Anime Anime Reviews Review

Hell’s Paradise – Episode 02

Episode Synopsis:

Sagiri reflects on her journey to becoming an executioner and ponders her continued fear of killing. Awed by the sight of her father beheading a man in a single clean stroke, she aims to imitate that method and kill with speed and grace. This proves difficult, as the guilt and fear associated with her task haunt her waking dreams. This, in addition to her position as the only female Asaemon make others concerned she isn’t fit for her role.

The shogun brings all the criminals who were offered a deal to a tent and forces them to kill each other for a spot, due to limited boat space/Asaemons to pair them up with. In watching Gabimaru mutilate some of the other candidates, Sagiri has a realization.


Woof, this show is a lot already….

I don’t tend to watch anime with a lot of violence, so this is a little bitter on my palette. That being said, I have seen Attack on Titan and recently Summertime Render so I’ve had some degree of priming. It helps a lot that I’m intrigued by where the story is going.

Having only seen two episodes as of writing this, I’m of the opposite thought process from Brendan. These people need to get to the island as fast as possible. There’s basically no plot to this tale unless we get to Shinsenkyo and start digging into this mystery regarding the Elixer of Life and the dangers of Doom Flora. I do not want to waste episodes on a journey at sea.

This episode is Sagiri’s through and through, and it’s a mediation on the nature of her role as executioner as well as what it means to kill. She’s chasing something clean and honorable, and is forced to reckon with the literal ugly side of death. This is obviously going to become important later, as I’m sure Gabimaru is not all he seems on the surface, which will likely make her resolve to kill him waiver even more as time goes on. That being said, I am curious of what they hope to achieve with her character. Is she going to discover that killing is a dirty act irrespective of the manner in which it’s carried out? That doesn’t seem to be the case based on this shot.

Like the portmanteau the show’s name bears, there’s a “beauty in deadly things/death” vibe that the show oozes. The flowers that grow from the corpses that return from Shinsenkyo are stunning in color and design, but one is rapidly reminded that they are growing from grotesque/maimed human remains. Gabimaru’s love for his wife is beautiful, yet it exists within the harsh village of the shinobi. Perhaps paradise/beauty only blooms because people seek it and die miserably/suffer in the process.

The bloodbath of the prisoners culling their numbers exists to give us our core ten characters, but it also brings up a snag in Sagiri’s thought pattern. She assumes her ability to kill without fear can be honed if she’s working with scum of the Earth criminals who deserve to die. Late in the carnage, Gabimaru throws out a line about how it’s natural to not want to kill if you don’t have to. While some of the criminals on death row are heinous people on the inside, what happens when some of them are this way simply because they were forced to be? Hopefully we get an interesting mix of “chose to be this way” and “forced to be this way” in our set of ten so it causes dramatic tension.

Just looking at the characters though, I could also see this being nine over the top murder hungry peeps and “bored to tears by this nonsense” Gabimaru. Let’s see how it plays out.


Sagiri’s internal conflicts are given center stage and she grapples with the nature of killing. The group of death row convicts is collapsed into nine individuals who all look thirsty for hella murder, and…weirdo Gabimaru who only kills when threatened. The group is now on a boat to Paradise and I hope they get there soon to start this crazy parade.

2 comments on “Hell’s Paradise – Episode 02

  1. Pingback: Hell’s Paradise – Episode 01 – The Con Artists

  2. Pingback: Hell’s Paradise – Episode 03 – The Con Artists

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