I was aware of what I was going to get into when starting Hell Girl: Futakomori or Two Mirrors, and yet I was surprised of what was behind the red thread. Much like the first season, Two Mirrors follows the same episodic style: we have a poor soul being tormented, they ask Hell Girl for help, they resist at first but then banish their tormentor to Hell by trecherous illusion before riding on the creepiest ferry boat in existence. Or does it?
Even though Two Mirrors follows the formula above, there are plenty of twists that are provided. Some episodes don't give the viewer of whom is banishing whom, while other times our initial person doesn't even access the Hell Link. Rather someone gets there before they do. This honestly left me guessing and provided another fine twist along with the others to come.
Some have said that Two Mirrors is more campier than the first season. This can be seen in that Wanyuudou becomes a race car before running over the tormentor Christine-style. Let alone the image of Ai Enma being a delivery girl. Yes. It exists. Others have also complained that the show is also too slow; making this combo appear to be dreadful to the wary. However, I didn't view the new jigoku or hell illusions to be camp. I personally saw it as the studio further stretching their imaginations along with the stories of hatred, betrayal, jealously etc. Plus, considering that its viewers have seen season one (like I have) than the imagery of the Ai and her assistants poking fun is a breath of fresh air to me.
There's definitely pros to this season. The servants Wanyuudou, Ren and Hone Onma are further fleshed out and play a bigger role. Their backstories are discovered and all three become all the more interesting just as the mysterious Miss that they serve. If any of them intrigued you, I recommend this season for these backstories alone. The only downside is that we have a newcompatriot in young Kikuri whose laughter is probably the next creepiest laugh to Majora's. I didn't much care for her, but she has her own inner plot as well that may intrigue others. The soundtrack sets the right mood with familiar songs that have new arrangements and a few new ones as well. They fit into the world of Hell Girl wonderfully. I also liked the opening, but the ending was a bit lacking to me; it wasn't as memorable as "Karinui"
Now..the finale. I personally didn't think it was as strong as Hajime's and Tsugumi's fate in the first season, but I did find it intriguing that the show decided to focus on a character that tried to access the Hell Link before. Although I questioned at times that over the trauma the kid went if he was going to be the next Shinji Ikari in the making. It's in those episodes alone that bring forth the psychological bending that fear can cause in people and how it can inspire the greatest evil in anyone. It was the very same psychological horror in a Death Note-esque fashion (Hell Link becoming the latest craze in sentencing death by the ordinary people and how 4 such ordinary people become a cult with the seal) that made me watch episodes 22-26 in almost a whole sitting. Not only do we get connections with those characters where a few first are shown, we delve more in Ai Enma's ever-twilight realm, the loss of humanity, plot twists lie abound, the "what if Ai Enma turned the boat around?" and the fate it brings to not only Ai but the servants that may be interpreted as her family.
All in all, if you have some free time or unsure of your next anime, I recommend Two Mirrors, especially if you enjoyed the world of Hell Girl the first time around.
A bent spider lily in a field of wheat where the twilight is always present.