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Hell’s Paradise Episode 8: Favorites

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Hell’s Paradise Episode 8 – Quick Summary

In Hell’s Paradise Episode 8, “Student and Master,” Tenza and Nurugai continued their search for a way off the island. Nurugai reasonably pointed out that there were just tiring themselves out. Tenza argued that the island’s interior was crowded with murderous bugs, giants, and other dangerous creatures. That’s why he wanted to stay on the coast. But then a mysterious woman dropped out of the sky to stand between them and the water. — actually, on the water. Does this woman mean them harm? Should they approach her? And where did the woman come from, anyway?

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

Favorite Quote from Hell’s Paradise Episode 8

Hell's Paradise Episode 8: In retrospect, even martial arguments can seem precious

They make a cute couple. No, scratch that. They made a cute couple. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I know Tenza and Nurugai just met, but they already seem to be close. In fact, they act like a married couple. At least, they act like the married couples I know.

Tenza kept to the beach. His reasoning was that the interior was filled with unknown dangers. Unfortunately, they had not found a way off the island. The sun was hot. The sand was hot. They were pretty much out of provisions.

Nurugai, in a reasonable voice, pointed out that they weren’t likely to find a way off the island taking this approach. The sun and sand would just wear them out.

She made the point so often and so thoroughly that Tenza finally snapped.

“Stop being right all the time!” he pleaded (03:36).

Well, at least they got to experience some parts of marital bliss before Zhu Jin arrived and wrecked everything.

Favorite Moment from Hell’s Paradise Episode 8

Hell's Paradise Episode 8: Tenza wondered if he had potential even as he brought that potential into reality

Even as he moved his potential to actual, he could not believe he even had potential. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: It’s Hard to Outrun Upbringing

According to the Reddit thread (see below), episode 9 will be delayed by a week. Bummer. Though, it just might take me that long to recover from this episode. Because what happened to Tenza hit me pretty hard. But not for the obvious reasons.

Yes, we got the flashback we needed to understand that Shinon had become more than a teacher. Though, to be clear, Shinon had been an outstanding teacher. But his dedication to Tenza’s well-being and development elevated him a father figure. It’s no stretch to say that Shinon became the father that Tenza’s biological father could not be.

Yes, we got some wonderful, though short-lived, development of his relationship with Nurugai. She’s a sympathetic character herself. How the Shogunate wronged her and her people is guaranteed to elicit empathy from modern audiences.

Hell's Paradise Episode 8: Nurugai wanted to say and fight; Tenza knew that would be fatal

Nurugai would have fought by Tenza’s side, if Shinon would have let her. But Tenza and Shinon both knew the gesture would be fatal. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The audiences that eschew genocide, anyway. Which I would hope are most, if not all. But let’s put that aside for now.

Seeing Tenza make the decision to engage Zhu Jin with the full knowledge it would cost him his life – seeing him use his last word to beg Shinon to get Nurugai to safety – those were powerful motivations. They made his death heroic. They made him a hero.

But that’s now what hit me the hardest – though they did set off a resonance within my soul.

What hit me hardest was a tiny moment. It was something that I found depressingly realistic, and yet itself a moment of heroism. 

Delivery: Tenza Was The Last to Know

Even at the end of his life, even with the knowledge that he did what he knew was right, he did not believe in himself. 

As he launched his final attack, he thought (21:37), “I wonder what potential I had.”

All that training, all the confidence Shinon helped him earn could not overcome the experience of his early days. In those days, everyone around him, his biological parents included, beat into his psyche the idea that he was worthless. That he not only would never amount to anything, but that he never could amount to anything.

At the end of his life, when we in the audience say him not only realize his potential, but to actualize it, he still didn’t know who he was. He could not see that everything within himself that went into the decision to save Shinon and Nurugai made up his potential. He could not see the instant when that potential became reality. 

Hell's Paradise Episode 8: Tenza died not knowing who he had become

Tenza fell, not knowing who he had already become. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

As Shinon and Nurugai fled, he did not accept that he had done well. He died thinking he was a failure. He died thinking he had not understood his potential. That struck me as profoundly tragic.

Though it should be noted that Shinon and Nurugai knew. If they survive, they can carry the story of the kind of man he was to the future. Though it will be of no comfort to him, it will be to them, in time. That’s the best we can hope for here.

What did you think of Zhu Jin’s entrance? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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10 thoughts on “Hell’s Paradise Episode 8: Favorites

  1. That final shot of Tenza felt a little suspicious to me on first viewing, not so much on second viewing, but who knows (I went back to see if I imagined things, and I now think I might have). The idea is, though, that dead people get absorbed by the plant life and come back in various forms. Either those weird religious themed monster thingies, or, well, those gods; depending on what thoughts were strongest as they went, or what lingers. Kinda like final words growing into contextless nonsense usually, but sometimes due to very strong feelings into coherent beings. Who knows? We might have seen last of human Tenza, but not plant-based Tenza…

    It’s a pity, though. Nurugai and Tenza had a great chemistry going. I liked them together on screen. They felt a little like a manzai routine in homeopathic doses, or something.

    1. “Who knows? We might have seen last of human Tenza, but not plant-based Tenza…”

      I like that idea. We’re up to episode 8, and I still don’t know where the those gods come from, or even much about them at all. Be interesting to see what kind of god a humble man like Tenza would make.

      “I liked them together on screen.”

      I did, too. They felt like that old cliche, the “old married couple.” They just clicked.

    1. That makes them so annoying (and such great villains)! They’re arrogant, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it!

  2. One thing:

    When he wondered what potential he had, it showed two images, there and gone in just a moment. One was him acting as a teacher himself, following the example of his own in guiding and shaping the next generation. The other was his wedding to Narugai.

    I could be wrong, and I suppose there’s no way to really know now, but I don’t think he was failing to understand his potential, or thinking himself a failure. I think he was envisioning the could-have-been. The potential that he might yet have managed to obtain, if he had lived.

    1. That’s possible. Still, I don’t think he ever left that broken little boy behind. I think it followed him to his dying day.

      And if you’re right? Well, then those images are also heart-breaking! Both of them, in equal measure.

  3. OMG! This episode had such a sad ending! I really liked Tenza! His death was so heart breaking. And the brothers (who I also like) get thrown into a pit full of human eating flowers! All my favorite characters are getting offed. I reeeeeeaally don’t like those Tensen!

    1. If they manage to find a way to kill – or otherwise permanently dispose of – the Tensen… that one belongs to Narugai, especially.

    2. The Tensen are almost perfect villains: powerful, arrogant, beautiful in their own way — and insanely lethal! I can’t even see Gabimaru + Sagiri taking one out.

Please let me know what you think!

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