intended, but awesome.

All in all, I really loved this episode. Some parts about Kiyo were janky, and it’s very miserable, but much of Hell Girl tends to be filled with misery. At least we know Hone Onna’s content where she is and she got some closure with Kiyo. At least we know Youko is going to love and care for her baby now. Heck, we even know Kiyo’s free from wandering the earth and another dickwicket is having a literal pregnancy from hell for all eternity. It’s about the best you can get in regards to happy endings in this show.

Rating: 9/10

Next time, Takuma, another miserable human being, in a different manner, returns! Will there be any light on the horizon for this perpetual tormented boy?


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