Hell’s Paradise – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Screening and Choosing

Episode 2 of Hell’s Paradise begins with Sagiri reminiscing about a beheading she witnessed at a young age for a condemned storyteller. She remarks how she made it her goal to duplicate his stroke. When she’s older and executes a person, Sagiri has a delusion about the man she murdered.

A swordsman tells her to work on repelling her doubt and fear to become a better swordsman. As she continues executing, Sagiri wonders how to eliminate doubt and fear from her heart like her father. Sagiri and Gabimaru arrive near Edo to meet the shogunate Tokugawa Nariyoshi and the other condemned criminals.

Gabimaru and the other criminals are blindfolded, and Sagiri uses the opportunity to research the others. A man informs them about their mission to visit Shinsenkyo to retrieve the Elixir of Life and the reward they’ll receive. Gabimaru yawns and attracts the attention of a female criminal whose disappointed by his demeanor. Sagiri monitors Gabimaru’s behavior and realizes he’s more listless now. She questions if he’s calmer or eviler than before.

A man tries explaining details about their mission, but the criminals continue acting arrogant. He tells the criminals to remove their blindfolds and shows them what happened to a recent soldier who returned from an expedition.

Some criminals are concerned and refuse to complete the task. Someone questions the Nariyoshi’s people and wonders if the Elixir at Shinsenkyo. Someone tells them they can leave if they want, so one of the criminals attempts to flee. The man who gave Saigiri advice at the episode’s start beheads him. A man tells him that when they arrive on the island, they’ll receive monitors who are a part of the Yamada Asaemon. Since they’ve been condemned to death, this rule remains intact when they travel to Shinsenkyo. If the criminals act out on the island, they’ll get beheaded on the spot. He confirms if their assigned monitor dies by accident or homicide, they’ll get beheaded.

They can’t hop on the return boat if they’re not with their monitor either. Only a select few can attend the trip, meaning some must die now by any means necessary. The criminals engage in an all-out brawl to remove the weak but cannot untie their hands, according to Nariyoshi’s men.

As the criminals fight, Nariyoshi asks his men to highlight the criminals who have superpowers. After explaining some of the criminals’ feats, Nariyoshi’s men are bewildered that Gabimaru hasn’t made a move yet. At the same time, Sagiri’s ally Eizen asks her if she’s feeling overwhelmed by the carnage. He reminds her that things will get more brutal when they arrive at Shinsenkyo. Eizen warns Sagiri that she’ll be exposed to harm just like the criminals and wonders if she’ll have the gall to kill people.

Eizen argues Sagiri’s not suited for this role and should participate in more feminine affairs. Sagiri says she would’ve if she could. In a flashback, we learn Sagiri confirms the Yamada Clan benefits from people’s deaths. She says it’s possible to turn a blind eye to this path, but it’ll always follow you no matter what. One of the criminals spots Sagiri discussing with Eizen and attempts to murder her and swipe her sword. Despite her qualms, Sagiri executes the criminals with her blade. However, the fear and doubt wind Sagiri down. Gabimaru approaches the shogunate and his men and tells them that killing people is never okay.

He asks if they can conjure another method to remove people from the trip. He argues not all criminals are killed because they chose to. One of Nariyoshi’s men orders a criminal to kill Gabimaru and promises to let him on the trip if he completes the task. Gabimaru tries discussing matters with the criminal, but he’s set on murdering him.

Although Gabimaru doesn’t want to kill anyone, he states he has his reasons to live. He starts assassinating criminals left and right and everyone is bewildered by Gabimaru’s incredible feats. Sagiri realizes what she needs to be a stable executioner. Nariyoshi’s men call off the battle and name the 10 criminals who will attend the expedition. The episode concludes with Gabimaru, Sagiri, and the others arriving at Shinsenkyo on the boat.

The Episode Review

It appears we’ll be arriving at Shinsenkyo in next week’s chapter of Hell’s Paradise. This episode contained some fun thrills and insightful character moments, and gives us some new cast members to look forward to. This chapter focused a bit more on Sagiri’s character and lets fans know that she’s not a perfect executioner. While she can hold her own in a battle, she’s not free from inner turmoil.

The previous episode didn’t hint at Sagiri having inner qualms with herself. Therefore, one could argue that it feels slightly jarring for her to be nervous about killing people, especially with how she was introduced as someone whose executed hundreds of people. Nonetheless, others will enjoy that Sagiri’s not a flawless character and it will be exciting to see her overcome her internal issues to improve as a warrior.

On the other hand, the other criminals who’ll be attending the Shinsenkyo trip with Gabimaru look fun and have great potential. From Tamiya the Sword Dragon to Kunoichi, I can’t wait to see them battle. It’s disappointing that we didn’t see some of the 10 remaining criminals slay some unimportant ones. Hopefully, we’ll get to see many of them in action on the island and learn about their pasts.

Overall, this episode contained great thrills and chills. Fans receive some nice character moments from Gabimaru and Sagiri and get a taste of what’s to come during their expedition through Shinsekyo. Hopefully, the anime can continue building upon its tension, world, and characters as we get deeper into its narrative.

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You can read our full season 1 review of Hell’s Paradise here


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