Key takeways from Jigokuraku: Hell’s Paradise review:
- Jigokuraku: Hell’s Paradise offers a captivating and unique plot set in a mysterious island filled with danger and intrigue.
- The characters in the series are well-developed and have compelling backstories, with Gabimaru and Sagiri standing out as particularly noteworthy.
- The animation by Mappa brings the hostile and creepy atmosphere of the island to life, creating a visually stunning adaptation, complemented by fitting soundtracks.
I started this manga on a friend’s recommendation and I was immediately hooked to it. The bizarre world of Jigokuraku: Hell’s Paradise has its charms. There is always something weird going on on the island, which mostly leads to someone’s death. The ever-growing sense of mystery and intrigue combined with a sense of danger this anime invokes is very unique indeed.
And it goes without saying, it is pretty clear that those poor chaps at Mappa worked really hard on this anime. It is an amazing adaptation and this manga is really difficult to adapt because of the setting. Let’s take a look at all of this in detail.
So welcome back to another big review. Today we will be talking about Jigokuraku: Hell’s Paradise. I have a lot to say about it, so strap and let’s get started right away.
The plot itself is pretty straightforward on the surface, A bunch of dangerous criminals are gathered up, paired with a member of the Asaemon Family, and sent to a mysterious island. This mysterious island is said to be ‘Heaven’ and apparently has the nectar of immortality. As you may expect, the criminals are tasked with retrieving the nectar with a promise of an official pardon from the government if they do.
That is basically all you need to know about this show. But the details in the plot are pretty amazing. The island always seems so foreign despite all the explanations we get. We get a lot of info about the island through the course of the story but none of it drives away the sheer sense of awe and dread the location can produce at the same time. The island’s history is pretty well-written and affects the modern-day struggle in exciting ways.
Overall, the plot of Jigokuraku is pretty simple but it has a lot of nice details in it. It is paced really well with fights and lore drops spread out evenly. Even outside of the island, the politics behind the scenes of the whole matter are pretty interesting. But that is not the point or the main draw of the series. It is tough to create a location that creeps under your skin like this island in terms of looks and lore. I think only the Abyss from Made in Abyss comes close.
This is another area Jigokuraku excels in. This series doesn’t have that many important characters as most of the non-important characters die pretty soon. But the time the series spends developing these characters is pretty amazing. All important characters get their backstory that describes their personality and behavior perfectly. And then after that, there is also how the island affects them individually, which leads to some really good character moments.
Gabimaru, man, he is such a chad. Despite saying that he wanted to die at the beginning of the series, he didn’t actually want to die. He even lied about his wife to try and keep her safe. But in reality, he wants to live just so he could see his wife again. Gabimaru’s wife too, while she is only seen for brief intervals when Gabimaru is reminiscing, her character has a pretty big impact on the series and Gabimaru himself.
And then finally, I’d like to talk about Sagiri. She got the most character development throughout the season. And man, she went from someone who can only be considered a liability to someone who can actually fight on her own. It took Sagiri a while to find her resolve but when a fellow member of the Asaemon family died, she found her resolve thanks to his final words.
All this along with some really interesting side characters and those Sages make Jigokuraku a joy to watch.
Animations and Soundtracks
I mean, come on, it is Mappa. You know they love to work way harder than they should on their shows. A lot of things that I said about the island work because Mappa made the place look absolutely hostile. The island is beautiful in a way creepy way. Everything there screams ‘Stay the f*ck out’. Every single creature on the island is so bizarre that it’s almost nightmare fuel at times. All this was impressive in the manga but a good anime adaptation elevates it to a new level.
The soundtracks are pretty good too. I kinda hoped that there would be some BGMs that would send chills down your spine on their own but that was not the case. Regardless, the sound design is pretty good and convincing enough. The opening and ending themes really suit the anime well. The opening is bizarre and kinda twisted and the ending theme is calm and almost self-reflective in a way. The ending theme sounds like Sagiri’s perspective on things and that is pretty cool.
Here are my final scores for Jigokuraku: Hell’s Paradise
- Plot – 8/10
- Characters – 9/10
- Animations – 9/10
- Soundtracks – 8/10
- Enjoyment – 9/10
- JUSTICE FOR GABIMARU – 10/10
- Overall – 9/10
That is all for now. That concludes another long review from me. Thank you all for reading all this, I really appreciate it. Those were my thoughts on this anime let me know yours in the comments. I will take my leave here. See ya!
Also, a 2nd season of the Dangers in My Heart was announced! Check out the details here!