Hell’s Paradise – Season 1 Episode 8 Recap & Review

Student and Master

Episode 8 of Hell’s Paradise begins with Nurugai and her Asaemon Tenza wandering Shinsenkyo. Suddenly, a mysterious figure arrives and attacks Nurugai and Tenza. Tenza slices up the being and flees with Nurugai into the forest. The being attaches its sliced-up parts using plant vines and catches up. Tenza’s master Shion arrives, and he attacks the being, allowing the three to flee.

When they find safety, Shion belittles Tenza for his lackluster skills. He explains he’s alone because he finished his duty. Shion couldn’t find his way home because he couldn’t find a current that led away from the island. Shion found a stream that holds a possible escape route. He decided to look for others with a similar purpose and eventually ran into Nurugai and Tenza. Tenza asks him to take him to the current he found, but Shion wants to know why he’s protecting Nurugai because it’s against the rules.

He shows a piece of his criminal’s hair to them to show he’s following the Shogunate’s rules. Tenza says Nurugai’s done nothing wrong, but Shion doesn’t want to hear it. He confirms Tenza’s committing an act of treason for not carrying out his Asaemon duties. Tenza retaliates, saying Shion wasn’t obligated to take Tenza in when he was homeless but chose to. Shion says it’s because he sensed potential in Tenza, and Tenza uses his statement to argue for Nurugai’s protection. After hearing him out, Shion withdraws his sword but warns Tenza if protecting her threatens the Yamada clan or him, he’ll execute Nurugai.

Suddenly, the being returns and wounds Shion. Tenza attacks the being, but his attacks prove useless, resulting in the thing fatally wounding Tenza. In a flashback, Shion tells a young Tenza he took him in because he sensed potential in him. During his training with Shion, Tenza argues he doesn’t have potential and wants to quit. Shion says if he can land one blow on him, he’ll allow Tenza to leave. Eizen approaches Tenza and asks him to follow him to a cemetery. Eizen shows Tenza Shion’s former junior Tesshin’s grave.

Eizen explains Tesshin left Shion and pursued a life of crime. Shion had to execute Tesshin for his crimes. This led Shion to become a passionate mentor and gave him the spark to help people. Tenza returns to train with Shion. Although he’s on the brink of death, Tenza plans to stall this long enough for Shion and Nurugai to escape. Shion flees with Nurugai into the forest, leaving Tenza with the being. The being defeats Tenza. Shion promises to make them pay for what they’ve done. We receive a close-up of Tenza’s lifeless body as a cherry blossom petal lands on his headband.

In a flashback, Tenza managed to land a blow on Shion. Instead of quitting, Tenza asks Shion if he can train him more with the sword. The episode closes with a close-up of a cherry blossom branch.

The Episode Review

If the previous episodes taught viewers anything, it’s to expect nothing but pain to follow with our Asaemon and criminals on Shinsenkyo. Although the series hasn’t spent as much time with Tenza’s character before his demise, this episode implemented enough emotional scenery to persuade fans to shed several tears throughout this chapter.

Although Shion made the right call in fleeing the forest with Nurugai, viewers can expect this to weigh down on him significantly. Based on the intel we received from Eizen, this isn’t Shion’s first time losing a pupil. Whether or not, he’ll reencounter this plant-like monster is unknown. However, if it happens, we can anticipate he won’t be holding back and will be out for blood.

The same goes for Nurugai. Anyhow, it’s likely Shion and Nurugai will meet up with Gabimaru and the others. Considering their personalities and goals, it’d make sense for them to eventually meet and team up with our main protagonists. I’m looking forward to it since Tenza and Nurugai originally planned to pair with other Asaemon and criminals to escape.

Overall, this was a great episode of Hell’s Paradise. It gave viewers a look into Tenza’s harsh beginnings and a hint that he lived a nice life with Shion before his awful death at the hands of this monster. Hopefully, Nurugai and Shion can find a way off the island.

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


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