Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku certainly isn’t lacking in strong characters for fans to obsess over. And with the anime introducing Yuzuriha into the plot, that statement holds even more weight. I mean, the series never makes it a secret that some of its strongest characters are the women, but it’s the variation in personality and ‘vibes’ that makes every character feels like it belongs. It’s what makes the show so enjoyable to watch.
And Miss Yuzuriha of Keishu is here to stay, hopefully. Look, with Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, you never know how things are going to go. Sure, Yuzuriha is a feared Kunoichi who was on Death Row for her crimes against humanity, so obviously she can hold her own in a battle. And she is proving to be a beneficial ally to Gabimaru and Sagiri. But the thing is, does she have the power to take on the antagonistic forces on Shinsenkyō, completely out of her element? Well, that’s what makes her character so adaptable.
Because, let’s be honest here. Gabimaru is very single minded in his focus, despite his resilience and he won’t take orders from Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, his Executioner who has her own demons to handle. This is why Yuzuriha is such a great addition to their team. She works brilliantly as a foil and provides the flexibility that the other two lack. She sees more than she lets on, so her strategizing could literally mean life-or-death for the group.
However, lots of fans had their doubts about her character. Plenty had chalked her up to be the comedic relief in an otherwise serious anime, or the Femme Fatale for fanservice. And that’s severely underselling Yuzuriha’s potential in the plot. Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku is all about subverting expectations, and Yuzuriha is no different. So, here’s an in depth analysis on the gorgeous Kunoichi and why her looks aren’t the only killer thing about her!
Who Is Yuzuriha Of Keishu?
So, Yuzuriha is sort of a chameleon. She has always lied about her origins to everyone, which serves her purpose well considering she’s a secret assassin like Gabimaru The Hollow. Revealing your backstory means opening yourself up to attacks. So, is she hiding her life from those around her? That makes perfect sense.
But the truth is much less complex than you’d imagine. Yuzuriha, like Gabimaru, grew up in a Shinobi village. Her life was always touched by death as a result of it. I mean, that’s the main job for anyone working in that field. However, it wasn’t until she had to see her little sister, Saya, die that she realized the value in the life she had been given. And from there, she vowed to live for the both of them, making sure she met everything head on.
And as a Kunoichi, she flourished. Trained to be a honey pot, she made sure no target evaded her. But what really helped were her skills as a warrior, single handedly raiding Sagewa Castle and absolutely obliterating the retainers that lived there.
But eventually, Yuzuriha was caught by the authorities and put on Death Row for her crimes. However, she was given a chance to redeem herself if she agreed to travel to a mysterious island and bring back a treasure known as the ‘Elixir Of Life’. Of course, she wouldn’t be going alone in this. As a criminal, she still had an execution to go through. And lest she betray the Shogunate in any way, Yamada Asaemon Senta would make sure she paid for her crimes.
Beautiful, But Deadly:
Yuzuriha is definitely a skilled Kunoichi, but her true asset is her beauty and charm. Of course, as the token Femme Fatale character, you would expect Yuzuriha to look the part.
With choppy dark hair in a ponytail, and her large eyes, it’s very easy to see her bumbling lies as mere mischievousness and nothing more. Even her attire is meant to attract unknowing figures into her act, with a cropped sleeveless kimono and giant cuts in her clothing that focus on revealing her unblemished skin, smooth as can be. But of course, that’s all it is: A Trap.
In reality, Yuzuriha’s body is littered with scars from the many battles she has fought, betraying her otherwise perfect visage. However, she hides them all thanks to a special ability where her actual body is covered by a layer of mucus that mimics healthy skin.
Deception Is Her Middle Name:
Shinobi back then were gendered for a reason. Male Shinobi, like Gabimaru and most of Iwagakure, were suited to a life of killing in the shadows. They don’t make themselves apparent, using their strength to intimidate and take. But Kunoichi had it different. They have to use their assets to deceive, to infiltrate and then eliminate.
This is what Yuzuriha does best. She puts on the act of being this normal teenage girl, with normal teenage girl issues. She plays at being vulnerable, so that she can overpower her opponents after they’ve dropped their guards down around her. If she is discovered, they would hold nothing back in trying to kill her. With no one by her side, she has to do it alone. Because in her life, she has to look out for herself at any cost. And if she has to use men and their vices to do so, so be it.
Except, Yuzuriha is actually kind of a terrible liar. Like, she fumbles her cover during her first proper conversation with Gabimaru and Sagiri. And not on purpose either, it’s likely she did think she was doing a good enough job enthralling them. But since Gabimaru and Sagiri are much smarter than anyone gives them credit for, they saw through her lies. In reality, Yuzuriha’s lies have worked plenty well on those who matter. Especially when it’s to save her own hide.
Case in point? When she seduced Moro Makiya into becoming bait for the strange insects on the mysterious island, in order to save her own hide. And considering she’s alive and he isn’t, well. Maybe being a femme fatale is an advantage, when you’re marooned on said island with no way out.
A Kunoichi, Unparalleled:
You know, with all the light hearted antics she brings to the plot, it’s easy to forget that Yuzuriha is an insanely deadly woman. She is one of the very few people that not only survived staying on the island, but also made it to Hōrai and faced off against Lord Tensen. And that’s because she is a brilliant and adaptable killer with dubious morals.
And as a Kunoichi, she is obviously more than capable of disarming individuals with hand-to-hand combat. Yuzuriha is quick and agile, dodging attacks and even Tao projectiles with relative ease. Not like she needs to, considering she can face multiple Senjutsu attacks and still remain standing on her own two feet. But still, a nice little bonus to have.
However, her main Ninjutsu attack is the layer of mucus fluid that she secretes from her skin, and can manipulate into weapons. Think weird plasma like strings that she can use to attack or defend herself, whatever the situation calls for. She sharpens these strings to the point where they can slash her opponents into ribbons. They can also be used as a Ninpō attack where she can entrap an opponent in slime that is laced with a corrosive poison.
Much like the other members of the Vanguard Party, she also has Tao reserves, though hers are Earth attributed. Still, she has so much control over it that she even taught others amongst their allies on the island to harness it better.
Characters like Yuzuriha often get a bad rep because, well, there isn’t much to them when it comes to the plot. However, Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, actually utilizes her skills to make something better of it. She is an integral part of the plot, beyond her antics and she is what adds genuine playfulness to a story that is otherwise extremely serious. And, listen, I’m just a sucker for a well written femme character in a violent series. So, of course, I can’t wait to see how Yuzuriha and her arc pans out in the anime.