Hell's Paradise
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - MAPPA
Gabimaru the Hollow is one of the most vicious assassins ever to come out of the ninja village of Iwagakure. He’s ruthlessly efficient, but a betrayal results in him being handed a death sentence. He has only one hope—in order to earn his freedom, he must travel to a long-hidden island and recover an elixir that will make the shogun immortal. Failure is not an option. On this island, heaven and hell are just a hair’s breadth away.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

13-episode TV anime that premiered on April 1. 2023.
Animated by Mappa.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:4631#628]
(Three episodes watched):

Gabimaru is a seemingly unkillable ninja--numerous techniques are used to try to execute him, but none works. That would mean he has already swallowed some of the fabled elixir of immortality, right? He is recruited to be part of a Dirty Dozen-like team of condemned convicts being sent to investigate what is supposed to be the paradise of Shinsenkyo. Six previous attempts have all ended with every person taking part winding up not just dead but having been partially transformed into flowers if I understood correctly. So, weird. There's no guarantee that this will be good--Mappa productions that begin with guys on motorcycles don't have a fantastic success rate in my opinion--but episode one has succeeded in making me want to know WTF is going on here so I will continue to watch for now. But I fear that all the magical touches (like Gabimaru's seeming immortality) will just go completely unexplained in the end. No attempt is made to do so in episode one. I would guess that this show has at best a 50-50 chance of being any good.

I was hoping the mission would promptly get underway, but episode two consists of recruiting the rest of the team. They are the scum of the earth, murderers and sadists, with maybe a couple of principled fighters like Gabimaru. What was the point of having them slaughter each other to narrow down the list of candidates? I would have preferred if they had been given some personality rather than show how vicious they can be. Gabimaru says he doesn't want to kill, then kills several others. We see a survivor of the last mission to Shinsenkyo, a zombie-like man with flowers sprouting from places in his body. Sagiri, the female Samurai, is troubled by disturbing images she sees reflected on her sword's blade, but it wasn't clear to me what message I was supposed to be getting. Has she figured out the solution already? Let's get on with it.

In episode three we are on Shinsenkyo. The convicts mainly take the attitude that they should kill all rivals then go find the elixir and get credit for it. So, more violence instead of character development. Hasn't it occured to them that avoiding the fate that the last expedition met might depend on there being more than one of them? Gabimaru turns on Sagiri, but both find some strange reluctance to kill each other. Why is not clear--surely he wouldn't have decided to bushwack her if he had not completely made up his mind. I found this confusing and frustrating and began to wonder if continuing to watch would be worthwhile. With the characters not getting very deep I can't care all that much who comes out on top (as if there was any doubt).

Last updated Monday, May 15 2023. Created Monday, April 03 2023.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Series Web Site http://www.jigokuraku.com/

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org