Time for one of my rare, non-episode summary posts, because I have to do those occasionally.

I’ve yet to watch the latest two episodes of Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori and I’m wondering to myself why. Obviously, it’s a lower priority to me then say… Chokotto Sister or Spider Riders. Still, I should’ve had the motivation to watch at least episode 9 by now, because I certainly had the time. While I was contemplating this pressing question earlier, I finally came up with a viable explanation. It’s not that good. The main problem with JSF and its predecessor is the fact that they’re both largely episodic, with the overall plot being developed very slowly. There’s actually one quality in JSF that make it superior to the original series. This is the fact that the one-shot story lines have had a great deal of variety and twist endings. While the first series was painfully predictable, Futakomori certainly isn’t. Despite this, it’s missing something important that the first series had; something to keep viewers watching from week to week. There’s multiple ways to make any series addictive. The most obvious one is to put a painful cliffhanger at the end of each episode, so that viewers will be anxious to find out how it’s resolved. Another way, and perhaps an even more effective one, is to give the viewers a mystery. This is what Jigoku Shoujo did. They gave it to us in the form of Tsugumi, a strange little girl who was given visions of whatever Ai saw. While I can’t speak for everyone else, it was her that kept me watching. I essentially had to watch each week because I felt I had to get more answers about her. What was her connection to Ai? How did she get these visions? Because little hints and clues could potentially be given at any time, I always wanted to see what happened next. There’s nothing in Futakomori that gives off the same suspense. Of course, there is Kikuri. While she was quite interesting at first, she quickly became generic and quite honestly annoying. Of course, there’s still the chance that she could turn into a griping mystery, but nothing has happened in the first eight episodes that drew me into the show the way Tsugumi did.

I plan to continue watching JSF. I just hope that it can live up to the original series. Really, that’s not difficult to do. Futakomori is already making stands by the variety in stories that I mentioned earlier. It just fails in the suspense department. In the shows near future, I hope something occurs that will shock me. For anyone who’s watched 9 and 10, did anything good happen or are they skippable?

5 Comments so far

Personally I really enjoyed episode 9 and 10 because they were just so out there. They’re actually my favorite episodes from Futakomori so far. But I also enjoy episodic stories, and to me Jigoku Shoujo has always been more of an unintentional comedy. Except for Ai’s past. And I hate Kikuri…

But really. Episode 10… we finally realize Hone Onna has had a life outside of Hell. XD I hope Ichimoku Ren gets an episode like this soon.

Comment by Tess 12.13.06 @ 5:14 pm

I’ve also had a couple of JSF episodes lying around unwatched, but IIRC, the first series didn’t really start picking up until around the half-way mark as well. I remember the first dozen or so episodes being pretty tedious (more so than JSF so far).

Comment by selkirk 12.13.06 @ 6:25 pm

JSF is better than the original… if only because they’ve yet to fall back into the predictable trap of ‘victim, speech, punishment’, or at least they’re not doing it in the same old way. Here, especially in the last two eps, they’ve done more with the other characters (Ren and Hone-Onna especially), which gives us a bit more.. well, depth, especially with Hone-Onna’s ‘Girl’s Nights Out’ with the other two members of the ‘cheating bastard’s dates/wife’ club.

With Jigoku Shoujo, it was pretty tedious after Ep 3 or so, with the exception of maybe the Misato thing… at least until the weaving in of Ai’s past became more and more prominent towards the end. Futomakori’s managed to avoid this trap so far, if only because the last couple of eps have been completely insane, and in Ep 8 or so we see that slight twist with the teacher and her past.

Comment by Haesslich 12.13.06 @ 10:28 pm

It became apparent that there wasn’t going to be no Tsugumi after episode 4 or 5, so I just learned to stop watching and love Garten’s summaries.

Towards the end of the first season they had these hauntingly beautiful episodes like the painter who longed to see Ai again, and painted her picture onto a whole wall of his apartment.

And towards the end of the second season you have these whacked out stories about transvestites and half-baked ippen shinde miru seekers…. bleh

Comment by Eleutheria 12.13.06 @ 10:34 pm

The only thing JSF has to do to keep my attention is have Ai standing in the river; Ai getting into her naga-juban; and Ai hitting all the neccessary catchphrases each episode.

Seriously, I’m such an easy mark; when they don’t deliver good on those things is when I get pissed off with the show.

And then there’s the live action JS.. that’s a whole other story

Comment by crayotic rockwell 12.14.06 @ 3:09 am

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