The events of ‘Ju-On Origins’ do not unfold in chronological order. Even the development of its characters and plot points is not linear. The series follows a timeline that stems from 1952 and then goes all the way to 1997. With this convoluted timeline, the show depicts how the history of violence in a Japanese apartment has manifested into a curse. A curse that is an endless loop, growing stronger with time. Anyone who has come in contact with the curse of the house has met the same gruesome fate. But for some reason, the show’s protagonist, Yasuo, a paranormal investigator, is an exception.
The series presents three different stories, with the only connective thread between them being a cursed house and Yasuo’s obsession with these tales. While the events of these stories seem mundane, we can draw several parallels between them. And it’s these parallels that explain the nature and origins of the curse.
The Origin and Nature of the Curse, Explained
The series begins in the year 1988. In this timeline, it draws a clear picture of a couple, Haruka and Tetsuya, who become the victims of the curse after Tetsuya first comes in contact with the cursed home. Things don’t end too well for Tetsuya, and this sets Haruka and Tetsuya’s mother on the path to uncovering the mysteries of the house. In the meantime, another parallel story unfolds the story of a high school girl, Kiyomi, who gets assaulted in the same home by Yudai. Both of them are unknowingly affected by the curse. With what follows, Kiyomi blackmails Yudai into killing her mother as she blames her for everything that happened to her. The first timeline shows how one does not necessarily have to come in contact with the curse to be affected by it.
Tetsuya mysteriously dies soon after coming in contact with the home. But even after his death, Haruka still hears mysterious noises in her bedroom. Describing the sounds, she says, “Tut Tut Tut,” at a reality TV show where Yasuo is a part of the panel. It also seems like the curse stays with people even after they’re dead. Tetsuya’s spirit haunts his mother and warns them to stay away from the home when they try to find out its location. Kiyomi’s side of the story just shows how the curse is capable of bringing out the absolute worst in people. It changes them in ways they cannot comprehend, and no matter where they go after visiting the home, it follows. The curse affects everyone in a very different manner. It kills some, while the others become violent manifestations of it. Moreover, it even gets passed on to generations. That’s how it affects Kiyomi’s son.
In the 1988 timeline, there’s also a brief scene in which a serial killer named “M” runs loose in Japan. Much later in the series, Yasuo visits the killer in prison and asks him what he knows about the cursed home. The killer tells him that he was once obsessed with old newspapers, and he would relentlessly look for something interesting to read. That’s when he often came across violent crimes that were all connected to a mysterious home. He also tells him that this chain of events at the house had first originated from a woman’s rape and murder back in 1952.
While this explains the curse’s nature, it also shows how the curse is capable of spreading onto anyone who comes close to it. “M” never really visited the home. But just coming in proximity with it or even by merely knowing about it, he, too, lost his mind and became a victim. In the 1952 event, the woman’s abuser had disappeared with her child after killing her. This event explains that the “Lady in White” who haunts all the victims of the curse, is the same woman form 1952 who’s still probably looking for her child.
The Ending: Why Was Yasuo Unaffected by the Curse?
Till the very end, Yasuo somehow remains to be its only surviving victim. Although Yasuo tries his best to suppress his childhood memories of the home, he can’t help but relive them every time he revisits the place. But despite everything, Yasuo is the only one who manages to stay alive, while anyone else who comes in contact with it either dies or shows violent tendencies. But the fact that Yasuo was never affected by the curse is somewhat counter-intuitive.
If you think about it, he is affected by it, but not like others. There’s a scene later on the series where an investigator visits and asks Yasuo for an autograph. While he’s at it, the investigator asks him about one of the stories in his book where a man stabbed his pregnant wife at the cursed house, and for some twisted reason, planted a landline telephone in her stomach. The investigator questions him if anything of that sort happened in the house. Yasuo shamelessly claims that he only made up that part of the story. The investigator realizes that Yasuo is not in his right mind and leaves without an autograph. This scene perfectly shows that the curse has affected Yasuo as well. It has affected him in a way that Yasuo is now promoting it to the real world through his writings.
Will the Curse Ever Stop?
In the series, every time something terrible happens in and around the cursed home, the curse seemingly grows stronger. It becomes a heap of all the negative energy that manifested from the violent activity at the home. And so, it will live on forever. With people like Yasuo promoting it even further, the house will only draw more attention and affect more people. And if you think about it, even in the real world, ‘Ju-On’ has given rise to several franchises in the past and still seems to be alive in some shape or form. It’s almost like its curse is real, living with us for over two decades because of these adaptations.
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