Fidelity Wars #88: Jigoku Shojo – “Jigoku Rock”

It’s Halloween! So time for some spooky, horror-y music. But let’s start at the beginning.

As with most other media, I’ve worked up a bit of a backlog of anime, having downloaded more than I’ve been able to work my way through. Thus I end up with the amusing situation that I’m not quite sure what the various series I’ve downloaded are about anymore, turning my folder of unwatched anime into a mystery bag. A series I recently pulled out of the bag was Jigoku Shojo Futakomori.

I watched the first episode, and was slightly confused. The main characters and the show’s premise were never explained, but it seemed to be about a girl who was a servant of Japanese hell who people could turn to if they wanted revenge over someone they felt had done them wrong. The person would then die a horrible death orchestrated by the girl, and they would thereafter have to spend eternity in hell – but the one who sought revenge would also be doomed to spend eternity in hell after their death. So you must hate the person with such a passion that you’re willing to condemn yourself in the process of getting your revenge. It seemed to be an episodic series, and quickly browsing a few episodes after having seen the first confirmed that, as there was a different person wanting revenge in each episode.

But it turned out that what I’d started watching was actually the second season of the series Jigoku Shojo, aka. Hell Girl. So no wonder I was a tad confused. There are actually three seasons of the series, each of 26 episodes each, making it a total of 78 episodes. Given the high number of episodes and my lack of enthusiasm for my first encounter with the series, I doubt I’ll be working my way through the series.

The music wasn’t bad though, so I decided to root through some of the soundtracks for the series. The series has two soundtracks for each season, making it six soundtracks in total. A bit much to work your way through, but at least not as time consuming as watching 78 anime episodes. Much of the music is rather creepy and ambient, but there’s a fair bit of variation to be found as well, including some more cheerful pieces. My pick for the week comes from the first soundtrack to the first season of the series.

Jigoku Shojo – “Jigoku Rock”

I believe this is one of the tracks that gets played when the Hell Girl comes down from the heavens in her fiery chariot to enact bloody vengeance. It’s pretty over the top, with the chugging electric guitars and a choir, and it’s not a sound I’ve heard in anime much before – but I think this sort of music works best in small, concentrated doses.

This would have worked excellent in my on-again off-again Werewolf: The Apocalypse chronicle when the apocalypse would have finally arrived. The red star Anthelios would shine bright in the blood-red sky, the Black Spiral Dancers would swarm out from their underground spawning pits, dimensional rifts would open for all the powerful spirits of Wyrm to become manifest, and the garou heroes would rip through blood and guts and whatever the heck manifest spirits are made out of with their battle klaives and bare claws. Skyscrapers would crumble, humans would run around screaming while hopelessly fighting for survival. Chaos, death, destruction.  It would have been awesome and epic (and that’s coming from somene who feels those two adjectives have been horrendously overused by today’s online youth). And this track would be playing in the background. At least for parts of the apocalypse.

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