Ok, this is definitely a Mai x Naru moment. I knew the directors are jealous of Masako and refuse to let her in for any part of this last arc. Why? Why? I want my Masako like now, now and now.
This arc is the file of the haunted house, and even though the build up is not as scary as the previous arc, it does open up to some really disturbing scenes. I am going to probably start panicking in the later stages of this arc and refuse to blog on it until my fear has subsided.
Note: I made use of honeysempai’s proposed names that are probably close to the actual names. Thanks to her!
Akufumi, the requestor, brought his niece to the SPR, as she had neck bruises and bruises that spelled out the word for people who were going to hell. The words, as explained by Bou-san, was “a message that the girl will be going down to hell soon” and Bou-san said that it was done by someone very malicious. The host of the family, Taizo and his wife, Hiroe greeted the Ghost Hunters and told them about the history of their lineage. Thirty two years ago when their great grandfather died, eight family members died while when their grandfather died, their grandmother and five other siblings of their grandparents died subsequently very soon. Then, when the host’s father died, Hazuki started having the mark on her back.
Mai started to remember the family members and found that everyone was quiet. Suddenly, Ejiro, the husband of the oldest daughter, screamed out and asked why they brought the ghost hunters in. He added that the host should have clarified and that it was not only the eight people that died. Hiroe then explained that three other guests died as well and they had spiritual power. He would not blame them if they left right now. The Ghost Hunters went to their rest room as Akufumi apologized for the behavior of Ejiro and said he was usually quite jovial. It seemed that after Taizo’s father died, everyone was having a short fuse and losing their temper after the burial. Akufumi’s three dogs also died, and they were found at the shore within three days of the burial. and the kids were the strangest.
The two other kids (Tazuki and Takako) in the house were inseparable suddenly and often whispered and mumbled things between each other. When asked when they were discussing, they simply glared and left. Mai was setting up the camera in a room and walked in the dark hallway. A young voice started calling her but she saw no one. A hand suddenly reached out, scaring Mai until she realized it was the two kids. The two kids asked Mai about how many people were here and Mai answered five. The two kids started mumbling toward each other and Mai asked why they questioned about the people count. The two kids told her not to worry as they walked away, with Mai realizing that Akufumi’s strange description of behavior was apparent and even though she could not pinpoint out the strange behavior, it just felt wrong.
A scream then rang out, as everyone rushed over to see the family members trying to hold Ejiro, who had bloodshot eyes and was holding a knife manically. Lin came forward and struck the man down. Naru asked about why Ejiro was feeling awful but they said that he was feeling good until very recently, and there was no particular reason. Naru continued to question the ghost hunters on who could try exorcising as he said it would be better to wait for John. Still, he asked Ayako whether she had confidence, and Ayako asked if Bou-san could do it. Bou-san said he had no confidence and the last time he tried on an urn, he was able to exorcise the spirit but the urn also broke. He added that one of the logics was that spiritual energy should never enter a living body. Lin was unable to do anything to exorcise the spirit if he did not know the true identity of the particular spirit. Naru asked Ayako to try it out, as Ayako said she could not promise what would happen.
Ayako started her ritual against the tied up Heijiro and it seemed that it was not working. Suddenly, a purple fox-like spirit emerged from the body and flew right pass her and through Naru’s body, as it escaped into the wall. Naru immediately slumped down, and Heijiro seemed to go back to normal. When they went back to HQ, none of the equipment captured the scenes as Lin said that the spirit had interfered and stopped all transmission. Naru clearly looked uncomfortable, and Ayako brought him back to his room for a rest. Mai regretted the chance to be close to Naru. As the two left the room, Bou-san questioned the authencity of Ayako’s powers as a Miko and wondered if she had ever successfully exorcised anything.
It was clear that she had some training before but the attempt to exorcise was a complete failure. Bou-san wondered if the miko name was self-styled. As they viewed on screen, it seemed that Ayako and Naru were hugging but Bou-san suddenly realized something was amiss as Naru was in fact strangling Ayako. Lin rushed out and struck Naru unconscious. Naru was possessed by the purple fox-like spirit rather than the spirit escaping. Lin told Ayako that she was lucky because the spirit had not known how to fully control Naru. If the spirit could control Naru properly, Ayako would have died earlier on. Lin told them that Naru was now a very dangerous character, completely out of expectations. Bou-san asked if Lin was good at fighting and whether he could beat Naru. In terms of resilience, Lin said Naru was possibly better.
Bou-san said that it left no choice but to try exorcising the spirit somehow, and try to identity the spirit so that Lin could do something. Lin said he would live his five spirits to guard and protect Naru, but that would leave him with zero. Bou-san asked Mai and Ayako about their plans, as there was no Naru to direct them. He told them that either to trust fate in their plans or to escape with Naru. Mai said they could not leave everyone this way and Ayako said no matter the bickering they had, they could not leave their compatriot behind. Mai was suddenly seen to be running in a “dream” and we see Naru with a stained knife and a fallen body. Naru had killed the person. Naru said that Mai had betrayed him, as only Mai would know about him meeting at this place. Mai said that there was a switch in the letters and she waited at a different place. Naru replied that he had to surrender since he killed someone but he would also be lynched if he surrendered. Mai told him that if they were to die, she would die together with Naru.
Naru brought Mai along to run, as they ran toward a shrine with the Yoshimi family giving chase. Mai wondered why they did not run toward the beach and everyone was there. The whole ghost hunter group was there as they had no place of escape. They were surrounded by the Yoshimi family as the swords came down. Mai woke up, only to see ghost lights around. It seemed that it was a dream within a dream, and she saw Dream Naru waving to her to come down. Mai asked if Dream Naru made the dream, but Dream Naru said that he simply guided Mai to it. Mai said she never noticed of such a path as they walked down into the cave and found the gathering of spirits and an altar that was slanted. Dream Naru told her that this place had gathered spirits who died in this place. Even though there was nothing malicious as yet, it was not a good place as it could be considered a spirit burial ground. Mai asked what Dream Naru meant when he said that he was guiding the dream but Dream Naru simply smiled as the lights faded off.
I apologize ahead for not going to say anything trivial at the start because I have a pressing concern. My first qualm about this episode is the dream within the dream. I do wonder what the significance of the dream, as most of you will have wondered right now. It definitely is not a dream about an experience like the past, compared to what has happened in the arc. It seems to be some form of foreboding, guided by Dream Naru. However, there are some points in the dream that does not make logical sense.
Something in the dream does not correspond to me in which I do not see John in the picture. If he is going to be around, the dream should have him around in my opinion. The fact that Naru will kill someone makes no sense to me too, since Naru is calm enough to think of such things before anything happen. The letter that he sends to Mai only is an interesting thing nevertheless, and I am curious what this symbolism actually means for the future. What exactly is supposed to be true in the dream within the dream, if the dream was a direction pointed out by Dream Naru for Mai.
If you are confused, it’s ok. I am too.
To add on, the fact that everyone is acting queerly and the altar seems to be related. Here comes my speculation time! I know it sounds obvious but I speculate that it must be the job of the spirit that resides in the house. I remember watching and reading Japanese folklore that believes that every house has a spirit living in it. In general, such spirits are benevolent, as long as suitable offerings are given (think a bit of food). I believe that somewhere down the line, the grand great father might have caused something that might be extremely offensive to the spirit in the altar.
When spirits are displeased, they can probably land a curse on the house that they reside in and turn their back against the very people living in it. When the spirit has lived for a long time and consumed the other spirits that have gathered in the vicinity, it will result in the curse being totally awful. This logic will actually work with the fact that Dream Naru said the place itself around the altar isn’t evil, yet isn’t good. The spirit itself is not evil in that sense, but it does lay a curse on the family residing in it.
The two kids does disturb me since their eyes looked totally vacant when they talked to Mai. The purple fox spirit seems to be powerful enough to possess even Naru, one who has probably at least some form of resistance. I cannot remember where I said this in the summary, but Bou-san did say that the more spiritual a person is, it will be harder to get the spirit out from the body. This will spell a lot of trouble, since Naru will become exceptionally dangerous. Ejiro is but a common man, yet has so much power that a few men had to tie him down. Imagine what happens when you have someone as resilient as Naru and martial arts not exactly too inferior to Lin possessed by this spirit. It’s like total carnage and I wonder what happens when Naru awakens.
The Dream Naru and Naru relationship really puzzles me, and I am slanting toward the twin speculation, since Naru is no longer under his own control, which means his sub-conscious is unlikely to have strength to pass the message to Mai, and extend his message. Ayako also disappointed me and I agree with Bou-san’s statements that she is probably trained before in some exorcism arts but definitely not a real miko by any sense.
And yes, to end off. WHERE’S MY MASAKO?
p/s: Rdrake is having his birthday! His birthday thread is here.