A Yuri romance? In my Shonen? With Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, it’s more likely than you think. After seeing the antics of the two characters together, it’s no wonder people keep thinking that Yuzuriha is in love with Sagiri. I mean, forbidden romance is just such a delicious trope. But of course, it’s never fully elaborated on what that relationship means. Like, is it casual or are we getting a side pairing here? Well, the manga has finished so we just might have some answers.
But, for real though, is Yuzuriha in love with Sagiri? No, considering the two don’t end up becoming a couple by the time the manga ended. But there is enough flirting on Yuzuriha’s side that you know there was a crush, at least. Yuzuriha, the Death Row convict, spares no moment to flirt with the regal Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, an executioner of the Shogunate. And then there is the fact that the author, Yuji Kaku, stated ‘God Only Knows’ when asked if Sagiri and Yuzuriha are in a relationship. Which, yeah, that doesn’t help the case here.
But just because the author vaguely alludes to it, doesn’t make a ship canon. And that is really sad, considering how Yuzuriha and Sagiri would be the most intimidating couple alive in that series. The two women are gorgeous, intelligent and absolute beasts on the battlefield. And their dynamic together is honestly one of the sweeter things about Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku. Which, well, it’s rare to find much that is wholesome about this series.
But just like the protagonist, Gabimaru The Hollow, and his persevering love for his wife, there is something inherently enjoyable about how Yuzuriha clings to the austere Sagiri. But is Yuzuriha in love with Sagiri? That’s a little more complex to break down. However, that is exactly what we are here to do in today’s segment of Lore Analysis! So, today let’s take a look at these two and see if history has also made them mere ‘roommates’.
Yuzuriha: A Deadly Butterfly, Untethered
Okay, I’m not going to lie to you. The first time I saw Yuzuriha in the anime, she instantly reminded me of Mai Shiranui. You know, from King Of Fighters. Just like Yuzuriha, Mai was a female Shinobi who used her femme fatale side to gain an advantage, but was fully capable of dominating a fight with her fighting skills.
And, like, I main Mai in the game so it made sense that Yuzuriha became a fast favorite. But even beyond that, she is such a multi-faceted character, despite not being one of the deuteragonists. She has this facade of being a shallow teenage girl, seemingly all smiles and carefree as can be. But if that was all she was, she wouldn’t be up for execution. No, underneath all that teasing, Yuzuriha is a truly self-centered individual that has led a harrowing life. Like, the girl has those amazing self-preservation skills for a reason, you know?
So, how does a ruthless Assassin curry favor with someone sent to get rid of the likes of her? Well, by being her authentic self. Because, no matter what, Yuzuriha has never hid the fact that she put her life first, stemming from losing her youngest sister. But she has shown compassion ever since she aligned herself with Gabimaru. Even in the face of uncertain danger, Yuzuriha has remained steadfast.
She plays around with Sagiri, despite knowing the other won’t reciprocate. However, that doesn’t stop her from getting closer to the strict Executioner. But the real surprise to Yuzuriha might have come when Sagiri expressed concern for her life when she was caught by Lord Tensen.
Cue Yuzuriha blatantly trying to attach herself to Sagiri, in every moment possible.
Yamada Asaemon Sagiri: Wavering Devotion
I mean, it’s not like someone like Sagiri has any time for romance. She has the whole pressure of living up to her father’s legacy, as heir to the illustrious Yamada clan. And then there is the fact that, despite being good at her job, she feels conflicted about the blood she has spilled. All of this, while being a female Executioner.
So, of course, she has to view all the prisoners that her fellow Asaemon have been assigned to as merely cannon fodder. A suicide mission in the name of the emperor that Sagiri is personally overseeing. Of course, all of that changes once she sees the humanity in her own assigned prisoner, Gabimaru. When she realizes that Gabimaru is truly going through with certain death, all for a chance to reunite with Yui, his wife.
And that revelation expands slowly to characters like Yuzuriha, who might have felt disingenious initially, but now her actions towards Sagiri make sense. When Sagiri calls for her safety after facing Mu Dan, it isn’t hollow. Sagiri has realized that there is more to these people than the crimes they’ve committed. That the world really can’t be separated into black or white, between the condemner and the condemned.
And in turn, there is more to Sagiri herself. She isn’t just following rules, going to a place like Shinsenkyō with no thoughts beyond executing her mission. No, Sagiri is allowed to experience and form her own judgements on these people that are on borrowed time. And with Yuzuriha, things change.
Sagiri And Yuzuriha Are Together (But Not as a Couple!)
Look, I’m not going to say that they couldn’t be a couple. For all we know, Yuzuriha and Sagiri retire and live their lives being next door neighbors to Gabimaru and Yui, far away from places like Iwagakure.
But from what we know of the manga, that isn’t the case. Yes, Yuzuriha refers to her with honorifics that are very informal and are always up in her personal space. And yes, Sagiri considers her close enough to defy Yamada Asaemon Isuzu, a superior in her clan, when they tried to hurt Yuzuriha. But that, sadly, doesn’t make them a couple.
However, they are clearly very, very close friends. Sagiri started considering Yuzuriha an ally at first, but later grew even more attached. She was the other person that she vowed to get off the mysterious island alive. And when Sagiri realized that Yuzuriha survived the entire ordeal, her joy held no bounds.
But perhaps the most damning evidence in showcasing that Sagiri and Yuzuriha might be more than friends, is with the mangaka himself shipping the two. It’s easy to see why he might not show them as an outright couple, but has hinted multiple times that they are more than just allies of convenience.
And really, who are we to argue against the creator himself? So, if you think Yuzuriha is a little in love with Sagiri, you just might be onto something!