31 Shinbi's Apartment Ghosts!
DAY SIXTEEN: SEEDUCE
Written by Jonathan Wojcik
SEASON 02, EPISODE 07: I'm abandoning chronological order at this point, as my actual list of choices for these reviews has continued to evolve as we've gone along! Jumping back to the seventh episode of the second season, a strange girl messages a boy through his gaming stream, initiates a video call with him and engages in increasingly heated chat. At the first sign of rude behavior from him, she seizes control of his entire computer and emerges from the monitor in a very different form.
This spirit manifests as a huge hybrid of a human and a snake; scaly and green with a snakelike tail, humanoid torso, long neck, and a wide-mouthed semihumanoid head with long, purple hair. Like an actual snake, she can stretch open her jaws to swallow prey whole, and over the course of the episode devours three entire children completely.
The boys aren't dead, however; instead, they appear trapped in the world of the same game they had been playing, a side scroller that appears to be set in hell. When Hari and her friends begin to interfere, the ghost begins to stalk them through computer monitors and even cell phone screens, until they manage to weaken and immobilize it long enough for Hari to use her past-o-vision.
Seeduce was originally a little girl who loved gaming, and even built up an impressive following for her own gaming streams...until the day she thought it would be fun to set up a camera and show her fans her real face.
Dominated by the same few usernames, her comment feed took a drastic turn. She was increasingly belittled for her gaming skills, accused of being a poser and begging for attention, mocked for being an "ugly girl" and better off dead. While not shown, it is heavily implied that comments grew even more vile from there, to the point that she was living in real, actual fear. If she even tried to leave the house, she felt like everyone was staring at her and laughing at her, but maybe it was just paranoia? Everyone in town couldn't be familiar with one kid's gaming stream, could they?
But while doing her best to mind her own business, she was stopped on the sidewalk by a complete stranger who not only recognized her and knew her by name, but repeated one of the comments that had been haunting her. Whether this was real or a paranoid delusion is left deliberately ambiguous, but the terror that the online abuse might now follow her into her real, personal life induced a panic attack where she stood, and the last we see her as a human is curled up in a ball on the pavement, to the sound of chattering and jeering voices.
Dialog implies that her heart actually stopped, but I think the real implication here might be that she took her own life.
This is one of the few times when the real hero of the week is the geeky, comic relief Hyun-woo, who actually recognizes the ghost's old username and was one of her fans to the end. He had always missed her updates, never knowing what had happened until now, and even uses his phone to show her that her last video still receives comments on it. Comments from people wishing she would come back, wondering if she's okay, reminiscing about how fun her streams were, and one that simply says "I miss my sister."
Touched that people did, after all, care about and like her, Seeduce sheds her monstrous form and passes on to heaven.
In most episodes, this is also the point at which a spirit's indirect killers have been forgiven for their evil deeds. Usually we've seen by now that they've escaped their terrible fate. Typically they are at least seen or mentioned again, like, at all, even momentarily. Typically. Usually. Most episodes. Hahhahaha.