If you thought there hasn’t been enough action in Hell’s Paradise, think again. Episode six “Heart and Reason” is jam packed with the violence readers of the manga have been waiting for. The focus shifts back to our main characters now that we’ve met the rest of the ensemble —even if their arc ends quickly after being introduced— and now we get to see everyone back in action.
The entirety of the episode revolves around a single fight between Rokurota, the Giant of Bizen and Gabimaru with Sagiri. We do get to see moves from Gabimaru that we haven’t seen before, which rounds out his fighting style a bit more than we’ve already seen. More of his ninjutsu abilities were revealed with the implication that we haven’t seen everything just yet. It’s a slow reveal that will pay off in the long run as the season continues. Instead, it’s important to note with this fight that Gabimaru couldn’t have won against Rokurota without Sagiri joining in to fight alongside him.
Sagiri steps up to the plate in “Heart and Reason”
Sagiri’s focus on being the middle and allowing both of her calmness and passion compliment each other is at the forefront of the episode. Last week, she came to terms with the two sides of herself, the woman and the samurai. Now this week, we get to see her put those things together in order to take Rokurota down with the skills she has worked so hard to hone. Senta says it himself, that Sagairi’s skills are the best despite her ranking being so low; confirming it’s only because she’s a woman that her ranking within the clan isn’t higher.
While brief, we also get insight into Rokurota’s past. As someone with the title of Giant, we learn that it’s well-earned. The quick scenes that show what his childhood was like and how powerful his fists were even back then convey just how dangerous Rokurota has always been. The stacking and knocking over of a tower of rocks as a child is foreshadowing the destructive that will come from him. His yearning of finally feeling full drives him to keep consuming and destroying more. It’s the one thing that has lead him to the island and this fate.
The island’s mysteries start to become clear
In the last moments of the episode, we switch over to bandit brothers Chobe and Toma. We see them finishing off their own fight with some of the island’s monsters, only for something to catch their attention. Their curiosity leads to our first look at the actual gods on the island which shows just how different they are from the monsters they’ve created. Compared to the unsightly monsters roaming about, the two gods that we meet are much like the flowers that surround the cast on the island, beautiful and vibrant. This allows a bit more of the mystery to be revealed while making viewers want to come back next week.
“Heart and Reason” proves once again that MAPPA isn’t playing around this spring. Compared to last week, this episode featured much more action but that balance with plot exposition was still there. The choreography of the Rokurota fight didn’t overpower the inner monologues that both Gabimaru and Sagiri had, and in fact, only amplified them. I’ve said it in each review so far and I’ll say it again, this is a banger of a season for Hell’s Paradise and it’ll only get better from here.
Hell’s Paradise airs Saturdays on Crunchyroll during the Spring 2023 anime season.
Featured image ©YUJI SHAKA/SHUEISHA, TWIN ENGINE, MAPPA
'Hell's Paradise' - "Heart and Reason" - 9.5/10