Title: Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori
Anime: Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori continues to be directed by Takahiro Omori and produced by Studio Deen. It is twenty-six episodes long and ran from October 7th, 2006 to April 6th, 2007. Futakomori has yet to be licensed Stateside.
Story: There is a rumor that if there's someone giving you absolute hell and you want to get revenge on them, there's a website that you can access only at midnight, known as Hell Correspondence. Once the name is submitted, Ai Enma (aka Jigoku Shoujo/Hell Girl) will appear to the client and give them a straw doll with a red string wrapped around its neck. If the client wishes to take revenge, then all they have to do is pull the string and Ai and her helpers will ferry the person to hell. However, there is a small catch to all this: Once the compact is made with Ai, the person who took revenge will go to hell once they've died as well.
Notice no change in the plot summary? That's because Futakomori is pretty much more of what we saw back in season one; Revenge of the Week, same episode format, which is disappointing in and of itself.
There are some pretty good stories in this season, yes; but the ratio of good episodes to mediocre decreases this season. And they finally get around to telling us the background of Ai's helpers, but the added backgrounds are all that are given in terms of development for Ai and her helpers, and don't even add all that much to the fairly one-note personalities that we saw in the last season. We do have a recurring character who, thank god, is not as annoying as Tsugumi and Hajime (who do make a cameo appearance in the second-to-last episode of the show), but is introduced about halfway through, and then dropped until about three-quarters of the way through, as if the writers suddenly remembered that they needed something resembling an overarching plot.
The additional background added for the helpers and the better episodes of the bunch do add some redeeming aspects to the plot, as does the last episode of the series, which more than makes up for what came before it. But, still, you're left with a bitter taste in your mouth at the end of this season, especially with the little caveat that's tagged on after the end credits.
There is a third season, Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae, which is supposed to start airing October 4th of this year (2008), which will maybe wrap things up once and for all. Will it? Probably not, but let me have my optimism, kthnxbye.
Art: The art is just as good as last season, if not better, especially in terms of character design in the individual episodes, and in clips which are frequently used as stock footage.
No major changes in style, so what I said last season pretty much applies here as well; rich colors, beautiful designs, combining for a stunning effect.
Music: Again, pretty much the same as what we heard last season, which was well-done and a good mix of Western orchestration, rock, and traditional instrumentation. The OP and ED are done by the same people and. while they're new, the things I said about them last season still pretty much apply here; upbeat, catchy female J-Pop OP and ED with more traditional instrumentation and lyrics that very directly relate to the show.
Seiyuu: No changes. Good performances by all, and Ai's lines are still unvaried; at least it's an easy job?
Length: Again, they could've cut this down to thirteen episodes or so and it would've still had the time to tell its story and get some good Revenge of the Weeks in, even more so since the real story doesn't start till the three-quarter's mark.
Overall: It's pretty much what you saw last season, all across the board, with a few new things thrown in here and there. So, really, if you liked what you saw last season, and don't mind the monotony, you'll like this just fine. But if you wanted more from this season... well, you might not want to watch this. Possibly redeemable in the third season (Mitsuganae), but given it's track record, it's probably not going to happen.
Overall: 37/50; 74% (C)