Hell Girl Two Mirrors anime review

Hell Girl Two Mirrors anime review
Ai Enma once again returns as the Jigoku Shoujo, who uses Jigoku Tsuushin (Hell Hotline) to allow people to post their grudges on their tormentors, sending them straight to Hell. In exchange, the users of the website will end up in Hell after they die. Meanwhile, a mysterious girl with purple eyes called Kikuri appears and seems to have strange intentions towards Ai and Jigoku Tsuushin's operation.

Having seen the first season of Hell Girl (aka Jigoku Shoujo) a few years ago, I was eager to finally see the second season of this dark show. Sentai Filmworks recently gave me a chance to continue following Ai Enma with the 2-part DVD collection of Hell Girl: Two Mirrors. After siting down for all 26 episodes of the second season of Hell Girl, I can now give you my impressions on this series.

Hell Girl: Two Mirrors follows Ai Enma, a girl who grants revenge to those who seek it, and her loyal assistants.  Those who want to send others to hell as revenge send  a request through Hell Girl’s website and are then approached by Ai and given a straw doll with a red string on it. If they pull on the string the person whose name they typed into the website will be sent directly to hell. However, the individual who sent in the request will also go to hell upon their death.

For those who hadn’t seen the first season before watching the season season, you needn’t really worry about missing too much.   The first episode gives you a brief synopsis of Ai’s past before she became Hell Girl. However, it does leave out everything regarding the Shibata family from the first season. They do make an appearance towards the end and sort of explained what happened to them at  the end of the last season (but not very well..). Throughout the series references to the first season are pretty minimal, so you could easily get away with just watching the second season without having seen the first.

 

The pacing for the anime at first was rather slow at first. For some it might be a turn off, as you don’t really get into the meat of the plot until episode 20 or so.  Most of the episodes may seem like they’re following the same pattern: introduction of  some unfortunate person’s life and then how they access the site, Ai comes to their aid, they find out why this person wants to send another person to hell, unfortunate individual pulls (or doesn’t pull) the string and sends their tormentor to hell, end of episode.   However, despite this pattern, I will applaud the producers on how well they were able to come up with some of the motives for these revenges.  There wasn’t many, if any, repeats of motives for the episodes. To my relief there were enough instances where the writers gave the episode plot a twist of irony or seemingly leave even more plot questions at the episode’s conclusion to keep me interested long enough to get to the real plot.

Character development for Ai and her assistants was rather good in this season, as you get a few episodes explaining their backgrounds and how Ai recruited them into her services.  I found these episodes very refreshing, however, the character development isn’t as much as other series (who knows…maybe there will be more in the 3rd season?) Despite the brief time that the characters beside the main cast are on screen, I did feel that viewers were given just enough time to get acquainted with them and maybe, just maybe, feel bad for them.

Although the first season is  English dubbed, Hell Girl: Two Mirrors isn’t (I never saw the dubbed version anyways).  That said, I was fine with the subtitles, save for a typo every few episodes or so. But they weren’t enough to detract from the viewer getting all of the story. I thought the translations were pretty accurate.  Sentai Filmworks was nice enough to add in extra translator notes for culture references, which I greatly appreciated.

In terms of packaging, the season comes in two DVD cases with two DVDs per case. Pretty standard and what is expected since this isn’t a box set. My only problem was that one of my DVDs kept falling out of one of the cases.

Overall, I thought Hell Girl: Two Mirrors was good, but probably not enough to overshadow the original’s serious nature that drew me in. This season did have a refreshing look at more character backgrounds and some humor from the cast (which definitely wasn’t there in the first season). Hell Girl: Two Mirrors is a must get for fans of the first season though, because it does continue to reveal the horrible evils of humanity which ultimately is what the Hell Girl series is really about.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Hell Girl Two Mirrors. Watch it now:
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