The third episode of the anime series “Jigokuraku” takes Gabimaru the Hollow, along with 9 other criminals, on the island of Shinsenkyo, to begin their quest to find the ‘Elixir of Life.’ In the previous episode, the rules were laid out for receiving the official pardon, and the Yamadas were assigned as the prisoners’ monitors on the island. The fantastical and deadly island brings its own kind of challenges for Gabimaru, who has only one motive: to find a way back to his wife.
Episode 3: Recap- Weakness And Strength
Gabimaru has a vision about the Iwagakura Chief, who drank a potion that made him immortal. He finds himself on the fantastical island alongside his monitor, Sagiri. The place is filled with attractive and colorful flora, which makes Sagiri believe in the presence of the elixir there. Her stream of wonderful comments is cut short by Gabimaru, who points out the sheer creepiness of the place, with even the non-seasonal trees and plants blooming all around, making the island highly unnatural in essence. Gabimaru stays focused on finding the elixir and asks Sagiri to be careful, even though it is Gabimaru who has his hands tied. He frees himself of the shackles but is immediately threatened by Sagiri to bind his wrist again. Gabimaru tries to reason it out with Sagiri, asking her to overlook this one rule. With only three days’ food and a drawing as a clue, he argues it’s difficult to find the elixir as it is, and the chained hands will only add to the hassle.
Before Gabimaru could finish his sentence, Sagiri’s sword lands within an inch of severing his head from his body. The message is quite clear from Sagiri that she will not bend the rules even a bit, and she offers Gabimaru a new rope to bind his wrists with. She proceeds to etch the following fact in Gabimaru’s head: she is an executioner and not his ally. She doesn’t have an iota of concern if he cannot find the elixir with tied hands.
Gabimaru breathes out a sigh and gives up his case. Sagiri proceeds to tie up his hands, but Gabimaru is struck by a giant wrecking ball out of the blue, which misses Sagiri by just an inch. She turns her head to see the giant Kieun, who just attacked Gabimaru. Kieun rejoices as he thinks he has killed Gabimaru and taken one criminal out of his way. Gabimaru breaks his victory speech and gets up, looking unharmed. Sagiri asks him if he is all right. Gabimaru nonchalantly adjusts his dislocated neck, seeing which Kieun is a little taken aback.
Kieun, the giant, is shown to be a warrior monk who became fiendishly addicted to all the weapons he encountered during his training, so much so he began stealing them from other warriors. Gabimaru points towards Kieun’s hands, showing them to Sagiri to be untied. Sagiri, who had lost track of things after seeing Gabimaru attack, finally notices this detail.
Seeing Kieun’s monitor, Kisho, standing right behind him, she asks him about this irregularity in the dispensing of his duty. She is met with an intense backlash by Kisho, who calls her a rigid Yamada who will never understand what it really means to bend the rules for other priorities. He pinpoints Sagiri’s senseless honesty and fidelity to stupid rules as the reason behind her being one of the lowest-ranked Yamadas of them all.
Seeing Gabimaru discuss trivial issues about tied hands with others, Kieun grows angry at his confidence. He becomes weirdly happy as he plans to try out all his different weapons against Gabimaru before killing him. He rages against Gabimaru, and even in this tense environment, Sagiri commands Gabimaru to tie up his hands. A distracted Gabimaru is able to do that, but not before receiving a few hefty blows from Kieun.
As soon as Gabimaru focuses on the battle, all of Kieun’s strength doesn’t help in saving his life. Gabimaru easily finishes him off, stabbing Kieun with all his weapons. Kisho cuts off Kieun’s head and begins to leave the island and return back. Sagiri reminds Kisho that over 60 sergeants died on their way back from the island and asks Kisho to be careful. Kisho is amused by Sagiri’s concern when she is the one trapped with the killer Gabimaru. He tells her to be careful and predicts that only one criminal will remain after only a few hours. Before leaving, he mentions that the Shogunate has already contacted the new Iwagakure, and if nobody returns with the elixir, the island will be swarming with Iwagakure pretty soon. Hearing this, Gabimaru grows a little concerned, as he is aware of their true nature.
As soon as Kisho leaves, Gabimaru attacks Sagiri and tries to kill her, as he finds her a barrier to finding the elixir before the Iwagakure arrives. Sagiri gets on the backfoot as Gabimaru inches towards killing her. She breaks her sword fighting Gabimaru. Gabimaru gains complete control of the situation but is still unable to kill her.
‘Jigokuraku’ Episode 2: Ending Explained: Why Isn’t Gabimaru Able To Kill Sagiri?
Gabimaru starts to believe that emotions make a man weak after having been raised by the monstrous Iwagakure Chief. He was given the contrary advice by his wife: emotions are what make it possible for someone to grow strong. Battling Sagiri, one side of him commands him to kill Sagiri, for not doing so will only mean weakness, which he cannot afford on the island. On the other hand, his emotional side, nurtured by Gabimaru’s wife, knows that he doesn’t want to kill Sagiri. Sagiri sees this internal war tearing Gabimaru’s psyche apart and asks Gabimaru to be courageous enough to be true to his emotions and not see them as his weakness. Gabimaru rises to Sagiri’s behest and doesn’t kill her.