In my mind, the two most subjective concepts in human society are good and evil. In any country around the world, there is no absolute when it comes to the two; what's good or evil to one person may be completely different to another. What is evil after all? Are actions themselves evil or does the evil lie in the motivation that started it in the first place? One could debate this point until the end of time but nowhere is this concept better explored than in the series Hell Girl (Jigoku Shoujo) from original creator Miyuki Etoo and the staff at Studio Deen.
Originally animated in 2005, the story revolves around a website that can only be accessed at midnight. Whenever someone visits this website, they are able to put in the name of those that they have a grievance against. After entering a name, the ones who access the site are visited by Ai Enma and given an option. If they truly wish it, Ai will get revenge for them and ferry the cursed soul to hell but in exchange those who place the curse will also go to hell when they die. After a journalist named Hajime Shibata and his daughter, Tsugumi, begin to investigate the website a battle of wills ensues as they debate if the website is truly evil or not. The debate of good and evil takes place within these two characters.
One of the most unique aspects about Hell Girl is its almost complete lack of a constant villain. What is good and evil?Hell Girl - Ai From the Flames Do the people who visit the site really understand what they are seeking? An eternity in hell for those they hate and themselves after they die. But is Ai Enma the source of this evil? People can argue until they are blue that Ai is the chief villain but is she truly the evil villain that they believe she is? In her position at the other end of the hell site, Ai delivers vengeance for those who seek it. But does acting as the messenger truly make her the evil one?