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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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 02:00 AM)
    @Vxien, Not sure who that recommend is for but whoever it is has seen death note. It’s like recommending Cowboy bebop. Anyone calling themselves an anime fan has likely already seen it and anyone that hasn’t…should watch it immediately.
  • Vxien
    (Saturday, Mar 7. 2015 12:41 AM)
    Might I recommend Death Note if you haven’t already.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.

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