Following the events of Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori, Ai Enma, the Hell Girl, has disappeared. Her former companions decide to lead normal lives, until their absent mistress returns to them with a new companion, and in a way that none of them anticipated.
Yuzuki Mikage is a normal schoolgirl who soon comes to understand the Hell Girl on an intimate level. During a dream-like trance in the bathtub, Ai kisses Yuzuki and possesses her. So when Yuzuki's friend decides to type in the name of their teacher in the Jigoku Tsuushin (Hell Correspondence) website, Ai makes use of Yuzuki's body to accomplish her own task of ferrying the teacher's soul to hell. Yuzuki is disturbed by her new circumstances and wonders why she was chosen to continue Ai's work. Unfortunately for her, the Hell Girl and her assistants resume operation of Jigoku Tsuushin (Hell Correspondence), and she is dragged along for the ride towards hell itself.
Maybe not as good as Futakomori, but still a must watch for every fan of Enma Ai.
The story is pretty much similar to what we have seen in the two previous seasons, people are being sent to hell and hatred is released, though this time hatred gives birth to more hatred.
Throughout the season it can be noticed that the creators have decided to use the ideas the fans found rather pleasing in the past. Once again someone tries to make a stand against the jigoku tsuushin, similarly to what has happened in the first season of the series. While new characters are introduced stories about
their past are told to eplain their bonds with Ai, this has already been ecountered in Futakomori.
There is however something fresh about the series, the element of possesion. It is not only an interesting concept, but it plays a vital role in the story throughout the season and builds up the tension until the very last episode.
Unfortunately, what seems to be a great material has it's downside. Some of the grudges people hold against each other are simply speaking too typical and therefore boring. While watching some episodes I actually had the feeling that they were nothing more than mere fillers, which had to be squeezed in so that the series would be 26 episodes long.
Art-wise, we get the same old esthetic and mysterious animation as before, which perfectly fits with the nature of the show as well as the score playing along. In one episode though we get even more than that. While watching the finale one might say that the creators have implemented an inexplicably eccentric idea into the show. The effect is awkward, but it gives you something new to look at therefore adding value to the experience.
What I found the most pleasing aspect of season three is the sound. Although when it comes to opening themes I preffered SnoW, the music in Mitsuganae is outstanding! It fits the feelings which play a crucial part of the show more than ever before. Some of the themes are actually worth listening to even without the video and voice play.
The newly introduced chracters are great, they are intresting and as a viewer I was actually interested what was going on in their minds while watching the series. I was pleased to see how the bond between Ai and her companions thightens. The single-episode chracters were pretty well designed as well, some of them were pitiful, others scary. Several however were completely forgettable and tasteless like a bad meal.
On one hand, Mitsuganae combined all the best ideas of the first two seasons. On the other, some of the typical strictly grudge based episodes were not as entertaining as in the past.
Mitsuganae is a must watch for every fan of Emma Ai. For the rest, it's a good, or maybe even very good, way of wasting some spare time, while waiting for the next episode of your favourite series.
Ah... the final installment of Jigoku Shoujo. Sadly, all good things come to an end, but some ends are uglier than others.
*If you haven't seen Futakomori (season two), stop reading now and watch that first. If you haven't seen Jigoku Shoujo (season one), why are you even here?
Mitsuganae is like a monkey on a unicycle: At the beginning, it looks cool and interesting--until you realize it doesn't make much sense (plot holes and discontinuity issues). But then, the monkey starts throwing its poop at you. Then (starting at episode 13), it starts using its tail to try to clean the
poop off your face. Finally (starting at episode 20 or so), the monkey takes you out to a 5-star restaurant to apologize. It gets better and better until you finish off with an amazing dessert.
If that analogy didn't make sense to you, try this simpler one: It's like Obama's bailout, except it actually works.
So I'm gonna mix things up and only talk about the first 12 episodes; I'll just call them "The 12" for simplicity's sake. ***BE WARNED: This is a wall of text, but it's a very important wall of text.*** To put it bluntly: They are terrible. The characters are SO retarded they seem to be participating in some unspoken contest to see who can collect the most drool in a bucket. I think they all played together in the same idiot ball pit as kids. "The 12" has the most instances of facepalm-tastic plot-induced stupidity I've ever witnessed. And that's saying a LOT. People seem to find the most retarded reasons imaginable to send someone to Hell. This isn't aided at all by the fact that characters regularly make the absolute dumbest decisions imaginable in any given situation, and tiny communication failures seem to have catastrophic consequences. There are times when it's impossible to tell who of the two at conflict is actually worse; both seem they could be worthy of going to Hell. There's a scene that gets repeated over and over again (that I won't spoil) that reminds me of the sequence from Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (in concept, execution, and repetitive, redundant usage) where Suo's gun appears from her necklace. Well, if you've seen that, make it like 8 times longer, 10 times more disturbing, and a hundredth as meaningful, and you have what I'm talking about. In episode 12, when a target is being tormented, the scene is done entirely with real-life paper cutouts. I felt like I got trolled. Also in said episode are not one, but TWO nose bleads (you know what I'm talking about). The torture sequences are now nothing more than some ball-tripping sequence; nothing worse than some pothead would see. They are absolute jokes, and any suffering the victim seems to be going through is contrived BS. Most people would probably just be laughing and/or confused.
Episode 1 is important only for setting the stage. The rest of "The 12" are complete shit and I HIGHLY recommend you skip them. You'll be saving yourself time and, if you liked seasons one and two, tears. You won't miss anything at all. The only good parts are the occasional comical narcisstic moments from Ren and Wanyuudo. Episode 13 is where things actually start getting interesting. I swear they had some mentally unstable director during "The 12"; the series would be so much better if they just didn't exist.
Now that that's over with, let's talk about the REST of the series, where things start to actually get good. (This portion IGNORES "The 12.")
Story: 9. Being forced to believe WITHOUT EXPLANATION that Ai is back to continue during her job, even after the events at the end of Futakomori, is pretty hard. But once you get over that, it's actually really interesting--although again, it isn't majorly developed until the end (the last 7 episodes this time). During these 7, it slowly escalates until it crescendos in an explosive conclusion, and it's INSANELY entertaining.
Art: 9. Mitsuganae improves upon the previous two installments yet again with quite crisp, clear, and fresh-looking visuals. But some scenes--which happened to coincide with critical plot development--were simply breath-taking. Motions are animated pretty well, bar a few exceptions.
Sound: 8. Still a great OST, just as before: some classic oldies, some remakes, and lots of good new stuff. However, the OP and ED tracks are pretty mediocre comparatively speeking. Voice acting is still good as always.
Character: 8. I really like Yuzuki and her back story, but at some points, she seems to function solely as a moe-blob (just tilting her head and making soft moe noises, like "eh?"). Some of the characters are pretty stupid sometimes. Pretty good character design overall, even though some of them look like familiar faces from the previous two seasons. We also get Yamawaro's back story (the newbie in Ai's gang).
Enjoyment: 9. Most of my enjoyment stemmed from the plot and character (Yuzuki and Ai) development this time. I was disappointed by the lack of torture sequences of people being sent to Hell, but sometimes, it was okay, because the person being sent sometimes didn't deserve it at all. (I think this was why.) I was disappointed at the inclusion of some unnecessary Yuri fan service scenes.
Overall: 8. See below.
"The 12" made it automatically lose a point. It should've taken off more, but the final 7 episodes are REALLY f***in' good. (Is my bailout analogy starting to make sense now?) Basically, they try to fix the shit you'd been forced to eat so far at the end.
This series seriously had the potential to be a 10. Easy. It could've easily topped the last two seasons. But it was severly hampered by "The 12," major plotholes (that could've at least been hand waved with some explanation), and... well, lack of explanation--especially of plot-critical points.
All in all: If you liked the first two seasons, I recommend this BUT, skip episodes 2-12. If you choose not to... well, I warned you.
Quick Review (For lazy readers!):
Thinking back to the time I watched the other Jigoku Shoujo seasons, I guess this was the one that took me the longest to finish. I just didn't feel like it, and it seemed worse than the other 2.
You can probably get bored of it, after all it is really similar to what we have seen so far. The last episodes were pretty good though.
A- for fans, and probably an C+/B for other people watching it.
Worth watching. Overall: 8/10
This is surely the worst season of the 3. The story was not BAD, but it was rather boring because you mostly
got more of the same: People make bad stuff, People get frustrated about it, People get sent to hell. I think I could make it a 7, if the anime was 13 episodes long, but 26 was just too much. The reasons to sent people to hell were also really plain, and you mostly knew who would send who after watching 2/3 minutes of each episode (Except for some rare occasions).
I guess I like JS' art a bit, but some times I get the feeling that some characters look retarded. About the backgrounds and so on, I have nothing to point out; they were good. The production quality was good in my opinion, and if you watched one of the other season, you already know what to expect.
The biggest score I gave to JS3 was in the sound department, because I simply love it. It fits the series, and what is happening. You never feel like the music is in the wrong place. The OP was really good in my opinion, and the ED, even though it wasn't one that I like really much, was good for the series it was in.
You already know almost every one that appears in this series from the last 2 seasons, and there was not much of a improvement over what we knew before. Enma Ai was great once again, and her servants remain the same they were before. The characters we were introduced to were bland, and some of the older characters also get some new personalities. You'll understand once you see them.
As I already stated before, the series was really boring and repetitive, so for the most time I wasn't really interested in it. I mostly kept on watching because of two things:
1st: I try to never, EVER, drop an anime unless I really hate it. Some of my favorite animes were almost dropped, so I don't drop anything anymore [Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni...]
2nd: The other 2 seasons left most of the plot developments to the 2nd half, so I was waiting for them to appear. It took a little more time than I expected though....
Anyway, I'm glad I did keep on watching it, because the ending was quite good. But it wasn't always that interesting thanks to bad reasons to send people to hell, and a lack of plot (most of the time at least). If you loved the other 2 seasons though, or if you just like seeing people go to hell and/or the bad of society, you can probably make this a 8 or a 9.
As said in the Quick Review, this was probably the worst of the 3 seasons. It wasn't as good (plot-wise) as Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori, and if feels boring compared to the 1st season. Also, most of the time, people were sent to hell for 'no reason'. I guess that it would be better if the series was shorter... =)
I'll be straightforward. If you loved futakomori, don't watch this one. It would be very dissapointing, referring to the plot and the story of course. The cases are not that intriguing, relevant and amusing this time around. And the main plot is just not as good as the one in its prequel. But still, the sound and art is great. And you still get to see the lovely enma ai. Try watching it if you want to see enma ai that badly. But do not even try if you don't want to keep comparing it to it's past seasons.
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