The students keep dropping like flies and no one seems to think it is strange except for Yuka and the Detective! Wait, someone should be seriously questioning all of the Yen bills flying around. Wait, how many are suspicious of the Professor at this point? Is it just me? Really? Regardless, this death got to me! Why? The people that are left behind is why! (For cast and synopsis information see Episode 1)
As another “Red X” is added to the picture, Yuka is trying desperately to talk to her other friends about the mysterious deaths of Kawabe (Shirasu Zin), Ikumi (Mai Nishida) and Miura (Yuki Yamada). Yuka mentions the death cash curse but no one is buying it. Even with Detective Wakamoto (Shigeyuki Totsugi) saying the same thing, no one is convinced. Haitani Gen (Shono Hayama) laughs it off while the girls, Hayashi Erina (Kawaei Rina) and Ueno Mari (Nakamura Yurika) are definitely not believing it either. Detective Wakamoto speaks up and says this isn’t a laughing matter as 3 people have died but Haitani asks “how can someone die when mysterious money shows up?” Yuka speaks up that though they are seen as accidents, it only happens as a result of the money. Yes, this whole conversation would seem strange to me also but as the friends haven’t witness what Detective Wakamoto and Yuka have, you wouldn’t expect a person to believe.
The Professor finally speaks and wonders why are all the victims his students? Yes, Professor, we have the same question. He goes on about how money comes and goes but why his students? Is it just coincidence? Everyone leaves even when Yuka tries to plead with them to listen to her further. She looks on the wall and sees a picture. It turns out the picture was from a camping trip they all took. All the victims are seen in the same picture and it is at that moment that Yuka makes the connection. She remembered when Ikumi found a burnt ten thousand yen bill in a drainage pipe. The Detective chimes in that he will investigate. Erina mentions that Yuka needs to inform Kazue (Yoshioka Riho) because she is not there. Talk about channeling who the next victim is, SHOW!!
Kazue is still at home hectically trying to get her little brother out of the house and ready for school. She runs into her mother’s room to walk her up and get her ready. It seems that her mother has an illness. It is never really said what exactly is wrong but it definitely seems to be a mental issue. Kazue has been taking care of the family. She cooks, cleans, and provides the money for them to live. She does everything. When her brother, Kouta asks her about paying some school feels, Kazue breaks down because she doesn’t have it and he starts to cry because the kids make fun of him. All Kazue can do is apologize. Kazue works many jobs to provide a living for the family. As she listens to another employee talking about a future trip, another employee mentions about Kazue’s financial situation. Kazue tries to laugh it off but you can see the pain of the situation in her face.
Working at the restaurant isn’t a joy! While serving food to another customer, a male customer grabs her behind which causes her to react and she drops food on another customer. Of course, the customer starts yelling about her damaged expensive clothing and we see just how hard it is for poor Kazue. When the restaurant manager comes out and forces Kazue to apologize, she reacts and runs out saying “it’s not my fault”.
As Kazue is leaving work, she is met by Yuka. Yuka is there to warn her about if any sudden money shows up. Kazue tells Yuka that it is her fault that she is having money issues. It seems that Yuka convinced her to stay at the university instead of dropping out when the financial burden kept getting bigger. Yuka tells her how good a student she is and she has the dream to be a teacher one day. Kazue doesn’t want to hear what she has to say and leaves because her family is waiting to eat.
When Kazue gets home, she is greeted by her brother, Kouta and immediately goes into to check on their mother. Kazue and Kouta’s mother have a serious mental issue. The reason why isn’t really explored or mentioned. Writer, I don’t like holes and this is a big one! Kazue walks in as her mother is taking medicine but her reaction to her daughter is very sad as she cowers and hides on the bed. Kouta comes in talking about he’s hungry and wants to know if she brought leftovers from the restaurant. At this point you realize just how important the job was for her. It was a means to feed her family. Kazue’s reply is pretty upbeat considering she was fired and promising him that she will cook something now. She looks around and the cupboard (and rice cooker) are bare so she says she’s going out to buy some food.
She reaches into the drawer and pulls out her bankbook. The balance is even sadder than mine as she only has little over two thousand yen! While she walking to the store, she sees a truck for a nursing care home wheeling an old woman away. It seems that the daughter of the woman is putting her in the home. When Kazue gets to the store, she uses the ATM to withdraw her last two thousand yen. As the ATM tells her to take her money and she begins to walk away, the ATM once again speaks to her to take her money. When she turns around, she sees a small stack of ten thousand yen bills. She thinks back to what Yuka said to her but at the same time she thinks about her own situation. As you can expect, the money wins!
The awesome meal that she prepares is unlike any she or Kouta has seen. Kouta is very happy as he voraciously digs in and all you see is happy faces and the sounds of food being eaten. She hands her mother some lipstick that she bought for her. This makes her mother very happy as she smiles and laugh. Kazue helps her mother put on the lipstick but there is something in her look as she does. Is it joy? Guilt? We will soon see. Kazue tries to convince herself about the money and using it. Even though she knows she will be the only one to suffer, the scene ends with her crying on her mother’s shoulder as she tries to put lipstick on Kazue too. And so the money grows…
Yuka and Koyume are discussing about the curse and money. Koyume wants to know whether it is truly the death cash curse. Yuka can only confirm that everyone who died had come into a large amount of money. The two discuss how each of the victims had a dream and that dream killed each one: Ikumi wanted to be beautiful (killed by beauty machines), Miura wanted his own business, and Kawabe wanted to attend the training camp! All were killed by the craft they wanted to aspire in!
Yuka contacts Detective Wakamoto the next day and gives her perspective of what has happened. Detective Wakamoto repeats the method in which everyone died. They both deduct that their deaths occur by the things that they bought before they died. Yuka once agains says that people will die by the very things that obtain using the money. Once again, the Professor’s lecture is eerily reflecting the current situation. As he is lecturing, we see that Kazue is going on a shopping spree, buying all the things that have been impossible for her before; clothing, shoes, jewelry. The lecture ends with “Base on different usages of the money, one can become an angel but also a devil. The change because of money in Kazue is complete.
Kazue returns home to major chaos. Her mother is having one of her episodes and the house is a total mess! She tries to stop her mother but when her mother spills a plate of food on her new dress, Kazue starts to yell at her mother. Her mother just continues her destructive behavior and is writing on the walls with the same lipstick that Kazue had bought for her. I think at this point is when Kazue has her final mental breakdown. She spies the brochure she had picked up from the nursing home. That evening, she calls the nursing home to make arrangement for her mother with the plan for them to pick her up at 5pm tomorrow.
At school, Yuka is being told how Erina saw Kazue at Harajuku. Harajuku is a district in Shibuya, Tokyo. It is known internationally as a center of shopping and dining with many larger international chain stores as well as high-end luxury merchandisers. Erina says she saw Kazue buying a lot of expensive clothing. This surprises Yuka and she thinks back to her conversation with the detective. This has her running out.
Back at Kazue’s house, we see Kazue wheeling her mother out in her wheelchair. As the camera pans away, we see that a screw has fallen from the locking mechanism. Kazue locks the wheels and speaks to her mother asking her if she thinks she is cruel. Not expecting an answer, Kazue looks really sad about what she is about to do. Seconds later, we hear Yuka calling her name. She asks her she used any of the money that was delivered to her. She also asks her where is she taking her mother. Kazue tries to justify why she used the money. She bought all the things she always wanted that other had and doesn’t know what is wrong with that. Yuka reminds her that the money is cursed and comes with a price. Kazue doesn’t know how her life can get any worse. Kazue talks about her financial state and wonders why she should live in poverty forever. Yuka apologizes but asks Kazue is the money the most precious thing to her. Yuka tells her that she’s very precious to her and asks her whether Kouta and her mother are also precious? This resonants with Kazue and the tears begin to fall. Kazue realizes what she has done and tells Yuka that she used the money. She only wanted a normal life.
Yuka tells her that bad things will happen now that she has used it. At that moment, the lock on the wheelchair disengages and her mother begins to rolls down the hill. The two women look up and watch in horror as Kazue’s mother is rolling down the street. They both run after the mother and just when you thought it was the end for her mother, Detective Wakamoto dives into the street and stops the wheelchair. Kazue runs to her mother and apologizes. She consoles her and is crying herself. Her mother drops the lipstick and cries after it. Kazue runs into the street to catch it. It is at that moment that the truck from the nursing home runs her over! Splat!
This was a pretty sad story. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for Kazue and her family situation. Granted, you say, going to university was her biggest debt and had she quit, her finances might not have been so dire; however, looking at her home life and taking care of her little brother was one thing but also caring for a mentally handicapped mother is enough to garner your sympathy, I hope. At least now both Yuka and Detective Wakamoto are on the same page and have the same thoughts on what is going on. They have put together the causes and effects of each case but they still have no idea how to stop it. The fact that everyone involved was on the camping trip gives the detective a starting point. Now for them to connect a few more dots will help the story along. Again, the Shinusa is very smart on preying on each person’s individual weakness. I think Kazue’s circumstances were definitely the most effective in pulling you in and working on your sympathy for the person more than the other stories. While the others dreams were more selfish, Kazue’s was just to be like everyone else. Even though, she took it to the extremes, you could understand where she was coming from. Okay, at least I did….