Hell Girl User Reviews

Hell Girl is an anime series in the Hell Girl franchise
Write a Review 3 user reviews Average score of 8.3 / 10 for Hell Girl
Original though its episodic setup gets a bit repetitive. Reviewed by Dream on May 31, 2011. Dream has written 120 reviews. His/her last review was for Problem Children are Coming from Another World, aren't they?. 282 out of 296 users recommend his reviews. 7 out of 7 users found this review helpful.
For such an original and intriguing premise, I found myself a little disappointed with how Hell Girl turned out throughout much of its run. This is a series with signs of a grey moral line through the actions of Ai and her companions as they use their Hell Correspondence site to send those tormenting the main character of an episode to hell. This raises some questions on whether or not there is justification in exacting vengeance on someone who causes you to suffer.

The series mostly runs in an episodic format where we are introduced to a random character suffering from the actions of an antagonist and Hell Girl gives said central character the choice of banishing the subject of their misery to hell at the cost of being sent there themselves at the end of their life. Said character ponders over the decision until they get to a breaking point and then sicks Ai and her group on the antagonist of the episode. This is what ultimately contributes to one of the show's major flaws. While there are twists in some of the episodic stories and two characters (Hajime and Tsugumi) later become entangled in the affairs of Hell Correspondence, the developments essentially play out the same in nearly each episode and they can get repetitious. Also many of the targets of vengeance by a central character in each episode come across as so shallowly evil, that the show forces you not to care for them as they get tormented by Ai's companions before being banished to hell.

Pushing through such repetitious developments does have its rewards though. The connection with the two characters introduced to Ai is slowly unveiled throughout the show as they become more familiar with the affairs of Hell Correspondence. Hints are dropped about Ai's past which are eventually fully revealed later in the series to give the viewer enough sense as to why she exacts vengeance for those desiring it, the same also in the case of Hajime and Tsugumi. Some episodes even cast aside the black and white morality setup from most of the show's other episodes reflecting on characters victims of their own tragic circumstances which Ai is shown to have regrets over casting into hell. There isn't any background mentioned about Ai's three companions in the Hell Correspondence, but I guess that is what sequels are for.

Hell Girl features gorgeous looking clean visuals with bright colors, vast scenery and plenty of detail with settings and character designs. Animation is mostly consistent shown particularly well with settings as wind is blowing around branches and Ai's group are using their powers to torment the sufferers they are recruited to banish to hell, though some animation frames appeared to be reused kudos to the repetitious plot developments and repeated use of flashbacks hinting to the pasts of Ai and the Shibatas.

Overall, I did enjoy Hell Girl, despite running into its major flaws, as the hinted focus on Ai and the Shibatas combined with the grey morality that comes up with the job of Hell Correspondence makes it a decent romp if you can press through the repetitious developments of the earlier episodes.
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