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Rumor has it that if you harbor enough hatred in your heart towards someone, there is a special site that you can access at midnight. Known as Hell Correspondence, there you can entire the name of the person that you wish revenge upon. Should your deal be accepted, then a young woman known as Enma Ai or Hell Girl herself will come to visit you to make a contract. A straw doll with a red string around its neck is given to you, and you have the freedom to make the choice to send that person to hell by pulling the string. However, dig one hole and two graves are dug. You too will be cursed to spend your afterlife in hell as well. Now, whether or not that is immediately after you send the person, or after 70 years of living, but either way, when you die, it is game over and you go to hell. Never heaven.
Now that Jigoku Shoujo is back on our screens for a fourth season, we here at Honey’s Anime decided to revisit this rare gem among anime and see if we could find similar shows to it. Spoiler Alert: we did and now we are going to take a look at each one of them and break down how those who love Jigoku Shoujo aka Hell Girl, will find certain aspects in line with the recommendations to like. This also works as the reverse for you fans who have come looking for something similar to a show you like but are not sure about picking up Jigoku Shoujo. Let’s go!
Similar Anime to Jigoku Shoujo/Hell Girl
1. Death Note
- Episodes: 37
- Aired: Oct. 2006 – Jun. 2007
Death note opens with the death god aka Shinigami Ryuk dropping a notebook into the human world. This is no ordinary notebook though as those whose names are written in this book will die. Ryuk is a mischief maker and wants to spice up his boring life. When Light Yagami stumbles upon it and Ryuk explains just what this Death Note is, Light tests it out. When the criminal dies quickly, Light is convinced and decides to become “God” of this world so to speak, doling out justice as he sees fit. However, the police think it is a serial killer and begin to investigate. In walks L, the greatest detective in the world. L’s wit against Light’s plays out in this psychological thriller!
Just in case you have been living under a rock and have not seen Death Note, now you have at least heard about it. Jigoku Shoujo and Death Note mainly teeter this thin line between what is just and what is right. Enma Ai tells her servants on multiple occasions to not raise a single hand when their emotions get involved, while she is the one who almost always ends up having to ferry that cursed person to hell. The same is said for Light who, in his god-complex, believes that he is the best and needs to eradicate crime. Eventually, both the characters in Jigoku Shoujo and Light in Death Note are consumed by their own evils thus helping them to pull the trigger. It can also be argued that the two deal with the fact that Justice is not always so clear cut. If you want something to get your blood pumping and make you sweat with nervousness, check out Death Note!
Death Note Trailer:
2. Death Parade
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2015 – Mar. 2015
Death Parade opens with a woman with black hair stepping into what looks like a bar. There, we learn that there is no heaven or hell, but rather only judgement that will determine if a person is reincarnated or sent into oblivion. Decim is the judge master who will pass judgment, but he needs to see how people will react knowing that their souls are on the line. He then puts guests to the test with things like bowling, darts, video games and more, to see who will crack under the pressure. The one who passes is reincarnated, while the one who fails, is sent into oblivion. When the black-haired woman steps through the elevator doors with no memory, and by herself, Decim begins to wonder if what he is doing is truly just and correct.
Again here with Jigoku Shoujo and Death Parade, there is this fine line of what is just and what is correct. With death as the central theme, these people will do anything to win. The difference is though in that Death Parade people are successfully reincarnated while in Jigoku Shoujo, both are doomed to hell should the string be pulled. Both shows have a dark feeling and a dark setup and more often than know will make you question why people make the decisions that they do. We also see Decim and Jigoku Shoujo (later in Futakomori and Mitsuganae) begin to question why they do what they do. Moreso than anything else, though, these two shows showcase the dark depths of people’s hearts and just how far they will go to make
Death Parade Trailer:
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sept. 2006
Watanuki is your average high school student with long limbs save for the fact that he can see spirits and other supernatural creatures. Plagued day in and day out by them, no one else around him can see them. That is, until one day when he puts his hand on a fence and they all magically disappear. After going into the house behind the fence, he meets Yuuko Ichihara, a woman who calls herself the witch of space and time. Yuuko offers to make a deal; if Watanuki will continue to work at her shop until his debt is paid back, she will make it so that the demons no longer bother him. Watanuki begins to work for this strange woman and learns rather quickly that there is more to her than meets the eye.
Jigoku Shoujo will fix things for a price; that price is a human soul. Yuuko Ichihara will grant wishes for people for a certain price; that price is something that is near and dear to them. Everyone wants some magical panacea only to have to pay something for the services. Both shows deal very heavily in the supernatural and Ai and Yuuko, while they may not always look like it, are in complete control and calling the shots. You do not want to be on their bad side!
Any Anime Like Jigoku Shoujo/Hell Girl ?
4. Shigofumi (Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jan. 2008 – Mar. 2008
The beings of Shigofumi have an interesting job. Looking like angels, these supernatural delivery men and women deliver one of the most unique things on the planet: letters called Shigofumi from beyond the grave. No really, they deliver the final words of someone who has died, to those of the living. These letters can be anything from reassuring hope and love to utter anger and frustration. Fumika is one such deliverer who delivers Shigofumi with her partner Kanaka. Fumika though is a bit different from everyone else because she… is not aging? Something must be at hand!
Much like how Jigoku Shoujo keeps her silent, cute front up, Fumika is the same. Both, too, have a very large hand in what is happening. Both Jigoku Shoujo and Shigofumi focusing on the afterlife, the resonation of human feelings, as well as the blending of the supernatural with the real, it is very clear that these two are made for fans who love either or both. Check it out!
5. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2006 – Sept. 2006
Keiichi Maebara has just moved with his parents to the quiet countryside village of Hinamizawa. There, he meets new friends, namely Rena, Mion, Rika, and Satoko. They spend their days playing games, learning together in school, and having fun. However, as usual, not is all as it seems. There is a festival coming up that will celebrate the local deity Oyashiro-sama. When Keiichi hears rumors of murders and disappearances, he asks his friends but hits a wall; no one wants to answer his questions. One thing leads to another and suddenly everyone around him is acting strange. Is he going to live through the night? He will have to find out when the cicadas cry.
Starting out, both Jigoku Shoujo and Higurashi are very dark, psychological anime. There will be some bloodshed between both shows, more so with the latter, as violence is a recurring theme. Both anime full back the mask on humanity and the darkness that we all hide in our hearts as well as while Jigoku Shoujo deals with actual hell, Higurashi is like living in one. Either way, everyone is set to lose, and when you push your luck, you’ll end up dead. The underlying backstories between the first two seasons of Jigoku Shoujo is incredibly dark much like the backstory to Higurashi and Hinamizawa Syndrome. Watch this one with the lights on though because it might just scare you too much!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2007 – Sept. 2007
The “Medicine Seller” is, above all else, an exorcist. He travels across Japan looking for monsters or Mononoke to slay and exorcise. However, this is no walk in the park as he has to learn about this Mononoke before he can successfully exorcise it. He needs to know three things about it, the Form, the Truth, and it’s Reason. When a woman takes a room in an inn, Kusuriuri has a sense that there is something evil afoot. As his hunch was right, the woman was killed by a powerful Mononoke known as the Zashiki Warashi. Suddenly, he has a lot more to take care of than he wants to as he needs to learn everything about it and kill it before it kills someone else.
Much like in Jigoku Shoujo, Mononoke deals with death as a central plot setup along with the concept of the supernatural colliding with the human world. Reality is often twisted and we see the darkness that resides in humans in both works. Both Ai Enma and Kusuriuri kill and destroy, in order to bring harmony to the world taking on rather paradoxical roles in the fight for justice and equality. Both series also feature mini-arcs as well as an overall reaching story too. Enjoy!
While Jigoku Shoujo is a classic, there are lots of other anime that are just like it that can be enjoyed. Don’t take our direct word for it, though definitely check out these six shows that in one way or another, are very similar to Jigoku Shoujo. If we had to pick one show to start with, then Death Parade is probably the most similar and a fantastic watch that everyone who calls themselves an anime fan should start! Let us know if you have any other shows that you think would be similar as we would love hearing what you think!