Animating Halloween: Hell Girl – Three Vessels Episode 4: Elder Brother Review


Plot: Yuzuki’s classmate, Yukawa, is constantly beaten and bullied by a group of three terrible boys. He resigns himself to this fate, however, because it’s been like this since he was a little boy. He finally finds self-confidence and strength when a man named Nishida protects him from the boys one day. The two become very close very quickly, but…is that enough?

Breakdown: It’s a very weird day when I realize Hell Girl has addressed an incestuous relationship before a homosexual one.

Anyway, this episode is complete shit….

It honestly was pretty good for most of it, but the ending was just horrible.

Yukawa gets bullied every day by a trio of assholes. And by ‘bullied’ I mean they take huge sums of money from him, treat him as a servant and beat the hell out of him on a regular basis. One day, they tie him up to a tree naked in the middle of winter and pelt him with snowballs. They’re about to chuck a snowball that has a rock inside of it at his head, but the snow/rockball is swatted away by a mysterious kendo fighter named Nishida. He manages to fight off the bullies and save Yukawa.

Nishida reveals that he’s an aspiring prosecutor in law school because he wants to bring justice to the world. Yukawa admires him for his strength, and they become friends. The two bond very quickly, and it’s soon apparent that they like each other romantically. One scene even heavily implies that they either kissed or made out in a field. Honestly, this would make for a decent shounen-ai/yaoi series setup. It probably already is, now that I think about it.

Anyway, because of Nishida’s influence, Yukawa becomes much more self-confident. He gets involved with kendo, he changes up his look and he confronts his bullies with no problem. Everything seems to be going just fine for him….But this is Hell Girl, so it can’t be fine.

And it’s not.

It’s also insanely stupid.

It’s like they started writing a romance story for a bit but then was like ‘Oh shit, I’m writing Hell Girl! Quick! Rush something Hell Girl-ish together for the ending!’

Nishida and Yukawa are on a bus ride together when a man accidentally angers a lunatic with a big knife because he bumped into him and started to yell at him. The man uses the knife to slice off all of the other man’s hair, but that’s not good enough. He stops the bus, and drags him off while implying that he’s going to slit his throat.

Yukawa nearly gets up to confront him during this, but sits back down, intimidated by the man. Hoping big strong Nishida will save him, he’s shocked to find Nishida obviously incredibly angry, but also restraining himself from doing anything. After the men get off and the guy supposedly dies off screen, Nishida apologizes to Yukawa for being unable to do anything and says he understands if he views him as weak now – he just didn’t want to do anything so dangerous while he was on the bus since Yukawa might’ve gotten hurt.

As they separate at the crossroads, Yukawa quietly tells Nishida goodbye with a smile on his face. Later, we see him getting his doll and he pulls the string, sending Nishida to hell. Nishida pleads for his life while being forced to constantly bang a taiko, proclaiming that all he wants to do is finish law school and help fight for justice. He’s ferried away anyway, like always, and he realizes that he’s being sent to hell for not helping the man. He yells out how unfair it is that he’s the only one being punished when everyone on the bus chose to do nothing. Yeah, he has a point. Or, more to the point, why is the psycho not being hunted down and sent to hell?

Back with Yukawa, he’s lost his self-confidence, is getting bullied on the reg, quit kendo and is back to the way he started. The school nurse, who had been concerned about him being bullied this whole time, asks him why he reverted back to allowing himself to being bullied and quitting kendo. He responds that even if he changes a little, it won’t change society…..


That is it.

He sent Nishida to hell because he wasn’t hero enough for him.

He sent a really great guy to hell because he wouldn’t charge at a PSYCHOPATH WIELDING A LARGE KNIFE WHILE HE’S UNARMED.

He sent a guy he seemingly loved to hell because he was trying to protect him and not the other guy.

He never sent his bullies or even a bully to hell because reasons, but this damn near perfect man – handsome, kind, educated, brave, loving etc. he sent down the river Styx because even if you’re great and brave and you live a good life with good people, who cares because shitty people still exist?

You’re more content living your life as a target for assholes and being a pathetic sack of fecal matter than at least striving to do what you can for the world at Nishida’s side?

Even if Yukawa was just morbidly depressed and wanted to give up on becoming strong because ‘why bother?’ why send Nishida to hell?

Fuck you, Yukawa. Fuck. You. Fuck your stupid ‘Haha, I see the world for what it really is now’ smile in the end, too. I’ve never been so floored by an episode of Hell Girl. That was just fathoms of stupid. It was light years of stupid. It was god-tier stupid.

Oh, and Yukari’s role in the episode? She’s just there again. Even less than usual. She literally just sees Yukawa in passing a few times and once the nurse asks her about him for some reason. They’re not friends. They never even talk. Absolutely pointless for her to be here.

It’s such a shame because this episode had so much potential, but they just farted it away in a pool of stupid.

Oh and as a bonus stupid, the bus suddenly stopped (causing the psycho to bump into the dude) because Kikuri rolled out into the middle of the street and needed to be wound. Some random dude wound her key….because that’s normal right? And then Kikuri leaves….So…stupid.

Next episode


Late Stage Edit: I just realized I referred to Yuzuki as Yukari on accident in this episode, but I’m not going to fix it because it just highlights what a forgettable and benign character she is.

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