Jigoku Shoujo (Hell Girl)
Watched 2010 roughly
Oh pitiful shadow lost in the darkness
Hell girl is a clever anime in my view. Much of the episodes take place in a ‘weekly’ mystery format. We meet the characters and are left to figure out who is the aggressor and who is the victim. Who will be driven to summonsing Hell Girl and for what reason. It is not as simple as it all first appears. Some people wish to use Hell Girl for their own gains.
So who is hell girl? She is an immortal who appears in a school uniform and red eyes. At first she appears to have no emotion, and deals with her clients stoically which only adds to the atmosphere to the anime. But she always sides with who is on the side of the victim, once she has figured out who that is. Ai Enma is her name. We learn little about hell girl until further into the series. She lives on the edge of hell, unable to enter, ferrying souls from one shore to the next in a kimono.
Ai is not the only character who appears on a regular basis. Ai has three assistants who help her in her work. All of which with their own personalties and equally as mysterious. But not as mysterious as Ai’s grandmother, who we never see, only hear. Normally telling Ai that she has a request and her kimono is ready. But the only person who does see her, runs away in terror.
This anime is very clever, the overall plot hidden within the episodes as we slowly uncover just who Ai Enma is and why she works as hell girl. Part of her job is to be emotionless, having been ordered to forget her own hatred, however after the events of season 1, some emotions do sneak though. Ai is a fascinating character and the plots for the episodes are breathtaking as well. The truth often as covered in darkness and mist as the characters themselves. Watching just how far people will go, and how much someone can take before they finally take vengeance on their tormentor. And just because you were the victim once does not give you the right to become the tormentor either as some poor humans discover.
Anyway, to be this is a silver. Thrilling but not one I would go out of my way to recommend. Please give it a watch if you have the time though.