Re-fucking-venge! I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Revenge is the best plot ever. These two seasons of the anime Hell Girl take the idea of revenge to completely new levels. Instead of the typical "nice guy is wronged, then must fight back and take revenge against his wrong-doers" overused plot though, each episode of Hell Girl has somebody who is wronged (which could mean anything from having a loved one killed in front of their eyes by some asshole, to their BFF didn't sit next to them in the cafeteria that day) who then calls forth a demon girl from hell (Enma Ai, the Hell Girl in question) and signs a contract with her to take their wrong-doer's soul directly to Hell (passing GO) for an eternity of damnation that very instant. Hard-fucking-core to say the least.
What makes Hell Girl even more hard core than what I just explained is that the wronged, in sealing the deal with Enma Ai, know that when they die THEIR souls will be sent to Hell as payment for Enma Ai's deathly duties. It's like a sadistic and twisted version of Dirty Work, only (unfortunately) with less Norm MacDonald. As Hell Girl puts it oh so succinctly, "When one person is cursed, two graves are dug." So the wronged person must really, REALLY hate the wrong-doer in order to exact their vengeance upon them. And scarily enough, the number is close to 100% for those who choose to go through with cursing their tormentor with a forever-suffering fate despite their own eternity of sulfur and brimstone that awaits them once they pull the string (the string around the straw doll that Enma gives the wronged, which if pulled off seals the contract and allows their wrong-doer to get sucked into the abyss).
Hell Girl (both seasons) is pretty much a "Caper of the Week" show (meaning the events of each week hold no bearing on any overall plot, and the status quo is reset with each new opening credit sequence); but the last few episodes of both series do have a single plotline running through them. The first series finale deals with the connection of the ageless Enma Ai to some scruffy-looking, annoying, and mildly retarded reporter and his young daughter, and The Second Cage deals with some innocent little boy whose entire town eventually gets Hell Girl Fever, and everyone ends up damning the shit out of everyone else because they're all a bunch of dicks. Honestly, if there's a moral or a lesson to be learned from this show it is "People are assholes."
So the whole Hell Girl mythos goes a little something like this: If you've been wronged by somebody, and feel a burning desire for retribution, hold on to that hatred and bitterness; and if you log on to the Hotline to Hell website at exactly midnight you'll be able to enter in the name of the person you wish to curse, and then Enma Ai will appear, give you the whole unholy schpiel on all the rules, and then hand you the straw doll. Then she vanishes and lets you choose if and when you wish for your enemy's curse to begin. Like I said though, some of Enma Ai's clients are really pathetic — throwing their "wrong-doers" and their own souls into an endless Hell over something as silly as "I wanted that bitch to be my buddy on the field trip, but she chose to go with more popular girls!" or "That dick scratched my paint job!"... Grow the fuck up. Yes, Enma Ai is not very discriminating when it comes to clients and those she damns, but honestly, at least ask your patrons a few questions first to see if they have the mental capacity of someone older than 4 before you make that blood pact with them.
Though that is perhaps the best thing about this whole set-up: nobody is safe from the Hell Girl. You may be damned for doing the right thing and stopping somebody from hurting or killing somebody else, but that might make you a target for the wrong-doer and Enma Ai. I personally am so absolutely fucking glad that Hell Girl isn't real, or if she is that she only keeps to Japan... I would have been sent to Hades at LEAST 519 times by now (and counting). Honestly. And we'd have no more politicians or sports teams or even teachers anymore. Some retarded punk would not care about being burned forever in the afterlife as long as Hillary Clinton, Bush, Spurrier, or their high school math teacher were sent there ahead of them. And what a waste, because we all know Hill, W., and Spurrier are already damned.
Now to talk about the differences between the first season and the second season. The second season blows the first one out of the water — for many reasons. Reason number one: The second season doesn't have that mongo reporter running around trying to stop Hell Girl. That was truly the stupidest idea anybody could have put into a show like this. If anybody is serious enough to wish somebody to drop dead (and go to Hell) on the spot, so much so that they don't care if their own soul follows once they kick the bucket, there is absolutely no way some mentally handicapped stranger (whose daughter can see into Hell Girl's mind like Harry Potter through Voldemort's) is going to talk them out of it with a well-meaning "Don't do it!... That would be bad!" Plus, whenever Mr. Reporter showed up it halted the action.
The second reason that the second season is mucho better than the first is that Hell Girl doesn't fuck with her clients as much (which allows us to get to the meat of the story that much quicker). In the first season, the typical show goes a little something like this: One person is getting pimp-slapped around (either literally or figuratively) by some asshole and goes to the Hotline to Hell page; the abused goes on getting abused after getting a text message that Hell Girl sent saying "thanx for visiting my site! OXOX ;)"; moron reporter tries to intervene; Hell Girl eventually appears and straw doll is given to the client; client laments his/her possible fate; reporter begs the client not to give in; client gives in and their tormentor has a ridiculously lame Hell-scenario played out for them before being ferried by Hell Girl down the River Styx; reporter wallows in self-imposed grief.
The typical second season episode goes as such: One person is getting ferociously physically or mentally abused; contacts Hell Girl (who appears instantaneously); Hell Girl makes the deal, passes the straw doll on; client is usually better at sorting out their feelings and the possible outcome, and only pulls the string after being backed into a corner by the most ASSHOLIC of evil dickheads imaginable, thus forcing the sonovabitch to suffer a quick taste of their soon-to-come, terrible, scary, endless torment in the darkness; epilogue wherein we find what the client is doing and coping without the ass in their life (some are worse off, some better, but all are changed forever). The second season is a whooooooole lot creepier and sinister too. It plays out a lot more like a horror show than the first season which felt almost like a poor man's Quantum Leap, what with the reporter trying to right what once went wrong before two souls are a'burning.
And the third reason why the second season is better is Kikuri. Well, first let me back up. Hell Girl has three helpers in her seemingly unending duties of monitoring the Hell Hotline: a hot ex-whore from the Meiji period (I don't know when that is, but it sounds long ago), some old, bald guy from even longer ago (Mr. Wagon-wheel), and some handsome, young guy who used to be a sword. These three helpers do background checks on the clients and their problems for Enma Ai (which I never understood seeing as if the potential client was even able to find the website Hell Girl would always make the deal with them), and they'd help in the soul reaping at the end. Anyway, in season two another helper appears: Kikuri. Though I use the term "helper" very loosely with her. Kikuri is the exact opposite to composed, calm, red-eyed Enma Ai. Kikuri is a 4 or 5 year-old hellion (literally) who likes to fuck with the clients and the wrong-doers in order to make things worse. She is awesome! Sometimes the client will be just about convinced that they probably shouldn't pull the string, but Kikuri will push things just the right way and either taunt them or the wrong-doer into antagonizing the other, and then the straw doll goes a'flying. Goooooood times.
If you want my honest opinion (and you should), I would only get Hell Girl Season Two. Skip the first 26 episodes. They're not necessary to understand what's going on in season two, and you will actually have a better experience with everything without all that lame reporter shit and background on Enma Ai that you'd have to wade through in the first season. I personally believe that the first season will push away a lot of viewers who were hoping for something more along the lines of what the second season has to offer. What a damn shame.
I am actually quite peeved at myself that I never thought of this whole Hell Girl scheme on my own years ago. Hmmmm, though I doubt the big G would allow me to let pitiful humans hand out eternal judgments to others just for stepping on their new Nikes, but.... Maybe I could sell it like, "Hey, God, you know how that one guy on Elm and 9th is holding that kidnapped girl in his basement, and how he rapes her every night at 10:45?... Yeah, he's going to Hell, no doubt about it, huh. But, say, I let that little girl make a deal with me, and if she shakes my hand to take the rapist to the Underworld right then and there, if that happens, I get her soul when she dies too. That's fair, I mean 'cause she'd have been the one to have killed that rapist by hiring me to rub him out, right? That's like a big mortal sin, and it's even against one of your Big Ten Commandies. Just think about it. I'm actually doing community service this way."
I think I'm gonna give it a shot... Well, maybe I'll just go ahead and do it, and then if I get caught and God get's angry I'll ask for forgiveness. He's so into that.
Robot Pedro surfs the entire internets every day at 00:00 hours for this "Hotline to Hell." Robot Pedro does not understand how his feelings of rage and detest are not enough to call forth Hell Chica in order to send the Rossman to Hell. Robot Pedro has it all figured out, muchachos. Hell Chica will try to collect Robot Pedro's soul when termination finally occurs, but it is hardwired into robots' systems that all robots go to Silicon Heaven at the end of their existences. It is instantaneous, and Hell Chica will not be able to catch Robot Pedro in time! Robot Pedro will have WON!
Now to keep searching... Scanning... Searching... Hotline to Hell...