And while the recently-premiered anime adaptation of Hell’s Paradise promises to be a big hit, fans have, naturally, begun to ask questions about the series’ characters, their roles in the story, and their fates. Seeing how Hell’s Paradise is truly one of the season’s biggest hits, we have decided to dedicate yet another article to the wonderful world of this manga and reveal some additional information about one of its characters. The character in question will be Hōko, the talking tree monster whom Gabimaru and the group met while they were above the ruined Hōko village. In this article, you will find out who Hōko is and what happened to him in the story.
Hōko is a talking sentient tree that lives in Hōjō village and is a member of the Hōko race living on Kotaku. He found Mei when she was banished from the Hōrai and took her in, becoming a father figure to her from that moment on. He became, along with her, an ally of Gabimaru and his group and would go on helping them find the Tan elixir and get off the island.
The rest of this article will focus on Hōko and his fate in the Hell’s Paradise series. Hōko was undoubtedly one of the most intriguing characters in the Hell’s Paradise lore, and it only makes sense that the fans want to know what happened to this strange creature, so we have decided to compose this article. This article will contain some spoilers from the Hell’s Paradise manga, so be careful how you approach it.
Hōko was a benevolent character who helped Mei and has been taking care of her ever since
Going back a thousand years in the past, we will see Hōko, in his human form, living peacefully with his wife and daughter in the village of Hōjō, the same village our heroes would reach later in the story.
Now, at some point in the past, his family and the whole village started to undergo the process of Arborification, thus turning them all into plants. When the process was completed, Hōko retained his consciousness, and when he was left with no other choice, he left for the Hōrai, where the other people had gone through the process of Arborification. But, as fate would have it, he met a young girl named Mei on his way.
Mei was actually the first Tensen to be created by Rien; initially, she was led to believe that Jofuku, Rien’s husband, created her, but that was a lie. Rien trained her and helped take care of her other Tensen siblings, but when she observed the experiments Rien had been doing with immortality, she rejected them and rebelled against them.
Because of that, Rien punished her by breaking her plant ovule, which did not kill her but reverted her back to her child form. After that, she was banished from the central town and wandered the island alone until Hōko found her. Hōko then abandoned his original plan and took Mei in as his “daughter” and returned to the village, where both of them had been living, far away from Lord Tensen and any serious dealings on the island.
So, after facing off against Rokurōta and killing him, when our heroes reached Hōjō village and observed it from up above a cliff, Gabimaru first sensed that someone was staring at them. It turned out that a little, hooded figure was definitely staring at them from behind a tree; then immediately went after her. A huge tree-like monster assaulted Gabimaru as the young girl fled, revealing she was indeed a child. Gabimaru decided to pursue the girl instead of the tree monster because he felt she was more essential. Yuzuriha and Senta were left to deal with the creature while Sagiri accompanied him. Yuzuriha would later steal Senta’s spectacles so that he could not see her skills.
In the meantime, Gabimaru and Sagiri catch up to the girl, but she can throw Gabimaru aside with ease, which shocks everyone, as she is just a little girl, and no one thinks that she is that powerful. Sagiri tried to tell her that they did not wish to harm her – and they really did not, as Gabimaru chased after her only because he thought she would have some information about the island and their potential enemies – but the girl did not listen and attacked her. Gabimaru stepped in to block the punch, but as soon as he started coughing up blood, he realized that the girl was using some special power and decided to get serious.
He quickly used vines to immobilize the young girl, but something happened. The girl began to cry when she understood Gabimaru’s seriousness, which startled him. Realizing that the girl was a small child, he decided to release her. They were soon joined by Yuzuriha and Senta and the tree monster, who began speaking and begged them not to harm her. The girl’s name was Mei, and the monster’s was Hōko.
Hōko and Mei proved to be friendly and offered to guide them to the village, and while Yuzuriha believed it was a trap, they all persuaded her to join them. Aside from being friendly, the two of them proved to be an invaluable source of information. Namely, Hōko provided Gabimaru and the others with information about the island and its geography. They also revealed some valuable information about the monsters on the island, themselves, as well as their future enemies.
Hōko also confirmed that the elixir, known as Tan, really does exist, showing its effect on himself as he pulled out his own arm, which then simply grew back. But, Hōko also said that Lord Tensen, the enemies they were about to face, would kill them and that entering the Hōrai, the central area of the island, would be next to impossible for them, as their enemies would be simply too powerful for them to face. This, of course, did not hinder Gabimaru and the others in any way.
Mei and Hōko’s tale changed as the narrative went along. She was quite helpful to the others, including Gabimaru. Even more maturely and unexpectedly for him, Gabimaru pointed out a weird mark on her that she was concealing and informed her that she should not hide who she is; in other words, she did not have to hide her mark. Naturally, this would facilitate Mei’s interaction with the group, and as the narrative developed, they would finally come to be allies. Of course, Hōko qualifies as well because he served as Mei’s “parent.”
Now, Hōko’s and Mei’s story continues to be interesting even later. After Gabimaru went to the Hōrai and Mei followed him, Hōko led the rest of the group to the gates of the island’s central area, where people were usually forbidden to enter. They were immediately met by Mu Dan, one of the Tensen, who started the fight by slicing off Hōko’s head. Sagiri engaged him in battle and ultimately persuaded Hōko to tell her his weak point; they ultimately managed to defeat him with Shion’s help.
Hōko would later be reunited with Mei and was happy to see she was doing good. But, when her conditioning was starting to take effect once more, Hōko offered her his Tao so it would stabilize her. Although she initially rejected it, Hōko told her it was his way of repenting for not listening to her pleas to leave the island long ago, as he simply wanted to raise her as his daughter. Sad, Mei finally accepts and absorbs Hōko’s Tao, reverting back to her child form and saying farewell to her father, telling him that she had always considered him her family.