Anime Best in Show

Hell’s Paradise Episode 11: Favorites

Quick SummaryBest MomentSetupDeliveryOther Posts

Hell’s Paradise Episode 11 – Quick Summary

In Hell’s Paradise Episode 11, “Weak and Strong,” it seemed that one of the doshi had killed Choubei. Even his brother Touma thought so. But something in Choubei had changed. Something the doshi found terrifying — and it was more than just not being dead. It was something that Touma could not identify. What was this change? Did it threaten even Touma? And is that change confined to Choubei?

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

Favorite Quote from Hell’s Paradise Episode 11

Hell's Paradise Episode 11: : Choubei realized his body was responding differntly

Adapting quickly to change is very useful on this island! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

We’ve known for a long time that Touma idolizes his brother. But in this episode we got a flashback that showed the dedication is two-way. A group of bandits was going to harm Touma because he looked too aristocratic. So, Choubei slashed his own eye.

I wondered what had happened to it.

We’re not sure what’s happening to him after he and Touma climbed out of the pit. But now, Choubei can rapidly heal even critical injuries. Touma had always said one of Choubei’s strengths was rapid adaptation, and he proved it again by rapidly adapting to his changing capabilities.

He was even consciously aware of it. My favorite quote is him downplaying his new capabilities when he said (03:45), “I’m not sure what’s happening, but my body’s become awfully convenient.”

He can’t explain it, but he doesn’t care. He just rolls with it. I have to respect someone who’s that capable!

Favorite Moment from Hell’s Paradise Episode 11

Hell's Paradise Episode 11: : Gabimaru decided to help Mei before the question had even formed in his mind

As soon as he knew Mei still wanted his help, Gabimaru acted. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Many Threads Can Make a Rope

My favorite moment this week was an example of what can happen when plot, character, animation, and theme come together in a single instant.

We know that Gabimaru is strong. Frighteningly so, in fact. Hell’s Paradise demonstrated that with flare in episode 2. In this episode, when Mei kept saying that tao was “Tao, strong, weak” (07:16), I don’t think there was any doubt that Gabimaru had the “strong” part covered.

But what about the weak? Can he even do ”weak?”

Hell's Paradise Episode 11: : Mei tried to explain tao, but she had a limited vocabulary

Mei tried to explain what tao was, but she had a limited vocabulary. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember’s Sagiri’s struggle against what Genji called her weaknesses? About how she found her strength in the ebb and flow of her own emotions, instead of striving for emotionlessness? She made that point to Gabimaru back in episode 3. Most of all, remember how Yui awakened Gabimaru’s awareness of the value of emotions – emotions that his peers would have considered weaknesses? 

All of his shinobi training prepared him for strength. Yui and Sagiri prepared his understanding for the role weakness could play. But he still hesitated; he still saw feelings as a weakness. That is, until this episode.

I won’t go into detail about why the doshi wanted to reclaim Mei – nor why she so obviously did not want that to happen. Gantetsusai is really growing on me, in part because of how he summarized that situation (15:23): ““Don’t say it. It makes me want to puke.”

Delivery: Mei Can Count on Gabimar

But that detail hadn’t come up yet. It’s important to note because it fueled the expression that Mei flashed to Gabimaru in my favorite moment. The two doshi paused their attacks on the humans. They didn’t know why the humans were involved with Mei, but they clearly wanted her back to “lead” them. The doshi demanded to know why Gabimaru and the other humans even cared.

Gabimaru’s old habits argued that he should just walk away. He had just learned Mei wasn’t human. So why should he be concerned about her affairs? Gabimaru worried that trying to help her would distract from his own mission to get back to Yui. 

While Gabimaru held this internal debate, Mei had sat facing away from him. Now, she turned her face to him. The anguish froze the breath in my throat.

Hell's Paradise Episode 11: : Mei's anguished look moved Gabimaru to action

There was no way Gabimaru was going to refuse this plea for help. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m not sure humans have invented a way to measure time as short as the point Gabimaru saw her expression and the point he threw himself between her and the doshi. He had no time for conscious thought. He just acted.

“Sorry. I couldn’t help myself,” he answered when the doshi demanded to know what he was doing (10:43).

This moment just clicked. It was the culmination of everything he had experienced so far. Even better, it set the stage for him understanding tao just because Mei held his hand – and gave him the right context to understand what he already knew. The show all came together in that moment. Emotionally and thematically, it was everything I could have hoped for. It’s not often that many threads come together, and I’m glad I could see it happen!

What did you think of Choubei and Touma’s battle? What were your favorite parts of this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Hell’s Paradise Episode 11: Other Posts

Other Anime Sites

This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)

Copyright 2022 Terrance A. Crow. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “Hell’s Paradise Episode 11: Favorites

  1. Choubei’s adaptability came in very handy, but it’s his mental state which worries me. It seemed like he was incapable of thinking about what’s happening to him. Not that he *wasn’t* thinking about it, but that he *couldn’t* quite think about it. We’ve not had much time with him, but he seemed more emotional, more savage, more… hungry in some way… than I recall him being at the start. I’d say he’s certainly a danger to everyone around him right now, and while that’s good when there are Tensen or their servants to point him at, a killer of his caliber with no self-control is extremely dangerous to everyone in their proximity.

    I loved the unorthodox team work between Gabimaru, Gantetsusai, and the asaemon who was dissecting the enemy (I forget his name at the moment). And I totally agree with how Gabimaru’s instantaneous reaction to Mei’s silent plea brings everything together for his personal journey. He’s learning to care, to work with others, to operate in ways he did not before… and it’s a fantastic narrative decision to make his choice to protect her central to his first use of tao.

    1. I’m worried about Choubei, too. Whatever’s happening to him has not improved his mental stability, has it?

      That teamwork was awesome! Gantetsusai, in particular, has really grown on me.

      I had to laugh at Gabimaru’s reaction to his jumping to Mei’s defense. He seemed a bit surprised! Overall nonchalant, but surprised.

Please let me know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.