Jingoku Shoujo or Hell Girl is an interesting and sad anime. In this review, I cover only seasons 1 and 2. I'm not covering Season 3 because, the way I see it, the story of Hell Girl ends at season 2. Now, I'm going to try to spoil as little as possible, but I recommend you watch the first 2 seasons before you read this. You might want to consider the fact that it's rated 17+ but I think if you clearly know what's right and what's not, as well as keep an open mind, you should be fine. As for season 3, I'm probably going to review it separately later on. Without further delay, let's get right on with the review.
The story follows a girl named Enma Ai and 3 followers namely, Wanyuudou, Hone Onna, Ichimoku Ren. Their job is to help those seeking revenge on someone. How? By sending their enemy to hell, of course! Whenever someone really hates someone else, they are able to access a website called Hell Correspondence (English version) or Hotline to Hell (Japanese Version) at midnight. They enter the name of the person they hate and Ai gives them a straw doll. If the red thread tied to the straw doll is untied, the person they hate will be sent to hell instantly. However, the person who untied the thread will also have to go to hell after they die.
Each season has 26 episodes. The stories are good, at best and meh! at the very worst. Most of the episodes are short, separate stories with Hell Girl involved. However the later episodes (both seasons) have a connected story. This connection is mostly done by the introduction of a new character.
Late in season 1, a reporter named Hajime Shibata and his daughter, Tsugumi Shibata are introduced. They follow Ai and try to stop people from using the straw doll. They keep doing this and in the end set up the climax of the season in episodes 25 and 26. Now, the introduction of Hajime and Tsugumi is something you'll either like or hate. Personally, I liked their introduction as the show was starting to slightly get stale. The same can be said about Takuma Kurebayashi. He is introduced late in season 2 and is used the same way as Hajime and Tsugumi. However, although I don't hate him, I didn't like him as much as Hajime.
The opening and ending songs are both awesome. And It's one of the few anime where the opening and ending songs of both seasons are great. I like the openings of both seasons equally.
Overall I really enjoyed this anime and it was really moving. It was pretty sad too, but not as sad as Mirai Nikki.
I rate this: 86/100
I would also like to address why I feel the story ends at season 2 but...
In the last episode of season 2, Ai does not take Takuma to hell even though someone used the straw doll. Because of this Ai was brought back to life. But she was in a weak and battered state and in the same body as she was when she died. But she still tried to save Takuma from an angry mob and finally lost her life in the process. Her soul and the souls of her loved ones now wander for all eternity. If this was a video game, this would definitely be the bad ending. It's not bad in the sense that it's poorly written or anything. In fact, this last episode is much better than most other episodes of the show in that sense. It's just sad. So, to recap... HELL GIRL DIES IN AN ANIME ABOUT HELL GIRL! Even if the writer found a way to replace/resurrect/write her in season 3, this anime is as complete (and not to mention awesome) as it is.
So for me it ends here. May or may not watch season 3, but now I'm going to watch something else. What am I going to watch? Another!
Thanks for reading.