If there is one thing that 2023 is not lacking, it is anime, even less so when we have the long-awaited end of Attack on the Titans on the horizon. Until that happens, although it is true that we have the second season of authentic hits such as Spy x Family, Jujutsu Kaisen, Kimetsu no Yaiba or Pokémon, now without Ash or Pikachu, we still lack a new series that stands out. One that gets us out of our chairs with excitement after each episode. But Mappa, the studio behind Attack on the Titans, always provides, and that is why they have brought us Hell’s Paradise, or as it is known in Japan, Jigokuraku.
Adapting Yuji Kaku’s eponymous manga spanning thirteen volumes published between January 2018 and January 2021, Hell’s Paradise is an action series with psychological thriller overtones in the context of a dark fantasy world that may powerfully remind us of cult classics like Berserk.
In Hell’s Paradise we follow Gabimaru, a ninja who is captured during an assassination mission. Sentenced to be executed, his captors discover to their horror that no matter what they try, Gabimaru’s body cannot die. Seeing this as a possibility, he is offered a chance to be redeemed from his crimes: he can go to the newly discovered island of Shinsenkyo, where it is said that there is an elixir capable of making anyone who consumes it immortal. If he goes there, gets it and comes back alive, he will be pardoned for his crimes. Thus begins the story of Hell’s Paradise and the relationship between Gabimaru and Sagiri, the executioner who is assigned to make sure he does not try to escape or leave aside his mission, as they explore the island, where they will find the island’s own threats, plus all the other death row inmates who have been promised the same treatment and will not hesitate to try to kill them so as not to have to share the elixir with them.
Having premiered last April 1 on Crunchyroll, the first eight episodes of the first season of the series have already been broadcasted. With a very good animation, an excellent drawing and not sparing any detail, whether erotic or gore, it respects the original work to the maximum, loaded with a brutality, much more subtle than it might seem.
If you like works like Attack on the Titans or Chainsawman, or enjoyed manga like the sadly incomplete Berserk, Hell’s Paradise is the anime you’ve been waiting for. One of the most interesting works of the year, made by a veteran studio with a great resume like Mappa, promising to be crowned as one of the great series of the year.
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