Hell Girl: Three Vessels

Alt title: Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae

TV (26 eps)
2008 - 2009
Fall 2008
3.832 out of 5 from 4,541 votes
Rank #1,972

Since the Hell Girl's supposed disappearance, her three helpers, Ichimoku Ren, Wanyuudou and Hone-Onna have returned to humankind to live out a normal existence. Life for the trio is suddenly shattered when Kikuri returns with word from Enma Ai: she has taken control of the body of a young school girl, Yuzuki Mikage, to continue the Jigoku Tsushin website operation. With the hotline to Hell back up and running, the promise of vengeance will once more be too much for some people to resist, digging a grave for both themselves and their tormentor. With reunions from the past, a newly-revitalized Hell Girl and new grudges to take care of, will Enma Ai ever be released from her thankless task?

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I am firmly against animal abuse. But in the case of the annoying chihuahua in Jigoku Shoujo: Mitsuganae I'll make an exception. It's not because I think that small and incestantly yapping furballs are annoying, though chihuahuas certainly are, but that the series has managed to make animal abuse stop shocking anyone. The people saw that they removed a lot of the underlying story in the second season and for some reason people loved it more than the first, and thought that they could make everything even more monotone in the third season. My completionist side has got the better of me. I firmly regret seeing the third season of Jigoku Shoujo and want my time back. The writing has devolved into the simplest form, and now we get an angsty magical girl transformation sequence and some fan service to boot. I like fan service, don't get me wrong, but this is supposed to be a "dark" show that takes itself "seriously". At this point we have had good all the possible combinations of people taking and receiving vengeance, and quite frankly it got tired in the second season (well, the first season to be honest, the second season became painful). By the third series, it is down to recycled ideas made from the earlier recycled ideas of the show. I'll be blunt and say that episodes 2-12 are a complete and utter waste of time and should be skipped. Then, when you think that something will change, we go back to the formula of the first season. Actually, had this season only had ten episodes, it would have been fantastic. The improved animation is nice. There are the moral grey areas though they aren't explored thoroughly, as nearly everything is wrapped up in one episode. Writing (Story and Characters): Even among the rather weak writing of the Jigoku Shoujo franchise, Jigoku Shoujo: Mitsuganae has bad writing. At this point, the staff basically gave up on trying to do something special with the premise. There is no finale as impressive as the second season, and no sympathetic main characters like in the first season. Actually, the ending is obvious, and sucks compared to the one of last season. That is partially because what little arc there is to the season is given a few bites at a time. Sharp editing is completely lacking from the script department. This season should have been half as long, or even a third as long, without missing anything important. The story of Jigoku Shoujo: Mitsuganae is too boring, too long, and too unevenly paced because of this. So many wasted opportunities to use that extra space to do something interesting, but if you've seen the first two seasons you probably don't care about that anyways. Yes, people suffer, there is revenge, there are morality stories which are aimed at middle-schoolers, and something close to character development. Supposedly everything you need to keep the audience of the series cheering for more. tl;dr: the story is boring and sucks, the editors dropped the ball, but that is the series in a nutshell. Oh, and the one interesting addition to the cast from the second season is now not a sadist anymore for some unknown reason, but instead comic relief. Character development in the series has actually taken a step back. The characters are somehow even less interesting than last season, which is painfully hard for anything that doesn't aim to make the cast stupid. What little depth characters had last season is removed, and instead focuses on a new character who isn't interesting. It is as if the staff tried to combine what they learned in the first two seasons to take the worst of each and make something bad. Still, they aren't quite worthy of contempt (most of the time), and there are some supposedly "deep" character episodes. You'll forget all that by the end. Yet another season, luckily the last, of Jigoku Shoujo happened, and as usual, they try and bail out the catastrophy that is most of the writing of the season with a grand ending. Unfortunately, they fail miserably. Jigoku Shoujo: Mitsuganae is the weakest of the three seasons. Now, you may say to yourself "but hey, the first season is rated lower!", and on most sites it is true. Most rational people had the attrocious writing cause them to drop the series either during or after the first season, and the people who rate it are either fans, or completionist freaks like me. I'll tell you this objectively: the series should have ended after season 2, or better yet, with a good editor, all three seasons could have been fit into one and then it would have kicked ass. If there was one editor with some balls in the staff, that would have happened. Art (Animation and Sound): As per usual, Jigoku Shoujo: Mitsuganae has slightly improved animation over last season and essentially the same sound. Overall: Don't watch this. The improved animation seen in Jigoku Shoujo: Mitsuganae is not enough to cover for the lame writing. If you insist, watch episodes 1, 13, 14, 19, 20, and then 22 until the end. I regret my wasted time and obsessive need to complete any series that doesn't make my brain bleed.


If you have not read my review on the second season you can read it (here). To be honest, this season (Jigoku Shoujo: Mitsuganae) is disappointing. I feel that it would be better if the series ended at season 2. This season, compare to the previous two was less serious and the story was less interesting than Futakomori (season 2). The only reason I think that this season was created was to milk more money from the series. Lastly, they also resort to fan service capture the viewer attention instead of improving the plot. However, those that like fan service might enjoy it but i did not. (There is a transformation scene which makes it feel like a mahou shoujo genre) Story: It still have it same episodic format for 5/6 of the season, where we were shown people releasing their harted on other people. By this season I feel that season 1&2 had shown enough example of this and they should had focus on the main plot then to show more example. Also it left some part unexplained. (I would not mention it to prevent spoiler) The main focus of the story of this season was not Emma Ai but Mikage Yuzuki (A girl that appear this season). Animation: This season animation was better compare to season 2, mostly because there was more company sponsoring this season. (Sony Music, Aniplex, BigLobe) I would say that it still have the same art style from the previous 2 season but more refined. Sound: The sound has some variation but still have it quailty. Character: This season there it one more character that join the "Jigoku Shoujo crew" which they spent like 1 episode to explain his backstory. For the others, they did not show anymore of their past nor shown any development. This season I could said that the crew received less screen time Overall, I would not recommended this season as I feel that it does not have the same feel as sesaon 2. This may be because this season they change the director from Oomori Takahiro to Watanabe Hiroshi. Instead of improving the series to become more interesting the director when to add fan service. I would not say that Mitsuganae is unwatchable but it is definitely less interesting than the previous two season. You can go and watch it, but don't expect the same hype of season 2 from it.

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