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Hell’s Paradise Episode 2: Favorites

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Hell’s Paradise Episode 2 – Quick Summary

In Hell’s Paradise Episode 2, “Screening and Choosing,” Gabimaru found himself on a beach surrounded by the other criminals recruited to go to Paradise. Sagiri, it turned out, was only one of many executioners to search for recruits. The shogun laid out the terms, which were voluntary. Of course, turning them down means instant beheading. One criminal found that out the hard way. But then things got really serious – because the shogun had forgotten to mention one teeny tiny detail. What was this detail? How did Gabimaru react to it? And what part of Sagiri’s past continued to haunt her, even as she monitors Gabimaru?

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

Favorite Quote from Hell’s Paradise Episode 2

Hell's Paradise Episode 2: Eizen didn't impress Gabimaru

Gabimaru made his opinion of Eizen clear. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m not a fan of shallow arrogance. Or either one of those things alone. That means in this episode, Eizen really got on my nerves. I think, from the story’s perspective, that was intentional. So I’m okay with it. Plus, it gave both Sagiri and Gabimaru a chance to shine, if only by comparison.

Case in point: my favorite quote.

Gabimaru had just blown the shogun’s mind. He had also completely freaked out all of the guards. How? By demonstrating first that a) he really, really didn’t want to kill but b) if forced into it, he was really, really good at it.

By the time Gabimaru had finished adjusting the head count, Eizen spoke dismissively of the lethal power he had just observed. He said it was, simply, brutal.

“Would you approve if I made it pretty instead?” Gabimaru said (20:55). With one concise sentence, he made it clear who Eizen was: a shallow man whose kills likely came with the assistance of others holding the condemned down.

I suspect the contrast wasn’t lost on any of the soldiers present who had actually seen combat.

Favorite Moment from Hell’s Paradise Episode 2

Hell's Paradise Episode 2: Suddenly, Sagiri understood

Suddenly, Sagiri understood. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Sagiri Struggled with the Wrong Question

Was I the only one who thought about Kaina Tsutsumi/Lady Nagant from My Hero Academia Season 6 when Yuzuriha appeared on screen? Might be a purple hair thing. Whatever the reason, I like Yuzuriha. Seems like she’s not afraid to be honest, which probably explains at least in part why she’s considered a criminal.

I’m not opposed to violence in fiction, but I don’t necessarily seek it out, either. This episode was obviously violent. Very much so. We witnessed a very young Sagiri watching her father execute someone. Her reaction? The skill of his swordsmanship made her think (01:18), “After that, I made it my goal to duplicate that stroke my father made.”

Think about that. She was a little girl. I’m not sure what goals she had available to her as an Edo-period female, but I can’t imagine executioner was among the most peaceful or safe. Yet, that’s the world she lived in. That bothered me.

It bothered Sagiri, too. She wrestled with the responsibility of killing. You could see she was good at it. She beheaded several people in this very episode. She only needed a single stroke, too, and we know from the opening episode that’s easy to do. Yet, she felt the souls of the dead clinging to her. Whether that was her imagination’s way of manifesting her guilt or some kind of fantasy haunting, I’m not sure. But the idea is the same. She felt the burden. 

Hell's Paradise Episode 2: Sagiri had been wrestling with the wrong question

Killing people disturbed Sagiri. And she felt weak because of it. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Her sword showed it to her, too. She saw the dead clinging to her in its reflection. Remember how she said the sword always showed truth?

When Eizen saw hesitation in her strokes, he berated her for being a weak woman. Someone who should basically stay at home and chill. He completely missed the point. He spoke from the prejudice in his heart. Yet, he had her on the verge of giving up.

Delivery: Gabimaru Clarified Matters for Sagiri

Until she heard Gabimaru said (17:31), “Killing people is never okay, y’know.” At first, I thought he was talking to her. But he spoke to the guards and shogun. Regardless of who he spoke to, his words cleared her mind. It cleared her mind so she could see his reluctance to kill. She could feel his hesitancy. Right up to the second where his hesitancy vanished. 

As he approached the first target (who, it needs to be said, insisted on trying to kill Gabimaru), he lamented what was about to happen. He said (19:14), “Just thinking about what I’m going to be burdened with weighs heavily on my mind. Aw, man, this sucks.”

Then he laid waste. 

If blood’s not your thing, you might want to skip ahead to about 21:18. But if it’s something that bothers you, you’re probably not watching this show, are you? As well animated as the fight was (or, more accurately, the slaughter), what made it interesting is what happened next. 

His words echoing in her mind, Sagiri looked at Gabimaru’s reflection. And she saw the dead clinging to him. Just as they clung to her.

Hell's Paradise Episode 2: Seeing Gabimaru's reflection, Sagiri understood herself

Sagiri recognized what held onto Gabimaru – because it held on to her, too. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In her own mind, Sagiri’s life snapped into focus. She knew then she didn’t need not to fear killing. In fact, it was natural to do so. What she needed was the resolve to see it through – to accept that burden and live with it.

Clarity of thought. Resolve to move forward; accepting responsibility because it’s necessary. Those are things I admire; those are things I respect. And the two main characters in Hell’s Paradise just proved to me they are living those things. In abundance.

Yeah, I’m pretty happy I chose to review this show!

What did you think of the sole survivor of the last expedition? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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