It is said that those who hold a powerful grudge can access a particular website at midnight. By entering a name here, that person can be ferried straight to hell. This is the tale of Ai Enma, the Hell Girl that carries out those orders.
Episodic and atmospheric in nature, Hell Girl is a slow burn that is not quite as scary as you would expect from a horror anime, but powerful none-the-less. If you are looking for more anime recommendations like Hell Girl, then give these anime series a try.
For Fans of Supernatural Vengeance
In his darkest moments, the young Ciel Phantomhive formed a pact with a demon to exchange his soul for those who wronged him. Now this demon poses as his butler and Ciel strives for both success and vengeance in Victorian England.
Both are stories of vengeance through the supernatural. The key difference is that Hell Girl tells many stories of revenge while Black Butler tells the story of just one boy’s revenge via the demon butler that has his soul. Unfortunately, Black Butler can drift off into less interesting plot lines while every story in Hell Girl feels nicely unique.
Watanuki can see spirits and supernatural creatures, an ability he finds annoying. However, one day after being bothered by some spirits, he feels compelled to enter a strange house. Within, he meets Yuuko, a woman that claims to be able to remove his ability for a price. The price being that he works in her store where she grants wishes.
Both series are about women that grant the wishes of others. However, while Hell Girl is solely revenged based, the wishes in xxxHolic can be varying in nature. Furthermore, while Hell Girl has some beautiful animation, xxxHolic suffers from poorly animated lanky CLAMP character design.
Magical Girl Site
Aya Asagiri lives a miserable life. At school she is bullied. At home she is beaten. Her only bright light is a cat, but one day even that is taken away from her. However, while browsing the internet, she finds a person that takes pity on her and gives her the powers of a magical girl. So starts her vengeance.
Like Hell Girl, Magical Girl Site is about a person who finds their tools for revenge on the internet. However, instead of it being carried out by a supernatural being, the victimized girl in question gets the power. Through Hell Girl’s many tales of wounded souls willing to give their own soul to send another to hell, you can imagine the carnage that results in Magical Girl Site.
For Fans of Emotionless Main Characters
Ever since 1972, class 3-3 in Yomiyama North Middle School has had a strange tradition of pretending that one of their students did not exist. When Kouichi Sakakubara transfers into the class, he finds himself drawn to a girl that no one seems to notice. Not paying heed to the warnings of his classmates, all hell is about to break loose.
When first introduced, you get strong Ai-esque vibes from Mei when she is first introduced. Throughout the first half of the series, they build her up as somewhat supernatural, and then ruin all that work. However, that doesn’t change the face that both of the female leads in these shows strongly resemble each other in not just looks, but personality as well. Furthermore, as they are both horror series, they share a certain amount of darkness.
Serial Experiments Lain
Introverted Lain Iwakura finds herself one of many girls to receive an e-mail from classmate Chisa Yomoda, even though Chisa Yomoda recently committed suicide. Averse to technology, Lain soon finds herself able to enter the Wired, a network system similar to the internet. From there, her life gets turned upside down as she finds herself the target of mysterious men and mixed up in a series of cryptic mysteries.
While Serial Experiments Lain differs vastly from Hell Girl in setting and its mystery-based story, there is a certain similarity between the emotionless main characters and the overall dismal tone presented in both series. If you aren’t married to the supernatural nature of Hell Girl and want to explore more melancholic and intricate stories, then Serial Experiments Lain can be an awesome follow up.
In this world, there exist Mushi, spirits that often exist with no purpose. However, these Mushi can affect the physical world in countless forms from diseases to more pleasant phenomenon. Why do these Mushi exist? That is the question that Ginko the Mushi-shi, a researcher on the phenomenon, asks himself as he travels the land investigating Mushi-related incidents.
Hell Girl is often about how certain people affect the lives of others. Mushishi is all about how Mushi affects the lives of others. Both tell the stories of other people through emotionally muted, yet not completely flat main characters as a mouth piece. However, while Hell Girl’s stories run mostly on the dark side due to the nature of its own plot, the stories in Mushishi run the gamut of light and dark. It is also worth noting that these are both episodic series, so each episode is a new story.
For Fans of the Afterlife
Shinigami no Ballad
Momo is a girl in white, who, together with her winged black cat, carries the souls of humans to the afterlife.
If Hell Girl is dark, then Shinigami no Ballad is light. They have a very, very similar premise where a melancholic girl watches over humans and takes away their souls. However, while Ai doesn’t judge, Momo is very introspective on her part. Regardless, both of these episodic series tells the tale of a new human every episode and why they should die or live.
After death there is no afterlife, just reincarnation and oblivion. To decide your fate, you are sent to a bar where the bartender will challenge you to a game in which you wager your soul’s fate.
Think of Death Parade as Hell Girl if there was no hell. What happens to souls after they die? In Hell Girl it doesn’t always discuss such things, but Death Parade makes a literal game of it. Both shows are about dying and tells the stories of others in self-contained episodes that end in neatly wrapped up stories at the end of each episode.
When someone dies, their last words – words that couldn’t be said while alive – are sent in letters called shigofumi. Fumika is a mail carrier for these letters. A mail carrier is supposed to be a deceased human that looks the same as they did when they died, but despite this, Fumika is still aging.
Like Ai in Hell Girl, Shigofumi is about a supernatural messenger. However, instead of sending souls to hell, Fumika simply delivers last words. Some of them are touching, some of them are hateful. However, unlike Hell Girl, Shigofumi focuses a bit more on the messenger as well as those stories the people around her are telling.
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