I admit, this episode is a completely Mai-powered episode. The screenshot above just makes it hard for any supporter to rationally say that she’s not cute. Sigh, if she continues on those two bun hair style, even a strong Masako fan like me will have to support the both of them.
Is my heart wavering? I fear it to be so.
Masako and John arrived to see Naru completely held down. Mai asked what kind of spirit had possessed Naru, but Masako said that the spirit was detectable, yet she could not put a form onto the spirit as though something was hindering her from detecting it. The spirit had no emotions, yet had a strong sense of presence. Mai knew she was angry at Masako sometimes, but she could understand how Masako was feeling now. As they checked the cameras yesterday, there were a lot of ghost lights around the house, just like what Mai had dreamed. Akifumi then came in with coffee, while Mai questioned him on the existence of a shrine, a cave and stony path down to the cave. Akifumi was surprised she knew anything about it and said that the stairs down to the cave was dangerous, telling them that it was close to crumbling.
Akifumi then brought the ghost hunters to where the stone stairs went down, but he said they had to walk across to the other side of the cliff in order to see the cave. At the other side, Akifumi warned everyone that the barriers had fallen and it was a bit dangerous at the edges. There were five stones right at that cliff and they were in fact tombs a long time ago. At the sea ahead, there were two boulders with a rope tied together, and he said the big boulder symbolized man while the small one symbolized a woman who jumped down the cliff. He then told a deal about a princess in this mansion who fell in love with a fisherman. However, a rich man stood between the two and tried to force the princess to marry him. The fisherman and princess decided to elope, but the rich man intercepted the mail exchange for the plan to elope as the princess wondered why it took so long for him to come. As she finally reached the place where the young man waited, the fisherman had killed the rich man.
Even though the mutual mistake of betrayal was realized, they had no one to run as they were lynched by the family of the rich man as they jumped down the cliff. Mai asked whether there was a shrine and Akifumi brought them over, saying that it was simply a shrine that the little children cleaned up without a real god. Mai asked whether Ayako did the cleaning of shrines when she was young since she was in a family of a shrine, but surprisingly, Ayako said her father was a doctor and owned a community hospital, and since their family was well off, she had never done any form of housework. Mai started to question why Ayako became a miko. There were also three stones (tombs) here and was called three-six, but there were only five tombs on the cliff.
Akifumi said that one of the tombs might have fallen into the sea by accident and Ayako started speculating that it was in fact the fox spirit trying to take revenge over the family after someone accidentally dropped the tomb. Bou-san told her not to jump the gun, sounding just like Naru. Bou-san asked Masako about her thoughts and she first said that spirits liked to trick humans and took forms of animals. Bou-san added that the fox spirit was just a pretense. She could also feel that there was both a good feeling and a bad feeling, just like the field of spirits in a task in the United States, just as what Dream Naru had told Mai. Mai told them then that the gathering of spirits was at the altar, as Akifumi brought them there. The shore often brought in items from the sea and it was there his dogs’ corpses were found. Inside the altar, there was a piece of wood that resembled the posture of the hand of the Buddha. Bou-san said it was an Ebisu.
Mai then asked what Ebisu was, and it was said that in ancient times, people believed that there was a island that had eternal life and that anything special that drifted onto the shore was a blessing from the sea. Hence, hands like the one in the shrine or jewels were ebisu and they believed that such items had special powers. Mai realized that Dream Naru had told her all that in order to understand that those were the things she had to take note of to solve the puzzle. As she bathed, she continued to think until she remembered the part where Ejiro cleaved her into half, scaring her wits off. As she came out, Akifumi was rushing out as Yasou lied down bloodied with his wrists being cut as he was sent immediately to the hospital.
Outside the room, Tazuki and Takako asked Mai whether Yasou died. When Mai said that he did not, they look disappointed and ran off. Yasou, in the hospital, related to Akifumi that he heard voices that told him that they ordered him to kill his family. With the taunts getting increasingly prominent, he decided to suicide first since he was going to die anyway. Bou-san apologized to Akifumi for not doing their job well but Akifumi said that he was also at fault for causing Naru to collapse this way. Bou-san then asked Lin about the spirit protectors, and he said that it would prevent spirits from coming in but also prevent the spirit in Naru to come out. Hence, it also meant that there were more than one spirit lingering around and started to investigate the other family members.
Masako first examined Hazuki as she felt this empty spirit around her without any emotions but there was still a possibility of being possessed by something dirty. As Bou-san told John to try exorcising the spirit, the mother of Hazumi said it was cruel and left. Bou-san asked Akifumi to join him to the shrine, as he collected some talismans for the family members. Yoko refused to hold the talisman, saying that it was inconvenient when she goes to the bath. Tazuki and Takako also refused it, but Mai found a way by tricking them with the news that Yasou had died as well as Akifumi. As Mai approached, she held their hands before Tazuki scrambled free from her grip.
Tazuki told them to release Takako and said that if he threw himself into the sea, they would be troubled. It was clear to Mai now that Tazuki was possessed. It was not the empty spirit like what Masako detected but one filled with hatred Mai questioned who the person speaking was, as an old lady’s voice appeared, saying that they would all die and it was a blessing to die from drowning, unlike having their necks broken and lynched. She continued that the child was useless once they die as Tazuki ran toward the gate to the sea. Faced with the dilemma posed by Bou-san about thrusting energy onto a living object, she decided to still do the chant as the two children collapsed into tears. Bou-san scolded her for the recklessness and told her that even though she had talent in it, it would be better to make sure no such situation appeared again. Yoko then rushed in, screaming at them as she demanded them to get rid of the talismans. The question was not solved and yet another family member was about to be killed…
Ok, this episode smacked my speculation that it is the foreboding of the future so hard that it is not pretty. I am still wincing from the hard slap caused by the episode. Oh well. However, we do get a few clues that the recent hauntings has to do with the lynching by the rich man’s family, the death of the couple who attempted to elope, the cave with the ebisu, the fallen tomb and of course the shrine. It is a very complicated puzzle but my belief is that it is not as simple as a single spirit. As noted in the discussion of Bou-san with Lin, we realized that the spirit that had possessed Naru is not able to escape, which means that the ones that have possessed Yasou to do an act of suicide is a different spirit. Hence, there are more than one spirit at work here and the spirits are all working toward a common goal: to kill everyone in the household.
That leads to the thought that the family members might be individually possessed by the spirits, who are in a rich field of spirits in the whole proximity. All this makes sense until we go behind one step and start thinking about the part on the rich field of spirits. From the tale, we can only deduce that there are three casualties from the tale. It will be the fisherman, the princess and the rich man. Seems like the rich man is likely to be the one vengeful.
Yet, when the old woman’s voice started to talk, she was talking about killing everyone that has caused her to die such an awful death. It is a spirit with deep resentment and I wonder if the field of spirits came about after the part where Ejiro “cursed” the family to suffer great deaths. I have a feeling that the rich man’s family had in anger killed the whole clan of the fisherman after the rich man had been killed by the fisherman, hence causing great anger in the after life for the fisherman’s family. Being lynched for your fellow clansman’s folly would not probably be the best way to die.
That will probably explain the bit about the strong field of spirits, as it was not exactly a good thing or bad thing, yet the death of some spirits have caused them to be vengeful, hence they would still stalk the living until today. Then another question arises, why now, why today, why this time? Why must there be a death of the elderly before this curse starts? Now, that is a question that I cannot answer as well and I wonder if anyone else has any idea on it. The boulder might also possibly be the boulder of the rich man that has been thrown down. How this relates to the ebisu puzzles me too and I am still collecting my thoughts on it to be honest.
On the episode itself, I personally thought that Ayako’s background is amusing to say the very least. First, I did not expect her to be in a family of doctors, in a rich family that owned a community hospital. If she is so spoiled when she was young, why did she choose the occupation of a miko in the first place? That made absolutely no sense and I have a feeling that she has only recently picked up this job and is hence inadequate in repelling the spirits. I was happily amused about Mai’s face when Ayako proudly said that she had never done any housework. Ayako’s insistence of the fox spirit was struck down by the lovely and great Masako too.
Mai was also treated rather harshly toward Bou-san on her attack on the two kids. Yes, I know the classic example given by Bou-san that if she does it wrongly, the curse might be dispelled but the apparatus might also break. She is risking the life of Tazuki. However, look more carefully. I mean, what other alternative does she have? Watch the darn kid go down? She is only a normal high school student without the giant intellect and wit of Naru. I mean, I do not really see any way that she could have effectively escaped the situation. She is chasing the two kids to give them the talisman and with them being the lead, it’s impossible to do anything. I cannot believe I am defending Mai but Bou-san just went off the line there in my opinion. Bad Bou-san!
Also, someone alerted me on the sign at the forehead of Naru while he is sleeping. I do wonder what it is and my wild guess is that it is one of the ways to bind the spirit on Naru. I have no clue and the episode gives no explanation on it. I will gladly hear it from others.
The end came with one of the family members with a brooding shadow in front of her. Is she going to die first?