Descent into Hell Take Two

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Gorgeous animation do not a good anime make. An engaging storyline and likeable characters are also required. So it’s kind of sad when a show you know could have been great merely reaches the acceptable level.

Such is the case with the second season of Hell Girl which is actually called “Jigoku Shoujo Futakamori”. Enma Ai is back with her three assistants as they offer a hellish bargain to those who want to have others dragged unceremoniously to Hell. If you’re willing to enter a contract with Ai, the bane of your existence gets whisked off pronto. The price remains a steep one. You go to Hell as well when you die because as Ai says, two graves are dug when a curse is placed.

Like the first season, this one features beautiful character designs and backgrounds plus the same hohum way of telling its stories.

Each episode focuses on Ai’s client of the week and how she deals with their requests. Some of her clients are a waste of molecules, so to speak, while a few deserve to get dispatched to the underworld themselves. There is a little boy who undergoes personal tragedies one upon the other that you wonder how Ai can just sit there and do nothing for him. He is actually a key in resolving Ai’s end and mirrors the persecution she faced in her earlier human form four hundred years ago.

That’s another problem. The director assumes you know Ai’s back story or have seen the first season. Go watch the first season. It helps explain certains things in the second season.

This time around, we learn more about the history of Ai’s three assistants and why they’re working for her now. We also meet a rather unpleasant hell spawn masquerading as a little girl who could double as the Japanese version of the “Bad Seed.” She’s called Kikuri I think. She tags along with the gang and tries to muck up their work.

After sitting through all the episodes even the crummy ones the ending comes as a major disappointment. Aaaargh! It was a let down to be sure. Is that how Hell Girl is supposed to end? I am so tempted to spoil it for the rest of y’all but I won’t be a party pooper.

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