Hell’s Paradise Episode 5

Hell’s Paradise Episode 5

No Place for a Woman

Hell’s Paradise Episode 5 gave us some additional information about Sagiri Yamada Asaemon. We already knew she was the daughter of a high-ranking member of the samurai clan. But, I don’t believe we knew that she was the daughter of the head of the clan.

This is a key detail because of how the clan views gender roles. There’s an expectation that women of the Yamada clan will bear children for the growth of the clan. Women should not concern themselves with becoming samurai. And that’s why Sagiri stands out among the Asaemon.

Though, I do want to say that I’m pretty sure we’ve already seen another female Asaemon. I thought there was one observing from the sidelines during the free-for-all in Episode 2. I could be mistaken about that and Sagiri might actually be the only female Asaemon.

Sagiri Yamada Asaemon from the anime series Hell's Paradise Episode 5
Sagiri Yamada Asaemon

But, here’s the thing. Even if Sagiri isn’t the only female Asaemon, it’s still unexpected for her to be a samurai. As the daughter of the clan head, it’s her duty to continue the Yamada bloodline by having children. And because that’s not the path she wants for herself, she’s very similar to Gabimaru’s wife.

Iwagakure also has strict gender roles. The men are shinobi and the women are the child-bearers. Iwagakure and the Yamada Asaemon have that in common. And just as we’re seeing Sagiri choose a different path for herself, so too did Yui (Gabimaru’s wife).

At this point, there’s no indication that Gabimaru knows about Sagiri’s path. But, if he learns of it, I’m sure that will only make him want to protect Sagiri more. Gabimaru will want to help Sagiri realize the life she dreams of. Who could have guessed that Hell’s Paradise would be a social commentary on gender roles?

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Escaping the Island

The middle portion of the episode focuses on Tenza Yamada Asaemon and Nurugai. I’ll discuss them more in the next section of the review. But, for now, I want to look at what they were doing and how they failed.

This executioner and criminal pair were trying to escape from the island. They took the rowboat they arrived on the island with and attempted to cross the sea. Of course, if they returned, the only thing awaiting Nurugai was execution. But, Tenza was confident he’d be able to convince the shogun to spare Nurugai’s life.

Their escape failed, however, when they ran into a wall of wrecked ships. And what wrecked these ships, you ask? Tentacle monsters. We don’t know how many of these giant octopus-like monsters there are. But there were certainly a lot of tentacles attacking Tenza and Nurugai.

A map of the sea around the island from the anime series Hell's Paradise Episode 5
A map of the sea around the island

So, from what we do know, there are 3 things preventing those on the island from escaping. The first is the currents. Most of the currents around the island point in the direction of the island, making it hard to escape. But, even if you get passed the currents, you’re not free.

That’s where the wall of destroyed ships lies. So, that’s yet another obstacle you’d have to get through. And, to make matters worse, there’s the giant octopus monster that’s going to be attacking you. However, all hope isn’t lost. We know there must be an open passage because some ships have returned.

Sure, the only people on those ships that returned were dead or as good as dead. But, they returned. And that kind of makes me wonder if those ships were intentionally allowed to return. Was the island using them as bait to lure more people in?

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Tenza and Nurugai

Let’s go back to the characters of Tenza and Nurugai. From what I remember, we were never given Tenza’s name. But, since it’s not like his name is going to be a spoiler, I’m including it in this review.

Despite being a member of the Yamada Asaemon, Tenza has his own moral code. I say “despite” because many other members of the clan simply follow orders. Tenza doesn’t believe that a child, like Nurugai, should receive the death penalty. And, he even believes that Nurugai is innocent of any crime.

But, what was Nurugai’s crime, according to the shogunate? Nurugai’s crime was being a member of the Sanka tribe that lived outside the laws of the shogunate. The shogunate calls such people “Emishi” and declares their way of life illegal. But, rather than subjugating these people, the shogunate had the samurai slaughter them.

Nurugai washing the blood out of her hair from the anime series Hell's Paradise Episode 5
Nurugai washing the blood out of her hair

The samurai who captured Nurugai only spared her (I’ll get to that in a moment) life because she was useful. They tricked her into leading them to her village. And then they wanted to torture her so she would reveal the locations of other tribes before being put to death.

So, the thing about Nurugai is that she’s a girl. Tenza mistook her for a young boy. And, to be honest, I assumed Nurugai was a girl until Tenza started calling her a boy. It turns out that my assumption about her gender was right.

I’m hoping that Tenza and Nurugai last longer than some of the other pairs we’ve already seen meet their ends. I like their dynamic so far. And this episode implied that they’re going to be part of the main group of characters. But, the OP also shows an injured Tenza resting against a tree.

Conclusion

What do you think of Hell’s Paradise Episode 5? Will Sagiri’s background influence how Gabimaru thinks of her? Is it even possible to escape the island without consuming the Elixer of Life? And, which criminal and executioner pair is your favorite so far? 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 6 is available now.

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