Hell’s Paradise Episode 3

Hell’s Paradise Episode 3

The Battle Royale Begins

In Hell’s Paradise Episode 3, Gabimaru agrees with me that this expedition makes no sense. Based on the rules and who the shogun sent to find the Elixer of Life, it seems like he doesn’t really want it. But, that’s unlikely to be the case.

According to the opening scene of the episode, the Elixer of Life does exist. The leader of Iwagakure is certifiably immortal. And his immortality is said to have come from a distant land. Whether that distant land is the island Gabimaru now finds himself on is unknown. But, the Elixer of Life exists somewhere.

However, whether it truly exists or not doesn’t matter right now. What matters is that even the possibility that it exists should mean that the shogun wants to find it. And yet, his actions don’t make sense with that in mind. It seems like he wants a battle royale rather than an expedition.

Twisted Keiun fighting Gabimaru from the anime series Hell's Paradise Episode 3
Twisted Keiun fighting Gabimaru

Thinking about this whole expedition as entertainment for the shogun makes more sense. He enjoyed watching the criminals kill each other during the selection phase. So, it’s very possible that he doesn’t believe the rumors. Instead, he wants to have the criminals die gruesome deaths on the island.

And we now have some additional evidence pointing toward this being the case. For example, the samurai of the Yamada Asaemon are only there to enforce the rules. Their job is to make sure the criminals don’t escape. And if a criminal dies, they need to bring the criminal’s head back to the shogun.

As I mentioned in my Episode 2 review, if the shogun wanted the Elixer of Life, he’d use the samurai. But, instead, the samurai are acting as the shogun’s eyes and ears. He wants to hear their stories of the battle royale.

Criminals vs. Samurai

After Gabimaru kills Twisted Keiun, the latter’s handler warns Gabimaru and Sagiri. Going by what he’s already seen happen, he predicts that by tomorrow, there will be 1 criminal left. And he doesn’t seem to think it’s the environment that’s going to eliminate the rest of them.

I don’t remember this Samurai’s name. And it’s probably not important considering he’s already leaving the island. But, he predicts that the criminals are going to be the cause of their own downfall. And this is going to come about in 2 ways.

The first is competition between the criminals. As far as we know, only 1 criminal can receive a pardon from the shogun. So, they have an incentive to kill each other. By eliminating the competition, they can give themselves a better shot. This is exactly what Twisted Keiun tried to do when he attacked Gabimuaru.

Akaginu the Cannibal Courtesan from the anime series Hell's Paradise Episode 3
Akaginu the Cannibal Courtesan

The second thing that’s going to lead to the deaths of the criminals is the samurai. But why would the samurai kill the criminals? Because the criminals are going to try to kill the samurai first. And that’s exactly what we see happening in this episode.

Some of the criminals succeed in killing their samurai handlers. Specifically, we see Yuzuriha, Nurugai, and Rokurota do just that. But, then there are others who fail in their attempt, such as Akaginu. And, I have to say I’m disappointed that Akaginu is already dead. I was looking forward to seeing what she could do.

Another character I’m disappointed to see die is Eizen. He’s the eyepatch samurai who Rokurota killed (and ate). Eizen seemed like he was going to be an important character. And I thought he was cool. So, it’s a shame to see him out of the series already.

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Hell or Paradise

Upon setting foot on the island, Gabimaru and Sagiri had very different reactions. Sagiri thought the island was amazing in how much life it supported. And because the island is teeming with life, she says she wouldn’t be surprised if the Elixer of Life is really here.

Gabimaru, on the other hand, finds the amount of life on the island to be creepy. And that’s not because he finds life itself creepy, or anything like that. What’s creepy about it, to him, is that there are way too many species that shouldn’t be living side by side.

There are species that you’d normally find in very different climates. But, they’re all thriving together on this island for some reason. And that makes Gabimaru uneasy. His first impression isn’t that this is a paradise blessed with life. To him, this is a cursed island. It’s unnatural.

Gabimaru preparing to kill Sagiri from the anime series Hell's Paradise Episode 3
Gabimaru preparing to kill Sagiri

This isn’t a bold prediction by any means. But, I think both Sagiri and Gabimaru are correct about the island. The Elixer of Life likely is on the island. Otherwise, what’s the point of the series? But, it’s also the Elixer of Life that cursed the island with unnatural life.

And, as we saw from the end of the episode, the life on this island is very unnatural. There are stinging butterflies with the faces of men. There are giant fish that walk upright. And there’s whatever that thing is that has baby arms for eyes.

Also, we saw that it’s the butterflies that turn people into plants. I figured this was going to be some kind of inherent trait of the island. Kind of like the Abyss from Made in Abyss. But, that’s not the case. I guess the butterflies turn people into plants for food.

Conclusion

What do you think of Hell’s Paradise Episode 3? Do you think the shogun is only using this expedition for his own entertainment? Did you want any of the characters who already died to stick around longer? And what’s your early prediction about the true nature of the Elixer of Life? Let me know in the comments.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of Episode 4 is available now.

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