Posted by psgels on 14 March 2009 with categories: Jigoku Shoujo



Short Synopsis: A boy who is bullied by some of his classmates calls Jigoku Tsuushin.
Episode Rating: 8,5/10 (Awesome)
When talking about episodic series about a school setting, then the bullied kid is often a very popular storyline (or take any dark series set in school). I really have to say that this has been the best story about bullying I have ever seen. One of the most thought-provoking episodes of Jigoku Shoujo yet and yet again an awesome addition to the finale of the third season of this series.

Nearly always, these bullied stories are very exaggerated: the bullies are portrayed as pure evil, and the bullied one is entirely portrayed as the victim, or at the least the bullies are some sort of misguided villains. We should sympathize with the victims and hate the bullies, because that’s the politically correct thing to do. The best example I can think of right now is that episode Shigofumi dedicated to it. We could sympathize with the bullied one because he was just a good kid who only made one mistaken.

This episode showed that with bullying, people too often try to seek the problem with the bullies. The guy in this episode had enough reasons to be hated. He comes from a rich family, and is basically a spoiled brat, and yet he stood SO FAR away from the usual spoiled rich kids that anime has become notorious for. There’s this whole “I am better than you”-air around him, and that’s why he gets bullied, which only increases this air, spiralling out of control. Especially since the ones who bully him do so mostly because they hate how the guy is wasting money like he is. He continues to flaunt around with expensive tools, like very expensive watches, flat-screens and cameras, while the bullied guy has lost his father, has a sister who out of necessity needed to grow up fast in order to support her family because he himself is bad with the household chores.

Especially the scene in which Ai hands out Wanyuudo to the guy: he really expected himself to be the pure victim, even though he should be happy that he’s got so much money to spend. I think that he never really tried to talk things out with the bullies: whenever they start to threaten him, he’d just pay them off with money, or whatever gadget he was holding. It’s a very interesting kind of discrimination.

And damn… I could have sworn that we have seen one of the bullies before, but I can’t remember the exact episode in which that happened!

In any case, I’m surprised that the series is still going for revenges at this point, with only three episodes left. There was also hardly any Yuzuki in this episode, so I really wonder for what kind of climax the creators are going. It’s clear that they’re building up like crazy right now, and I’m not complaining about this at all, since the past few episodes have been absolutely amazing. And then again, the creators have had an entire season to fully plan in that climax of theirs, and they’ve also done a very successful climax twice before, so something really strange is going to have to happen in order to screw up the ending for the third season.

One Response

  1. Shounen A says:

    I’d have to say that I couldn’t feel any sympathy for the main bully. The bullied didn’t actively act all superior over everyone else, and no one else seems to have been annoyed enough to even mention it (it would be hard to think of why Fumio would be so clueless of the reason he is being bullied otherwise).

    The bullied was being bullied by the main bully through no fault of his own, being bullied solely because he represents what the main bully can’t have (that, and being a complete wuss who tries to bribe off his bullies instead of fighting back), and the main bully can’t even give the courtesy of saying why. And the other two bullies look like they bullied Fumio just for the fun of it. I don’t find this to be something that I can empathize with nor consider to be justified.

    Not that I have much sympathy for the bullied, either (“you’re trying to send someone to hell, you don’t think there should be a price?”). But I still felt the scenes with Tomohide as a nice guy tedious after the first couple of minutes (“yeah, yeah, so Tomohide isn’t a one-dimensional bully and can be a nice guy, can we please go on with the episode?”).

    I found it more interesting to watch Yuzuki ignoring everything related to the Jigoku Tsushin as a strategy for denying her destiny as the next Jigoku Shoujo. Not that it looks like it’s working …

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 PM)
    @Gedata: God they didn’t even research it correctly.
    In regards to clannad theres an example of one which I retrospectively am more critical of and find the drama remarkably silly in parts.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:38 PM)
    @gedata: For my own sanity after a while I began skimming episodes and following flawfinders posts here and there.
    @Vincent: Must rewatch that one and flags of our fathers sometime, need to get round to soldier of orange also.
  • Vincent
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Watched Letters from Iwo Jima again. Ken Watanabe is a great actor.
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:32 AM)
    Note that it’s not just regular AIDS, which is definitely treatable if caught early, it’s some dtug resistant SUPERAIDS that the character in question got from a blood transfusion soon after being born
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:29 AM)
    It’s not that the disease being AIDS is really all that important. You could even replace with anything, even Sudden Moe Death Syndrome from Clannad and the emotional impact would still be as blunt and forced.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:02 AM)
    Oh for fucks sake sword art? You put HIV drama into your show?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:57 AM)
    Pretty much looking forward to the next two episodes and hope it gets more seasons too.
    I also liked how bleak it was.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 AM)
    *how twisty
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    . I was told to stay away from story six. Story seven was the most developed and ambitious of the selection but I feel mixed on it and didn’t really get into it until midway or so.
    Still I do love weird tales anthology stuff and this all fit the bill for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    The first story even I have to admit was genuinely horrifying, uncomfortable and got under my skin and of the selection it still stands out as having the greatest impact. The second one was good social commentary but doesn’t really give me much I didn’t already know. Stories three and were the most emotionally investing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed who twisty, twisted, truly nasty and cruel story five was and it is my second favourite of the lot.

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