Hey, everybody! Antoni, here, with another fanfic recommendation. For those of you who watched my of Jigoku Shoujo or Hell Girl will know that I also recommended this as a really good read. That’s right it’s Jigoku Shoujo Season 1: Aftermath written by Celestialfae back on January 25, 2012, and it was completed on June 16 of this year. It’s rated T, it’s in English, and it has 26 chapters. Even though there are several moments where Ai Enma is the focal point of the story, this belongs to the victims of Season 1 and of course Hajime and Tsugumi Shibata, so each of their stories are stand-alone, yet nonetheless, are linked to Ai Enma.
It should be no surprise that I am a major fan of Hell Girl and if ever I find the time to do the next top 15 favorite anime of all time or even bump it up to the next 25, Hell Girl will be placed on that list alongside Now and Then Here and There and Fantastic Children, which I regretted placing as honorable mentions. My history with this work by Celestialfae dates back four years ago when I first read a few chapters and I wanted so much more. I’m really happy this fanfic was completed because it was a fascinating read and here’s why.
The chapters follow the show’s 26 episodes order to a T. There are some chapters in which the perspective is in the third-person form, while others like Chapters 5, 7, 11, 13, and 20 are in the first-person form to get a more in-depth look as to how the characters fared after their covenant with Ai Enma, and even a poem in Chapter 17 from the point of view of Nina’s father. For the most part, the characters ranging from Mayumi Hashimoto from Episode 1 all the way up to Goro Ishizu from Episode 22 do their very best to live their lives even though eternal damnation awaits them. It is really interesting to witness what they are doing with their lives after everything they have endured before, during, and after encountering Ai Enma. Some are very successful and have different personalities from their show’s counterparts to show that just because they have made it big does not mean that they can forget the pain caused to them by their tormentors, who are now six feet under. Others are deeply traumatized by what happened or are trying to pick the pieces back up in order to shape their lives in spite of their eternal damnation. Others turn to the cold, ambiguous side, as they will have to carry the burden they must live with. And of course Chapters 24-26 focus on Sentarou, Ai Enma, and Hajime and Tsugumi Shibata respectively. And in Chapter 23, a character is brought back to the mortal world and it’s worth the read. If you’ve watched the show and the episode, you know who it is. I’ll give you a guess. She’s a sweet and innocent nurse who was unfairly sent to Hell by a depraved drug-addict. So, I am not going to mince words here, the stories found in each chapter were well-thought out and were overall well-done.
There were chapters I really loved from this fanfic mostly because since I watched the episodes there were ones that stuck out really well and in turn, the chapters were of emotional interest. Forgiving the Faultless, which is Chapter 6, has Haruka Yasuda, whose shining moment in this fic was when she spoke up against her father and after a few moments of hesitation and trying to bury resentment formed a new friendship with Yuria Todaka. Raise your Voice, which is Chapter 7, gives more development to Kaoruko Kurushima and her exploits when encountering Midori Kurenai, Ayaka, the two thugs who gave her that voice-damaging tonic, and of course Ai Enma because in the show, she did not really have that much to say nor do as Cracked Mask was sort of meant to be a sort of an episode full of surprises and of course focuses on Ayaka’s unraveling of her true, petty, and nasty personality. Worth It, which is Chapter 13, has Fukumoto who is contemplating his experience with Ai Enma and what lead him to pull the scarlet thread, yet live with agony until his old age. No One Mourns the Wicked, which is Chapter 16, focuses on Yumi now a young adult, more different than her poor, victimized younger self, and now an ambitious 23-year-old. Kikuri/The Lord of Hell even appears in this chapter and as they venture to Hell, the reader is then treated to such nightmarish, kind of graphic images that it’s hard to purge them away. Papa’s Angel, which is Chapter 17, does have Nina, but the focus is on her father, as he recites a poem that though short is rather heart-wrenching. You will have to read Chapter 23 in order to know who I’m talking about and I’m sure you will feel a lot of satisfaction after doing so. If I were to list more highlights from this fanfic, I would be here all day. Sufficed to say that the characters from each of the chapters have something unique to offer and their journeys after meeting Ai Enma are quite fascinating.
Despite my immense love of this story, there were a few issues I had, but they did not detract my enjoyment of this fanfic. There were some punctuation errors, misspelled words, and a few grammatical errors. A good number of these were an oversight as I am sure that Celestialfae had a lot of things with to deal with in real life. And a minor detail that I found out was Haruka’s father is not named Toshi, but rather Hideo, but that’s just a minor gripe. I don’t know if Celestialfae will come back to fix up the errors, but if she does, it would be great. Still, the errors are rather minor, and the layouts for each of the chapters are really solid.
So, overall, this is a must-read if you are a fan of Hell Girl and would love to read how the victims of the show fared after encountering Ai Enma and their tribulations with their tormentors. With intriguing plots galore in each chapter and very interesting perspectives from each character, this fanfic is a welcome read for anyone who wants to see how the characters have been faring.
With that said, I give this fanfic, a well-deserved grade of A. The errors are minor in my opinion, yet nonetheless, it is compensated greatly with excellent storytelling. If you are a fan of Hell Girl or just love great storytelling, this is totally for you.
Well, that’s all for now. Like I said, I do want to go back to doing video blog style reviews, but you know how it is with all of the expectations and priorities I have to fulfill. Maybe I might find the time, but I am sincerely anticipating the first Royal Opera House live stream in cinemas of the 2017/18 season with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte which I am eager to review despite it being on a Wednesday. So, until then, I do hope to get to reviewing that and until then, have a wonderful weekend.