Posted by psgels on 4 April 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Jigoku Shoujo



It’s quite a challenge to review the third instalment of Jigoku Shoujo, since I’m so incredibly biased for it. The third season basically continues with the same formula, of having 26 episodes, nearly all of them about someone taking a revenge against someone else. The show is evolving, though: the third season does feature a bunch of differences from the previous two, though. A few subtle differences… and a bunch of not-so-subtle ones.

The big difference in which the third season sets itself apart is the nature of all of the different revenges. There never really was a distinct line between good and evil in the Jigoku Shoujo, but at least you could see that the most of the (with a number of notable exceptions of course) ones asking for revenge sort-of deserved some sort of help. This completely disappears in the third season, when the people taking revenge turn into total misguided and deluded bastards, often sending people to hell who haven’t even done anything wrong.

This has several effects. On one side, some of the revenges become totally ludicrous: the formula quickly gets predictable, and sometimes the creators make a bit too generous use of their artistic lisences to send people to hell for the most bizarre reasons. On the other hand, though: it allows them to explore the boundaries of political incorrectness. The only thing it doesn’t touch is racism, but apart from that it confronts the viewer with countless of modern-day taboos, and presents them in a politically incorrect, and yet somewhat realistic manner; and that’s the creepy bit.

Jigoku Shoujo has also been known for its particularly strong climaxes, and Mitsuganae is no different. while I’m not going to spoil anything here, the eventual finale makes optimal use of the huge amounts of building up that the rest of the season put into it, up to the final minute of the show, and this has definitely been the best finale that Jigoku Shoujo has shown us thus far.

So yeah, the first half is mostly nothing special for Jigoku Shoujo’s standards, but the final quarter SO makes up for it. Obviously, in order to enjoy Jigoku Shoujo, you must be aware that it’s an incredibly repetitive series: in nearly every episode, you know for sure that someone is going to get sent to hell. But what makes this such a special series is that even though it has this weakness, its atmosphere totally makes up for it: it’s very consistent and thanks to an excellent sense of build-up, it only gets tighter as the show goes on. And that’s really the strength I see in horror-series: using creepy atmosphere and storytelling to draw the viewer inside the story, and Jigoku Shoujo doesn’t just succeed in it. It succeeds in it for 78 episodes.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10

7 Responses

  1. jin says:

    I love all seasons but I still think the end of Mitsuganae was highly unsatisfactory. The best seasons for me will be Futakomori, with most development and highest enjoyment. No matter what, Jigoku Shoujo will always be one of my most favourite series! ^^

  2. Jas says:

    I haven’t finished this series yet but are you sure its over this time.

    I’d love it to go on but hate the thought of it going downhill. I really hated the start of mitisuganae it didnt feel right butthen it was like and old friend was back!Can’t wait for the subs for the rest of the season but scrolling through your page to get to my eps i caught some spoilers by mistake :(

  3. Carlo says:

    A disappointment that yuzuki didn’t turn out to be the next jigoku shoujo. True enough, the ending was unsatisfactory. The creepiest jigoku shoujo series YET, ’cause it really didn’t “end” yet (if you know what i mean).

  4. passer_by says:

    u all know right that the website exist.. i mean really.. i tried accessing it at midnight with the link that we all saw at all the episodes.. creepy..

  5. Aura says:

    I am really in love whit this serie. I never really wanted ai to continue beeing jigoku shoujo, because of the pain she locks inside her heart, but i am REALLY glad Yuzuki didn’t become jigoku shoujo. If there is to be a jigoku shoujo, then the only jigoku shoujo in my heart is and will allways be Emma Ai

  6. unknown says:

    it is one of the worst series ive ever seen. There is barely any story progression, its the same thing over and over again.

  7. MKB says:

    I just love it. Although the end is very confusing.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 07:01 PM)
    Or basically just run along with it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 07:01 PM)
    Just to clear up some disengunous assumptions. I do have shows I like more than Fate. Considering that you are going on this long in defense of Eva and still claim not to have blind bias is that not proof that you do. I mean you can talk crap about Fate any day here. Mention the deus ex machina, heavy exposition, crap pacing and even call the writing bad and you know what I will say?
    Yup on that, still gonna buy the blurays though.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 07:01 PM)
    I can imagine probably/potentially getting a far more positive reaction from End of Eva now and talking of it, it reminds me that how as I’ve gotten older I respond much better to mindscramblers, I could just let the film wash over me now.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:54 PM)
    @Bam, there is no fact in opinion.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:50 PM)
    *when I was a kid
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:50 PM)
    @Kaiser: I don’t care what somebody personally finds better than something else, I already know he likes Fate way more than any of the classics, but that’s his preference. What bothers me is bending of facts and calling bias where his is much more extreme.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:50 PM)
    Ha, I do suppose its kind of a shame in some way Mario will be watching Eva as an adult, if I was anything to go by, watching it as a kid was a freakout experience he’d be missing out on that!
  • mamamoo
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:47 PM)
    hahahaha
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:46 PM)
    @mamamoo: I didn’t know right and wrong were limited only to social issues. I guess a historic work that changed the landscape of a medium and was the fruit of the labor of many people and a fond part of many other’s childhoods is utterly insignificant and not worth defending. My bad then.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 06:43 PM)
    If Aidan was truly trying to be insulting he’d have said Rahxephon was better than Eva. And we all know that’d be just cruel, wrong and unusual! =D

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