A fierce climatic battle is presented this time as Gabimaru fights Tenza’s killer which ends up in a reveal of a big mystery surrounding the island and its rulers, Tensen.
Even a Hollow is Not Enough
Easily the best part of this episode or even the best moment of the entire season thus far, Gabimaru who is wandering and searching the Elixir to the center of the island, Hokai, must face the strong deity-like figure that killed Tenza in the previous episode, and it is a banger!
While the camera movement is pretty static most of the time and the character’s drawings are usual, the choreography, intensity, and impact of each attack from both of them are so powerful not only to each other but also to the viewers. Seeing the action of the “Hollow” in dealing with such an extremely deadly situation as in this episode is the main point of his characterization while also showcasing what the antagonists of this series can do, including turning into a giant plant monster.
The flow of the battle is quite unpredictable, and while Gabimaru is having a hard time analyzing and finding leverage to defeat his enemy, in the end, he can overcome the surprising situation, although he ends up nearly dying anyway but gets saved by Mei. One thing to note from this fierce fight is the creatures from the island somehow possess a special orange energy-like thing that can be lethal or defensive depending on its use.
The Truth of Tensen-sama
Another shocker in this episode comes from Hoko the Tree’s explanation about the nature of the Elixir and hermits in Shinsenkyo which turns out that everything is connected to Tensen-sama. A name that is supposed to belong only to one person, but turns out it is a title given to seven hermits of the island that seem to have the concept of the Trinity in Christianity: seven of them are one person in the end.
Everyone is one individual yet they all have different personalities and uniqueness of their own. With this information that appears only to be the tip of the iceberg, more question marks linger around their existence since we might wonder about their origins, the event that changed the people of the island into trees hundreds of years ago, and the identity of the higher individual above them.
Ninja Meets Samurai
At the end of the episode, we get to see a meeting between Gabimaru who starts to understand the island’s true danger and situation with The Blade Dragon Tamiya Gantetsusai and his Asaemon, Fuchi. Since Gabimaru mentioned more people are needed to succeed in the mission, it clearly becomes a hint that the remaining survivors must join and work together in order to capture the Elixir and escape the island. Now, that is the moment that is worth waiting for!
The usual lack of perfection in the character’s drawings is easily forgiven since the action sequence and the mystery factor in this episode are incredibly jaw-dropping and mind-boggling which makes episode 9 the strong candidate for the best episode in this entire season so far.
The important point of this episode is everything presented here is merely just a spoonful of the entire portion of what Hell’s Paradise is all about. It serves as an introduction and teaser of what should be coming and what must be anticipated. And if the start is this splendid, you can imagine how greater and cooler everything that comes for us in the future of this series.