Hell’s Paradise episode 2 aired on Saturday giving us a Sagiri-focused plot intertwined with a bloodbath on a beautiful beach. While the majority of anime fans seemed to have primarily focused on the Gabimaru killing spree scene, whether it was for the animation or its overall brutality, the episode presented something much deeper than some chewed-out jugular veins and the 10 selected criminals heading to Shinsenkyo.
Sagiri Is the Most Interesting Character By Far
I understand that many fans might be infatuated at this point with how Gabimaru is a walking disaster when his switch is flipped. But Sagiri presents a way more interesting side to the series and adds another storyline to the series that feels completely separate from the main plotline — that’s a good thing. While we fully understand Gabimaru’s resolve to see his wife again, his character dynamic already seems flushed out. We understand him. His resolve is set. And that’s that. But Sagiri, on the other hand, is a work in progress that has plenty of room to grow in many directions.
The reason I’m so interested in Sagiri’s character is that her story and role are unique in a sense. In many movies, anime, and television series that revolve around historic settings, executioners are even below side characters. They’re more or less background characters that are just there. But Sagiri is an executioner who is an executioner struggling to do her job despite being able to do it fairly well. She presents to an audience the struggles of what an executioner with a heart can actually go threw mentality, a character dynamic rarely ever touched upon.
Not only in the present time, and what Sagiri might become later in the story, is what she brings to the table interesting, it’s also her past as well. Instead of giving fans a cliche of Sagiri’s resolve revolving around something like becoming the greatest executioner the Asaemon clan has ever seen, she never wanted to become one in the first place. Sagiri is someone who won’t oppose fate as so many main characters in the medium of anime and manga do. In fact, she accepts the hand she is dealt and wants to play her cards in her own way. It’s as if she just doesn’t know if she wants to be all in or fold and that’s extremely unique for a main character whose profession revolves around killing people.
The contrast between how Sagiri feels and what her job entails is a wonderful combination that just gives her entire character more depth. That little girl who couldn’t throw a rock back at the kids who gave her a bloody head grew up into a respectable executioner that is now questioning what her own resolve even is at this point.
Sagiri vs Gabimaru
Don’t let that heading fool you, I’m not going to talk about who’d win in a fight or anything. However, what I want to bring up is how they’re both the same, yet different, in many ways. When we look at both of their paths and the ideologies they hold, they showcase a very powerful duo, not in terms of fighting, that a story can ride on the back of.
Gabimaru and Sagiri are both in professions that require command-to-kill. While Sagiri believes she might, or might not, have a fear of killing, Gabimaru, on the other hand, doesn’t want to kill anyone to begin with and only does it if it’s the last choice necessary. Sagiri also wants to become fearless at executing those on death row and Gabimaru has no fear of killing anyone in front of him. But what ties those two together is the notion that neither can afford to die right now in the story so they resort to killing in their own ways to reach an end goal.
Gabimaru calling out the Asaemon members, not just Sagiri alone, when he said “Would you prefer if I make it pretty?” pointed out the hypocrisy in it all. That no matter how you kill someone, you still kill them no matter what. It’s still taking the life of someone. And that little bounce back and forth between Gabimaru and Sagiri is what makes them a phenomenal main pair for this kind of violent story. They’re two characters that can only make a story more interesting than it already is. The side characters we were introduced to in this episode will only amplify the story, and Gabimaru and Sagiri specifically, even more.
Hell’s Paradise Episode 2 Wrap-Up
Overall, Hell’s Paradise episode 2 was stellar just like the first one was. We received brutal action, new characters, and more character development for Sagiri, and got to see another glimpse of what Gabimaru is capable of in a fight. I wouldn’t say it was outright perfect but, despite the production staff credits that make some anime fans hesitant about what future episodes could hold, Hell’s Paradise is off to an incredible start and has begun to uplift the original manga to new heights leaving this fan extremely excited.
Episode 2 rating: 9/10
If you like Hell’s Paradise episode 2 then make sure to vote for it in our weekly poll!
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©YUJI KAKU/SHUEISHA, TWIN ENGINE, MAPPA