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Hell’s Paradise Episode 3: Favorites

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Hell’s Paradise Episode 3 – Quick Summary

In Hell’s Paradise Episode 3, “Weakness and Strength,” Sagiri insists that Gabimaru keep his wrists tied. After all, that’s what the shogun demanded, and Gabimaru was a criminal. They were still arguing when the gigantic steel ball crashed into Gabimaru’s head. Who or what attacked Gabimaru? Was it a denizen of that crazy island, or was it one of the criminals? And how can someplace so beautiful be so deadly?

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

Favorite Quote from Hell’s Paradise Episode 3

Hell's Paradise Episode 3: Gabimaru thought Warped Keiun was a pervert

Gabimaru had his doubts about the insane monk. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Gotta say, Warped Keiun’s wrecking ball-sized weapon caught me by surprise. Almost caught Gabimaru by surprise, too. As it was, Gabimaru said it merely dislocated his neck. That insane monk tried to pretend Gabimaru’s survival didn’t bother him, and maybe it didn’t. But the fact he paused at all was cool to see.

Warped Keiun tried to gloss over Gabimaru’s survival by saying this gave him a great opportunity to test all his different weapons. He had quite a few, too. Blades, poles, weapons I didn’t recognize – an enormous collection.

When he pulled one out and began licking it in anticipation, Gabimaru gave him a disturbed look.

“Are you some kind of pervert?” he asked the monk (06:35).

That seemed like a reasonable question to me!

Favorite Moment from Hell’s Paradise Episode 3

Hell's Paradise Episode 3: Sagiri and Yui convinced Gabimaru emotions were not a weakness

Sagiri and Gabimaru came to a deeper understanding. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Gabimaru the Emotionless Hollow

I think this episode showed us the fading twilight of normalcy. Damn, some of those creatures were decidedly not normal! Between the small stinging butterfly with a human face, the finger-fanged millipedes, and the titanic, well, whatever the hell it was, I’m pretty sure our heroes left Kansas behind a long time ago.

None of those were my favorite moments. They were cool, yes. Lots of fun, too. But this show continues to impress me with its emotional beats. They not only hit hard, they chart their own course. They don’t take shortcuts, and for me at least, that increases their impact.

Gabimaru decided he had to kill Sagiri. He didn’t hate her. She was just in his way. So, he struck from behind. But he didn’t kill her. Right away, I knew something was strange. This is Gabimaru we’re talking about. He should have been able to take Sagiri down instantly, before she was even aware of his attack. 

He thought so, too.

Hell's Paradise Episode 3: Gabimaru could not understand why he couldn't kill Sagiri

Gabimaru could not understand why he hesitated to kill Sagiri. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Gabimaru perceived himself as The Hollow. He thought he had no emotions; his village chief had taught him that emotions, even something like parental love, was a weakness. That chief emphasized the message by murdering Gabimaru’s parents right in front of him because they wanted to leave the village to raise their son in peace.

The coldly rational part of Gabimaru’s brain came to the conclusion that Sagiri was weaker than him. She was an impediment. And since he knew she wouldn’t just walk away, he decided he would have to kill her.

But he couldn’t.

Delivery: Gabimaru the Husband

He had multiple opportunities to deliver the kill-strike. Disgusted with himself, the memory of his chief and his hateful words manifesting themselves as a specter that draped itself over Gabimaru’s back, he held Sagiri to the ground. He prepared to stab her.

Sagiri had her own inner monologue going in parallel to Gabimaru’s. At first, she saw him as a criminal to strike down. But she, too, could not even attempt the killing blows she saw opportunities to take.

Based on the self understanding she reached in the previous episode, she spoke into the silence between them as Gabimaru struggled, in vain, to kill her.

“If you regret your own crimes, face your emotions, and struggle to reclaim your life,” she said to him, helping him sheath the sword (20:23), “then I wish to see that through.”

Hell's Paradise Episode 3: It took a lot of work, but Sagiri and Gabimaru understood each other

It took a lot of effort, but they finally came to an agreement. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The promise to help him achieve his mission and reunite with his wife seemed to shock him into acceptance. But then, at least spiritually, Sagiri joined forces with Yui when she said (20:58), “You’re not your your old self anymore.”

Sagiri helped him put the sword away, the specter of his wife hugging him from behind, his surprised and dazed expression showing how deeply this had affected him. Sagiri and Gabimaru now have a deeper understanding of each other. They have a common goal, and it’s forged in mutual respect and support. And all they had to do was try to kill each other.

Well, at least they failed in that regard!

What did you think of the creatures we’ve seen so far? What were your favorite moments from the episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “Hell’s Paradise Episode 3: Favorites

  1. So far I’m really enjoying this series! The animation is amazing, the characters are interesting and have depth, and the story definitely feels like it’s a retelling of a Japanese folk lore. I wonder if there is a Japanese/Asian folk lore in which the elixir of life is hidden on a distant island? I’ve read a couple manhwa where that was the basic story too. Oh, while watching the last episode I just realized that when the characters were describing where the island was they were describing Taiwan! South of Ryukyu (Okinawa) check! They find a tropically island with flowers that don’t grow in Japan, check! They find giant Buddha heads, check! The mystery has been solved, the elixir of life is in Taiwan!

  2. Episode 1: “Here are the lead characters.”
    Episode 2: “Here’s a number of other characters.”
    Episode 3: “Here’s most of the characters we’ve introduced dying.”

    I’m a getting a sort of mental whiplash from this.

    1. I had the same reaction — but then I began to wonder if those deaths were just in the executioner’s imagination. I’ll really be bummed if Yuzuriha is dead.

      1. I KNOW! I mean, why introduce such an alluring bad girl, give her so much of the relative spotlight, and kill her off just like that?! And off-screen, too! I doubt everything was in the executioner’s imagination, but I have no clue how she could survive that blade in her chest.

  3. I don’t quite get the show. Why would Gabimaru kill Sagiri? Isn’t he after the pardon? Didn’t they say something about them needing their guardians for that? Also, the method of getting that elixir seems a little dodgy. Sending in lots of criminals to compete doesn’t seem the most likely method for success. The show’s fun to watch, but the writing hasn’t given me much reason to trust it so far. I mean the emotional beats work mostly (not always), but the general plot seems little but an excuse for a shounen battler. The setting at least looks interesting. We’ll see.

    1. To the best of my memory, Gabimaru needed to bring the elixir to the shogun. Though, I grant you the exact rules are a little murky!

      As far as picking criminals — I agree with you. The only explanation I’ve been able to come up with is that the failure of the first expedition, and the nature of that failure, convinced the shogun that sending “decent” people wasn’t working. Knowing that criminals often included powerful folks who just didn’t mesh with society (i.e., people without powerful patrons to protect them), they seemed like a reasonable choice to hurl into mortal danger.

      I’m interested, too, in seeing if it a typical shounen or not. In the meantime, I really enjoy the characters!

      1. It’s not actually so much about picking criminals. I understand that part. They’re expendable. The problem is that by pardoning only one of them you set them against each other. Which is fine for a variety of purposes; but you’re not exactly maximising your chances to get to the elixir this way. I mean what if the last man standing succumbs to the island? Everyone who makes it back should be granted a bargain. You’ll still have loose cannons, but you do encourage co-operation (and thus a variety of skill-sets), and that would raise your chances to get at the elixir.

        What they’re doing feels more like a batlle royal. I mean the survivor might just decide he likes the islands, and then you have a hostile native for the next mission. Or just decide to get the elixir for themselves.

        I mean it’s a fun setting, and we have stylish characters, which makes for a fun shounen fighter. I’d not put my money on the plot, though.

        1. Thanks for explaining! I understand what you mean now.

          And you’re 100% right. In fact, I was just thinking along the same lines as I watched episode 4. I was thinking that the incentives were all misplaced. But you’d figured that out before now!

          Thinking what about this show excites me (characters, animation, and setting), I notice something that’s missing: plot. And you’ve just explained why.

          I’m really glad you stopped by! I have a much better handle on this show and my reaction to it!

          1. Maybe the elixir needs human feriliser? Wouldn’t be the first anime that pulls this kind of twist.

Please let me know what you think!

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