Gabimaru the Hollow was set up by his ninja clan. Now facing the death penalty, he is given the chance at freedom by travelling to a strange island and finding the Elixir of Life for the Shogun. If he refuses, he dies!
Hell’s Paradise: Jigokuraku (Volume 1) – Why Won’t I Die?
Gabimaru has been sentenced to death, but no matter what the magistrates throw at him, he will not die. A woman has been appointed by the shogun to document the process and learn more about Gabimaru. After several failed attempts, Gabimaru still won’t die. He is a ninja from the Iwagakure Village so it was never going to be easy. Eventually, Gabimaru is brought before the woman again. She reveals herself to be Yamada Asaemon Sagiri, a famous executioner. Her sword will cut his neck!
Of course, she’s more interested in why he won’t die and why he continues to fight to survive despite saying the opposite. Sagiri has him pegged though. She knows that he loves his wife and hopes to survive to make it home to her. It’s true, but there is no way it could happen. However, Sagiri’s pardon from the shogun would do just that. He just needs to agree to help with one little thing…
Ten criminals on death row have been brought together to explore a strange island believed to be a paradise. Several expeditions have gone already, but none have returned. One person did, but he is no longer human! An Asaemon will accompany each criminal. If they can find the Elixir of Life and return it to the shogun, the pardon is theirs. However, the other criminals aren’t the only thing they need to worry about. It’s believed to be paradise, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!
What did you think?
Incredible! Of all the volume ones I’ve read recently, this may be my favourite. I loved the mix of historical details such as the Shogunate, the ninjas, and Asaemon. The setting was fantastic and that only promises to get better as they explore the island. On top of that, this was a thrilling read. Gabimaru is an amazing character, but it was Sagiri that made me unable to put this book down. Seeing these two dealing with their demons as they fight and eventually come to an agreement was fantastic.
We’ve already seen some of the criminals fall and even a couple of the Asaemon, but there’s plenty more to come. This promises to be an unstoppable ride and with thirteen volumes, I can’t wait to grab them all. I will be putting a hold on the next one as soon as I finish each volume. I’ve really enjoyed a lot of the manga I’ve read lately, but this is a series that I will prioritise.
I was just thinking this would make an incredible anime and apparently there is one in the pipeline. It doesn’t have any dates attached to it yet, but I will be watching that as soon as it comes out too. This series has grabbed hold of me and won’t let go.
Other posts in the series
- Series Review
- Volume 1 – Why Won’t I Die?
- Volume 2 – Don’t Think. Just Kill!
- Volume 3 – Where Deities and Hermits Reside!
- Volume 4 – Strong, Weak!
- Volume 5 – What We Know So Far!
- Volume 6 – Bochu Jutsu!
- Volume 7 – Beware This Man!
- Volume 8 – I’ll Sacrifice Whatever it Takes!
- Volume 9 – Love and Hate. Life and Death.
- Volume 10 – Crime and Evil are Not the Same!
- Volume 11 – Searching for a New Normal!
- Volume 12 – There’s No Fun to Be Had Here!
- Volume 13 – Strength, Weakness, and Doubt!