top of page

Hell's Paradise Full Series Review

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

Volume 1 cover of Hell's Paradise

This is a spoiler-free review of the full series of Hell's Paradise.

Imagine a supernatural manga set in Japan's Edo period that's reminiscent of both David Ayer's and James Gunn's Suicide Squad movies. That's what you get with Hell's Paradise!

Created by Yuji Kaku and published in English by Viz Media, this series follows a group of assassins and killers along with their handlers, as they attempt to acquire the "elixir of life" for the Shogunate in exchange for a full pardon of all their previous crimes. Sounds too good to be true isn't it? Well, it is. In order to obtain the elixir, they have to venture into Hell's Paradise, an unknown island that contains dangers and evils that can kill them...if the other entrants don't kill them first!

Gabimaru's introduction to Saigiri, his overseer known as the Asaemon. She is also here to execute him if he turns down her request.

While the story shifts perspectives, the two characters that are focused on are Gabimaru "The Hollow" and his appointed handler Sagiri. The juxposition of the two was an interesting approach because Gabimaru, an unleashed force of nature, was one who wanted to die but couldn't while Saigiri was one who restricted herself due to mental blockers of being "good enough". As the daughter of the head of the top swordsman family/association (Asaemon) to the Shogunate, she strived to ensure she was seen as "good enough", as misogyny is rampant in the Asaemon family.

Image of Saigiri.

With that said, I felt like Sagiri could've been handled better at the start of the story. Instead, she was used for exposition dumping for the reader to understand the world and the levity of the island and the characters' situations. This decision by Kaku impacted the quality of her character.

There were certain characters introduced in the back half of the series that I felt was unnecessary. It felt like Kaku was dragging out the story at that point and added characters as fodder to add suspense. While it slowed the progress down a bit, it wasn't bad enough to cause a significant drop in quality.

Now, I did have an issue with the ending. Similar to Demon Slayer (also by Viz Media), it left me asking, "why?" I felt like they had a point that would've been a good spot to end it, but continued on where it wasn't necessary.

There is also a one-shot epilogue chapter that's available on the Viz Media website and MangaPlus. It's something that readers should definitely read after completing the main series.

One thing I liked that Viz Media did for the English volume release was added translator notes at the end of each volume. It provided a lot of background to terminology mentioned in the story that give the reader context to thing they might not be aware of.

Translator Notes

The art was top notch, as is the paneling. The amount of detail Kaku was able to apply to the environment scenes or some of the fight scenes was amazing! His monster designs were also really good! They were creative and made sense for how the island was developed. While some were grotesque, I couldn't stop admiring the detail and creativity around them!

An image of some people entering the island Hell's Paradise.

I really liked the simplicity surrounding the magic system Kaku used for this story. A user will use their assigned element (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water) in combat. Each element has an advantage and disadvantage to one another (with some just being neutral to each other). How Kaku uses this setup makes sense and is addressed early enough where the reader won't think of it as a Deus ex machina.

The key benefit is that keeping the magic system simple allows Kaku to focus on the story and the combat while not bogging the reader down with keeping track of the ability breakdown, so they can enjoy the story and the art during combat.

Overall, I definitely understand the hype around this series. It has everything to make it a hit in North America. While I have issues with the series, I feel like it's still a good read. I would recommend Hell's Paradise for anyone looking for a supernatural action series.

21 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page