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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:23 PM)
    I have yet to see Civil War, but by every new entry their colorful feel-good flicks are starting to become too derivative and cliche. It feels like as if they’re doing the same story arc over and over again. It’s almost lazy at this point, if you ask me, and they really need to Shae things up.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:18 PM)
    @Aidan: such high praise. So Marvel did in a cameo what Sony failed to do in 5 movies. I hate the massive bandwagon that Marvel is steering, but I’m not the kind of hipster contrarian that hates on things just for their mainstream appeal, so I give them credit for doing things right; despite the fact that they really go out their way to please the masses. Their love and respect for the material far outshines their prerogative of their by the book fan-pleasing.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:21 PM)
    Also like how they differed him from the other fast talkers of the universe. Deadpool is pure insane comedy, Ant man has this sarcastic awkward thing going on and Spiderman is like the nerdy fanboy. I would love to see a movie with all three together as it would be pure comic gold.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 12:18 PM)
    @bam, I was taken back by him at first. I wasn’t used to seeing Spiderman and especially aunt May look so young. I thought he was too bumbling in the beginning but as I watched on he just clicked. He has the nerdy nature of Tobies Peter Parker and the spitfire commentary of Garfield’s Spiderman. He’s spot on perfect.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 10:05 AM)
    I was staying clean for a drug test, and during this hiatus I completely fell out of anime. Surely enough, as soon as I resumed burning again I also started getting into some of this season’s shows. I wonder if there’s a direct correlation, or just a byproduct of having some free time again. I’m interested in comparing my experience to others, but (un)fortunately nobody here seems to share my vices.

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