Posted 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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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:22 AM)
    @Raggers: I think if my autism reached the level of that it would be most problematic.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:20 AM)
    Fate/zero was a one off thing. And while he did write it, technically Nasu was his editor. You can’t honestly believe Gen could come up with characters like Rider and Waver now can you?
    Sure Nasu claims otherwise but come on.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:20 AM)
    Fate may not be the best, but it’s a damn sight better than some of the stuff that gets milked for money…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:19 AM)
    Nasu, I literally give zero fucks about. I’ve only read his Fate VN and possibly Tsukihime in the future.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:19 AM)
    @Emma: Aldnoah.Zero is turning out really well, you’re missing out.
    Autism, and perhaps Savant syndrome, are the best possible reasons I can come up with for Inaho’s character.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:18 AM)
    The milking of fate does need to stop though. UBW and Heavens feel do need to be a adapted and deserve to be but all this Fate extra and CCC and tiger colslsm and fate/whatever and releasing fate/stay night five goddamn times….
    Nasu, Just write a new f*cking IP.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:16 AM)
    @Aidan Fate Zero, I mean. He wrote the LN, afterall.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:15 AM)
    Gen and Nasu was a match made in Heaven though. Nasu is all about the characters but sucks at pacing and story structure. Gen is great at pacing and story structure but sucks at characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:13 AM)
    @K-off, ??? But Fate belongs to Nasu.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:12 AM)
    @Aidan I agree with your analysis of Gen. Which is why he’s made a terrible decision in letting others keep milking the Fate franchise.

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