I'm sure most people are aware of the Powerpuff Girls franchise created by Craig McCracken. And I'm also certain that at least a handful of them are aware of the existence of an anime called Powerpuff Girls Z that was basically a magical girl adaptation of the original series, but with several changes to accommodate its denser and wackier tone, such as Blossom now being a clueless, boy crazy sicko, and a lot more.
While the show received a split response from most for most of these changes, one welcome change was the portrayal of Himeko Shirogane (Japan's take on Princess Morbucks) and her later character development. I bring her up because fans were hot on the search for a supposedly pulled episode that was basically a rough draft of her debut episode that was tweaked with into the final product.
And unluckily for me, I came across it. How you may ask? Quite simple.
You see, a friend of mine was travelling in Japan and he informed me through an online chat that he uncovered an abandoned DVD case that featured characters from Powerpuff Girls Z on it - with Himeko being the primary focus. He claims that an unaired episode entitled "EP 6B - HIMEKO OF THE NIGHT" was the content of the DVD, but stated he wanted it sent to me because, apparently, this DVD haunted him till the day he dies. His words, not mine. He told me to wait for a while so he could come.
I heard a knock on my front door. Upon answering it, my friend hastily shoved the case into my hands and ran off as if the end of the world was near. I was confused by his behaviour and wanted to know why he behaved this way. The only way.....was to watch the DVD.
Upon opening the case, there was black ink written on the disc saying "EP 6B - HIMEKO OF THE NIGHT".
I made my way to my laptop and popped the disc in.
After a moment of waiting, the first Japanese intro, Kibo no Kakera, played, but my kawaii dance party was interrupted by loud screams and distorted noise halfway through, almost something that some experimental lunatic "musician" would make, while the smiling faces of the three Powerpuff Girls dropped into frowns and tears. Almost everyone else in the intro looked terrified as hell as a shadowy figure resembling Himeko loomed over them. However, the last five seconds of the intro concluded normally. I was confused as crap but continued watching anyways.
The episode title card appeared with Japanese kanji and a translation below reading "Himeko of the Night" And yes, conveniently, there were subs on this DVD.
It started very much like the actual episode 6b (known here as just "Princess Morbucks") at the mansion of Himeko and her family. For the most part, the opening scene with her maids and her introduction remained true to the final episode.
At first, I was like "How the hell did this scare the daylights out of my friend? Intro aside, this seems pretty normal."
Then, it got to the part where Himeko picked up her beloved cat and gave a stock noblewoman's laugh. It was at this point that things got even more crazy.
Instead of the black Z-Rays zapping her and her cat, I was greeted to a completely different scene wherein an enormous paw with sharp claws resembling a wolf's bursted up from the ground, to her surprise. She attempted to run away, but accidentally tripped and fell, her cat leaving her behind. Himeko could only watch as the paw inched closer to her.
"Please......don't hurt me." she helplessly pleaded.
As if to say "No mercy.", the paw stuck its sharp claws into her right arm, causing her to emit a blood-curdling shriek of pain. Tears began to stream from her eyes at a heavy rate. As this occurred, blood started to leak from the arm.
I was extremely shocked that the people behind this show were content with such a concept and now began to understand my friend's fright. Another thing that shocked me was how realistic her scream and crying were, as if the actress was really scared during recording. This, doubled with the rather spooky soundtrack (almost like something from The Twilight Zone) send chills up my spine. The scene ended with the paw suddenly dissolving and Himeko collapsing to the ground, no one else in sight.
The episode then went to the school scene where Himeko, a bandage around her arm, is trying to get people to notice or, at the very least, hang out with her. However, instead of just ignoring her, the students in this version act more malicious. They actually looked up to her and called her rather insulting names like "freak show" or "ugly" and some began to pinch her injured arm. In pain, she ran to the back of the class crying, where she encounters the titular Powerpuff Girls sitting at their desks, her only three chances to actually be friends with someone.
She asks Buttercup first like usual, but when she poses in front of the tomboy, Buttercup, instead of rubbing her nose on Himeko's dress, delivers a punch into her face, sending her into Bubbles' desk. The usually peppy Bubbles now had a look of absolute scorn on her face. Her only words were "GO AWAY OR DIE!!!" Himeko lastly went to a dozing Blossom and shook her awake. However, instead of asking who Himeko is, she shunts her desk into the girl's chest, sending her into the front wall. Not only was the whole class (even Miss Keane) laughing at her, but she also began to cough up blood as she tearfully looked up at her aggressors. Sad violin music began to play as she yelled at them:
"I'VE HAD ENOUGH!!! ALL I EVER WANTED WAS TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT BUT FOR SOME REASON NO ONE WILL LET ME HAVE A CHANCE!!!"
She then ran out the school.
My reaction went from terrified to saddened and angered. "Poor Himeko was being bullied by everybody, even the freakin' Powerpuff Girls! What more could this stupid thing throw at me!!" I got my answer, and it wasn't pretty.
The rest of the episode drastically differed from the final product.
A time card reading "That night...." appeared.
The episode then showed a good minute and a half of poor, poor Himeko crying her heart out into her pillow. I cried along with her as I could relate to scenario. Just then, a full moon shined into her bedroom window and onto her, getting her to look up. Seconds later....her body began to shake violently.
"W-what's going on?" she tearfully asked, scared.
She begins to notice that there's brown hair growing all over her body. It soon covered her entire body. While that was going on, she undergoes a series of painful transformations, complete with cringeworthy bone crunching.
They included: her usual puffy hair darkened to the same brown color of the all body hair, her eyes faded from red to a lime green, a snout grew from her face that ended in a large, blue nose, her teeth became sharp, her ears became pointy, a tail grew from behind, and claws appeared on the ends of her fingers and toes. They were so large, that her toe claws popped out of her shoes.
"Oh my!" I shouted. "Himeko has become a werewolf!"
I was treated to a scene where a clearly pained Himeko began to snarl and run around out of control. She busted through walls and made her way to the bottom of the house, which is where the other family members were. She encounters her parents.
Hearing the noise, her father turns around. "What does that sorry excuse of a daugh-AAAAAAR!!!"
Himeko lunges at him, slicing him in half. Before the mother could do anything, she got her neck slit by a claw. In both cases, blood squirted everywhere. She then went on murder all of the maids, covering the lawn in their blood.
Now on the street, she decided that her next target would be the students and ESPECIALLY the Powerpuff Girls.
By this point, I was practically cheering on Himeko. She was finally getting revenge on her aggressors! YAY!!
We then cut to the Professor's laboratory. The camera panned through the dimly lit room to show Professor Utonium, Ken, and Peach. All of them were brutally killed. Utonium had his head chopped off, Ken was sliced at the face, and Peach was demolished to nothing but a crater with scattered parts of him surrounding it.
In a corner, the Powerpuff Girls were all tied up, shaking in fright at the sight of Himeko. She pounced, before the camera shifted outside, where some blood splatters onto the window.
I was then treated to a montage of Himeko killing several characters, including her classmates and Miss Keane, all accompanied by what sounded like stock horror music.
As her rampage came to a close, the dawn came, reverting her back to normal. She looked down at her blood stained hands and dress, and having no memory of what happened, she began to freak out. Just then, her cat appeared, untouched, but she also gave a shocked look and ran off to an unknown destination.
"No, wait!!!" Himeko called. It was no use as the cat already left. Dejected, she looked at the damage and dead bodies that surrounded her. "So, this is what I'm meant to be; a monster? I now know what I must do."
The picture faded to her in her bedroom again, where she was holding a gun to her chest and streaming tears, her face scrunched up. She then looked straight at me and uttered one word.
I was about to yell "No!" when she shot a silver bullet into her heart, killing her instantly.
After a few seconds, a message in kanji appeared along with the translation. It read as follows:
"As life flows, it becomes increasingly difficult to suit in with society and be accepted by everyone, and it sometimes results with you being seen as the bad guy. Whether you choose to keep fighting or end it all, just remember....that the battle will only get worse and worse."
The usual ending didn't appear and instead had scrolling white text on a black background accompanied by more sad music.
The DVD then ended.
I immediately took the disc and attempted to contact my friend, but he wasn't there.....odd since he's usually active.
I was about to call it a night, when I heard a snarl from outside. I looked out to see one angry wolf girl to seems hungry from my flesh.
"Well, damn it." I muttered as I accepted my fate.