The Soul Piper and the Mischievous Little Soul is the twelfth episode of the InuYasha anime. It first aired in Japan on January 22, 2001.
- The soul of a dead girl named Mayu Ikeda attacks her surviving mother and brother, both of whom she hates and bears ill will towards following her death.
- Kagome tries to help Mayu's soul rest in peace before she is taken into the depths of hell by the Soul Piper
It's a hot day in Tokyo when Kagome gets out of the Bone Eater's well in her school uniform, (which has short sleeves instead of long ones). She asks her Grandpa to run a nice bath for her. A voice is heard and it was Hōjō. Grandpa gives him another lousy excuse of the fake illness that Kagome is having. Hōjō gives him a little present. When Hōjō leaves Kagome is asking how is her rheumatism. Kagome is at school and has a lot of catch up to do. If she told her friends for what she has been recently while out of school going to Feudal Era, they'd freak out After school Kagome and her friends Yuka and Eri went to get ice cream along the way home. Her friend Eri realized that she had to take a makeup test in math. Yuka knew that she had great grades in math, but when Kagome has been going to the Feudal Era she's been flunking. She and Eri are wondering if Hōjō is Kagome's new boyfriend since he has been giving her weird present for illnesses. Kagome tells them that she isn't his girlfriend and yet she mistakes for the illnesses her grandfather has been telling him. They come across a playground full of little kids playing with fireworks. In one of the openings of a circle a little girl in a heavy coat, and no shoes on, sets off a fire work, scaring them. Kagome goes to her and tries to get her to apologize to them, but the girl demands that Kagome stays out of her way, before disappearing.
Back in the Feudal Era, under the direction of Myōga, Inuyasha is having the saya of Tessaiga repaired by steel bees, having stuck it into their hive. The bees use their special wax to repair the sheath's crack, gained from the previous battle against the Thunder Brothers. Shippō is also hanging around them, but is bored out of his mind and bothering Inuyasha. The three spot a benevolent yōkai called the Soul Piper, leading the souls of recently dead children with its tune. Myoga states that it plays its flute to calm them, playing with them until they're ready to pass on and that it's a gentle yōkai... as long as it keeps it's eyes closed.
Back in Kagome's time, Kagome is asked by her mother to take her brother Sōta to the hospital in the next town to take a present from his class, a mass of origami cranes, to a classmate, Satoru. On the way there, Sōta asks if Kagome thinks that evil spirits exist. At the hospital Kagome learns from the boy's mother that Satoru has been in a coma for half a year since a fire at their apartment. All of a sudden Satoru's IV drip is sabotaged by the same girl who was the park the other day. On the way home when asked, Sota explains to Kagome that his classmates used to visit Satoru, but that after the visits they would be involved in near-accidents, which scared the other children to stop visiting. He also states that the fire claimed the life of Satoru's older sister, Mayu. When they go to the apartment building itself Sota explains that accidents kept happening when people tried to clean the burnt out apartment, so it was left as it was. A flowerpot is dropped from the balcony and almost hits them, causing Sota to faint. The culprit is indeed revealed to be the ghost of Mayu, who thinks that her mother hated her and had left her to die. She plans to kill Satoru in retaliation. After the confrontation, the Soul Piper appears in front of Kagome, its eyes slowly opening. It communicates to her the words "until the eyes open".
Kagome goes back to the Feudal Era to talk with Myōga. Myōga tells her that was the Soul Piper who entertains the children with its flute. However, if the soul can't pass on due to anger or regret, they become evil spirits, and causing misfortune to the living is the first step on that path. The Soul Piper then sends the child to hell: Shippo adds that he heard that once the Soul Piper's eyes completely open the child's soul is doomed. Kagome wants to help Mayu but Inuyasha tells her to let it go, doubting that Mayu can be saved.
Kagome gets back to her time and has a talk with Mayu's mother to see what really happened. It turned out that Mayu had had an argument with her on the day of the fire, and had subsequently run away. She assumed that Mayu was simply at a neighbour's apartment. When the fire broke out, she managed to save Satoru, but the other firemen found Mayu dead; unbeknownst to her, Mayu had been hiding in a closet in order to play a trick on her, and had unknowingly caused the fire in the first place. Just then, they hear a disturbance from Satoru's room, and find Mayu wrecking the room. Kagome tells her to stop, and Mayu's mother realizes she's there. Mayu uses some force to throw her mother out of the room. Kagome tries to get her to understand what happened. More rage comes of her which cause the bed to fall out, but Inuyasha (who unknown to anyone had come to the present) manages to catch Satoru just in time. Inuyasha tells Kagome to give up and that Mayu will never make it to heaven.
At that moment, the Soul Piper appears, its eyes opening completely. It catches her with chains and drags Mayu away. In hot pursuit, Inuyasha says he was informed by Myoga that the Soul Piper is taking Mayu to the place of her death, where it will cast her into hell. Kagome and Inuyasha land on the apartment balcony and head inside, but Kagome vanishes from his back. Frustrated, Inuyasha realizes that Kagome has shifted into the spirit realm, but he is unable to do so because it is meant for humans and he is half yōkai; Kagome is on her own.
In the dark Mayu is in chains and hears the fire crackling, she opens the door and realizes that she is at the place of her death. Kagome calls her name and tries to save her. Mayu tells her that she's dead, but a portal to hell appears, with chains appearing to drag her to hell. Kagome quickly grabs her hand to save her and urges her to make up with her mother before she leaves for good. After hearing Kagome, and remembering the enjoyable times she had with her mother, Mayu realizes that her mother did indeed love her, and pleads for a chance to apologize to her. The chains then break and the portal disappears.
The next day Mayu's mother goes to the burned apartment, and goes to the closet where Mayu died. Mayu appears behind her and asks her to forgive for what she had done. She does and Mayu says goodbye. On the rooftop Inuyasha scolds Kagome that she could have gotten dragged down to hell with Mayu, but to Kagome, it was a risk she had to take. One week later, Kagome is in her bedroom doing some homework, when Mayu calls to her from outside her window. Kagome really loves her yukata (summer kimono) that her mother made for her. Kagome refects to herself that Mayu was just an ordinary little girl who loved her mother. Mayu goes and dances to the tune from the Soul Piper as they both vanish.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- This and Episode 13 mark both times the short-sleeved version of Kagome's school uniform is seen.
- This and Episode 11 (like the manga) are the only episodes when something dark happens in the Modern era; everyone afterwards become comic in tone.
Differences from the manga
- When talking to Grandpa Higurashi, Hōjō hears Kagome shouting for her grandpa and finds her in the well. In the anime, Hōjō simply gives her grandpa a present for her rheumatism, and then leaves without seeing Kagome.
- In the manga, Kagome and Sōta are in Kagome's room at night when Sōta explains about the strange happenings surrounding Satoru, and visit Satoru's old apartment building the next day. In the anime, however, Kagome and Sōta are walking back home from the hospital visit and stop by the apartment building. The images of Sōta's friends are also omitted in the anime.
- Mayu's apartment room is on the first floor in the manga, whereas it's higher up in the anime.
- The scene of Kagome and Sōta being startled by a baby is omitted in the anime.
- Mayu attacking Kagome and Sōta is a bit more violent in the manga, consisting of first dropping glass from a window on them, a flower pot, and then a light pole.
- When making Mayu's yukata, the manga depicts Mrs. Ikeda recalling the day she found out Mayu had died in a fire before commenting that it's nearly Mayu's birthday. The anime, however, has Mrs. Ikeda recalling Mayu's excitement for summer and wanting a goldfish yukata.
- After following the Soul Piper to Mayu's former home, Inuyasha and Kagome walk into a house on fire before the Soul Piper drags Kagome to where Mayu is. The anime, however, has a mysterious purple aura in the house that drags only Kagome in because she's human while Inuyasha is a Hanyou.