I am very sorry for the late post. Without further ado, here we go, my review of the season finale of Hell’s Paradise.
I had expected that Hell’s Paradise will have at least have around 22 or so episodes for its first season, so I was genuinely surprised to learn that this episode was the season finale. Another surprise for me was that Senta was still alive at the beginning of the episode. When flowers started to bloom on Senta’s face, I thought he was already a goner. Nurugai’s quick action in cutting the roots of the flowers from Senta also prevented a full transformation into the same corpses as the ones we’ve seen before. Alas, Senta was already beyond help and his death was inevitable, cutting the flowers only gave him a short time to live.
What I like about Senta in this episode was that even though he was already on the verge of death, he didn’t just wait for death to embrace him, he used whatever little time he had left to make himself useful by helping his friends to kill their enemy. There were many cases of characters who are on the verge of death like Senta could only stay still and watched from the sideline until the battle was over and they died, but Senta didn’t do just that. I admired that he’s still trying to help his comrades in any way he could. Senta, you’ll be fondly remembered. May you rest in peace. Yuzuriha, thank you very much for comforting Senta in his last moment. (TT_TT)
The next person to steal the spotlight would be Shion, who in the previous episode made a grand entrance by saving Sagiri, Yuzuriha, and Senta from the killing blow by cutting all the attacking vines. In many fighting manga and anime, blind characters tends to have enhanced senses in exchange for the lost of their sight. Shion is one of these characters. Because of his blindness, he was capable of sensing Tao from himself and other people. Because of this awareness, Shion was capable of manipulating his Tao and counteract the power of the Tensen. But of course, having Shion defeated the Tense all by himself would be too OP and this was when the power of teamwork played a pivotal role. Other than Shion, Nurugai was also capable of emitting her own Tao without her realizing and by touching others, her Tao energized them. But it seems there’s a limitation to it because while Sagiri and Shion recovered their stamina after being hugged by Nurugai, Yuzuriha didn’t. Perhaps each Tao has some sort of characteristics, and who that Nurugai can energize depends on that person’s Tao.
As usual, I have no complaints with the battle in this episode. In fact, the battle this time really gave the life or death vibe. In the battle before, I have no doubt that Gabimaru and the others would survive, but this battle had me wondering if there’ll be any death, and Senta ended up as the casualty. At this point, I won’t be surprised if at the end, only a very few remain or even not at all survive. As someone who prefers a happy ending, I hope there’ll be survivors among our main characters.
This season must left us with a cliffhanger by the revelation that using too much Tao might cause mental or physical damage beyond just a simple exhaustion. What bothered me most would be that Shion gave an example that it may affect one’s memories.Yuzuriha also revealed that shinobi was capable of using illusions, insinuating that the chief of Gabimaru’s shinobi clan that he said is immortal was most likely only an illusion conjured to achieve total control of the clan members so nobody would defy him. The worst part was that Yuzuriha suggested that Gabimaru’s wife was actually also just an illusion and never exist to begin with. For Gabimaru to be shown having difficulty remembering his wife seemed to reinforce that was exactly the case.
I shared the same sentiment as Sagiri here. Gabimaru already had it rough to have been born in a village of shinobi with chief that demand for him to kill since he was young age. He learned to love through his marriage but this in turn made him suffer from guilt that his past self had committed. To make it worse, the love that motivated him to continue fighting and living might turn out to be a deception. It would be too sad if Yuzuriha’s theory was right. Gabimaru deserved to have a second chance in life where he can live as himself and not as Gabimaru the Hollow, so just as Sagiri believe in him, I also wish for him to never give up and stay alive until the end and reunited with his beloved wife. I refuse to believe that his wife was merely an illusion. And, let’s say, she is, I hope that it won’t deter Gabimaru’s desire to continue living.
Hell’s Paradise is truly one of the best 2023 anime that I’ve watched so far. A wonderful cast of characters, beautiful visual, consistent animation, MAPPA truly didn’t disappoint me and managed to deliver a great adaptation of the popular manga. The premise of a group of executioners and their dead-row criminals venturing a hellish island was also interesting. See people who’re supposed to be at each other’s throat having to work together to survive in an island full of monsters brought a unique dynamic between the executioners and criminals.
I’m sure I’ve said this again and again since the first episode, but the ones who stole my heart are the main duo Gabimaru and Sagiri. Individually, both of them are already wonderfully written characters. Paired together, they made a great dynamic, totally in chemistry. Both complement each other’s emotional struggle, bringing realization that developed their characters without them even meaning to. Their growing relationship and development were very natural, so any little interaction of them thinking about the other is always something I’m looking forward to watch.
It’s also refreshing to see that for once, this wonderful dynamic between a man and a woman was purely platonic one and not in the least bit romantic. I do love romance, but there were times that I’m tired that every time a guy and a girl must work together it ends up with them having a romantic relationship. There are many people who said that there’s no friendship when it comes to a girl and a guy, but I beg to differ. Gabimaru and Sagiri showed that a man and a woman don’t have to be romantically intimate with one another to become close and reached an understanding. Gabimaru and Sagiri have officially became one of my favorite duo of all times.
I do have a gripe about the sexual context, where characters must have sex as part of their training to have stronger Tao and create the so-called Elixir of Life. It’s one thing if both sides did so consensually, but it’s far too disturbing if the sex was being forced upon like what they implied will happen to Mei if she was captured. Fortunately, the non-con never happened and the anime either omitted or censored certain sensitive parts so far, but the implication still disgusted me.
The rest of the cast of characters were also loveable, but they haven’t attracted my attention as much as the main duo in this first season, so I couldn’t say much about them just yet. One thing for sure was that I’m expecting more of them in Season 2.
If you like a historical dark fantasy series with great wide cast of characters, beautiful visual, and fluid animation, I would recommend Hell’s Paradise to you. (^w^)
Announcement of Retirement
Last but not the least, I am sad to say that this would be the last time I am posting in Angry Anime Bitches. Due to real life circumstances, I have no choice but to retire from writing for this blog. When I finally became a writer for this blog, I had wished I could post and shared many series that I love. Though it hasn’t been that long since I joined this blog, I hope you all enjoy my posts.
But fret not, even though I will no longer write for this blog, I’ll still read and comment as regularly as I can in my free time, so I won’t be saying goodbye because you’ll see my comments in other posts! (^w^)
Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to write for this blog! I wish Angry Anime Bitches best of luck!