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Hell’s Paradise Episode 10: Favorites

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Hell’s Paradise Episode 10 – Quick Summary

In Hell’s Paradise Episode 10, “Yin and Yang,” Gabimaru came back to consciousness to find Fuchi and Gantetsusai Tamiya approaching. It was clear neither intended to make friends or drinking buddies. Gantetsusai said as much. With Gabimaru in such obvious physical distress, does he dare to try to take them on? What option does he have, especially with an unconscious Mei behind him – with Fuchi and Gantetsusai intent on gathering all the information they can. Does Gabimaru have enough strength even to come up with options?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Hell’s Paradise Episode 10

Hell's Paradise Episode 10: Sagiri called Senta out on his lack of attentiveness even as she praised his studiousness

Senta kind of had it coming. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Wasn’t it cool to see Senta in his element in this episode? Senta listened carefully to everything that Houko could explain about the island. Houko still seemed to believe that the Tensen and related places were divine. But Senta applied his intellect to the problem!

He recognized that the mis-mash of theologies and philosophies reminded him very much of Moro Makiya, a man who had tried to create such a religion in order to overthrow the shogunate. Senta drew an important conclusion from that: if the island were man-made, it meant they were not fighting the divine. They were fighting humans. And they therefore had a chance for victory!

Yuzuriha and Sagiri were suitably impressed. Yuzuriha thought that he looked like he was in the zone. Sagiri, though, was still a little sour about Senta letting Gabimaru just walk off.

“You’re very dependable,” she told him, which seemed to raise his hope for more praise (09:27). “As long as you’re not keeping watch.”

Sagiri is very much in favor of personal accountability.

Favorite Moment from Hell’s Paradise Episode 10

Hell's Paradise Episode 10: Gabimaru chose the less violent -- and more likely to succeed -- option

Can you imagine Gabimaru doing these even one episode previous? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Plot Turn 2s Are Packed with Action

We’re up to episode 10 already. I just finished writing my review of The Ancient Magus’ Bride’s 10th episode, too, and I faced a similar dilemma in choosing a favorite moment. We’re getting close to the resolution, and in most stories, that means an uptick in action. And action makes it hard for me to pick a favorite moment!

An aside: we don’t need action – or violence – to tell a story. That was something that only recently dawned on me. And by “dawned on me,” I mean I found someone else who had carefully explained how and why! This blog post by C.J. Wilson on the site C.J. has a good analysis of how Ursula K. Le Guin approached the question. Why would I look to Ursula K. Le Guin as a source of inspiration? That’s easy! I recently read The Left Hand of Darkness, and it revealed a fundamental, inescapable truth: she’s a helluva better writer than I am, and I’d be an idiot to not learn from her.

I’m a simple man. I like simple truths.

Hell's Paradise Episode 10: Hell's Paradise is a violent story

Some works of fiction don’t need violence to tell their story. Hell’s Paradise is not one of them. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But be that as it may, this episode of Hell’s Paradise had a ton of action, or a long-running, multi-character information dump. In the case of the former, I thought the fights lacked the thematic impact of the fights in episode 9. In the case of the latter, I agree with some of the commenters in the Reddit thread (see below) – it was a very well executed info-dump. One of the best I’ve seen. But it wasn’t my favorite moment.

But there was a moment in this episode that I thought gave voice to one of the show’s themes, as well as demonstrated thought-provoking character development.

Delivery: Gabimaru Can Be Taught!

Remember when Gantetsusai and Fuchi approached Gabimaru? Gantetsusai was all ready to attack. Fuchi didn’t necessarily want to kill Gabimaru, but the Asaemon made it clear he’d happily torture any knowledge out of the shinobi. 

Remember when Gabimaru boldly claimed he didn’t need a plan to go head to head with Zhu Jin back in episode 9? Well, this Gabimaru ran several battle simulations in his mind. Knowing how exhausted his body had become, he still contemplated striking first and fast.

Then he recalled the sight of Zhu Jin’s body regenerating completely. And finally, the lesson waiting to be learned in that moment sank in.

Hell's Paradise Episode 10: Zhu Jin taught Gabimaru a valuable lesson

Seeing Zhu Jin shrug off his Ascetic Blaze attack taught Gabimaru a valuable lesson. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“I have to change my tactics,” Gabimaru thought (03:37).

Lowering himself to the ground, assuming a posture of humility, he thought, “After all, I’m not Gabimaru the Hollow anymore.”

The criminal and Asaemon could barely contain their shock. That shock only grew when Gabimaru said, “Given your strength, I have a suggestion. Why don’t we work together?”

Can you imagine the Gabimaru from episode 2 even considering this as an option? That’s why I so enjoyed this moment. It showed that Gabimaru has not only gone through some major experiences on this island. Those experiences have actually changed him as a person. Maybe certain genres have trained me to expect a lack of such things, but this struck me as both refreshing and satisfying.

What did you think of Mei’s growth spurt? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to share in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Hell’s Paradise Episode 10: Favorites

  1. So, the good news:

    The Tensen are not gods, and everything about this island is man-made. The Tensen are strong and deadly because of the power they tap into, but others can learn in as well. They have a weak spot, too, where, when struck properly, they can be killed. So the enemy are inhuman, but still just mortal charlatans, and the humans are gaining an effective weapon and knowledge of their weaknesses. This fight has just begun, and the tide is turning as the humans ally together and learn.

    The bad news:

    They still own the entire freaking island, with an abundance of lower level minions as well as a few select servants. Time is the one thing the humans need most, and they don’t have nearly enough of it. The two brothers seem to have managed to climb all the way up and out of the pit just to get offed, and unlike leaving them alone in the pit with moderate injuries, now they have far worse injuries and someone watching to make sure their deaths stick this time.


    Mei. Who and what is she, exactly, that she can use tao and grows up quickly upon using it? Is she some kind of Tensen herself?

    1. Great summary of where we are! The brothers are really growing on me — and if you’ve seen episode 11, you know what direction the plot took with them. Interesting stuff, I think.

      I also want to know more about Mei. It’s endearing how Sagiri and Gabimaru have both befriended her. And though she clearly has powers of her own, it looks like she needs friends!

Please let me know what you think!

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