Hell’s Paradise: The history of Shinsenkyo explained

An image representing the beauty of Shinsenkyo in Hell's ParadiseCrunchyroll

Shinsenkyo, an unknown island with a thousand-year history, traverses the boundary between hell and paradise. Here’s how the fantastical world of Shinsenkyo came to be.

Hell’s Paradise is an ongoing Shonen anime series with dark and gory themes. Based on the manga of the same name, the series follows Gabimaru the Hollow, an elite shinobi assassin. Gabimaru is charged with the death penalty for killing countless people. He can only be pardoned from his crimes by searching for the Elixir of Life. 

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However, the elixir is said to be on a mystical island called Kotaku, more commonly known as Shinsenkyo. Some also call it paradise or even the underworld. It is an island located far beyond the Ryukyu Kingdom in the southwest seas. The “beauty” of the island captivates the numerous criminals and Asaemon that visit it in search of the elixir. 

Gabimaru is the only one who notices how bizarre and unsettling this location is. The island is no utopia because everyone who visits either dies or returns with a strange illness. Mysterious monsters and immortal entities inhabit this place. Delve deeper to find out about the history of Shinsenkyo in Hell’s Paradise.

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Jofuku – the man who founded Shinsenkyo in Hell’s Paradise

An image of the mysterious island Shinsenkyo in Hell's ParadiseCrunchyroll

Over a thousand years ago, Jofuku, a subject of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, set out to the sea to retrieve the legendary Elixir of Life. However, his quest came to an end when he made landfall on the island. Gofuku declared himself to be the ruler of Shinsenkyo and spent his entire life researching the secrets to immortality. 

He was a Buddhist priest, but he tried to unlock the secrets to immortality by following the principles of Taoism. He experimented with Tao and created abnormal creatures that later came to be known as “the monsters of Kotaku.” However, Jofuku wasn’t alone in this ordeal. 

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He had people accompanying them, who were converted into a race known as the Hoko. They became a race of immortals that resided in Shinsenkyo. However, he began to suffer from Arborification at some time and was taken care of by his wife, Rien, till his death at a very old age. 

What happened in Shinsenkyo after Jofuku’s passing?

An image of Lord Tensen gathered at one placeViz Media

Rien got severely depressed at her husband’s death and determined to revive him. She vowed to complete Jofuku’s research in developing the Elixir of Life and created the seven lifeforms who became Kotaku’s new rulers, Lord Tensen. Rien even started sacrificing the lives of Hoko for her research. 

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After 200 years, the research didn’t progress, but the Hoko began to reach the verge of extinction from undergoing Arborification. Concerned about losing their source of nutrition, the members of Lord Tensen formulated the plan of acquiring humans from the mainland to serve as replacements. Their plot eventually succeeded when they attacked the first human party on the island. 

Lord Tensen discovered how valuable the human race’s Tao was. This is how the members of Lord Tensen managed to create the prototype elixir known as Tan from the humans. The humans that arrived on the island were also forcibly transformed into Lord Tensen’s loyal followers and taught the teachings of Tao. 

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At some point, humans were convinced that Kotaku was the legendary region known as Shinsenkyo and that it was home to the Sennin as well as the legendary Elixir of Life. Because of this story, many humans have travelled to the island hoping to retrieve the elixir. As a result, the humans would always perish at the hands of the island’s creatures or Lord Tensen.

Hell’s Paradise can currently be streamed on Crunchyroll. In the meantime, check out our other TV hubs below:

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