Recaps for Hell Girl

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Hell Girl: Three Vessels Collection 2 Anime DVD Review

Hell Girl has certainly been a more difficult show to get into with this season for a couple of reasons. The first was that Ai herself was largely absent from events for awhile as they went through the idea of her watching events through Yuzuki's eyes and then coming out of her like a cocoon to do the deed that needs to be done. The other is that, as covered in the previous review, the stories told here are much darker and far less sympathetic as people go through requests that are being granted when you feel they shouldn't be. It's hard to be alright with a lot of them because so many innocents are being hurt and taken out in such cruel ways. Some of them make out a bit better by just being ferried, but a lot go through things in a bad way. A lot of this set focuses on these kinds of stories but there's also a recurrent theme. Revenge by those who were wronged by other acts of revenge. As we've seen before, the Hell Link is a vicious circle that causes a whole lot of other acts of anger and banishments visited upon those that were affected by it. When someone is banished, there is a good chance that because of the well known nature of the Hell Link that someone can put two and two together to figure out who may have caused it to happen. It all becomes more tragic, similar to the incident where the entire town was sucked up into the Link because of it. Read More

Hell Girl: Three Vessels Collection 1 Anime DVD Review

When I watched the first season of Hell Girl, I wondered how they could carry it for too awful long before it would get far too predictable and lose what makes it fun. The second season of the series showed one avenue as Ai ended up being very in vogue within a city where everyone was getting into accessing the Hell Link and making their requests. That gave the show a good twist and made you wonder how it would all really be resolved. It also showed that the series was able to shake things up a bit even if they wanted to use a good portion of each season to tell the straightforward tales that it's known for. Ending the second season with Ai dying definitely wasn't something I expected and made it all the anticipation for the third season all the higher to see how they would resolve that issue. There's plenty of ways to work about it, but at the same time it's no surprise that they really don't delve into it at all for this first half of the season. Ai's death is dealt with in the basic way here in that the season starts off with the reminder that she has died and her assistants have all gone on to regular jobs among the living for the time being until something changes. It's not that they expect her back, they just don't know what to do otherwise and go for what they feel makes the most sense until someone or something steps in and tells them otherwise. Sadly, the someone that steps in is Kikuri, as she's bringing everyone back together again, along with a young male man who is apparently a yokai himself, to bear witness to Ai's revival and serve her again. Kikuri frustrates me right from the start with her appearance and personality which is made all the worse this season as she spends her time riding a tricycle while having a big windup on her back that she has Yamawaro the yokai turn for her. Yamawaro essentially serves the same as the others in being the curse item but he's not given a proper introduction or any back story. Read More Click Me!

Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Collection 2 DVD Review

The "Two Mirrors" season of Hell Girl has been a lot of fun so far but the first half of it lacked that underlying storyline that the first season had to help tie it all together. That investigative aspect with the reporter and his child felt a bit forced at times to be sure but it allowed for some continuity to help bring parts of it together in an engaging way. This season hasn't had all that much of it but it's been a lot of fun regardless but they do something a little different towards the end of this set that really improved my overall opinion of the show. While I've definitely liked Hell Girl a lot, the episodic nature of it made it difficult to watch in a half season set. Giving last several episodes a storyline that carries over with and has some import to it is very welcome. A few episodes here focus on the basic stories where they stand alone as someone is getting a grudge taken care of. Interestingly, there's a greater focus this time around on adults getting involved in this as opposed to a horde of high school students causing murders. It's a welcome change in doing this since the situations have a bit more complexity to them since it doesn't revolve around petty high school situations. Not that we don't get a few of those, such as one where one girl inadvertently slights another that she's been friends with all of their high school lives and that turns her against her enough to want to have her banished to hell. At least when you have corporate theft, the ruining of lives in a real sense among adults, it feels like it all makes more sense and has some actual justifications in reality. Read More Click Me!

Hell Girl: Two Mirrors Collection 1 DVD Review

Hell Girl had a positive run when it was released in single disc form from FUNimation, but it wasn't a show that performed well enough to merit picking up the second season. That show was one of the cusp series that came when FUNimation began switching to half season box sets and I've wondered how much that changing dynamic affected how well the show did, especially towards the end of the six volume run. After a hiatus with no real news for awhile, Sentai Filmworks stepped in and grabbed the second season, though much to the chagrin of many fans, it wasn't going to receive a dub. While I never listened to the dub on the first season, I still lament its loss for the fans of it. The second season of Hell Girl in these first thirteen episodes are literally more of the same. The show has us following Ai Enma, a young girl who holds a supernatural office that involves fulfilling requests for vengeance from those who are truly serious about. Through a website that appears to select individuals at midnight, a name is entered for the one they want sent to Hell, and if they're found worth, Ai will meet with them over it. The meetings are invariably the same for the most part where she explains the covenant that they will enter together where if they untie the ribbon around the straw doll, the object of their vengeance will be sent to Hell straightaway. The person requesting this however has to pay the price of going to Hell themselves when they die someday. It's a difficult situation that seems to almost always draw people who are in such rough situations in their eyes that going to Hell someday is a welcome option to dealing with their issues for even a little bit longer. Read More Click Me!

Additional Thoughts

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? Source Here