This week’s episode of Hell’s Paradise, “Flowers and Offerings” is exactly what fans needed. We get lore about the island, are introduced to the members of the Tensen, and see a look at new sides of the characters we have already met. This episodedoes a lot of the heavy worldbuilding that we haven’t really gotten in the earlier episodes.
“Flowers and Offering” allows us our first true look at the gods of the island, the Tensen. They were introduced at the end of last week’s episode as beautiful, ethereal beings but this week we learned just how powerful they are. When introduced, they took on a feminine appearance but reveal they can swap genders at will. Not only that, it’s revealed that they have the ability to regenerate their bodies when needed, vines shooting off from wounds to remake the body in mere seconds. Even though the Aza brothers try their hardest, the Tensen can’t be harmed and we see the fate of what came to those who went against these gods.
Mei and Hoko are two of the new characters we get to meet this episode. Not only that, that end up being the ones pushing the episode forward in their own ways. Hoko is living tree who takes care of Mei in the misty village. He brings our exploration team to his home and provides food as he tell them of the inner workings of the island. It’s revealed that the island is actually three split into three separate sections: Eishu, Hojo, and Horai. The innermost section Horai are where the Tensen reside; alongwith the Elixir of Life that the group is after.
But, the Elixir isn’t what they originally thought it was and it’s especially not shaped like the mandarin in the drawing they were going off of. It’s actually “Tan,” which comes from the humans that die on the island and later bloom into flowers, their Tan flowing into the island itself. This is what keeps the Tensen and other beings on the island alive. I have to give props to MAPPA for pairing Hoko revealing this information with the aftermath of the Aza brothers fight with the Tensen. It works perfectly and reminds the audience just how dangerous the beauty of the island is.
The more human sides of both Sagiri and Gabimaru that we get to see are revealed when it comes to Mei. With Sagiri, we see her calming Mei down in the beginning of “Flowers and Offerings” then later she takes care of the young girl in the bath by washing her hair. This caring, almost fun side of Sagiri hasn’t been shown yet and it’s nice to see how multifaceted she is. On the other hand, we get to see more of Gabimaru’s human side come out all because something reminds him of his wife. The flashback of her washing Gabimaru’s body and the conversation that follows, shows how much he took what she said to him to heart. It also shows just how much he still cares for her now, repeating the same words she said to him, to Mei. This exploration of his emotions is a perfect transition to his character arc for the later half of the season.
Hell’s Paradise “Flowers and Offerings” creates the foundation that the rest of the season needs in order to be successful. We also get much-needed lore that adds not only to the island itself alongside the Tensen that are finally introduced this episode. It’s exactly the sort of exposition that Hell’s Paradise needs now that it’s at the midway point of the season. As someone who read the manga, I’m beyond excited to see how MAPPA will round out the second half of the season and where exactly they will finish for season two.
Hell’s Paradise airs Saturdays on Crunchyroll during the Spring 2023 anime season.
Featured image ©YUJI SHAKA/SHUEISHA, TWIN ENGINE, MAPPA
‘Hell’s Paradise’ - “Flowers and Offerings” - 9.5/10