Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
I had seen Ninja Scroll, the Movie first before I watched the series
version. The gap was about a year and a half apart, and I thoroughly
enjoyed the movie despite its mature content.
The series takes place after the movie's storyline, obviously. But I'm disappointed in its lack of strong structure or character. Two rival clans compete for total power as they try to capture a girl and a magic stone necessary for the task, and Jubei and friends are caught in the middle. That's just what it's all about, really.
Especially after seeing the breathtaking action sequences of the movie, the series has a little rusty version of those that left me a bit jaded to be honest. The characters aren't that well developed, Jubei also lacks a lot of character, the animation is not as vibrant and alive as the movie. The bottom-line is that I don't think there is anything new or interesting to be seen here, regretfully speaking. It just tries to parrot the movie : violence, "sexiness" and stuff; and is doing a bad job at it.
Word of advice : if you have seen the movie first and are about to see the series now, I told you so; and if you have seen the series, but haven't yet seen the movie, go see it NOW!! Thirdly, if you haven't seen either of them yet, definitely go for the movie, trust me!!
That, though, is a very personal opinion in my part. When I first saw
the show (season 1) over a year ago, I liked it, not that I am
comfortable with the concept of sending people off to hell just because
they treat you harshly. I was of the opinion that we aren't the judges
of whether someone should go to Hell or not. But it was such a sad
show, and me being the sucker for melodrama, you get what I mean.
The second season, Jigoku Shoujo: Futakomori is much more maturely themed, much more problematic - if that sort of stuff appeals to you because when in the first season we see teenage schoolgirls calling upon Ai Enma to send people off to hell just because of one thing or another (problems that are not that serious in nature, in my opinion) so that they would feel a lot better afterwards, in the second season that act becomes in many cases, a necessity for justice, to save others, or maybe even for the good of everyone. The Hell girl's clients are much more mature and more capable of making their own decisions by thinking carefully about it, and they've got more experience on life too.
Ai also takes a much more personal, active role, and she becomes much less of the neutral observer from her twilight home. We see more of her, Wanyudou, Ichimoku Ren and Hone Onna as well as a couple of new characters who are important to the story's climax as it unfolds. They become real people, and much less of Hell's tools in Futakomori. Add the great melodramatic music to that, and be prepared for a bitter ending (bittersweet actually) which will leave you wonder ... is justice done at last? Is there finally peace?
I like it. It shows me a lot more about this world in which I live.
If you have seen the ads and trailers of this show that makes you think
of it as a Ringu or Ju-On rip-off, I guarantee that you are at least
80% deceived. Jigoku Shoujo is a show that takes a cliché subject
(where a person or thing with some power offers in sending people you
hate off to hell and taking your soul as payment for it) and treats it
in such a way that you actually think about it, trust me. You think
about the whole of this selfish human race that thinks nothing but of
its own pleasures and comforts, you think about how valuable present
circumstances - pleasure or pain is that much important in our lives.
So what if you go to Hell hereafter? That is in the "distant" future,
right? That is what the people in this show are thinking. So they call
upon poor Ai Enma to do the dirty work, and it is what she was forced
to do, whether she enjoyed it or not. She punishes the guilty. She
ferries them directly off to Hell, but for making her do that (which
becomes a mortal sin), the person who made the request is also doomed
at the end of his or her natural life.
The animation is quite good, the music matches the mood, whether it is sadness or anxiety, and you have an unique show out of a very popular, dismal subject.