Hell Girl Vol. #06 - Mania.com



Manga Review

Mania Grade: C

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Info:

  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translation Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 16 and Up
  • Released By: Del Rey
  • MSRP: 11.99
  • Pages: 176
  • ISBN: 978-0345508454
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: Hell Girl

Hell Girl Vol. #06

Hell Girl Vol. #06 Manga Review

By Briana Lawrence     February 02, 2010
Release Date: November 24, 2009


Hell Girl Vol. #06
© Del Rey

Taking bastards to hell one website hit at a time.

Creative Staff
Writer/Artist: Miyuki Eto
Translation: Gemma Collinge
Adaptation: Gemma Collinge

What They Say
Ai Enma, the Hell Girl, offers anyone with a grudge the chance to get revenge by cursing their enemies immediately to hell. But this service is costly: Whoever employs the Hell Girl will also be condemned. No one knows this better than Ichimokure - one of Ai's devoted protectors. This volume reveals his thrilling story.

The Review!
Finally, some information on our recurring characters!  But first, let’s send some folks to hell. 

Story #1:  Asuka
Her story starts with her receiving the straw doll from Hell Girl right away, showing that she’s already summoned her.  But she’s disappointed to hear that she can only send one person to hell.  It turns out that the entire school seems set on bullying her.  She tries to keep it to herself so she won’t upset her mother, who is always smiling even if she’s got her own troubles to deal with, but when Asuka gets into a fight with one of the girls in her class the principal calls her mother.  At this point Asuka feels that she must be a burden on everyone, hence the bullying, so she actually puts her own name into the Hell Correspondence website.  But as Hell Girl explains, the website is not to be used as a method of suicide, so Asuka lives in the end and even becomes friends with one of the boys in her class who admits that he’d be sad to see her go. 

Story #2:  Midori
Midori is tired of her mother’s nagging about her grades, so instead of going home she goes into the city late at night.  She runs into a man who tells her that she would be perfect for her modeling agency, all she has to do is bring a registration fee. 

Yeah, we can see where this is going. 

She steals the money she needs from her mother and runs away from home to set off on her overnight dream of becoming a model, but it turns out the man isn’t what he seems. 

Sigh, of course. 

He takes horrible pictures of girls and even has a few of them locked in a room.  At some point Midori gets a hold of his cell phone, trying to call the police but they don’t find any evidence of foul play… probably because they don’t even attempt to search the house.  This, of course, leads to Midori using the phone to use the Hell Correspondence website to send the man to hell.  In the end, she reunites with her mother, who apologizes for her overbearing ways. 

Story #3:  Chinami

Chinami has a crush on her teacher, Furuya-sensei, and he surprisingly returns her feelings.  But it seems like she has some competition with one of the other teachers, Orihara-sensei.  Furuya tells Chinami that he use to date Orihara in college, but she’s too intense for him and he prefers cute girls like Chinami.  They start going out and Furuya even buys them a pair of matching rings, which Chinami is quick to brag about to her friends.  But soon she starts getting threatening text messages to break up with him, and when she falls down the stairs she assumes that Orihara pushed her.  Furuya tells her that Orihara has been ranting about Hell Correspondence and Chinami is quick to assume that Orihara is trying to kill her.  She decides to also use the website to get rid of Orihara if she has to. 

Much to Chinami’s surprise, Orihara and Furuya are actually together.  In fact, she’s the reason why he even has the teaching job.  It turns out that he often plays games with little girls and isn’t as nice as he seems.  Orihara pulls the string on her straw doll and it sends Furuya to hell, not Chinami, and Orihara plans on dying and joining him in hell, leaving a very shaken up Chinami behind.  

Story #4:  Ichimokuren

Ichimokuren, the young male companion with Ai, is actually a sword who has seen numerous people die because of others using him to kill.  He’s tired of it, and wonders if his only purpose is to bring pain to others.  In this story, a girl named Ayana is constantly being harassed by her father’s debt collectors now that her father is dead.  Her uncle shows up to help her out, letting her live with him due to all of the harassment, but it turns out that her uncle is the cause of everything.  He made her father borrow the money, pushed him to suicide, and when she still refused to live with him he set fire to her house and made her believe that the debt collectors had done it.  The story ends with Ayana not having to use Hell Correspondence, because Ichimokuren saves her himself.  He realizes that Ai and the others are like a family, and because of them he doesn’t hurt as much as he use to.

In summary:
6 volumes into this series and I’m starting to wonder if we’ll ever get to some sort of overall plot or conclusion.  Maybe it will end like “The Ring” and the characters will conclude that the cycle will always continue.  Except the main characters in “Hell Girl” are the ones doing the punishing, there isn’t a main character who goes against them and maybe that’s the problem.  Does a series need a hero to survive?  Maybe, maybe not, but it feels like there needs to be some sort of conflict and “Hell Girl” doesn’t really have one.  It’s all short stories that go on and on and on.  The anime, at least, has a detective trying to figure out the website.

The problem I’m starting to have with the manga is that the stories are good, but they’re all starting to run together in my head.  I swear the child prostitution story has happened in a previous volume.  Some of the stories are really good with surprise twists, like Asuka wanting to kill herself or Chinami’s teacher sending her lover to hell so that she could be with him there.  Others, however, are incredibly predictable.  Midori’s story moved way too fast and it was just… kind of bland.  The lame attempt by the police, the quick rescue by Hell Girl, it just served to illustrate the reason why this series is starting to get a bit boring. 

I want something new to happen.  I’m tired of reading about these cute school girls and them sending people to hell.  I’m feeling my original complaints with the manga returning, which is a shame since I was starting to really get into it again.  If you’re going to continue these short stories with no overall plot, at least give us something different.  At least the anime had both men and women sending people to hell, not just school girls.  

This volume does at least give us some background information on one of the main characters and the next volume promises to offer the same, so maybe it will lead us into some sort of conclusion or huge plot or… something?  And the new little girl is also in this volume a lot and she’s rather creepy, always laughing and looking happy when someone is sent to hell.  Hopefully, later volumes explain her too.

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