After the announcement of the anime adaptation in January 2021, and the subsequent trailer released in May this year, there has been very little information about the upcoming anime adaptation of Yūji Kaku’s manga, Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku, a dark fantasy set during Japan’s Edo period. Despite the lack of additional information, the series was once thought to be set for release sometime in 2022.
With the year rapidly reaching its last months, it may be that the release of the anime adaptation of Hell’s Paradise will only happen next year; however, nothing can be said with utmost certainty. What can be confirmed; however, is that there are a few things that one needs to know before the Hell’s Paradise anime makes its way to our screens.
Studio, Staff & Cast
One of the most important things, especially for fans of the original manga series, is that a prolific studio will be at the helm of adapting Jigokuraku into anime: MAPPA. Known for stellar work done on various titles such as JUJUTSU KAISEN; Attack on Titan: The Final Season; as well as the upcoming anime adaptation of Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man.
Such information is more than enough to excite fans, as the studio has developed quite the reputation for creating incredibly intense, vivid, dynamic and overwhelmingly beautiful pieces of animation, and given that Jigokuraku is a violent, gory, supernatural dark fantasy, it is safe to expect the same intensity and beauty the studio is known for embracing.
A short list of staff who will be working on the production of Jigokuraku was revealed with the release of the series’ only trailer thus far, which was released in May. In the director’s seat is Kaori Makita, who has been an episode director in Attack on Titan: The Final Season and Yūri on Ice!!; Akira Kindaichi will be responsible for the series composition, with Music by Yoshiaki Dewa; and character designs by Akitsugu Hisagi. No official cast list has been released as yet.
Gabimaru the Hollow is the most vicious and prolific assassin ever to be developed by the ninja village of Iwagakure: trained to kill from birth. He is the most efficient killer that the village of assassins has ever seen; in fact, Gabimaru is too efficient. As a result of his incredible skills, he is betrayed and put on death row. However, his body, hardened by Iwagakure’s intense ninja training, makes executing him impossible, at least by regular means. The shōgun gives Gabimaru and other death row prisoners an incentive: die now; or gain the chance to have your charges dropped by journeying to a mysterious island filled with never-before-seen dangers said to be the location of an elixir thought to be able to grant immortality.
Gabimaru and nine other inmates are then paired up with a samurai executioner from the Yamada-Asaemon clan, and sent to the strange island. Will Gabimaru finally be killed by Hell’s Paradise? Or will his new “attendant”, Sagiri Yamada-Asaemon, end his life first? Given that the series is set up to follow a battle royale formula, Jigokuraku has several characters, all of whom series author Yuji Kaku developed and paid attention to throughout the original manga’s creation. Not much else is known about the upcoming series; however, the official website remains open.
The original Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku manga was serialized in Shueisha’s Shōnen Jump+ online magazine and mobile app for three years; from January 2018 to January 2021, spanning a total of 127 chapters which are collected into 13 volumes. Viz Media is the manga’s English publisher, with the series being made available as of May 2018, with the first volume going to print in March 2020.
The series was well received during its serialization, being cited as the most popular series on Shōnen Jump+ in August 2018, with the series reaching 1 million copies in circulation the very next year. The manga is often lauded for its hauntingly beautiful artwork and grotesque imagery which is often cited to be reminiscent of famous horror author Junji Itō. With the series’ strong hook, interesting supernatural and grotesque elements, unique characters – particularly the antagonists – and violently emotional story, the prospect of a Jigokuraku anime project underway is an exciting one, especially in the midst of history being made quite like this.
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