Saturday, July 5, 2008

Main Characters

Here are the main characters I would like to warn you about. Please be careful

Ai Enma (閻魔 あい Enma Ai)
Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
The primary protagonist of the series. With long, flowing hair and red eyes, she is a spiritual entity with a tragic past, who lives in a world of eternal twilight with her grandmother, and is the one who receives and delivers vengeance on her clients' behalf. She normally wears a black seifuku, or sailor uniform (which is usually worn during winter months), but always wears a kimono with floral designs when delivering the vengeance of a client. Ai started her career as the Hell Girl by her own act of vengeance on the villagers who sentenced her to a sacrificial death. Her eyes turned red arguably at the point where Sentaro (her childhood soulmate who gave in under the villagers' pressure to bury her alive) gave the first shovel of soil onto her face. She broke out of her grave after a while, and took revenge on the entire village with her wrath, burning it to the ground. Her task of fulfilling other people's vengeance and ferrying people to Hell is her punishment, a task which she has performed for the better part of 400 years. Although this task is presented as atonement, it is unknown whether she will ever be freed of it. Since she has done this for so long, she initially seemed to have become emotionless, numbed, as is shown by her expressionless face. Wanyūdō noted she still had feelings, though, although she did not express them strongly, and it was later revealed that Ai had been ordered to close her heart by the Spider. The experiences she has with the Shibatas reawakened her discontent with her terrible fate and later apparently reawakened other emotions, or at least Ai's ability to express them. When enraged, Ai demonstrates the ability to hurl great blasts of energy, as well as the power to create elaborate illusions and the ability to teleport.

In the second season, Ai becomes more expressive and shows more emotions, being more willing to interact with others and with her "clients". In fact, in one scene, she puts up a "V for Victory" sign in front of her target as a way of mockery and torture before sending him to hell; in another, she is seen reading from a fashion magazine while her compatriots watch over their client; and she even showed concern towards a mother who willingly ended her life so that her daughter doesn't have to send her to hell. Also, her emotions and memories are once again released by the suffering of Takuma Kurebayashi, similar to her own situation in the past. This leads Ai to defy her 'employer', who is the Lord of Hell, causing her to be restored to human life - and killed shortly thereafter, when saving Takuma from his tormentors. After Ai's self-sacrifice, her body dissolves into sakura petals and drifts into the sky.

Wanyūdō (輪入道)
Voiced by: Takayuki Sugo (Japanese), R. Bruce Elliott (English)
Wanyūdō is the first of Ai's three companions. He generally appears as an old man whose eyes remain mostly shut, wearing a traditional yukata with a long-sleeved haori, and a red scarf around his neck. When necessary, he takes the form of the black straw doll, by wrapping his scarf tigh around his neck, that Ai hands to her clients in the series. He also frequently takes the form of an Ai's coach with burning wheels when she goes to the human world to claim a soul. Ai has stated that before he performed this task for her, she used to walk to and from her sunset world. The coach bears the same black flame-crest that appears on the chest of those people who contract with the Hell Girl. Despite appearing quite mild-mannered, frail and weak with age at most times, Wanyūdō possesses considerable skills in martial arts and is capable of hurling fireballs and performing feats of inhuman strength. Wanyūdō's name is derived from the yōkai of the same name and means "A wheel entering the road". In episode 12 of Futakomori, it is revealed that he was the wheel of a princess' entourage carriage, which fell off a cliff. The coach caught fire and all aboard were killed. As a result, he became a yōkai terrorizing people in the form of a flaming wheel with his own enlarged, infuriated face as a hubcap, until he met Ai and she invited him to join her as her first companion. Wanyūdō revealed to Ai his ability to shapeshift.
Ren Ichimoku (一目 連 Ichimoku Ren)
Voiced by: Masaya Matsukaze (Japanese), Todd Haberkorn (English)
Ren is Ai's second companion, and usually takes the form of a young man. He can manifest a single large eye that can be directed anywhere, allowing him to see the inside of a building through projecting the eye on the walls and ceilings. The large eye can also be used as a weapon through projecting intense flashes of light. When so required, Ren becomes the blue straw doll by kissing a pendant he wears around his neck. Ren's name means "one glance company". He is sometimes referred to as "Moku" or "Ishimoto Ren". It is later revealed that Ren is a tsukumogami (artifact spirit), a type of spirit that originates from an artifact which has gained sentience after a long period of existence. In Ren's case, he was once a katana, forced to be aware and watch whatever was done with him. He was given his current form(s) by Ai, who collected him after he was abandoned on a large rock. Ai thinks that he is looking for something and asks him to accompany her. He agrees saying that the rock he was abandoned in was getting pretty boring. Since that time, Ren has apparently grown quite fond of his human form, displaying considerable vanity from time to time. Ai claims she invited him to join her because there is something that Ren is looking for, a fact perhaps manifested in Ren's occasional puzzlement and inability to understand the things humans do. Alternatively, some of Ren's comments indicate that what he was looking for was companionship, something to fill the emptiness of his existence as a sword used for endless killing. Ren has apparently developed feelings for his colleagues, seeing them as family.
Hone Onna (骨女 Bone Woman)
Voiced by: Takako Honda (Japanese), Jennifer Seman (English)
Hone Onna is Ai's third companion, and she often takes the form of a woman in a kimono with its obi tied in front--the trademark of an oiran (In the second season, her obi is tied at the back). She dislikes being called "old lady". She becomes the red straw doll when necessary by tossing her red obi jime, or cord, over her shoulder. Hone Onna and Ren investigate the people who make a contract and the ones they have a grudge against. She usually infiltrates human society in casual clothing to investigate cases, on these occasions she tends to use the pseudonym "Sone Anna". On certain occasions, she uses throwing knives as weapons; Onna is apparently extremely skilled with these weapons. Her knives seem to carry some mystic charge, since they can be used to quickly dispatch supernatural enemies. Hone Onna also seems to have some skill as a contortionist, which allows her to squeeze into very small places. The name Hone Onna comes from the legendary creature of the same name, literally meaning "bone woman", which reflects her ability to expose the bones in her body to scare the victims of the revenge Ai delivers. In episode 8 of Futakomori she jokingly reveals that she is 200 years old. A flashback scene revealed that she was a prostitute originally named Tsuyu. She was betrayed by a man whom she had fallen in love with, who sold her to a brothel to be able to pay off his own debts. Tsuyu was betrayed again when she attempted to arrange the escape of a fellow prostitute named Kion with a man who had come to truly love Tsuyu. Tsuyu and the man were stabbed by a samurai in front of Kion, and that same samurai cast Tsuyu into a river afterwards. Spirits rising from human bones thrown into the river before merged with her, transforming Tsuyu into the yōkai Hone Onna, in which form she later met Ai.
Ai's Grandmother (あいの祖母 Ai no Sobo)
Voiced by: Eriko Matsushima (Japanese), Juli Erickson (English)
Never actually seen in the series, other than as a shadowy silhouette behind a paper screen, she is always spinning thread in her room, and occasionally talks to Ai and gives her advice. A single human eyewitness who has observed Ai's grandmother ran in terror, implying her appearance may be other than human.
The Spider (人面蜘蛛 Jinmen Gumo)
Voiced by: Hidekatsu Shibata (Japanese), John Swasey (English)
An oddly-coloured spider with three eyes upon its abdomen, which appears in the sunset world where Ai and her assistants reside between assignments. It speaks with the voice of a man and is apparently Ai's superior, having been the one to pronounce sentence on her after she killed the people of her village. It claims to be holding the souls of Ai's loved ones - namely her parents - hostage; if Ai does not do the task she has been given, they would wander in darkness for eternity. The spider at one time demonstrates an ability to pilot the ferryboat to Hell and tries to restrain Ai, having decided to take her to Hell after her feelings of rage reawakened and she violently attacked the Shibatas. Ai turned out to be too strong for it to hold her without her consent. The spider is neither liked nor trusted by Ai's assistants, with whom it in turn does not speak. In the last episode of the second season, Wanyūdō identifies the spider as the Lord of Hell. It seems likely that the Spider deliberately exposed Ai to a situation reminiscent of her own death in order to test whether she would obey its will or act on the impulses of her human heart.
It is ironic that Ai's name actually translates as: Ai (love) and Enma (the Judge of the Underworld).
Kikuri (きくり)
Voiced by: Kanako Sakai
An enigmatic little girl introduced in season two, episode 4 and then starts to reappear in season two. Little is known about her except the fact she is not an ordinary human as she can wander freely between the mortal plane and Ai's house in the sunset world, sometimes interfering with her and her companions' job. Her appearance is often accompanied by a lullaby-like background music. In stark contrast to Ai, Kikuri has completely blue/purple eyes (including most of the sclera) and her personality is far more childish (yet much livelier as she has the tendency to pull pranks) than Ai's. She has stated that she likes Ai, but her actions and use of powers seem to serve causing the greatest amount of suffering and fear possible. It is as yet unknown whether this is due to true malice or not. Occasionally, she seems to take delight in acts of low-level destruction, such as chopping off flowers or destroying anything that Ai cares for. She has shown incredible skills with her loincloth, using to catch or hit objects. Despite the fact she appears to wreak havoc on her, she takes orders from Ai and Ai alone (in one episode, she shows this while going to touch Ai's grandmother's spinning wheels despite the woman's protests). In the last episode of the second season, it is revealed that Kikuri is in fact a host for the will of the Spider, which can take over her body as it pleases. As such, it becomes questionable how many of her malicious acts were of her own will and which were instigated by her master. After Ai's death and the release of her beloved ones, Kikuri, riding on the boat, says, "It's over...that was Ai's answer...Well done." As she says those words, she pokes a cherry the color of Ai's eyes in her former childish way. At the end of the series, it is also hinted that Kikuri became the next Hell Girl.

Hajime Shibata (柴田 一 Shibata Hajime)
Voiced by: Yuji Ueda (Japanese), John Burgmeier (English)
A former journalist who now earns money by blackmailing celebrities with evidence of their scandals. He began to investigate rumors about the Hell Correspondence website merely out of interest, but becomes more heavily involved once he realizes that it is more than just a rumor and people are actually being dragged into Hell. Furthermore, his daughter Tsugumi seems to have a mysterious connection with Enma Ai that allows her to see anything significant that Ai sees. He is briefly mentioned in the second season as Ai's biographer.
Tsugumi Shibata (柴田 つぐみ Shibata Tsugumi
Voiced by: Nana Mizuki (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)
Hajime's daughter who often refers to him as "Hajime-chan". She sees Ai one day and has had a mysterious connection with her ever since. At first, she reports everything she sees through Ai to Hajime, but as the series progresses, she becomes more reluctant to do so as she begins to disagree with her father on whether they should try to stop Ai or not. She is briefly shown in the second season as a source of information for an investigator. At the same time, it seems that she has a similar relationship with Kikuri, which is revealed in the 24th episode of the second season.
Ayumi Shibata (柴田 あゆみ Shibata Ayumi)
Voiced by: Hitomi Nabatame (Japanese), Colleen Clinkenbeard (English)
Hajime's late wife. Hajime devoted more time to his work than to his family, but with the intent to make his wife happy through earning large amounts of money to improve their lifestyle. In her loneliness, Ayumi had an affair with a politician that Hajime happened to be spying on. Because of that incident, he cast her out of the house and forbade her from ever seeing Tsugumi. A few moments later, Ayumi dies in a car accident. Tsugumi keeps her mother's earrings as a memento. Hajime still loves Ayumi very much, and regrets not forgiving her because he believes she would not have died if he had. On the other hand, Ai tried using her death to tempt Tsugumi to send her own father to Hell.
Takuma Kurebayashi (紅林 拓真 Kurebayashi Takuma)
Voiced by: Ayumi Fujimura
Takuma is a quiet boy who lives in Lovely Hills. He is misunderstood and often bullied by his fellow townsfolk who believe he's the "Devil's Child", much like Ai was in her village. When he first made his appearance, his mother was killed by a friend of his father, who was also seriously injured in the incident. As the murderer was about to kill Takuma, he was sent to hell; but at this moment the police arrive, and the townsfolk end up thinking that Takuma is the murderer. It is unclear if he possesses as much spiritual powers as Ai, but he does have the ability of foresight and he has been observed by Ai for some time throughout the story. In the end, Ai saves him from the townsfolk, but ends up getting killed herself. At the end of the show it is revealed that his father has recovered almost completely and that his friend, Hotaru Meshiai, will soon wake up from her cold induced coma, as Takuma hopes.
See next post where I will tell you the website and how to curse people to hell -- if you promise me not to use it yourself.

1 comment:

Aiedail - The Morning Star said...

You seem really interested in Anime. Its great. everyone should have a passion. Keep it up.
Keep informing and educating us about stuff we have no idea about. Thanx ankit.............
great stuff you've got here.