|Romaji Title||Kusatta Kajitsu|
|Original Air Date||October 18, 2008|
|Bird in a Cage||Big Brother|
"Rotten Fruit" is the 3rd episode of the season "Three Vessels" and the 55th episode from total.
The episode begins in the schoolyard, where all of Yuzuki's classmates are having fun. She, however is standing under the shadow of a tree, her look being rather eerie. Yamawaro, Ichimokuren, Hone Onna, and Wanyuudou are watching her, without her realising. Kikuri is running around on her bike near them. As Yuzuki looks at the muddy water in the ground, instead of seeing her own reflection, she sees Ai looking at her.
After the opening creadits, as Yuzuki and Akie are walking home, they notice a lot of people having gathered around. They approach to see what's going on and notice settings for filming, as well as staff for filming. Akie identifies the actress as the pop-star Jun Moriyama, a blond girl, a bit higher than their age, with beautiful characteristics. After a masterful display of acting the director approaches her congratulating and commenting that it's a waste her main job is to sing instead of act.
In their way home, while discussing about Moriyama's success and seriousness they close to a dark corner where they see Moriyama cornered by a fan of hers. The fan says he wants Jun to see "everything he has" and the man starts undressing. Yuzuki shouts for help resulting in the fan running away. Moriyama's bodyguard and manager appear, with the bodyguard chasing the fan.
Later, thanking them, Jun, her manager and her bodyguard try to think of a present for Yuzuki and Akie, who refuse kindly. In the end, Jun invites them to dinner in her hotel room. Meanwhile they are being watched by a woman with dark hair, rage being clearly shown in her face. At night, as Yuzuki and Akie stand outside the hotel where Jun is staying, the dark haired woman approaches them. She gives them a folder to hand to Jun, with a smile on her face. She introduces herself as Masako Momota and takes her leave.
During dinner, Yuzuki and Akie learn about Masako’s dream of becoming a singer beloved and remembered by everyone. The president of her talent agency and her manager, who are also there, genuinely seems to like Jun and is very supportive of her. But when Yuzuki remembers about the envelope Masako asked to deliver after getting an autograph from Jun, the manager shakily takes it and opens the envelope, spilling the contents as he did so. Yuzuki and Akie are surprised to see that it’s pictures of Jun in provocative poses.
When they leave the hotel after promising not to say anything about the pictures, Masako is waiting for them outside. Masako explains why she hates Jun. She entered the same talent agency the same time as Jun did, although it’s a different talent agency than the one Jun is part of now. While at the agency, Jun was a very mean-spirited girl who often tormented Masako.
After Masako explains her motivation, she sings in front of Yuzuki and Akie to show off her talent as a singer. However, it becomes quite clear why Masako would not be able to succeed as a singer, although Masako herself seems to lack awareness of how talentless she is in singing. Soon after, Jun arrives. She seems to sincerely regret the way she treated Masako and apologizes deeply, but this isn’t enough for Masako.
Masako demands that Jun help her debut as a singer with help from Jun’s talent agency. But Jun knows as well as Yuzuki and Akie does how hopeless Masako is in singing and refuses. Masako should have listened to what everyone is saying about her singing and looked for something else to do, but of course she doesn’t. That night she contacts the Hell Girl. Yuzuki sees the encounter while at home, but she isn’t able to do anything.
The next day we see Jun’s manager bribing Masako for the pictures. Some time later, Yuzuki and Akie are heading to Jun’s concert. They inadvertently witness the agency president and manager obliquely talking about the bribe, but the two consider it as a distasteful but necessary evil and again we can see that they genuinely care for Jun. In the concert hall, Yuzuki and Akie also see Masako among the audience, but Yuzuki can’t do anything about her despite the dread she is feeling. After finishing a song during the concert, Jun publicly apologizes for the horrible way she treated Masako, although her name isn’t mentioned.
Despite Jun’s public apology, it’s still not enough for Masako, and she pulls the string off the doll. And yet again Yuzuki experiences the emergence of Ai Enma and witnesses Jun being sent to hell, never to be seen again. Quite some time later, her former manager and agency president are at the Budokan, wishing that Jun was still around so she could have had the chance to sing in the most prestigious concert hall in Japan as planned. They are not the only ones who think so, as a large crowd of her fans gather around the Budokan in remembrance. Meanwhile, Masako leaves the area with her spirit numbed.