I mean, when a series’s title has the word ‘Hell’ in it, you’re bound to find deaths in it. And Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku has those in spades. This Shounen manga series absolutely holds no punches when it comes to killing off characters in the most colorful ways you can ever imagine. And like, while that is kind of hard to deal with as someone who gets attached to characters pretty fast, it does make for an entertaining time.
Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku has enough characters dying that you can not expect one character to live above the other. The mangaka for the series is very good at building suspense, leaving you at the edge of your seat, just to see whether a character would survive the ordeal put in front of them, or succumb to the mystery in the most beautiful but also violent way possible. So, yes, deaths are not uncommon in Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a tier list for the best ones.
Because, like, of course there is. This is the Shounen series. One that doesn’t feel solely targeted at children. Death is as interwoven with the plot of Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku as it’s protagonist, Gabimaru, is. And that makes the deaths feel very normal, in retrospect. So, it might be hard to see any value in them, or even feel anything, when it happens so much. But the series is very good at creating a balance between character deaths that matter and ones that don’t.
Still, what were some of the most interesting deaths in Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku? Personally, we’d rank them based on how they happened and whether they impacted the plot at all. And, of course, they have to be brutal and beautiful, all at the same time. A tall order? Maybe. But here are all the deaths in Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku in yet another segment of Get Ranked!
Horubo’s death ranks so low on this scale because, well, it didn’t serve any purpose beyond showing us how Aza Chōbei is a force to be reckoned with. And besides, he technically didn’t even die on the mysterious island itself, but on the boat heading to it. A weak end for a violent and forgettable man.
Yamada Asaemon Kisho
The Yamada Asaemon clan are known for their bravery and skill but we never get to see Yamada Asaemon Kisho do much of anything. He was trusted with Kieun, a large beast of a criminal who tries fighting Gabimaru, but is killed in the process. Kisho decides to take his head back to Edo, thinking he got lucky to be able to come back so soon. Only he arrived, affected and dying from Aborification like those before him.
I love a good bait and switch. When Yuzuriha starts her story of how she figured out the very fauna of Shinsenkyō is out to kill you, you don’t expect her to have dabbled in human experimentation. But using her feminine wiles, she manages to get Moro Makiya to try engaging with the island on her behalf, expecting him to be maimed at best. But then she sees his blooming corpse and, well. That’s death, alright.
Akaginu isn’t really elaborated on, but she is a cautionary tale of what would’ve happened if Yuzuriha’s little femme fatale plan had backfired on her. Akaginu tries seducing her assigned Executioner to kill him (because of course, she’s a cannibalistic courtesan), only to have him catch on to her and execute her. Fun times.
Okay, admittedly, Kieun’s death does a lot to show us just how strong Gabimaru is. When Warped Kieun attacks Gabimaru and Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, he makes fun of Gabimaru because his hits are doing nothing to his armor. But the very next moment, we see Gabimaru skewer Kieun on the very blades he had tried using against him. A swift death, but one that felt satisfying.
Yamada Asaemon Eizen
Yamada Asaemon Eizen had probably one of the most gruesome deaths in the series. The only reason it didn’t feel as jarring was because it was early on, so we weren’t attached. But seeing him step on the island, only to feel Rokurota behind him, with killing intent? And it’s not that he didn’t try to fight back, only for us to see the moment Eizen realized he was done for. And when Rokurota crushes his head with his bare hands? So brutal.
Rokurota felt like such a specter from that scene with Eizen, that his death almost came as a relief. Initially, he had the upper hand in his battle with Gabimaru, even when he was backed up by Yuzuriha and Sagiri. And Gabimaru realized that his usual tactics were not going to work here. But while Rokurota has strength, Gabimau has his impeccable Ninjutsu. He used that to create flames and burn Rokurota instead.
Yamada Asaemon Genji
That fight with Rokurota did have a casualty, regardless of Gabimaru and the gang’s success. This is sadly where we see Yamada Asaemon Genji die, in an effort to protect Sagiri from Rokurota. While Rokurota creeped up on them, he pushes Sagiri out of harm’s way, taking the blow to his chest. This proved fatal and he passed away while entrusting Sagiri with his sword.
The fight with Mu Dan was a long and arduous one, with a bittersweet end. Though he had initially shown interest in Sagiri for her Tao opposing his own, he held nothing back while attacking the group with his stingers. It was only Yamada Asaemon Shion’s arrival that saved them all, when he nicked the ovule that was the center of the Tensen’s flower. However, his death was a win, considering how he was one of the stronger Lord Tensens.
Kumokiri was honestly kind of bizarre. The man starts out as a candidate for the new Gabimaru The Hollow, as the old one was presumed dead on the island. While trying to fizzle out a battle between Yamada Asaemon Kiyomaru and Yamada Asaemon Isuzu on the way to Shinsenkyō, he proclaims that Shinobi are mere pawns to their master. Kiyomaru challenges that by asking Kumokiri to kill himself and prove his loyalty. Which he does by slitting his own throat? Like, it feels like a waste but it’s also so metal, you can’t help being dumbfounded.
Yamada Asaemon Shugen, Isuzu And Kiyomaru
Rien was the big bad of the series for so long, so it’s not hard to imagine that anyone who meets her in the battlefield and isn’t Gabimaru, would lose. So, when Yamada Asaemon Shugen, alongside Isuzu and Kiyomaru, met her on the battlefield, it was an almost certain death sentence. With one fell swoop, she kills all three Yamada Asaemon and moves on. This showed just how much control she had over her Tao, and why she was the leader of the island.
Shija was another Iwagakure Village Shinobi that had embarked towards Shinsenkyō alongside Kumokiri. They were also considered a candidate for the next Gabimaru The Hollow, due to their strength. But their borderline obsession for Gabimaru is what really set them apart, to the point they’d attack anyone who would try to get near them. In the end, the only way Gabimaru was able to defeat them was using the Flower Tao, which made him somewhat immortal to attacks such as the Fire Monk. And so, Shija died at the hands of the one he worshipped.
The loyalty Ran had towards Rien was only secondary to their skills in combat. So, when they met the Elixir Retrieval team in Do’in Temple, it was clear that they were going to be the most formidable Lord Tensen to beat so far. But he was overpowered, and not even switching Tao from Ying to Yang helped. In the end, it wasn’t Gabimaru that landed the final blow, but Yuzuriha.
Yamada Asaemon Senta
Again, no battle in Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku ends without something lost. And while the fight with Mu Dan had gone in favor of Gabimaru and the rest, we did end up losing Yamada Asaemon Senta, who was assigned to Yuzuriha. He was attacked by one of Mu Dan’s stingers and started to go through Aborification. While the team did try helping him, it was to no avail. But Yuzuriha stepped up to at least ease him through the pain, making sure Senta didn’t die feeling scared.
The story of how Hōko met Mei, the youngest of all the Lord Tensens, and basically helped her rebel against her siblings is a heartwarming thing. He was probably the first person to look at her and not treat her as a monster. So, when she escaped from Hōrai, she was taken in by Hōko and raised as his daughter. When everything went down, he sacrificed his Tao to save his daughter, essentially regressing Mei into the body of a child, fulfilling his duty as her family.
Yamada Asaemon Tenza
Yamada Asaemon Tenza’s death is truly one foor the books. When he faced off against Zhu Jin, he did end up beheading her. However, since she was a Lord Tensen, she quickly regenerated and started attacking Tenza with the intent to kill. After one blow to his shoulder, Tenza knew he wouldn’t be able to win. But he still kept on fighting, even as more attacks landed, leaving him nearly choking on his blood. Tenza died an honorable death, wondering if his future could’ve been different.
Ju Fa and Tao Fa (Killed by a combo of Aza Chobe, his bro, Gentetsu Sai and YAE Fuchi)
We already know that the Aza brothers are a lethal combo. But we truly saw the two flourish when they faced off against Ju Fa and Tao Fa, a joined entity of Lord Tensens. Of course, they were backed by Tamiya Gantetsusai and Yamada Asaemon Fuchi, but still. Chōbei and his brother, Aza Tōma, coordinated with Gantetsusai and Fuchi to cut off their tendons in an epic showdown, leaving the two screeching.
Another win by Chōbei, Zhu Jin’s death came as revenge for anyone still grieving over Tenza. Considering how Zhu Jin used duplicates to fight with, hiding his main body away from danger, you’d think the being was immortal. But Chōbei counteracted that issue by literally cutting off Zhu Jin’s roots, leaving his main body to wither away.
Yamada Asaemon Fuchi
Out of all the Yamada Asaemon, Fuchi’s death felt the most poignant. Not because he was fighting valiantly against any of the Lord Tensens, but because even in his last moments, he chose to help others. He had initially survived Shiga and Zhu Jin’s attack, but decided to use the last of his energy to heal Gantetsusai. When Gantetsusai wakes up and finds Fuchi’s corpse, dying at his feet, it’s a moment you can’t help but cry at.
When Gabimaru finally faces Rien, the reason why the island is the way it is, and the creator of the Lord Tensens, you know one or the other is going to end up dead. However, you wouldn’t imagine it was because she surrendered. In the end, both Rien and Gabimaru were fighting for their love, surviving for them. Rien fought to bring back her husband, Jofoku, and Yui was the reason Gabimaru persevered against her. In the end, she realized what she had done and gave up, letting Gabiamru kill her.
I know I probably shouldn’t be giving this one the top spot, but hear me out. This all started because the Iwagakure Chief just couldn’t see his own daughter happy with Gabimaru. He was an evil, spiteful man and he had it coming. So when he is arrested by the very Shogunate he sold Gabimaru off to, and then killed by forced ingestion of the so called ‘Elixir Of Life’, it just feels satisfying. Seeing his body go through Aborification finally makes him feel like the human he was: Pitiful and, best of all, mortal. Good riddance!
So, this is how I would rank all the deaths in Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku. But hey, you might have a different opinion. If so, which deaths do you think deserved the top spot? Sound off below!