Tired of happy endings? Don't want the good guys the win? Don't even want the bad guys to win? Concerned that there just isn't enough hatred, suffering, and revenge on TV? Then you'll like Jigoku Shoujo.
If your heart truly desires revenge, you'll be able to access the Hotline to Hell at midnight. Type in the name of the person you hate, and Jigoku Shoujo, the Hell Girl, will grant you the power to torture, kill, and drag your foe down to hell. Pissing your pants in excitement yet? Just wait until you hear the catch: by getting the Hell Girl to help carry out your revenge, you're doomed to suffer an eternity in hell. Not impressed? Already familiar with a few characters who were so consumed by hatred that they were willing to sacrifice themselves for revenge? Well in Jigoku Shoujo, you get to see characters that vengeful in every single episode.
Warning: Jigoku Shoujo mainly consists of one-shot stories. If you're not into that, you'll find the show repetitive after a few episodes. I typically prefer a continuous plot, but given the themes of hatred, suffering, and revenge, repitition kicks ass. If you absolutely must have some semblence of continuity to grab onto, something eventually develops between a small set of regulars:
You couldn't ask for a more badass team to torture your enemies: a hot chick, a guy of presumably comparable hotness, an old pimp, and the Hell Girl herself, Enma Ai. Enma's one of those soft-spoken pale little girls who people think are scary for some reason. I don't really get it, but she manages to kick sufficient ass (for a little girl), and like every soft-spoken girl in recent anime, she's voiced by Mamiko Noto. Is there any role she can't get? If she keeps this up, she'll be even more legendary than Yuji Ueda, who took a break from playing nerds and oblivious pimps to voice a disheveled journalist:
I happen to like this trend in
scruffy investigative journalists/photographers who put
their lives on the line against unknown forces to expose the truth, so
I'll add it to the checklist:
|Well developed minor characters|
|At least one subplot|
|Recurring random character(s)|
|Badass mid-episode transitions|
|Soundtrack by Yuki Kajiura|
|Themes of Hatred/Suffering/Revenge|
|Stylish visual effects|
|A consistently timed ending theme (23:00)|
|A character vaguely resembling myself|
|A pimp in a white suit|
Since Jigoku Shoujo is a bit darker than most shows, I can understand the exclusion of comical victimization and self-parody,
but no lesbians? I guess they've got to save something for the second season.
UPDATE: There is some comical victimizatin. Just a little.
8149 soft-spoken girls are voiced by Mamiko Noto