Revenge can be fulfilled in many ways. In this alternate universe we access the internet to send people straight to hell.
Anger and revenge cloud one’s judgment is what I like to think. You’ll make irrational decisions that could be worked out when your mind was clear. Making bold and hasty decisions can do more harm than you initially expected.
Hell girl Enma Ai receives messages from those who want revenge and wish to send someone to hell. Her task is to fullfill those whishes and send souls to hell, for them to suffer in terrible agony for all eternity.
A wide variety of people send requests, from young children to teens and adults. They all seek some form of revenge to punish those who caused them suffering. The moment they send someone to hell, they make a contract with Ai and after they die, their soul will plunge into the depths of hell.
Jigoku Shoujo explores the psychological development of the victims and of Enma Ai herself. When the revenge is dealt with, former victims can discover their problems didn’t end there or that they themselves did something sinful. Also Ai questions the reason why some souls are send to hell, as some of them are innocent.
It’s interesting to see how the series explores the victims that are faced with the fact they made a contract and realizing their problems didn’t go away. Or those who after sending someone to hell, they themselves soon follow. Those people are paying a terrible price.
The most prominent aspect of Jigoku Shoujo is the involvement of accessing Hell Hotline and sending someone to hell. The series explores different characters each episode who accesses the Hell Hotline. The usual build up of suffering, contacting Ai and sending someone to hell is the red line through most of the episodes.
After a few episodes you get very familiar with this plot and may feel bored. The formula is the same each and every time. It is true that this is the last season and a lot of answers are already answered, but the studio didn’t do the extra mile to make the story more compelling. The formula is repetitive and it leaves the viewer emotionless most of the time.
Considering the show is already a few years old there were no major setbacks along the ride.
The soundtrack was okay, but not overly striking when taking the subject matter into account. The studio could have done more to set the right tone, although admittedly the soundtrack, combined with certain scenes, gave a good impression.
Jigoku Shoujo was consistent throughout the run, yet the repetitive storytelling left me emotionless many times during the show.
The series did manage to make me think about the value of revenge and set a tone that revenge isn’t always the right solution. I therefore rate Jigoku Shoujo a 7 out of 10 for the above average performance.