Animating Halloween: Hell Girl – Three Vessels Episode 2: Caged Bird

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Plot: Yuzuki’s friend, Akira, struggles with using Hell Girl to get rid of a man who is abusing his wife – a woman Akira has developed feelings for.

Breakdown: Alright, what the hell is going on with this season? Why is it so horny? In the previous two seasons, very rarely did we get anything even implying sex, but now not only is the weird naked erotica between two 13 year old girls a mainstay of the OP now, not only did we get naked Yamawaro for no reason, but now we have a boy lusting after an adult woman and a woman seemingly getting sexually assaulted on the reg.

Anyway, last episode we had a stupid reason to want to send someone to hell, so now we’re due for the ridiculously over-evil target. In comes Seiji Yamaoka, owner of an electronics store (That sells either Mitsubashi or Mitsubasi merchandise thanks to the good folks who treasure quality at Studio Deen.

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I get that they have to misspell it for the sake of copyright, but they misspelled their misspelling….Also, this shot pops up three times. There’s no excuse for this.) and husband of Mitsuko, who runs the place.

Our main character, Akira, who is a friend of Yuzuki, is in lust with Mitsuko, constantly staring at her boobs and butt, but she holds a dark secret. Seemingly every day, she’s tied up by the wrists in a warehouse, hung, beaten and sexually assaulted by Seiji for doing incredibly minor things like being nice to Akira, whom he believes she is attracted to, or not picking up the phone for three rings. He’s been watching from afar this whole time, but now he’s fed up with it and calls Hell Girl.

Ai, by the way, leaves Akira by possessing his soccer poster and kicking a ball at him….okie dokie.

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Back with Yuzuki, we learn that she doesn’t live her parents but we never learn why. She’s also getting increasingly bothered by the visions of Hell Girl’s activities, which, yeah, kinda makes her a Tsugumi rip-off.

Akira comes to her looking for advice about the situation, but she actually comes off as kinda terrible? She’s like ‘Well, if he’s so awful why doesn’t she leave him?’ ‘If she hasn’t said she has feelings for you, then it’s probably best not to meddle.’ ‘Liking someone comes in a lot of forms. I think that woman probably loves him, even though she’s mistreated.’ I am not paraphrasing even a little. My jaw dropped when she started saying these things. The dude ties her up everyday, beats and sexually assaults her as well as controls every single facet of her life. She lives in constant fear. But Yuzuki’s just like ‘Well, if she’s putting up with it, she must really love him. So it’s best to leave them alone.’ What the shit, Yuzuki? Really….

After this, the Hell Team has a conversation about Yuzuki. Apparently, Ai doesn’t have a human body anymore either and has chosen Yuzuki as a vessel?…..Where did her body go? I don’t understand why characters keep losing their bodies. Yamawaro also says it was probably easier to find a human body to possess than to keep flying around as a butterfly…..What!? Now Ai was a butterfly? Since when!? I know butterflies are her motif, but we’ve never even hinted at Ai being able to take the form of a butterfly. And she does have a human form because she has shown up to the Hell Team before she possessed Yuzuki as her old self…..What is all this? I don’t get it at all.

Later, Akira goes to the electronics store and gathers the courage to confront Mitsuko about the abuse. He even stops her from picking up the phone when Seiji tries to check up on her. Despite Akira offering a place to stay away from Seiji, Mitsuko refuses and tells Akira to go home before Seiji arrives.

Seiji arrives mere seconds later….Does he just hover around the shop? He owns it, but what does he do all day? Because he’s never working in the shop.

Seiji charges in and attacks them both, eventually holding up Mitsuko in the air from her head, holy shit.

Coming to grips with what he must do, Akira pulls the string, sending Seiji to hell.

Sooo….I guess Ai just has a pseudo-magical girl transformation sequence now, because when she’s called Yuzuki collapses and we get the exact same scene from last episode where Ai emerges from Yuzuki’s back via a giant…skin cocoon.

Onto Seiji’s hell torture and…it’s still very silly, but at least it’s better than episode one. Seiji is filled with giant electrical plugs and he’s powering a bunch of electronics that the Hell Team are using. Hone Onna shoves another plug in his nose and he starts overheating.

And just because, as I said, season three is really horny for some reason, we get this unsubtle shot of Hone Onna’s ass.

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Lovely.

It starts reaching very stupid levels because, even though we don’t see it, it’s HEAVILY implied that they shove a giant plug up his ass….

The guy claims he was only doing all of that stuff to protect her (Uh….huh) but they don’t buy it and he takes that familiar ferry ride to hell.

Mitsuko tells Akira politely to leave and that she’ll see him the following day, but when he returns, he finds that she has disappeared. Not really sure what this is implying. Did she just leave because she could finally start a happier life or did she leave in shame/guilt? Because Akira finds a picture of the two of them when they opened the shop and they seemed really happy. The phone starts ringing, but we never learn who’s calling.

Granted, I didn’t think that she’d fall into Akira’s arms and they’d go off into the sunset together, but what is this ending? Why is it so ambiguous? Why did she have to vanish behind Akira’s back?

Overall, this episode was…okay. Definitely better than the previous episode, but not by a whole lot. The client today had his heart in the right place, even if he was thinking with his dick a little, and the target definitely deserved it, though he’s one of those overly evil targets. I still can’t believe Yuzuki said those things about their situation, though. I mean, yeah, if she won’t accept help then there’s not much you can do to help someone in her situation except maybe call the cops, and sometimes that makes the situation worse because the victim might cover up for her abuser and then get twice as much shit because of the incident.

However, basically telling him that she’s fine because her accepting the abuse without leaving him is a sign that she truly loves him, so there’s nothing wrong and he should ignore it is just terrible. Not even a ‘go talk to her’ or ‘ask if she wants to go to a battered woman’s shelter’ or anything actually helpful or sympathetic just ‘leave her alone to be beaten and, let’s stop mincing words, probably raped. She just takes it, so it must be love.’ What the hell is wrong with you, Yuzuki? It’s even worse that she’s taking Akira and Mitsuko’s possible romantic feelings into the mix. Like ‘If you like her and she likes you, then yeah try to help her. But otherwise, stay out of it.’ Jeez….

The hell torture was better, but also not by much. It’s still very silly, and the plug up the ass is almost a dealbreaker (it’s silly, but also terrifying…) but him burning up from the inside was terrible and at least his hell torture made sense unlike the previous episode.

That ending was just unsatisfying, though. Ambiguous endings can work very well, but this wasn’t the episode for that. It was such a cut and dry plot that it didn’t warrant an ambiguous ending. Where the hell did she go? Why did she go? Why did she leave her shop without properly closing the place down? Why did she tell Akira to leave and come back tomorrow just to run away behind his back? Was that her on the phone? Why would she call him after running off? Again, I never expected her to hook up with Akira after that, that’d just be disgusting, but….just…why?

As dark as this sounds, I really expected her to kill herself. They seemed like they wanted to go for a slant like interfering here was the wrong choice and might have negative repercussions. Even the preview was all about asking Akira if this is what he really wanted to do and he should think about it. It’s, sadly, not unheard of for a victim of abuse to be so devastated and lost by their abuser either leaving or dying that they commit suicide, so I was thinking they’d do that, but nope. Just she suddenly vanished and now Akira has to go to hell when he dies.

Oh well, at least he didn’t ‘nice guy’ it and act like he was entitled to her now that he saved her from Seiji.

Rating: 4/10

Next time….

….Previously


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