Hell Girl [TV]
The story revolves around a supernatural system where, anyone with a powerful grudge may summon the Hell Girl, a mysterious entity that will exact her client’s revenge with the price of damning their own souls to hell after they die.
After torturing the cursed target by letting him/her relive inside her/his own cruelty and injustice, Hell Girl ferries the poor soul into Hell, where eternal pain and suffering awaits them.
About the Show
Jigoku Shojo, also known as Hell Girl, is a horror, supernatural, mystery anime series originally written by Hiroshi Watanabe, directed by Takahiro Omori, and produced by Studio Deen. Its first season aired 26 episodes between October 4, 2005 and April 4, 2006. The second season, entitled Hell Girl: Two Mirrors, had 26 episodes which aired between October 7, 2006 and April 6, 2007. The third season also had 26 episodes, aired between October 4, 2008 and April 4, 2009, and was entitled Hell Girl: Three Vessels. A fourth season has been announced, and will be released this summer.
Ai Enma, also known as the Hell Girl, is the main protagonist of the series. She has long black hair, red eyes, pale skin, and is usually seen in a black school uniform. Ai is an enigmatic supernatural entity that shows little to no emotion, and lives with her grandmother in a realm that basks in eternal sunset. Inside their house is an old computer, from which she receives the requests of her client.
She lived in a peculiar village during her life as a mortal, where she was chosen to be buried alive, a living sacrifice as part of her village’s tradition. Her once deep brown eyes turned red after her childhood friend and cousin was forced to give the first shovel of soil during the ritual. Enma did not die, but rose out of her grave instead. Full of hatred and vengeance, she killed everyone and burned down her village.
Sometime later, a spider appears before the damned soul of Enma, and was revealed to be the God of Hell. The spider offered Enma a pact, where in exchange for immortality, she will not be allowed to enter hell, and act as the deliverer of other people’s vengeance. In order to be able to do this task, the spider demanded that Enma forget about her own hatred and numbing herself to the suffering of other people, otherwise her loved ones will have to wander in Hell for eternity. Enma, who was left with no choice and accepts, thus the Hell Girl was born.
First of Ai’s three companions is Wanyudo, who usually appears as an old man wearing a red scarf and a fedora. Whenever needed, he turns into the black straw doll, and acts as Enma’s transportation from her realm to the human world.
Before his cursed form, Wanyudo was the wheel of a princess’ entourage carriage, which fell off a cliff and caught fire, killing everyone inside. He then became an entity that terrorized people in the form of a flaming wheel, which bears his face as the hubcap. He mets the Hell Girl sometime later, who invites her to be her companion.
Aside from his shapeshifting ability, Wanyudo also possesses other strange powers. He is surprisingly capable with hand-to-hand combat despite his appearance, and can hurl balls of fire or perform inhuman feats.
Second companion of Enma, Ren Ichimoku usually appears as a young man who dresses in normal modern clothes, and one side of his face is covered by his hair. Whenever needed, Ren turns into the blue straw doll, and is also responsible with investigating their clients.
Ren was originally a tsukumogami, a spirit that came from an artifact which gained sentience after having existed for a very long time. He was once a katana, who was forced to be aware and witness the killings he was used with. After his most recent owner was slain in battle, he was left abandoned in a large rock where Enma finally found and invited him to be one of her companions. Enma thinks that Ren was looking for something, which was later revealed to be companionship, intended to fill the void of his existence.
Ren is capable of projecting a giant eye, which is used to spy inside buildings or act as a weapon through emitting blinding flashes of light.
Third member of Enma’s companions, Hone Onna is a beautiful lady usually seen wearing a kimono. She accompanies Ren in investigating their clients, where she usually infiltrates human society, using Sone Anna as her pseudonym. Whenever needed, she turns into the red straw doll by tossing her obi jime over her shoulder.
Before meeting Ai Enma as joining as one of Hell Girl’s companion, she was a harlot known as Tsuyu, betrayed by the man she loves after being sold to a brothel. She met another man who truly loved her, but they were both betrayed by her fellow harlot when she attempted to escape the brothel. After murdering Tsuyu, the Yakuza dumped her body into a river, where restless spirits fused, giving birth to Hone Onna.
Hone is skilled in throwing knives, and is capable of squeezing herself into very small places, which reflects her name that means “bone woman”.
Ai Enma’s grandmother
The Hell Girl is accompanied in the realm of twilight by her grandmother, whose true appearance was never revealed. She is always seen as a silhouette behind a paper screen, always spinning thread inside her room. She often notifies Ai whenever the computer receives a new request, and advises her regarding the cases. There was one human who was able to see Ai’s grandmother behind the paper screen, which caused the former to run in terror, suggesting that the latter’s appearance is twisted in some form.
Other than the fact that she is not human, little is known about Kikuri, a mysterious little girl who can freely travel between Ai’s and the human realm. Whenever she is inside Ai’s realm, she loves to pester the members of Hell Correspondence, even going as far as bringing a human with her out of mischief. Despite freely wreaking havoc inside the twilight realm, she declares that she likes Ai, and follows orders only from her.
Later in the series, Kikuri is revealed to be a vessel for the God of Hell’s will, taking over her body whenever it wishes, used to ensure that the clients will pull the red string.
Yawamaro is a mysterious creature under the command of the new Hell Girl, who appears as a young boy with a gentle demeanor. Whenever needed, he can turn into a yellow straw doll, and usually follows Kikuri during their assignments in the human realm.
Before his time with the Hell Correspondence, Yawamaro was a ghostly boy who roamed the mountains. Sometime during his stay in the mountain, he finds the Ashiya household, a family that adopted him as son after losing their child. Mr. Ashiya somehow knew that Yawamaro was not human, and used him as a subject for caterpillar fungus experiments that still plagued him in the present day. After learning of her husband’s actions, Ms. Ashiya called the Hell Correspondence and sent him to Hell even though Yawamaro begged him not to.
God of Hell
The God of Hell appears as a strange colored spider with eyes on its abdomen, and was responsible for Ai’s punishment shortly after she killed her whole village. He coerced Enma into taking the role of Hell Girl by holding her parents’ soul as hostages. Being the God of Hell, he possesses great control of the realms, especially that of Hell.
The show is episodic in nature, each containing their own short story following a usual format throughout the series.
The episode usually starts with an introduction of the client, who suffers great torment from other people, and later resorts to visiting the Hell Correspondence Website. If a client’s grudge is powerful enough, Ai Enma appears before them, giving them a straw doll tied with a red string. In the occasion that the string is untied, the contract will be sealed, and the cursed will immediately be sent to Hell by Enma and her companions, where afterwards the client will receive a black symbol, signifying that their soul belongs to Hell after they die.