Whether you’re in need of a fright night or simply want to check whether the anime is worth the hype, Hell’s Paradise is sure to give you a bloody good time, thanks to its moving storyline, interesting set of characters, and overall enthralling atmosphere of horror from start to finish.
Here’s why you shouldn’t miss MAPPA’s newest dark anime.
What is Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku All About?
Hell’s Paradise is dark shonen series written and illustrated by Yuji Kaku. The story centers on death-row convict Gabimaru, a notorious ninja assassin known for his strength and brutality. Carrying the title “The Hollow,” Gabimaru is known to be a cold-blooded murderer who feels no remorse, anger, or even happiness. But when finally confronted by the possibility of his death, Gabimaru, in contrast to his reputation, realized he doesn’t want to die as he still wants to spend time with his beloved wife.
After witnessing the criminal’s persistence to survive, an elite executioner by the name of Sagiri then offers Gabimaru a chance to obtain pardon from the shogun. To secure the grant, however, he must first embark on a mysterious island and bring back the rumored elixir of life. Desperate to stay alive and regain his freedom to be with his wife, Gabimaru then joins the spine-chilling expedition along with nine other death-row convicts and ten skilled executioners as their guards. Will the journey bring them toward an undiscovered paradise? Or are they voyaging straight to hell?
Why You Should Watch Hell’s Paradise
Since its premiere, Hell’s Paradise has been making a lot of noises, and for all the good reasons! Here’s why you should give the show a chance and make it part of your to-watch list.
1. Gory, bloody, and deadly gorgeous
A lot of dark anime series may come with excessive blood and gore, but only very few of them can make the bloodshed visually appealing. Hell’s Paradise falls in the latter group. As the characters step foot on an exotic island, viewers are taken into a strange land that perfectly blends dreams and terror where people bloom into plants and gigantic religious statues move to massacre sinners.
The series doesn’t hold back when it comes to blood and brutality, but it fuses the gore with vibrant colors, eye-candy scenery, and even incorporates classic beauty elements like flowers and butterflies into the bloodbath. Overall, the series was executed in a way where the line between paradise and hell comes into a blur and where beauty and brutality seemingly merge into one.
2. The Protagonist is a Monster Unlike Any Other
Hell’s Paradise is not for the weak-hearted, and its main protagonist, Gabimaru the Hollow, was seemingly designed especially for gore-hounds. Born and raised in an elite shinobi village, Gabimaru was molded to become an emotionless killing machine. He was feared far and wide and was even admired by other shinobis. His way of killing his foes is even described to be “vicious,” involving plenty of blood and guts.
3. An All Out Battle Royale Among the Anti-Heroes
Hell’s Paradise centers on a deadly mission involving 10 death-row convicts. As one would expect, these unruly criminals are prepared to do anything to obtain their freedom, even killing one another to become the last man standing! Like Gabimaru, all 9 other criminals were notorious killers, each with their own strengths, personalities, and goals. The clashes among them almost always end up bloody, as one tries to either outpower or outsmart the other.
4. The Protagonist is Probably the Most Loyal Husband You’ll Come Across
While called “The Hollow,” Gabimaru is certainly a man loaded with emotions. In fact, one thing you’ll observe about him throughout the series is he loves his wife so much, even to the extent of going against petrifying monsters and immortal “gods and goddesses” just to be with her.
What’s even more interesting is that even when confronted with the question of whether his wife really “exists,” Gabimaru remains loyal and true to her. Is his wife real? Or is she merely a product of his delusions? Whatever the answer is, Gabimaru is ready to face all the odds just to get back to her and see for himself what’s real and what’s make-believe.
5. The Asaemon Executioners are a League of their Own
The criminals aren’t the only ones to watch out for in Hell’s Paradise; the executioners that came along with them are also worth swooning over! In the story, each one of the ten convicts is to be accompanied by a skilled executioner of the Yamada Asaemon clan who is duty-bound to end them in case they decide to flee from the mission or do something that is against the shogun’s will.
Like the criminals, these swordsmen are blessed with inhuman strengths and monstrous skills. Each one also has a distinct personality, unique skills and specialty, and even a personal set of beliefs and moral values.
6. A Mature Series Befitting for Adults [Spoiler Alert!]
Aside from its gore fest, Hell’s Paradise also comes with tons of adult components like “almost naked” scenes and even actual sex between the characters. What sets it apart from other mature series, however, is how it handles such topics masterfully without entering the area of crude sexualization.
In the series, Sagiri’s “almost nude” scenes are artfully executed to represent her stripping off her facade and exposing her weaknesses in full glory. Even sex between characters serves as an essential part of the story, serving as an indispensable training that forms part of the larger power system within Hell’s Paradise.
Are you hooked enough to start embarking on a richly disturbing experience? Kickstart your marathon and share with us what you think about MAPPA’s newest dark shonen to date!