'JU-ON: Origins' Ending Explained: Season 2 may see new story but must explain why curse doesn’t affect Yasuo
In one of his flashbacks, we see Yasuo stumble across a room full of mystical, religious artifacts. Is it possible that his father is connected to the curse?
Spoilers for ‘JU-ON: Origins’
‘JU-ON: Origins’ is not the easiest show to watch. And this is not about the show’s economic but effective use of graphic violence and scare scenes. The six-part Japanese Netflix series directed by Sho Miyake, and written by Hiroshi Takahashi and Takashige Ichise is often confusing. While it works well to create an unsettling atmosphere where the viewer is unable to foresee what would happen next, it does take a little too much effort to keep up with what is going on.
At its core, even though it totally discards the long-standing ‘Ju-On’ and ‘The Grudge’ lore around the murder of Kayako and the tragedy of the Saeki family, the series does retain one core element: the cursed house in Tokyo. This house is where all the bad things start. The curse, in ‘JU-ON: Origins’ began when in the 1950s, a man kept a woman captive, continually raping her, and subsequently, impregnating her. The woman finally killed the man and died. But her baby was never found. Forensics then revealed that she had given birth.
It is the same house where Yasuo Odajima (YoshiYoshi Arakawa) gets separated from his older sister and loses his father. This is the same house where Haruka’s (Yuina Kuroshima) fiance Tetsuya (Kai Inowaki) chances upon the curse and later succumbs to it. It is the house where Kiyomi (Ririka) was brutally raped by Yudai (Kohki Osamura) -- an event that changed her life altogether.
‘JU-ON: Origins’ presents a complex tale that is in more ways than one, horrifying and heartbreaking. It is a tale that spans across decades and exists in a loop of events that keep taking place free of the conventional constraints of time.
So, where does the story leave us? The series does not believe in completing stories and leaves viewers hanging. In a way, it makes the watch more unnerving and unpredictable. But it also creates some confusion as to where things stand. The one thing we know for certain is that Yasuo lived. We see him talking to the inspector at the end, where the latter questions how he was privy to some undisclosed details of one of the cases. Yasuo’s answer -- he embellished the facts with a little fiction -- did not seem to convince the cop altogether.
Which brings us to question whether Yasuo (who continues to remain unaffected by the house’s curse) knows more than he lets out. Does he have more to do with what is happening in the house? In one of his flashbacks, we see Yasuo stumble across a room full of mystical, religious artifacts. Is it possible that his father, who disappeared from the house, had something to do with the curse?
If the series has a second season, these should be questions that one hopes would be answered. Additionally, we saw Kiyomi, after leading a broken and abusive life for years, finally return to the house in hopes of finding peace. There she came across the spirits of the two schoolmates who tricked her, brought her to the house, and had her raped by Yudai. They promised her that she would now find sanity and took her away. But her body (or any sign of it) was never found.
Kiyomi’s arc was undoubtedly one of the most painful ones in the series. And it is what makes this show both horrifying and compelling. In the event of season 2, it should be addressed.
Many, many things go answered in ‘JU-ON: Origins’. Like why Kiyomi’s five-year-old son Toshiki acts as a guardian angel to many. Or why he asks the social worker to run away. Or how, if ever, the woman in white (Seiko Iwaido) will find her peace. But it also seems unlikely that these questions will ever be answered. Because in a way, the lack of catharsis in the show is what makes it more potent.
It is, of course, possible that if a second season happens, it will take the shape of an anthology format. Sure, some things from season 1 will undoubtedly have to be addressed or referred to. But largely, one can guess that the story would be a new one altogether.
‘JU-ON: Origins’ is available for viewing on Netflix.