Horror tales devoted to darkly ironic revenge have long been a comics staple, but few have been as theologically what-th? as Miyuki Eto's Hell Girl (Del Rey). The shoujo manga series, a spin-off from a popular TV animé, centers on a cast of massive-eyed (even by manga standards) young girls who've been brought to the brink of despair by unscrupulous evildoers. In each of the first volume's five independent stories, these girls take their revenge on their tormentors by logging onto a website which only appears at midnight, entering their enemy's name and thus damning them to Hell.
The agent of all this damnation is the title character (in no way related to Mike Mignola's proletarian Hell Boy), a seeming schoolgirl named Ai Enmasan. Ai first appears to each aggrieved party to offer her prospective clients a chance to back out of the deal. But in the first volume, at least, no one takes her sensible advice. She then goes off to enact her clients' vengeance, which essentially consists of sending the miscreants to Hell where they're forced to be on the receiving end of their misdeeds for all eternity.
Thus, for example, an unscrupulous veterinarian who has bilked his human clients out of money while doing nothing to actually care for their sick pets, finds himself caged and tortured by animal-headed demons in lab coats. A wicked baker who has stolen the recipes from a former student and spread malicious rumors that her pastry shop is bug-infested, is himself trapped in a man-sized sheet of flypaper. A young girl who's been blackmailing another student who she framed for shoplifting is herself jailed in Hell for stealing some jewelry.
When their former victims hear of their oppressors' mysterious "disappearances," their individual reaction is primarily one of smiling satisfaction. "I'm going to Hell, but I'm happy coz I got my revenge," the former blackmail victim says. "I'm going to recover," the wheelchair-bound victim of a scheming actress states in another episode, "and live my life to the fullest. Until the day I go to Hell."