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MapleRose's Jigoku Shoujo Tv Review

Jigoku Shoujo

Jigoku Shoujo tv Review

Rumor has it that somewhere on the Internet there is a website accessible only at midnight -- the Hotline to Hell -- where people can ask the Hell Girl to take revenge on people who have wronged them. However, when one person is cursed, two graves are dug, for if the Hell Girl fulfils your request, you too will be consigned to the pit of Hell when you die. Would you untie the red ribbon and sell your soul to the Hell Girl for vengeance?

Description: shinsengumi

Story & Characters

Foreword: This is a review for the first season of Jigoku Shoujo only.

Do you have a grudge against someone? Do you hate them enough to want to send them to Hell? If your feelings of hatred towards that person is strong enough, then at midnight, you can access a webpage called Jigoku Tsushin (Hell Correspondence) and enter that person's name to have Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl) take your revenge for you. Most people believe it's just a rumour, but Jigoku Shoujo really exists. If you click the send button on the webpage, Enma Ai would appear before you and give you a straw doll with a red string around its neck. She would tell you that if you really want to take revenge, you may pull the red string, and your enemy would be ferried straight to Hell. However, you have to pay a price for sending someone to Hell: two graves are dug when you send someone to Hell; after you die, your soul would fall into the pits of Hell.

That is the premise of the series, and what most of the episodes revolve around. At the beginning, the episodes are stand-alone, with its own characters (ie character you'd never see again), and there's not much continuity between them. Each one follows a set template: the client and the target are introduced, their situation explained, the client gets fed up with the target and accesses Jigoku Tsushin, Enma Ai appears and explains how to take revenge, the client hesitates to pull the string because she doesn't want to go to Hell as well, so she waits, the target does something horrible which forces the client to go through with the revenge, and the target gets sent to Hell (but not before being show some strange visions).

Each story is interesting enough on its own; you sympathize with the person who calls on Jigoku Shoujo, and it's quite satisfying watching those who deserve it go to Hell, but with 5 or 6 episodes in a row with so much of the repeating elements, it can become repetitive and boring.

Starting at episode 7, the story gets a bit more of a continuing plot. Two recurring characters are introduced: Shibata Hajime and his daughter Tsugumi. These two characters become interested in Jigoku Shoujo because Hajime disagrees with Jigoku Tsushin's services, and they attempt to stop her while finding out more about her. Though even with the continuing plot, most of the episodes still follow that same template.

Characters

Enma Ai, aka Jigoku Shoujo, appears like a little girl even though she's not human. She lives in a house always basked in twilight with her Grandmother (who probably isn't human either). When she's not carrying out her job, she plays alone in the house. She is quiet and is seems emotionless, watching the foolishness of humans from the side and not intervening with their decisions, because she is not there to carry out justice. She has three magical straw dolls who morph into humans to help with her job: Ichimoku Ren, Wanyudou (who is derived from a youkai in Japanese mythology of the same name), and Hone-Onna (who is also from Japanese mythology of the same name. These three servants are very loyal to Ai and seem to care about her a lot. Ai's past and why she is doing this job is slowly revealed through the series.

Shibata Hajime is a freelance journalist. When he heard rumours of Jigoku Shoujo, he became interested and started investigating her. As he investigates her, he comes to disagree with Ai's actions (taking people to Hell for revenge) and tries to stop her. He is pretty easy-going, perhaps irresponsible even, as his daughter calls him a childish on one occasion. He is very dedicated to his job, perhaps too dedicated, as he spends days away in his investigations. But he does care a lot about his daughter.

Shibata Tsugumi is just an ordinary girl at first. But for some reason, she starts having visions, and is able to see what Ai sees. At first Tsugumi disagrees with her father that they should stop Ai. But as the series goes on and they see people get sent to Hell for less justified reasons, Tsugumi starts to wonder about whether it really is a good thing or not. She's pretty fond of her father, calling him "Hajime-chan".

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Overall, stories and characters are not bad, but needs more variety. I don't mind episodic series, as long as not every episode is almost the same.

Rating: 6

Art

The art style of this series is softer and more reaslistic than many anime series. The chins are softer and hair colours for all the characters are natural-coloured, fitting with the setting of current-day Japan. The eyes are drawn in a more realistic style, with them being almond-shaped, though Tsugumi's eyes get unnaturally large sometimes. There is a big emphasis on eyes it seems, as there are many close-up shots of the eye. The expressions are not exaggerated, but are still distinct enough.

Ai's character design stands out the most as it should, with her long, straight, black hair and her bright red eyes, which makes her gaze even more eerie. She usually wears a black and white sailor uniform (perhaps to blend in) and looks just like a middle-school girl. When she's sending someone to Hell, she dons a traditional black kimono with flower patterns.

The animation was average, not too bad, but not outstanding either. I do like the illusions being shown to those about to be sent to Hell though, even if it's rather creepy for some.

One complaint I do have is the use of recycled footage. Since the episodes follow a pattern, the parts that don't change unfortunately don't change the footage either. It is kind of annoying to see the same scene again and again over 20+ episodes.

The background scenery and details on the surroundings are pretty well-done. I liked the nature shots and the sunset skies.

The art is good if it wasn't for the recycled footage...

Rating: 6

Sound

Music
The opening song Sakasama no Chou by SNoW has a nice beat and a pop-ish feeling. It's a nice song on its own, and sort of fits the series. The ending Karinui by Mamiko Noto, which is slow and sober, which matches the theme of the series more. But the song itself is more or less average.

The background music has a traditional Japanese feel to it, and it fits Ai's image pretty well. The music fits the mood, but nothing really stands out. As with the repetitive footage, the same background music is played through the repeating parts. I suppose it give it more structure, but again, makes it too repetitive.

Voice

The one voice that stands out would be Mamiko Noto as Enma Ai. I love the quiet yet somehow commanding tone that she has, coupled with a slight creepiness that makes her even more enigmatic; I especially like the chant she give right before sending someone to Hell, there seems to be an almost mocking tone to it. Even though Ai seems emotionless most of the time, she doesn't sound flat. And when her emotions are revealed, the emotions are clearly conveyed.

The other voices are pretty well-done, though doesn't stand out too much. Tsugumi's voice is pretty good, as the girl is the opposite of Ai and expresses her emotions, and her emotions are carried through with the voice.

Rating: 8

Presentation

The premise of the series is pretty neat and interesting. Each story takes a look at human nature, the injustices that exist in today's society, and our desire to take revenge even though it can't bring back what's already lost. Many people rely on Jigoku Tsushin and Jigoku Shoujo as a way out of their problems, even though in many instances the problem could be resolved by talking it over or by other means without having to condemn your soul to Hell. The crimes of the victims going to Hell varies, some deserve it more than others (and I admit it's very satisfying to see those who have it coming get their due). Whether Jigoku Shoujo is right or not in what she's doing is up to the viewer to decide. But one thing is clear: she's not there to carry out justice, nor can she refuse a request based on her feelings.

I think overall I did enjoy the series. I do like the individual stories on its own, even though many could be cut since they don't contribute to the central plot. The structure could have been diversified a little bit to keep it from being tedious, especially in beginning; I saw episode one and could guess pretty much what happens in the next few episodes. I also would have liked to see what happens once people go to Hell, or what happens to the souls who have sent people to Hell, does having their soul eternally wander through Hell make them regret what they've done?

This series could be cut down a lot more from being 26 episodes, or at least not as repetitive as it is. However, if you're interested and patient enough to get through to the end, the end is dramatic enough to be worth it (maybe).

Rating: 5

Final Verdict

6.00 (average)

Reviewed by MapleRose, Apr 16, 2008

Comments

  1. shoujoboy Apr 16, 2008

    A show you rated as average ended up as the Anime Spotlight on the Maigetsu? Where were you to protest that decision? For shame.

    Aside of that, its the type of review I expect from you... although I've somewhat forgot what I expect of you since you NEVER WRITE! Well written and right on my level. Davidh01 just seems to write over my head, Jakulito seems to baffle me, but you and I seem to have the same writing style overall (minus you don't attempt humor like I do... key word attempt). It must be insulting to be compared to me, BUT THAT'S TOO BAD! I did go there.

    And as for your opening questions "Do you have a grudge against someone? Do you hate them enough to want to send them to Hell?"... let's just say you'd better hope I never pull the red string. Just kidding you know I love you, it's Jak that has to worry.

  2. Chloe Retired Moderator Apr 18, 2008

    Good review! Well written and easy to understand. I've always wanted to watch Jigoku Shoujo, not sure if I should now XD

    Oh, and you forgot to close your parenthesis here:

    Quote: Ichimoku Ren, Wanyudou (who is derived from a youkai in Japanese mythology of the same name), and Hone-Onna (who is also from Japanese mythology of the same name. <--- there

  3. shoujoboy Apr 18, 2008

    Quote by Chloe-chanGood review! Well written and easy to understand. I've always wanted to watch Jigoku Shoujo, not sure if I should now XD

    Oh, and you forgot to close your parenthesis here:

    Quote: Ichimoku Ren, Wanyudou (who is derived from a youkai in Japanese mythology of the same name), and Hone-Onna (who is also from Japanese mythology of the same name. <--- there


    MapleRose <--- Owned.

  4. sakuraclyne Apr 20, 2008

    This review is so well-reviewed. ^^ I have heard this anime from my online buddies but not yet watched...

  5. ealpha-scorpio Apr 20, 2008

    Very fair and nice review :)... Very nice indeed. I really enjoyed reading it. Although, personally, I would have rated this anime much higher, yet I think you described it very well; especially the story-line and the character's description. It looked meticulously nice too me that you maneuvered on all the key characters and introduced them to readers. The only thing that I wanted to ask is that why there was no mention of the second season... Strangely (while I was reading it) I somehow became eager to know your opinion about its second season :hmpf:

    Thanks for the nice review :)

  6. Milkiyo Apr 21, 2008

    well, I think this anime is overrated. The story only evolve almost at the end. The rest are all similar plots...I agree, repetitive. I've yet to see second season though XD

  7. BossMac Apr 22, 2008

    Quote by shoujoboyA show you rated as average ended up as the Anime Spotlight on the Maigetsu? Where were you to protest that decision? For shame.

    Aside of that, its the type of review I expect from you... although I've somewhat forgot what I expect of you since you NEVER WRITE! Well written and right on my level. Davidh01 just seems to write over my head, Jakulito seems to baffle me, but you and I seem to have the same writing style overall (minus you don't attempt humor like I do... key word attempt). It must be insulting to be compared to me, BUT THAT'S TOO BAD! I did go there.

    And as for your opening questions "Do you have a grudge against someone? Do you hate them enough to want to send them to Hell?"... let's just say you'd better hope I never pull the red string. Just kidding you know I love you, it's Jak that has to worry.

    I opted not to post immediately waiting for a little more interaction from you, Maple but I guess I'd have to just post now.

    Anyways on to my rev-rant... wait, I ain't got a rev-rant... I'd just be saying what sho said. And no, you don't write like sho. He's conceited. Good review, Maple. I'd suggest a little humour since I get a sense of reading a brochure with this one, I ain't referring to the content just the feeling.

    I love you, Maple... sho's a liar.

  8. aikur Feb 02, 2009

    this anime is not for every one
    if you can watch something repetitive and wait on the plot to why things are happen it is a good show

  9. ryanwho Mar 29, 2009

    Great review. Very thorough.

  10. yuyuppi Jun 17, 2009

    enma so kawai

  11. ResonantSoul Jul 23, 2009

    Thanks!

  12. lordryo Jul 28, 2009

    Good review.

  13. SchRita Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  14. forever008 Oct 09, 2009

    tis anime is directing human's negative mind~
    btw~vry nice anime ever~

  15. SchRita Oct 31, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  16. rukasu04 Mute Member Nov 10, 2009

    Good review

  17. XiThau Nov 21, 2009

    Well, like I do with many other things, I'll be criticising, mostly on your ratings.
    You've complimented the Story alot, but same time, you ridiculed it. Although, you've complimented it a bunch, if I'm not wrong.
    I don't think it deserves a 6. A 7, perhaps.
    As for the Art, you complimented it on the entire summary and then just insulted it at the end, does that make sense?
    Am I going to tell someone they're hot, but than say "For an ugly girl, you are." It just defeats the purpose of the compliment(s). I say at least a 7, as well.

    To sum it up, I say you complimented this Anime a BUNCH compared to how much you put it down, but gave low ratings. I agree with the sound for 8, but the 5 for Presentation is, eh.
    The repetitiveness of the episodes and the people who used Jigoku Tsuushin had a purpose, of course, you overlooked it, though.
    I would say that they DID do a little TOO much, but wasn't a big deal. They just showed, like you said, human nature. How one or another blackmails ech other in different cases, how love plays a part in most cases, and how, if we could, I am sure we'd be using Jigoku Tsuushin.

    I agree with your Review, overall, but I disagree with the ratings. It was hard to understand why it was a good review (in terms of how you rated it verbally) but it was horrible ratings in comparison.

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