Plot: A woman named Misato and her boss, Riho, constantly try to put in petty requests to Hell Girl to no avail. When Ai and her companions go to investigate these requests, they discover that there is indeed a legitimate grievance to be avenged, but the circumstances are far more complicated than they expected.
Breakdown: So far, the stories in Hell Girl have been pretty cut and dry. This girl is blackmailing me, can you send her to hell? This guy is stalking me, can you send him to hell? This guy killed my best friend, can you send him to hell? This guy killed my dog, can you send him to hell?
This story is definitely the most complex and interesting one to date with plenty of new revelations and plot twists around each corner.
First and foremost, this is the first we ever hear of Ai actually being able to ignore requests. From what Ai’s grandmother said an episode or two ago, we know Ai is bound to do her job no matter what, but from what this episode shows, it seems like she’s only obligated to do so if there’s a legitimate grievance to be avenged. How she knows what cases are legitimate and which are petty or bogus is unknown.
I always thought the Hell Girl website only appeared to those who have a severe vendetta in the first place. If it can be accessed by anyone, does Ai get tons of junk mail? I guess since Misato had a real grievance against Riho, it may have showed up for her, but when the name didn’t match the grievance it was rejected?
Second, this is the first we see of Ai and her team ‘investigating’ a case. In order to see what is going on with this client, Ai, Hone Onna, Ren and Wanyuudou go undercover (well, Ai just watches from the shadows) and check out the goings on at the office where Riho is the president and Misato is her assistant. This added an extra layer of intrigue that hasn’t been present in previous episodes.
Third, this is the first we see of someone trying to abuse the Hell Girl website. Riho, who I guess just believes you can send people to hell willy-nilly with it, keeps pestering Misato to input the names of competitors or people whom she believes are somehow in her way into the Hell Girl website in order to further the company. It’s implied that she has killed many people for the betterment of her company, so why she needs Hell Girl, besides maybe believing it’s easier and cleaner, is beyond me.
I guess most people wouldn’t know some of the rules of Hell Girl that you really only learn when you use the service, but she still seems like the kind of person who should know better.
Fourth, this is, like I said, not a very cut and dry story. We know Misato is most likely the client and Riho is the target, but Riho’s mostly just a bit of a bitch throughout the first two acts.
She’s blackmailing Misato and taking credit for her skills, sure. She’s also kinda screwing over her schoolwork by keeping her at her beck and call, and she’s somehow getting away with having a ‘females only’ hiring policy without getting called out for sexism in the workplace, but it never seems bad enough to go to hell over until we learn she’s also a serial killer out of nowhere.
Fifth, this is the first time we get to see backstory on why a target turned into this horrible human being they are today. Riho used to date some guy and she walked in on him kissing another woman, so she beat him to death with a bag of hard disks and stabbed the woman to death with an umbrella. Rational response.
After that, she basically killed anyone who became an inconvenience to her. How she manages to escape all of these murders without getting sent to prison is beyond me. The other murders might be easier to wiggle out of, but what did she tell the detectives who saw her boyfriend beat to death and his lover stabbed to death?
Finally, this is the first time I kinda don’t feel too bad for the client. Misato’s not a bad person. In fact, she’s quite nice, her backstory’s fairly sad and what she’s doing is very noble. However….she has these times where she acts…malicious? I don’t know if that’s the right word, but she has these moments where she seems more sinister than she’s letting on. At the end of everything, it seems like she’s going to follow a rather cold piece of advice Riho gave her.
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