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Jigoku Shoujo Review: A Gruesome Treat For Horror Fans

The anime series opens with the first scene, condemned in damnation. Jigoku Shoujo is a horror fest for those who are looking for a binge-watch into the long weekend. The first scene starts by telling the story of Ai Enma. She has been chosen and given the title of ‘The Hell Girl‘. So what is the typical job role of a Hell Girl, you might ask? Well, Jigoku Shoujo uncovers the story of Ai and how she was chosen to be the Hell Girl for collecting spirits.

However, the series is divided into three acts. Besides, when the third act closes, the opening scene is played. It starts with the tag line- ‘Revenge is not worth it. It shatters the person who is serving it but also inherits a price’.  Typically three minutes into hell girl, you might think that this is your watch. Jigoku Shoujo is not for the faint heart. The story and the characters are crucially drafted. The makers have put a lot of thought while working on the plot. Let us know how this anime really stands out to be a gore watch for the weekend.

Jigoku Shoujo Is Not Meant For Everyone

jigoku shoujo

However, after spending 3 minutes into the anime, a lot of viewers have vouched for their dissatisfaction. Jigoku Shoujo is not for everyone to digest. Infact, these anime have got the best rating to be on the top spot for the most gore fest anime for viewers. Most people have only one thing to say. The first story starts with a small sub-story in the main plot. Besides, Ai Enma is the leading antagonist here who is made to collect souls after someone condemns their fate.

Viewers have put their resistance, saying that the stories shown are quite the same. Infact, they are. It shows the life of Ai, and she dresses up in the attire of Hell Girl before going in for her hunt. One third your way into the story, the second act begins. Besides, if you are willing to spend all your time watching Jigoku Shoujo, you need to have a little patience.

Enma Ai is the supernatural spirit or goddess who is contacted by those whose hearts are burning with heavy desires of revenge. Suppose you have your best friend and both of you have chosen the same person to fall in love with. One of you can call Ai to solve the deal. Ai approaches in her chariot, while she gets ready to do her job. Ai is beautiful, yet there is something malice that looms around her. She has an outwardly calm manner, yet her glowing dark red eyes can engulf the faintest of heart.

However, Ai is not a typical antagonist whom we perceive in every other anime. More like the same, she is here to play her role for which she is called for. Her role is to help people solve their issues with the help of Hell Girl.

Read: Best Horror Anime Series To Watch

Those Who Seek Revenge Are Always The Same

jigoku shoujo

Jigoku Shoujo will teach you something. Revenge is a dish best served cold. Besides, this anime is more about learning than about being scared of what lurks behind. Ai Enma is a solice who has suffered fate and is chosen to be the hell girl. However, this is not the only end. There are more to add if you find out.

Those people who ask for revenge from Ai are burning with hatred in their hearts. Since we were kids, we were taught that the idea of revenge is meant for the ill-fated. Besides, ordinary people have Karma to rely on. This is not what Jigoku Shoujo teaches you. Infact, this anime teaches you that the idea of revenge is cool. But, as long as you are maintaining your boundaries, no one will call you out.

Tracing back to the story of Ai, she has been doomed since the start. Ai, who is shown to serve the plan for which people ask her, has been the torture and lab rat for many experiments. Starting right from her young age, she has suffered the poor fate of rape, embellishment, abandonment, torture, and even betrayal. As Ai dresses in her medieval Japanese couture, there is a piece of menacing music played which matches the tone. Jigoku Shoujo is not your ordinary watch. If you are ready to sit through the hours of torture on your small or big screen, this is the perfect match for you.

The Story of Ai Enma

jigoku shoujo

So our infamous antagonist needs some light to be shed on. Ai Enma, who is the main antagonist of the show, is a soft girl from the heart. In one episode, we can see that she spares the life of an individual just because that person did not look ‘menacing enough’. Yes, that is our Ai. However, this is not the only end to our character. There is more to be hooked on.

There are three servants(or we can say loyal servants) working for Ai. Since they understand who she is and from where she belongs, they are really fond of her and want her to be safe. The viewers are only stuck with a single thing. Her outer politeness does not match her cruel personality, which she shows from beneath. Whenever she is handed a job, she goes to the folk and then drags the perpetrator so that they can serve the rest of their life in hell. How does this hell look like, if you might ask? Well, not really a surprise fest here. It looks like any other Japanese medieval hell, the one we have read in books.

Do Ai and The Skull Rider Have Anything In Common?

Do you remember our infamous Skull/Ghost Rider? However, users have tried to find a connection between Ai and the Skull Rider. You might think that ‘Oh, what a foolish statement to say? But, is it so? Besides, both of them work for justice, right? We can say that both Ai and the Skull Rider have one thing in common. They don’t let people overuse their power or the idea of revenge which can harm them. Initially meant for someone else and getting harmed from your own plan is a frustrating affair.

Should Jigoku Shoujo Be In Your Watchlist?

jigoku shoujo

However, after all these explanations, here comes the main question. Should Jigoku Shoujo be on your watch list? Let us see.

  • It brings on the gore content that most of the ‘horror genre’ tagged animes lack.
  • It helps you to understand the meaning of life(in a twisted way, ofcourse).
  • Jigoku Shoujo is not for the faint heart(warning before you watch).
  • This amazing anime portrays the life of the antagonist and brings a picture as to why she chose this path.

Focusing on the last point, not a lot of animes out there works on this note. A lot of animes don’t have the proper idea of how they can depict a simple culture while portraying it on the screen. Jigoku Shoujo does it beautifully. However, there is a small gap that viewers can notice while they are engulfed in the show.

The anime can get boring with all the stories and the way they are treated. Starting from a single story(played in a sliding manner) there is the protagonist and their life shown. They are looking out for revenge, and everyone knows about Ai. She is the beast, whom shall be called shall serve. In medieval Japan, the culture of folklore played an important role in everyone’s life. This is what Jigoku Shoujo brings to the audience as well.

So, long answer short, yes, it should be on your watch list.

Also, a reminder, Jigoku Shoujo is not meant for everyone. If you are babysitting your six-year-old, consider watching Sugar Sugar Rune. Or, you can gently tuck them in their bed before you choose to give it a go. Sometimes, Jigoku Shoujo can appear to be spine-chilling while catching you off guard. This anime works and powers while channelizing the life of girls and how modern society treats us. If you have watched a lot of crime actions lately and want justice for all the malpractices, this might be it.

Written By

Nathan Hale is part of the core OtakuKart team and publishes news articles, mainly related to dating and gossip. Sometimes anime & manga. You can reach out to him at Nathan@otakukart.com

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