Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku (Season 1), Episode 9: In this episode, we get to see who Gabimaru is up against and how powerful they are. We also get to see the elixir and a fantastic duel between Gabimaru and Tensen. Hoko becomes a part of the group going into Horai.
This article contains spoilers.
Hell’s Paradise Jigokuraku (Season 1), Episode 9 Recap:
“Gods and People”
The episode begins with Senta telling the group that he had searched the entire village but had not found anything; Gabimaru seems lost. Senta’s mind is about to explode because of the many mysteries; Sagiri asks him to rest while she keeps a watch. Senta insists he will be fine after showering; Sagiri tells him it will make him feel more drowsy. Senta has gone to sleep while Gabimaru keeps a watch. Gabimaru recalls a conversation with Senta. Sental warns him of the dangers of entering the Horai without solving the mysteries first, but Gabimaru decides not to wait to solve anything and gets up and walks away to find the elixir.
Gabimaru, in his quest, faces the first hurdle of a thick fog, making it difficult for him to see. He abruptly stops and hears some voices that seem to be singing. He wonders why the trees/tree-like structures are not reacting to his approach. He briefly considers Senta’s words but tells himself that if he returns without the elixir, he will not be pardoned. Even if he has to do it alone, he will take the risk and go after it.
Gabimaru reaches a door that looks man-made. He recalls Hoko’s words that the Shinsenkyo is where gods and hermits live. He decides to enter the gate and realises a presence behind him. He sees Tensen and immediately realises that this creature has a human-like form, but it is something else. He asks Tensen who he is, but Tensen is exhausted and asks why people keep coming to him when it is his turn to make a move. He asks Gambimaru to return as he had fought humans a while back. Tensen tells him that they are supposed to capture humans and Gabimaru completes the sentence by saying ‘to turn humans into elixirs’.
Tensen moves to attack Gabimaru and Gabimaru immediately responds to the attack. Gabimaru twists Tensen’s hands and neck but also realises that Tensen can regenerate and is quick. He makes an attack that lights Tensen on fire. As Gabimaru contemplates opening the door, he is attacked by Tensen. He mumbles that Gabimaru would have made a great elixir, assuming he is dead. Gabimaru, from the rumbles, asks Tensen if he is Tensen. Tensen asks Gabimaru if he is a human.
Tensen and Gabimaru continue to fight, and Gabimaru thinks of a plan to make a strong attack. Gabimaru hits Tensen on his stomach, and Tensen coughs up blood. Gabimaru wonders what this reaction was as it was different from before. Tensen tells him that he has not met someone so strong in a long time. He creates yellow energy, tells Gabimaru to die, and attacks him with this energy ball, making Gabimaru cough up blood.
These energy balls continuously attack Gabimaru. He decides that he cannot survive if he only shields it. He needs to keep moving and attack Tensen faster than he can regenerate. Gabimaru throws quick punches, and Tensen thinks, “Not by a human.” Gabimaru smashes one-half of Tensen’s face and Tensen is bleeding on the ground. Gabimaru tells him that he knows he isn’t dead and asks where the elixir is.
Tensen asks himself what he will do as he will get into trouble again. He turns into a huge flower, and inside, we see two black and white monstrous beings. Gabimaru consoles himself by saying that he has fought monsters before. He need not panic and tells himself to analyse and attack, and before he completes his thought, the flower sends an electric-like attack towards Gabimaru. Gabimaru survives the first few attacks and counterattacks. Gabimaru’s body gives up as he had pushed himself too much. As he is attacked, he rethinks if the island is real or a figment of their imagination. He tells himself that he feels like he is in a nightmare.
He suddenly sees his wife by his side, asking if he has finally woken up. His wife tells him he that is groaning and asks if he has had a nightmare. She tells him to rest as he is hard at work these days. She brings him a cup of tea and Gabimaru says he is glad to talk to her, even if it is a dream, and she asks him what he is talking about. Gabimaru is back to reality and apologises to his wife, saying he is sorry as he may not return home. The huge flower is crushing Gabimaru.
Gabimaru is on the brink of death, and we see a flashback of his sensei telling Gabimaru that when he is facing death, to channel his life form and inflict maximum damage on the opponent. He also tells him that Gabimaru will do it instinctively as he is trained. Gabimaru does that, and the flower drops him down after the attack. As Gabimaru is ready to give up, Mei saves him by shielding him against the final attack from the flower. We see the flower turn into an old person, asking aloud, “What are you playing at, Mei?”
Senta is profusely apologising to Sagiri, telling her that he went looking for Gabimaru, but the mist got thicker, and he couldn’t go any further. Sagiri suggests that they go after Gabimaru, especially if he is approaching Horai. Yuzuriha tells her that it was his choice to go and that he was a great asset in combat, but it couldn’t be helped. She also tells her that Asaemon doesn’t care about the safety of criminals, so they need not look for him. Hoko tells them that if they went to Horai, he would accompany them as Mei may have gone after Gabimaru. Yuzuriha asks Hoko if he can see through the mist. He says he may be able to. Yuzuriha changes her tone towards Sagiri and tells her that she worries about Gabimaru.
The group sets out to find Gabimaru and Mei. Yuzuriha asks Hoko about the Tensen, and Senta tells her that they will get lost if they lose focus. She asks Sagiri if she is curious or not and Sagiri tells her that she is, and that they may run into them. Hoko tells the group that Tensen is seven hermits.
We see a glimpse of the hermits as they discuss which hermit prefers to be male and female. A hermit named Zhu Jin asks for the reports and informs that the arrived humans are fierce. Another hermit named Ju Fa tells Zhu Jin that he couldn’t believe a human had made him transform into that huge flower. Another hermit, who seems to be the leader, asks Ju Fa not to harm Zhu Jin as only he has the right to and tells him that they are family and must stick together. He asks if he has dealt with the humans he met in the woods. He tells Ju Fa not to underestimate the humans as they are very capable. Ju Fa told him that he had put them in a pit, and that they may have become flowers by now. He asks Zhu Jin if he has killed Gabimaru and he reluctantly says that he has.
Ultimately, he tells them that no matter who comes in their way, their ultimate goal is the elixir. Yuzuriha asks about the 7 of them, and Hoko explains that one ultimate god has split into 7 of them; they all sound the same but have different roles and rule the island. He also tells them that these were legendary tales. Hoko tells them that he used to look like them and that everyone in the village looked like humans once. The village prospered only 1000 years ago; after a while, all the humans transformed into trees. He also tells them that they keep transforming, and just before their memories fade, they come near the mist so they can get invited into the Horai after death. He shows them one of the trees and tells them that it is his daughter. He also informs them that his memory is fading as well.
Hoko tells them that Horai is the final resting place of the souls, where the Tensen decide who can enter. Sagiri wonders if Gabimaru is okay even though the safety of the criminal does not fall under her jurisdiction. Gabimaru and Mei are lying down; Gabimaru wakes up and asks where he is. He wakes up realising that if those creatures were not gods or hermits, there was a way to kill them, but he needed more people as he could not achieve it alone. As he is wondering how to go about it, another criminal approaches him.
The episode ends with the criminal asking if it is Gabimaru’s time to die.
Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku (Season 1), Episode 9 Ending, Explained:
The episode ends with Gabimaru realising the need for teamwork and the progress they can make as a team. He needs to convince this criminal to join forces to find the elixir. Gabimaru still does not realise the godlike power these hermits have, and he assumes that they are powerful monsters. After reuniting with the group, they can exchange information and devise a strategy to destroy the seven hermits.
The next challenge will be the obstacles the group will face before they reach Gabimaru and if there will be collateral damage. It is also important to know Mei’s role in this situation and whether she is okay. The Tensen recognise Mei, so that’s another mystery to solve.