law and order: loli demon revenge unit

I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be episodic (see Gunso, Keroro), after all episodic is the backbone of American TV. Some of the most popular American series in recent memory are episodic: SimpsonsSeinfeldLaw and OrderCheersCSI.

(Aside: A big reason why is that American TV is a different beast than Japanese TV. Because Japan did not have cable and their satellite offering is nowhere as comprehensive as the American counterpart, Japanese TV does not carry as many shows in syndication as America does. Because creators in America know that syndication is where $$$ is made, they prefer the episodic format since that sells better to syndicators. That is why CSI and Law and Order are in heavy synidcation, but X-Files and 24 are not. For some reason, “episodic” became a negative stigma for anime. I’m not sure why.)

(For a quick primer on Jigoku Shoujo, check out my original post, “Thin Slicing the New Season.” Or just know that it’s about the very loli and very supple Enma Ai taking people’s requests for revenge against someone that has been tormenting them.)

Jigoku Shoujo is a rare episodic series that doesn’t have a pre-teenage target audience. Is it bad? No, in fact, I find most of the stories told quite engrossing. I don’t measure anime by how long a story runs; I measure anime by how well it entertains me. Jigoku Shoujo reminded me of Law and Order (and SVU), where each episode is self-contained, and they all start with some murder, rape, or robbery. Then the show goes through a progression of (1) go the the crime scene (2) round-up of suspects (3) interrogate suspects (4) put suspect on trial (5) wait for plot twist (6) the end. That’s basically very episode, and they have been running Law and Order and its spin-offs for a gawd awful long time. I can’t remember the last time they ran a two-parter, and the only reason people die or leave is because of contract issues, so that actor or actress gets written out because of that and not because of what the plot would dictate. Mainly, though, Jigoku Shoujo and Law and Order both have similar goals: they show some wrong, some “trial,” and the resolution… just for Jigoku Shoujo, Enma is judge, jury, and executioner.

Loli Demon Revenge Unit

For Ms. Enma Ai and her friends at her Loli Demon Revenge Unit, each episode plays out the same way. Even though the basic premise and resolution of the episodes are similiar, it doesn’t make them less enjoyable. Yes, I know that the red string will get pulled, but it’s always enjoyable to see some asshole get what’s coming to them. Yes, I know that someone will cry out to Enma for help, but it’s always enjoyable to see how much pain each of the individual characters can take. Yes, I know that there’s footage reuse, but it’s always enjoyable to see Enma purifiying herself in the pool.


24 minutes does feel a bit compact for each episode of this series since extra time could be used to flesh out the plots and better introduce the new protagonist and antagonist of the week, but that’s also a sign of how much I was glued to the TV. I’m definitely not surfing the web or paying bills like what I was doing when I was watching some of the newer episodes of Da Capo SS. For Jigoku Shoujo, the stories aren’t as creative as Kamichu or Noein, but they are solid, grounded and plausible (unlike Mai Otome), and can be quite good. A big driving force for Jigoku Shoujo is how it represents the worst of humanity, and, like Law and Order, it does a good job at showing people at their worst (maybe a bit over the top), and that’s frightenly entertaining. For example, the story where the baseball star thinks he doesn’t need to follow the rules because he’s a great pitcher? Well, I kept thinking of TO or OJ for some reason. There’s also a lot of other enjoyable little things, like how Enma uses a classic Mac, Ayako Kawasumi’s guest starring role, Enma’s many purification bathes, the OP, Enma’s oba-chan sounding like Shizuru (I scared to look up the seiyuu… what if it is Shizuru? Will it ruin Mai Otome for me?), the scenary, and, of course, the revenge.


However, I can see why some people may not like the series. For one, they recycle Enma’s dialogue endlessly. Maybe they spent all of their budget animating Enma taking a bath (since this scene seems to change episode to episode) and could only afford to pay Mamiko Noto once. The animation quality is also unsteady, with some episodes looking great and others looking like Da Capo SS, but most newer series are uneven like that. Next, the series has built a base and has thrown the viewers a few gimmicks (like hacking the website and the revengee becoming the revenger) but it needs to take the next step and really toss up the forumla. The series also needs to show us what’s more to Enma and her Loli Demon Revenge Unit… right now, it’s like watching Cowboy Bebop minus Vicious. Jigoku Shoujo needs that extra gear someone or something like Vicious could provide.

Now that Jigoku Shoujo is ten episodes in, is what I said about it originally true? Does it have shelf life? Can revenge be pushed for 26 episodes? I think the series can succeed: it has a great concept going for it, and the stories so far haven’t been a let down. It’s still one of the shows that I enjoy watching from the Fall season.


As a reward for reading this long post, this week’s bonus is the OP to Jigoku Shoujo, Sakasama no Chou by Snow. (Removed)

And as a bonus reward, on page 2 there’s a script for the pilot episode of Law and Order: Loli Demon Revenge Unit. Enjoy. I hope.

10 Responses to “law and order: loli demon revenge unit”

  1. rofl. That script is so great. And so close to the truth that it’s frightening.

    I’ve really enjoyed Jigoku Shoujo so far (aside from the baseball episode), but if they don’t ditch the formula sometime soon, the repetition will drive me to homicide. And then someone will send me to hell. :(

  2. Off topic, what plugin you using to split up posts into several pages like you have done here?

  3. It is a default tag — nextpage — as explained here.

  4. Thanks. I don’t know how I missed that.

  5. Well, it seems that my wordpress write page doesn’t have the page quicktag.

  6. what version of wordpress are you using?

  7. 1.0+ has it. It may not be in your toolbar, so just type the tag out.

  8. I did it works. Sorry for bothering you with this.

  9. I liked stories in Jigoku. But it’s episodic nature made show repetive and boring.

    I expected that they also show what happen in the hell after Enma do her ‘you are going to hell now, please use safety belt that you don’t drop to water’ thing. So it was disappointment.

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