Is Jigoku Shoujo a hidden gem we failed to notice?

Is Jigoku Shoujo a hidden gem we failed to notice

Jigoku Shoujo, commonly known as Hell Girl, is an underrated gem that has been rejected by popular culture due to a fairly different form of supernatural and dark fantasy storytelling. The series was originally conceptualized by Hiroshi Watanabe and ran for four seasons from 2005 to 2017.

While it has remained as a shadow hidden in the darkness, Jigoku Shoujo anime has a lot to offer when one actually sheds some light on it. In this article, we will look at this peculiar anime and try to understand why we failed to notice it in a popular sense.

Jigoku Shoujo anime – what is the plot about?

Jigoku Shoujo is a narration of a supernatural authority that lets people take revenge on their enemies by having the latter sent to Hell. These services of the supernatural order are provided by the Hell Girl herself, along with her acquaintances and followers.

Is Jigoku Shoujo a hidden gem we failed to notice
Hell Girl in the anime Jigoku Shoujo. (Image credit goes to Studio Deen)
  • The main protagonist is named Ai Enma, who is the Hell Girl. Each episode is basically an independent story altogether and it follows the same pattern of events.
  • A client is tortured, they apply their acquaintance to be sent to Hell, Hell Girl intervenes and torments the target, eventually sending them to Hell.
  • However, the twist is – the person who makes the contract must also go to Hell after their life is over.

What is special about Hell Girl anime?

The Hell Girl anime, or Jigoku Shoujo, is very peculiar and special in its nature.

  • Basically, while it follows various stories of revenge, hatred, and reparation, it is at the same time a reflection of the inhuman desires that reside within the hearts of all humans.
  • It is a satire of the society in which we live and it eventually manages to deconstruct that notion to critique the existing institutions in the society which give rise to such emotional and psychological patterns of human behavior.
Is Jigoku Shoujo a hidden gem we failed to notice
Mayumi in Hell Girl anime. (Image credit goes to Studio Deen)
  • As a dark fantasy and supernatural thriller anime, Jigoku Shoujo manages to undermine the supernatural in some way to bring out the element of the dark fantasy in a much more intensified manner.

The entire plot is connected through disjunctive stories and these eventually break the conventional form of storytelling, making it not very popular but special in a sense. It follows the patterns of the classics of literature, with all of its digressions and discontinuation, while eventually leading to a decisive ending.

Why has Jigoku Shoujo remained unnoticed for the longest time?

Jigoku Shoujo has remained a hidden project for the longest period due to the nature of the anime. Its tropes are neither conventional nor are the sequences appealing.

It follows death, violence, and hatred in the most extreme manners, making it a very uncomfortable piece of work to be witnessed by the masses. If you have watched The Alienist, Jigoku Shoujo might remind you of such dark details and afterthoughts along with the elements of gore and horror.

Is Jigoku Shoujo a hidden gem we failed to notice
Mayumi in Hell Girl anime. (Image credit goes to Studio Deen)
  • The influx and introduction of old classics in the modern day has been a rising trend in motion.
  • However, shows like Hell Girl need a lot of mature audiences who are willing to risk their sleep and let go of their fears, because it is infuriating and bone-chilling at the same time.

Moreover, the narration is very displeasing in the sense that it moves back and forth, making it a severely disfigured story. However, all of this has to be undermined and accepted under the context that the anime is experimental and highly critical of modern problems, making it a show well beyond our age and time.


Hell Girl anime is a must-watch for all those audiences who are into a good Halloween treat of horror. Moreover, it is for those people who are willing to understand and experience horror through a very critical lens. In the end, it is important to understand that the narrative might have fluctuations, but that only makes the storytelling an entirely adult experience. For more anime updates, subscribe to our newsletter at Spiel Anime!

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