YMMV / Hell Girl


  • Angst: Yuzuki Mikage does some internal angsting midway through the series. This is because she's being used as a Soul Jar by Ai Enma and she's unable to do anything about it. Oh, and she's going to be taking Ai's place soon. Neither of the two are at all pleasant things. What separates this from annoying whining is that Yuzuki actually tries to defy Ai and is determined to change her fate. Doesn't work though.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The show can become very annoying because of the monotonous structure, which is repeated throughout the 26 episodes of the show. Although this corresponds to the peculiarities of Japanese terrible stories, the so-called kwaidan, this can alienate the western viewer due to strong similarity with the monotonous western TV series.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: The fact that this series is dedicated to Uncanny Valley Girl and Creepy Child Enma Ai is the only thing most people know about this series, since many years later art with her is more known than a synopsis or someone else from her team.
  • Bizarro Episode: The third episode of the fourth season is so full of Crosses the Line Twice and Narm Charm that it makes him one of the craziest and most unusual episodes of the show. It also sparked a discussion about whether it is a shame of the series, or one of its best moments.
  • Broken Base: Although in general the fourth season was met very positively by critics and fans, opinions about the violence in it were divided. On the one hand, part of the audience was pretty much satisfied how much the show became darker, brutal and rude, while the other considered this a deterioration of quality in the direction of depicting villains as too flat and banal jerks.
  • Cliché Storm: The show so abuses its own Catch-Phrase and other cliches that in the end it starts to seem that Mamiko Noto can just record once all of its cues and no longer appear in the episodes. For example, almost every time the "villain" of the episode will be monster, the Woobie-protagonist will eventually untie the ribbon, and in the end, in an inexplicable way, it turns out that the villain's crimes became known to everyone.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: In the third episode of the fourth season, members of the Big, Screwed-Up Family are so pathetic or insane or such jerks that it turns into Black Comedy. It even includes a character with three cousins, two female and one male. He is in a relationship with the first, tries to rape the second (who is in elementary school), while beating his aunt and uncle along with the third. Even the main characters are shocked by this, saying that this family is worse than hell, and its members are worse than real demons. After all this, the main The Reveal of the episode, will make you think, is the writer trying to troll you?
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Jigoku Rock, which plays whenever someone's being taken to Hell. And the remixes. And Mitsuganae gives us Death Metal!
  • Cult Classic: Despite the fact that in the technical sense of the show it is very outdated and has a very monotonous structure, in the long run it received 4 sequels and is still considered a classic of anime horror, not least thanks to the very memorable main character.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The series can easily fall into this as it goes on, especially the first season. The person with the doll is always going to pull the string and damn both themselves and their tormentor. Even the introduction of someone trying to put a stop to it doesn't help when he constantly fails at it. The only time this is ever averted is in the final episode.
  • Epileptic Trees: Contrary to popular expectation derived from a Mythology Gag, Gilles de L'Enfer does not make an appearance in Mitsuganae. At all. The Other Wiki's article spent a good few months setting him up to return as the main villain, but then...
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Plenty of them, including the lesson Enma Ai herself learns: Don't ever stick out your neck for anyone. You'll just wind up being condemned.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • How a lot of fans treat the manga due to its numerous issues (ugly art, younger target audience, no social commentary, playing the "revenge fantasy" angle dead seriously, etc.).
    • After a fourth season of the series was announced for 2017, many fans considered the third season as non-existent and treated the 2017 season as the third season.
  • Growing the Beard: Each series starts off with the Once an Episode someone going to hell thing, until the main story picks up midway through the series.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay:
    • The entirety of the fourth episode of Mitsuganae. Yukawa is clearly having a relationship with Nishida. The infamous 'speck of dust in the eye' scene all but practically confirms it.
    • Episode 20 of Futakomori, to the point that interpreting the relationship between Mari and Juri as mere friendship would actually sound less plausible.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The DVDs can set your finances back in the triple digits, and there are no sites legally streaming it (not even Funimation).
  • Les Yay: The second episode in the fourth season is just overloaded by this, right up to the point that by the end of the episode you are no longer sure whether Nanako and Haru are a duet of actress comedians or a lesbian couple in conflict. And even if it was just a subtext, it is hard to consider Nanako's final speech as anything other than a declaration of love.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Everything related to Enma Ai is this, especially her Catch-Phrase.
    • The third episode of the fourth season, which can not be discussed without swear words.
  • Moral Event Horizon: If someone is sent to hell, chances are that he or she crossed it. The townsfolk of a city in the ending of the second season are a MAJOR example; making contracts left and right for the most stupid reasons and blaming it all on a little boy, whose life become a living hell.
    • Ditto for Ayaka from episode 7 of the first season. She plans to send her adoptive mother to Hell simply because she pushes Ayaka too hard as a theater coach. But then everything changes when another girl, Kaoruko, is chosen for the role Ayaka wanted, and Ayaka begins tormenting her instead, coming to a head when she hires a couple of thugs to force-feed Kaoruko a chemical that destroys her voice, possibly permanently. In the end, it's Kaoruko who sends Ayaka to hell, but Ayaka is not the least bit remorseful for what she did, even claiming she never cared about acting and that she was only ever in it to get what she wanted - notably her adoptive mother's fame and fortune. Her voyage to hell was not pretty, to say the least.
    • Namiko Todaka from the previous episode is perhaps one of the most singularly vile characters in the entire series. A neighbor discovers her cheating on her husband, so what does she do? Send a man to rape her neighbor and then take pictures for blackmail.
    • Ai nearly crosses (or possibly crosses it just from the attempt) it too in the first season's finale by trying to manipulate Tsugumi into sending her dad to Hell and using Tsugumi's memories of her mother's death to do so. Fortunately, Tsugumi says no in the end, and Ai then stops doing so.
    • From episode 8 of Season 2 (Fukatomori), Mami Kuriyama has willing to use one of her students just so she can banish Shoko Baba to hell.
    • Whether or not the person sent to hell crossed the horizon, anyone who actually does send someone to hell crosses it pretty much de facto.
  • Periphery Demographic: Downplayed. Although the series itself was clearly more focused on the girls than the guys, the lack of gender stereotypes in it and the growing number of male fans, led to the fact that by the next seasons the show had practically become gender neutral.
  • Narm:
    • Poor animation and a lot of Large Ham villains practically make this show Narm Charm.
    • Some of the third season's getting sent to hell process falls into this territory.
    • The fourth season is overloaded with this due to a sharp increase in violence coupled with a sharply deteriorating quality of animation in some episodes. And of course, let's not forget about the third episode ..
    • The manga adaptation is full of this, mostly due to the unfitting art style.
  • Narm Charm: Hell Girl has a lot of this because of the very poor by modern standards of animation, the surplus of Large Ham villains and regularly repeating the structure of the episodes. Everything can become even funnier if you think that the Enma Ai understands all of this and therefore it is embarrassing for her every time to participate in the events of the show.
  • Paranoia Fuel: You could be sent to Hell for anything, at any given time. Seriously, you might not even remember doing anything bad, you could not have done anything bad at all, but somehow, someone is pissed off at you. And you'll be minding your own business one minute, and being boated off to Hell in the next...
  • Shipping: Ai is very frequently paired with Ichimoku Ren in fanarts, especially during the Season 2 run, where Ren had a lot more prominence.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Two of them. Number one, even if someone is tormenting you, it is not worth sending them to Hell if the price is joining him/her someday. Number two, although this one's more implied throughout the series than directly stated, Japanese society needs to be sharply critiqued if it cannot consistently restrain tormentors from hurting others in the first place.
    • Especially for a non-Japanese audience, some of the themes are illustrative of issues that are known in Japan but otherwise unfamiliar elsewhere. Such as the effects of peer pressure and shunning within a neighborhood amongst ADULTS rather than teens.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The victim of the fourth episode of season one, a veterinarian who allows several of the pets he treats to die because he sees them as nothing more than a paycheck, said before he was dragged off to hell said "Pet owners are no different than I am. Dressing them up in weird outfits and taking them to parties. They are just using them as status symbols." While it does not justify his actions and his actions are much worse, he does have a point that not all people view their pets as family members and that he is far from the only one guilty of thinking with this mentality. Yet he is not given a response from Ai other than the typical "you heard him."
  • Uncanny Valley: The main heroine is a very great example of this, although this is deliberate because of the nature of the show. At the same time, it seems that the show also has a lot of unintentional it because of the rather bizarre drawing of the eyes of young girls and poor animation.
  • Values Dissonance: Although the show has never been shy about sexualizing Enma Ai, the fourth season goes even further, portraying her almost naked in several opening scenes. Not all Western fans have accepted this ...
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: After a long time interval, the fourth season begins with an episode dedicated to cyberbullying with the help of a smartphone and instant messengers. Ironically, the show itself, along with the movie adaptation of The Ring and other similar works, appeared during the trend for modernizing Japanese urban legends.
  • What an Idiot: The first and ninth episodes of the third season, especially.
    • In the first, a girl gets mad and tries to get rid of a teacher who is only doing his job and trying to help her succeed and stay out of trouble. He even takes away her mp3 player because she was listening to it instead of the lesson. If she had a single bit of sense, this girl would've just taken that as a lesson - save the music and doodling for when class is over. She eventually sends him to hell... and finds out that he was doodling in the notebook he always carried, rather than writing about her and her friends. The worst part is, the teacher didn't really throw away the mp3 player like he said he had - he had given it to one of the other students and told her to give it back to the owner. Lesson learned too late.
    • In the ninth, a wannabe fortune-teller gets a lucky streak and gets to be popular, then the Alpha Bitch who had previously poked fun at her started sucking up and told her to send some guy who was allegedly stalking her to hell. She tries several methods, worrying that her client would expose her as a fake, and then finally uses the Hell Correspondence site to send him to hell. She doesn't even wait for Ai to finish her speech and warn her of the consequences. The next morning, her client tells her that she lied about him and only wanted him dead because he was disgusting. The look of horror on her face is priceless. What's worse is, she never attempted to find out why her spirit-guide Gon-San was not cursing this man; if he did exist, and he was her 'protector' as she said, it's likely that he was trying to keep her from being used and from having the blood of an innocent on her hands.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Little Girls?: Manga inexplicably tries to address the audience of 12-20-year-old girls, despite the fact that the original show has a lot of cruel and adult scenes.
  • The Woobie: Being a rather depressing show, there are quite a few.
    • Takuma, who probably wasn't even a teenager yet, goes through a lot of crap. So much so that even Ai could not resist saving him from hell, at the cost of her own life.
    • Yuzuki, it's tough knowing people around you are going to hell and you can do nothing about it. And losing your best friend in the most spontaneous circumstance, and then realise all your life have been an illusion. And then we get to see her backstory and how she was dead all along...
    • Ai herself, buried alive by the one person she trusted, she lived 500 years with this hatred. Forced to condemn others to grant her own parents a way to heaven. She doesn't enjoy it, she has emotions, but she will just have to repress them and continue to do her job indefinitely.
    • With its episodic nature, many woobies can pop up in one episode or another depending on the story.
  • Woolseyism: The 7th episode of the dub has Caitlin Glass's character cussing for the entire episode.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/HellGirl