English: Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed
Synonyms: Shigofumi: Stories of Last Letter
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 6, 2008 to Mar 23, 2008
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.751 (scored by 15634 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
drama fantasy psychological supernatural
SynopsisWhen someone dies, what should their final words be? Words that couldn't be said while still alive - of love, hate, hope, regret or perhaps words without any importance. These words are sent through letters called "shigofumi" from the recently deceased to the living. Mikawa Fumika is a mail carrier of these shigofumi, delivering them alongside staff and her partner Kanaka. However, there must be something more behind Fumika's silent exterior; shigofumi mail carriers are deceased humans with the same appearance they had just before death. Despite this, Fumika is still aging...
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Related AnimeAdaptation: Shigofumi: Stories of Last Letter
Side story: Shigofumi Picture Drama
Sequel: Shigofumi Special
Characters & Voice Actors
Shigofumi. A letter (fumi) delivered from the afterlife (shigo). Hence, Shigofumi. The final message left by one who's died. Letters from the departed. Strong feelings are required to be able to send a Shigofumi. Passionate love. Deep belief. And... hatred.
The above paragraph comprised of lines from Episodes 1 and 2 of this show, Shigofumi was adapted from the light novel series of the same name by Ryo Amamiya by J.C. Staff, known for other anime franchises such as Raildex, Shakugan no Shana, and Toradora! With direction by Tatsuo Satou, character designs, original and anime, by Kouhaku Kuroboshi and Tetsuya Kawakami, respectively, the series revolves predominantly around the existence of Shigofumi, the people they affect when delivered, and the mysteries of one particular mail carrier, Fumika. One of the usual hallmarks of contemporary J.C. Staff productions are that they are romances, or at least characterized by a major romantic aspect. While there aren't any inherent disparities of story quality between those that entertain strong, budding romances and those that don't, such a model limits what can be expected from this studio. Surprised was I, then, at how antithetically bleak and flat the color scheme is like throughout the show, almost like the show wants to have feel uneasy. The heavy use of fading sunlight, shadows, and symbolism compound that discomfort.
Surprised was I, then, that this show felt something more like the content from Kino's Journey, complete with social commentary on disturbing issues of cruelty and callousness, philosophical inquiries on life and death, and an inorganic chatty companion. Even more to the point, the studio went so far as to subvert their informal trademark in the opening episode. In regards to the quality of this content's presentation, it is presented exceedingly well. This show does not hold back the reality of its subject material and its aftermath: exploitation, abuse, abandonment, conformity, parental irresponsibility, public ignorance, teen suicide, and severe bullying all have their place here. Hate and indifference is portrayed acutely, frankly, and poignantly without being unnecessarily violent. However, realism doesn't necessarily equate to pessimism or fatalism, and this series isn't all dark. Faith, hope, and love penetrates through just as much as hate and indifference permeates. It transcends the boundaries of life and even death, promising a better tomorrow, so long as the myriad characters debilitated by suffering allow themselves break the illusions that hold them back and embrace that possibility. On the topic of social commentary, also worth mentioning is Episode 4's applaudable inclusion of a respectable and supportive same sex relationship.
These themes prevalent in the standalone material, the mini arcs, and the overall plot, quality wise, weren't executed equally. Encompassing the standalone material and mini arcs are the primarily episodic content of this series, the best narratively rendered portions of the show, the self-contained stories which, upon the simple introduction of Shigofumi, heightens their humanity. This supernatural factor was kept perpetually simple, and simple works with episodic content because episodic content in general reflects day to day life, and the events that occur within this frame aren't less meaningful because of a few seemingly random elements. The supernatural accentuates the experience of this content, rather than defines it. Anything more complex runs the risk of distracting and, consequently, detracting from the content. But as there is a transition from the episodic to the plot-centric, it becomes ever more important to explain the universe that facilitates the existence and mechanizations of Shigofumi, mail carriers, and Fumika herself, not only the major players. Without that, the developments that take place within plot-centric tales run the risk of coming off as contrived, and unfortunately, a fate which ultimately befell Casshern Sins, which also lacked a solid foundation for its universe, some developments, like our mysterious mail carrier's identity, came off as contrived. Doesn't mean the overall plot isn't interesting. It's interesting as hell. The experience could have been better had the staff done a better job building up to it. Or they could have kept themselves episodic entirely. Then there's the issue of moe. This show isn't mainly moe by any stretch of the imagination, and it's perfectly fine to have moe as an element if executed seamlessly, but it isn't. It sorely stands out, like all cheap gimmicks, adding arguably nothing significant to the narrative, characters being such more or less for the fan service of it all, and, compared to the show's rather morbid content, it is tonally inconsistent and potentially jarring.
The OP “Kotodama,” or “The Power of Language,” was done by ALI PROJECT, and as far as ALI PROJECT's music goes, liking is a matter of acquired taste for their particular brand of synthetic goth, which is pretty much their motif for every song they compose nowadays. Between the dichotomy of lovers and haters, I sort of fall into a middle camp of liking some of their songs, ED1 of Code Geass R1, titled “Yuukyou Seishunka,” or “Chivalrous Youth Song,” but disliking their current musical approach, and Shigofumi kind of leans left of that spectrum. It's not a bad song, per say, because it certainly establishes a foreboding sense of mystery, but at the same time, it clashes with the slower and quieter moments of the show, which I contend are this series' highlights. The OP's visuals receive the same laud and, to a lesser extent, complaint. The ED “Chain” by Snow, on the other hand, both in terms of music and visuals, matches the simple beauty of these moments to a tee while reemphasizing its theme of light and hope in the midst of a dark and despair-ridden world.
Despite the partially wasted exectued potential of its plot, this show is, nonetheless, a great series brimming with sincerity for its material, illustrating the basest and the greatest that people have to offer, through that final message, that final letter left by the departed. Letters full of hatred. Of deep belief. Of passionate love. Hence, Shigofumi.
I give Shigofumi an 8 out of 10. read more
Shigofumi is a Psychological, Supernatural, Drama about a mysterious courier (Fumika) and her talking staff (Kanaka) that deliver letters from the dead. Even though they are the main characters, the series tend to follow the person/people related to the person in account (person who wrote the shigofumi). The short series is full of episodic stories, with each being different from the last but they all deal with the same issue… ‘death’. Each story varies in the levels of disturbing content so if you thought it would be a walk in the park then you are sorely mistaken but there are also plenty of heartfelt stories to supplement that.
The characters of this anime series are great and that is because they are all well developed. Being able to develop specific characters, bit by bit, in such a small space of time and then move onto the next is an amazing feat. I also must say that the main characters (Fumika & Kanaka) don’t necessarily receive the same treatment, as they have plenty of time to be developed slowly.
The animation quality both has it’s good and minor bad points. The animation is noted for its amazing artistry with marvelously detailed environments, the deaths were nicely dramatized and everything, including the characters move fluidly. On the other hand the characters designs are somewhat lacking, yet I guess it’s just me searching for some minor faults.
The music was pretty eerie, especially the OP theme but it helps bring about tension and does a good job building up towards a climatic scene.
Overall Shigofumi is a sublime short drama series that does an amazing job with tying in the supernatural theme of shigofumi with real life stories and issues. The great thing about this series is that there are episodes that are bound to touch people, due to how close to home it may feel (bullying, suicide, illnesses, etc). Yet it also can remove the uneasy feeling with a bit of light comedy, mostly from the talking staffs. This is a most watch if you want a serious but short drama, but I must say that the ending could have been better.
^_^ read more
Jigoku Shoujo and Shugofumi involves interaction of normal human life and the supernatural. The two of them features different sets of characters and different cases in each episode, but the story ultimately led to the main characters who happens to be the key in all of what's happening.
Both series contain "mini plots" about only certain characters for each episode (occasionally in Shigofumi, 2 episodes) but have a character that knows about them (Tsugumi and Nojima) and play a continued role in the story. Jigoku Shoujo is more about the actual killing of people, whereas Shigofumi is about delivering the final words of the departed. However, they both feel quite similar despite the differences.
Both of them deals with death and after life. In Jigoku Shojo as vengeance,in Shigofumi as messages left by dead people. Both are high quality anime ^^
Both of them have to do with the supernatural. While Fumika is going around delivering post-death letters, Ai is exacting revenge on other's behalfs and dragging them to Hell. Also both are psychological series as well.
Both deal with the afterlife, the darker sides of humanity and retribution. Jigoku Shoujo is of an even more episodic nature, though. It's also darker and has a wicked sense of humour.
psychological drama/thrillers with hints of horror. uniquely complex, serious storylines. same darkness - looking at human psychology and how extremely cruel they can be towards other humans in seemingly every day situations/people. shigofumi is based on letters from the dead which raises issues which were present, whilst jigoku shoujo is bad-person-annoys-good-person-who-takes-revenge-by-sending-them-to-hell.
very similar deep and hellish atmospheres/feelings. excellent portrayal development of characters though.
Creepy, emotionless little girls with sidekicks who interact at some point with humans. Oh and both shows offer 1-3 episode arcs at a time.
Both series have similar main characters. In Jigoku Shoujo, the main character is a young girl who died and was reborn as a supernatural being who delivers people to hell. In Shigofumi the main character is a girl who is technically dead; she is charged with delivering letters to loved ones of the recently deceased. Both girls are incredibly calm, speak in a monotone voice and take their duties very seriously.
Both anime are episodic and have multiple mini-plots. They both have horror/thriller elements, and you can expect some epic plot twists at the end of some episodes.
Both anime are a bad end fest. Lost of bad ends waiting for ya.
These 2 anime are similar and both amazing. If you loved the one, you'll love the other.
Both anime involves the human world and that of the supernatural though both present different ideas on how they interact with human life.
Mysterious dead girls bestowing the fate of a person with an item i.e. shigofumi and dolls. Both shows are episodic dramas focused mainly on the characters.
Both anime deal with death, and have an overlapping theme of vengeance. The main characters are also seemingly emotionless and quiet. If you like one, you'll like the other.
シゴフミ (shigofumi) is heavily inspired by 地獄少女 (Jigoku Shoujo). The plot, spacing and use of episodic content while having a central plot on the side is very similar.
very dark , loads of people dying , sober
This anime has the same level of thrill. It's not as good as the death note masterpiece but it is really good. I recomend it to all thrill seekers
Notes of Death or letters.
This recomendation is made for people looking for any Anime with "shinigami" in them. Both anime have different concepts of "shinigami", one being darker in nature then the other.
They both have a really dark theme, sending a chill up your spine in basically every episode. One has notes written to kill people, another has letters written from the dead. People die in nearly every episode, making them both thrilling to watch.
if you really like Death Note then you'll like Shigofumi. both have the same "after death" life, and just like a messenger.
Very different, but if you do like death note you will like shigofumi.
Both deal with letters/notes that are based around death.Other tan that they are kind of opposites,Shigofumi is about letters from the dead and Death Note is about A note being able to kill people.
Opening Theme"Kotodama (コトダマ)" by ALI PROJECT
Ending Theme"Chain" by Snow*
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