The much-awaited second episode of the new anime series “Jigokuraku” just came out. In the previous episode, Sagiri helped Gabimaru escape prison in order to find the Elixir of Life in Shinsenkyo. The new episode dives deeper into the mysteries of the characters.
Episode 2: Recap – Screening And Choosing
The episode begins by showing us Sagiri’s origin story. One of the finest assassins in the world, Sagiri was once an ordinary girl. She sees her father execute a storyteller whose last wish was to be executed while reciting his favorite story. Sagiri’s father wielded the sword with such mastery that the storyteller continued to tell his story for a few seconds after the beheading. From that day on, Sagiri begins to harbor a dream of becoming as skilled with the sword as his father. She grows up and is duty-bound to execute a prisoner. Even though she does a decent job and receives applause, her conscience is full of fear. The fear and hesitation make her blade slightly heavier with each mangled beheading. Her father’s spirit informs her of the pain she causes, making her want to overcome her fear. She wishes to find a lifeform that she would not hesitate to kill and use to overcome the demons in her psyche.
We come back to the present day, where all the chosen criminals are gathered for the quest to bring back the Elixir of Life. Sagiri notes everyone’s name. A few notable ones are Tanio Seikichi, Nikimaru, Kido Shukan, and the shinobi assassin Gabimaru. The rules are explained to the criminals. The official pardon will be granted to the only one who brings back the elixir.
Upon hearing this, a criminal by the name of Adachi Matagoro begins to imagine a life outside where he would be free to kill women and children again. Sagiri asks herself if he is the one who deserves to be killed, for it might rid her of her deep-rooted fears.
The criminals are shown a sergeant who is the only one to return alive from Shinsenkyo. Sergeant is told to be alive but is no longer a human being. His body is disfigured, but beautiful flowers seem to be growing out of it. The criminals are revolted by the sight of the sergeant and protest being sent to such a dangerous island. A prisoner raises the pertinent question of the guarantee of finding the elixir there and whether it could be the case that they can return empty-handed and still be handed the pardon.
The authorities say it’s a voluntary act to go on the quest. A prisoner immediately declines, and before he can walk back, he is beheaded instantly by a Yamada (the assassin’s trademark name). The authorities lay out the remainder of the rules: a monitor is assigned to each prisoner who will always keep an eye on the prisoner, even on the island. As they are all sentenced to death, any resignation by them will result in their immediate execution. Gabimaru looks up and sees Sagiri, realizing she is his monitor. Furthermore, the rules say that if the assigned monitor dies on the island for any reason, the corresponding prisoner will be beheaded upon return.
While the prisoners were busy comprehending the said rules, the final rule of limiting the number of prisoners going on the expedition is mentioned. As there are a limited number of Yamadas on board, the number of prisoners cannot exceed the number of monitors. This makes the prisoners start killing each other, causing a bloodbath.
While the prisoners fight to the death, Eizen-dono, a senior Yamada, tells Sagiri she is unfit to be an executioner and should stay in a mansion and live an easy life. We see Sagiri’s struggle growing up in the Yamada clan and how, in spite of her trying to run away, the executioner’s fate always caught up with her. She kills prisoners on the battlefield, but not without the demons inside her growing stronger. Their strong hold on her soul is loosened only when she hears Gabimaru’s voice, who has reached the emperor, advising them to stop the bloodshed and come up with another way to screen who will go on the expedition.
Fed up with Gabimaru’s moralism, a sergeant offers a wild card entry to the prisoner who will kill Gabimaru. Gabimaru tries to reason with the prisoners, but seeing their barbaric attitude toward killing, he begins killing them one by one. The battle is quickly stopped. Ten prisoners remain Aza Chobei, Tamiya, Keiun, Nurugai, Horubo, the killing prayer, Akaginu, Kunoichi, Moro Makiya, Rokurota, and Gabimaru. They are sent on the expedition. Meanwhile, seeing Gabimaru kill so brutally, Sagiri has an epiphany about her own demons.
‘Jigokuraku’ Episode 2: Ending Explained: What Epiphany Does Sagiri Have?
Ever since she saw her father execute the storyteller with no pain, she had the dream of becoming as skilled as her father, but whenever she killed, the demons would strengthen their hold on her soul. Seeing Gabimaru kill the other prisoners so brutally after failing to reason them out of the mindless killing, she realizes that maybe what she needs is not to get rid of the demons by trying to kill as painlessly as possible but to gain the power of bearing the burden of a heavy heart after killing. The later episodes will probably show us whether or not she manages to get rid of her fears and become the best assassin since her father.