When someone wants revenge, they post about it on a special website at midnight. Then Hell Girl appears to do their bidding.
Starring: Mamiko Noto, Masaya Matsukaze, Takako Honda
Creator: Hiroshi Watanabe
Genre: Horror | Language: Japanese with English subtitles | Source: Self Purchased | Starred
CW: See Below
Hell Girl Review
As a lot of horror does, Hell Girl (Jigoku Shojo) begins with an urban legend. If you are in need of revenge you can visit the Hell Girl website and type your desired target’s name to send to Ai Enma (the Hell Girl). She will judge your request worthy of being granted.
Before enacting the agreement, Ai will contact the requester and lay out the deal. See, you don’t just get to go around sending people to Hell willy nilly. Nope. You will also go to Hell so you better be damn sure you want to go through with it. Ai even gives you a small taste of what you will feel in Hell. So, as far as deals with the ‘devil’ go it’s a pretty transparent exchange.
The series focuses on various stories each episode. A thing happens, someone gives Ai a call on the website’s hell phone and she answers to give them the details and a little doll to enact the bargain with when they so choose. It’s a pretty simple formula that really should lose its engagement after a bit but the stories are interesting and different enough from each other to feel different.
Some of the stories are dark, which really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise given the reasons someone might want to send someone to Hell for. There is also a running storyline to give it more cohesion but it never takes center stage to the main premise until the final denouement.
I really enjoyed it and I do have the sequel? second season? (I’m not sure what it would count as) Two Mirrors but I haven’t watched it yet. One thing I enjoyed were the various stories (you all know how much I enjoy Monster of the Week type of shows and anthology horror) and the different perspectives given throughout were interesting.
For being the star of the show Ai is omnipresent but only used in small bits when necessary which increases her impact and creepiness when she does show up. Her minions are alternately entertaining and creepy, as well.
another thing I also liked is that they have an actual website associated with it that seems to still be maintained. I checked it before writing this and it was still there. https://www.jigokushoujo.com/
It doesn’t have the spot to enter the name (which, yes, I did do) but check back at midnight. It will be there.
If you like horror anime I’d give it a go. It may not be dark and gritty and extreme but it’s creepy and eerie in a way that hits the spot.
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.