What Jigoku Shoujo taught me about my tastes in anime

March 22, 2009

One of the things I've found is that I learn more about my tastes from the anime that I strongly dislike than from the anime that I like. It can be hard to figure out why I like something, whereas with stuff that I dislike there's often something in specific that I can point at and say 'that, I can't stand it'.

(Reviewers are familiar with this; I've read many comments that it's much harder to do an informative positive review than an informative negative one.)

Which brings me to Jigoku Shoujo, which I watched a few episodes of once upon a time. I started with high hopes, because the general setting sounded promising (I like the general 'modern supernatural' genre), but I found that I just couldn't stand the actual show; I had an immediate and violent dislike from the first episode onwards.

(I only watched more than the first episode because I hoped that the first episode would be an aberration and the show would change.)

What Jigoku Shoujo taught me is that I cannot stand seeing ordinary, decent people tormented to the point where they are desperate enough to damn themselves just to get the torment to stop. That this was what most episodes were about (see here for more details) made the show completely unwatchable for me.

(A disclaimer: this is not a review and I am not saying that Jigoku Shoujo is a bad show. Since I couldn't watch it, I have no way of forming an opinion about its quality; all I know is that it's very definitely not for me.)

Written on 22 March 2009.
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Last modified: Sun Mar 22 21:34:13 2009
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