Jigoku Shoujo – Anime First Impressions

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I’ve been meaning to write about this anime for a while, and now that finals are over (yay!) I have lots of time to devote to this blog. Jigoku Shoujo literally means “Hell Girl” in Japanese. It falls under the horror genre, but after seeing this first episode, I’m not so sure that would be the best description of this anime.

The basic premise of the series is that there is a “Hell’s Revenge Agency” (my term, not translated from anything) that will take requests from people who need to seek revenge against someone for whatever reason. The client must log into the agency’s website at 12 midnight (so I guess hell is based on Japan time?) and type the jerk’s name into a form. The agency makes sure that the victim gets sweet revenge. In return, the client also must go to hell when they die (WTF?).

In the first episode, we see a girl being bullied by her classmates. Since this anime is probably going to be episodic (new characters every time), I won’t go into details about these girls’ names. Anyway, the girl is put into several compromising positions (see screencap 2), and she decides she’s had enough. She types the bully’s name into the website and *pin pon* her request is accepted. Jigoku Shojou gives her some kind of voodoo doll that she needs to unwrap to start the revenge process. This is the part of the series I’m not too impressed with.

For revenge, the bully is led to the school, and has a series of (somewhat) scary things happen to her before she gets sent to hell. For example:

  • She sees people with no faces
  • She picks up a soccer ball and it turns into a skull
  • She sees her other bully friends being sucked into a wall
  • Giant eye on the ceiling!

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Generally, these things (in real life) would be pretty scary, but in the context of this anime, they’re laugh out loud funny! Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood to be scared, but more likely, the show just didn’t do a good job of setting the mood for scariness.

Besides the unintentional humor, there isn’t much that’s interesting about this anime for now. I don’t really dig these character designs. Jigoku Shoujo looks pretty cool, but the other characters seem somewhat generic. On top of that, Jigoku Shoujo isn’t even on screen for that long considering she’s the main character. For now, the coolest part about the series is the ending credits sequence. Such pretty colors.

I also simply have a problem with the premise of the show. Is this girl’s life really so bad that she has to make a faustian deal just to get revenge? Couldn’t she just poison the bully’s curry rice or something? If this anime just follows the same plot template over and over again, it’ll get redundant faster than a scooby-doo marathon. I’m putting this anime on probation right now (maybe one or two episodes before I drop) so hopefully it’ll get better. If you have seen more of this series, and it does get better, please let me know! I love comments.

8 thoughts on “Jigoku Shoujo – Anime First Impressions”

  1. yeah, i kind of thought the same way at first, but surprisingly, enma ai gets more air time on the second half of the first season, and you learn a few more things. so yeah, just saying, if you wanna get the better part of the show, start at around ep 10 or something, or like, ep 13, perhaps? more plot develops and you’ll see a few background things. that’s if you haven’t picked up the series, though ^^

  2. i don’t think you’re being fair in your review.
    youshould watch it at 2 in the morning.

    being in a giggly mood ruined la dolce vita for me. :D
    nice to meet you, btw

  3. this series is my favorite series! i dont think it is so much scary as more creepy. I generally find scary movies laughable. the point of jigoku shoujo isnt to scare you… it’s more psychological. everyone has a breaking point as you see in the episodes. some peoples breaking point is pathetic such as this person stole my idea they must go to hell while others have their family or friends killed before they snap. it’s all about what drives different people. what sort of revenge would be worth you going to hell. if you could just send someone to hell without consquesnces who would care. my girlfriend couldnt walk into the room when i was watching this series (either season) beacause she would get sucked into whatever episode i was watching. so i would give this series another shot.

  4. i think jigoku shoujo futakomori is a little bit better than jigoku shoujo. don’t get me wrong. i love both!!!! still, i enjoyed a bit more in the second season. there was more of ichimoku ren. he’s cute, and really sweet in episode erm, if i’m not wrong, 16. the episode that he got really sort of pissed when he couldn’t do anything about the bad situation. it’s so heart warming at the end. i love it sooooo much. i want more jigoku shoujo!

  5. jigoku shoujo enma ai is actually very intresting expeacially(sry bad spellin but u’ll get the point) at the flash back of enma ai and her followers…..i love her soooo much!! anyway 1 of my fav is hell girl vs hell boy 1season ep. 20its a very nice story go see it^^

  6. You put a lot of reasonable points in this, especially on how the anime can overexaggerate a little. And yes, their way of setting a scary mood could be improved- Or at least their strategy of going from one scary thing to another. You’re really good at looking at the smaller and competely obvious details, but the anime does have strengths, and those ‘scary things’ have a bigger meaning to them, which can be explained in later episodes. So technically, an anime with this kind of sequence isn’t the kind that can really ‘get a first impression’. One more thing, the anime is called Jigoku Shoujo, and it does revolve around her, regardless of her screentime(although, that’s just my opinion.)

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