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Hell's Paradise
Episode 8

by MrAJCosplay,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Hell's Paradise ?
Community score: 4.3


OK, episodes like this are usually very hard to judge critically because even when the execution is done incredibly well, the strength of the writing in telegraphing the intended outcome can sometimes impact overall enjoyment. It can be difficult for me to empathize with that character and become emotionally invested, if I know from the first minute that an episode is setting up a character's downfall—it feels like I'm simply waiting for that character to inevitably die.

It's why I am usually against episodes that revolve completely around one character with build-up and backstory, only for the episode's climax to be just said character's death. It can sometimes feel manipulative as if the writer is peeking behind the curtain and whispering to the audience that we should care about this person that ultimately isn't going to matter in the grand scheme of things. Ironically, that's why I commended the last episode that first introduced Tenza and Nurugai because I thought we were setting up Nurugai's death, only for Hell's Paradise to have more in store for her.

This isn't to say that I didn't care about Tenza as a character. I just think that his death would have mattered more if we had a bit more time for him to interact with people in the present, alongside finding out about his past. For example, I did like the fact that Tenza and Nurugai seemed to develop a rapport with each other in the last episode they were introduced. Nurugai even went so far as to say that she could see herself getting married to him when all of this stuff is over. However, the potential for that tragic romance is kind of lost because it never had the chance to bloom before getting snipped off. But maybe that's the point.

Tenza would've died in the slums, never accomplishing anything, if his master hadn't found and seen potential in him. Through Tenza's death, Shion and Tenza now have the potential to live on throughout the story as better characters. In the end, Tenza had to sacrifice his potential as a character and his potential for a happy life to ensure the potential of other people's lives. In that sense, maybe it's the idea of potential never really getting the chance to thrive and the real tragedy of this episode. That would explain why the part that struck a chord with me the most was seeing flash-forwards of a potential "what if" future if Tenza ended up surviving. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it's fun to think that maybe it was the point all along.


Hell's Paradise is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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