Category Archives: Death Parade

Death Parade – 10 – 12 (END)

And we arrive at, most likely, the biggest unsolved mystery yet mused by Death Parade – who is our Black Haired Woman, and why is she judging if she is only a human? The answers to that and more.

First things first, Mayu gives her life for Harada, by chasing after his spirit in the void at Ginti’s request. No doubt this was a way of judging her, but it appears as though both of their souls were saved in the process.

Oh, and Oculus wasn’t too happy to hear about the truth of Decim. Things didn’t play out quite as poorly as I had originally anticipated, luckily. Quite a good thing, no? He remains skeptical but not completely opposed to the idea of an “arbiter with human emotions.”

Her real name is Chiyuki. She lived a quiet life with her mother and father, frequently asking her mother to read her the book Chavot (The same one pictured earlier in the series about the girl who was deaf and became friends with the boy). Later in her life she became engrossed in ice skating, which became her life itself quite quickly. She won many awards but it wasn’t long before disaster struck – she severely hurt her knee and she would never skate again. She became depressed and detached, despite her mother’s attempts to reconcile and convey how proud she was of Chiyuki. Ultimately, Chiyuki took her own life. Quite possibly the saddest story we’ve had yet.

And then we have Decim – the only arbiter to ever have human emotions. He’s told us countless times that he respects people who have lived fulfilled lives, and even mentions that he hopes those who have been judged by him are “happy to have lived.” Decim has, no doubt, found that very aspect of humans that Chiyuki encompasses so intriguing, him being closer to a human than he is even aware.

Unfortunately, the time has come for Chiyuki to be judged, and he does so in a spectacular, heart wrenching manner. I doubt any words I can write here would do it justice, but it is nothing short of momentously powerful. Watching Chiyuki’s mother break down in tears after making her a dinner in front of her monument, claiming that she is sorry she never understood her stabbed me as though I had watched someone die right in front of my eyes. Decim’s “trick” with the switch that could bring her back to life was ingenious, especially considering he would have to dupe Chiyuki about the very nature of the test in the first place given that she is already familiar with how this works.

Ultimately, she passed and is on track for reincarnation. The whole scene was breathtaking, with Decim sobbing uncontrollably, apologizing for causing Chiyuki so much pain in the process. They share a warm embrace and head for the elevator. Here, the themes of Chavot return just as the sweet old woman had mentioned in the 10th episode – those who cannot understand words or happiness can understand with something non-verbal – a smile. Chiyuki advises Decim to smile more, cries, and gives him the last smile he will ever see from her.

A fantastic, brutal ending to a amazing show. Solid recommendation for Death Parade from me.

Death Parade – 8 & 9

When do we cross that line from good to evil? This theme was explored in a very real way in this insanely intense, emotionally driven double parter.

The only thing we are told about the two who are to be judged is that they are both murderers – Tatsumi and Shimada. One who look at the sullen old man and easily pin him as the murderer, but I thought that was an obvious red herring. Insufficient information to determine who is the murderer before knowing anything about their personalities or story anyway.

Well, as it turns out? They’re both murderers. They’re not quite as twisted as you might think. This probably makes me an awful person but I’d say that there’s nothing wrong with the average person having thoughts of revenge about the man that killed their wife – Tatsumi’s intentions were ultimately an extension of man’s long held shimmering desire for justice and to see it be brought themselves. As many other fallen heroes such as Light Yagami and Lelouche Lamperage have shown us, it doesn’t take long to become that which you are actually fighting when you employ such extreme measures. I can’t say I blame Tatsumi for dispensing his brand of justice as if something like this were to happen to someone I know, I don’t think I’d be able to be so harsh on them.

Shimada having killed Tatsumi, mistaking him for the accomplice, was a cruel twist but one that was quite easy to see coming about halfway into the story. I was impressed by the fact that Tatsumi actually goaded Shimada into killing him to complete his revenge, essentially showing that he wasn’t hypocritical and that he fully endorces the type of “justice” he had dispensed so often himself. Both cases for Shimada and Tatsumi are beyond tragic and, despite the fact that it wasn’t shown, I can only hope both of the poor men were given a second chance and re-incarnated.

Death Parade – 6 & 7

Plot episode incoming!

Let me say that episode 6 was one of my absolute favorite since the show’s inception. Harada, despite wanting to write him off as an egotistical, womanizing dick, actually proved to have some humanity (although, admittedly, Mayu was really the one who shone). These are some characters who possess all the depth of a real person – Mayu is not the most attactive or the most perfect, and she’s had some embarassing situations – but beneath her exterior lies a normal girl with a heart of gold, willing to do anything for Harada, her idol.

There is a saying about those you idolize though – don’t get to know them, although in this case Harada proves it wrong. I was on the edge of my seat as he reached for her hand before she fell to her fake doom. The little show they put on at the end for all of Quindecim brought the biggest smile to my face. Truly, an excellent, excellent episode.

Oh, and the first episode where we saw Ginti do some judging as well!

Episode 7 is heavy on the plot. So the bar is called Quindecim, right? Decim obviously comes from Decim, but what about Quin? She was a real woman with an odd personality – bubbily and spirited – makes me wonder why she and Nona get along so well. Quin was a former arbiter who now works for the intelligence borough, but people are dying so fast that she rarely has a single moment to breathe, even if she does agree with Nona’s analysis that she is more suited for it than her previous job.

Even if you weren’t paying attention, there is no way you didn’t notice the obvious machinations of building tension. Nona has done something unimaginable – infused Decim with human emotions. This is probably why we can relate to Decim more than Ginti, for example (for the record, I think he’s also quite likeable). However, Oculus has no doubt noticed that Nona has been hiding something – his chilling inquiry towards the end of the episode spells out the final conflict, I believe.

So, insurrection amongst the arbiters and god, eh? Count me in.

How wonderfully likeable Decim ended up being. I had thought I had him pegged the moment we were introduced to him in the beginning of the show, but thankfully I was wrong. Oh, and how about Mayu? I guess Ginti ended up keeping a human of his own… Haha. Seems he is not as different from Decim as he had previously thought.

Death Parade – 4 & 5

Oh no – he’s begun combining episodes. Yes, trust me – when I live in a magic world where I don’t work over 50 hours a week, I promise this will happen much less.

Misaki and Yousuke’s story is quite a sad one. Often times in anime we are presented with two factions who are very much caricatures of real human beings – that is, an extreme personification of one facet of someone’s personality. Often there are characters labeled as the “funny guy”, “the serious one”, etc. However, anyone that has spent an iota of time in the real world can verify that there is considerably more overlap than what fiction presents to us. Death Parade has shown us that it hasn’t forgotten that.

What is Misaki? A mother, a worker, stubborn, arrogant, but trying to change. It’s amazing but I can’t even bring myself to hate someone who slammed the poor NEET’s face into the screen, effectively killing him. Is it wrong to feel sorry for her? For what it’s worth, she did not reincarnate. Yousuke’s story is less interesting – a NEET who committed suicide feeling he had nothing left to live for. Indeed sad but there is little more to discuss.

Episode 5 brings us much to discuss. So, who rules over these arbiters, and why must they judge? We meet Oculus, playing the role of god, who is playing a round of pool against Nona…and losing spectacularly. While initially proving to be a scatterbrained, senile old man, there is no doubt a ferocious spirit lying underneath his exterior (And we get small glimpses of that, actually. Chilling.)

In addition, it seems that our favorite unnamed heroine, hereby dubbed Onna (I have also seemed similarly generic “unnamed, black haired woman”, but you get the idea) is beginning to remember a bit of her humanity. According to our findings, she was once a human that Decim took a shine to for unknown reasons. Perhaps Decim is somehow related to the children’s storybook mentioned in the beginning? He seems to have some sort of communion with Onna, although it is difficult to discern what, exactly, that might be.

Oh, and we’ve also met Ginti – the hot headed arbiter who started alongside Decim, who, according to Nona, is far less capable. He seems to have quite the bad temper, but all things considered, I think he thinks highly of Decim.

Intriguing. More plot episode incoming, no doubt.

Death Parade – 3

I don’t think I have the heart to withstand this show – it seems as though it is intent to see sad stories to their very end with no hope of a last chance. Miura and Mai’s love story is a simple one, but cute and touching all the same. I always feel love stories deeply, especially one about a young love that is lost, and in this case, found again too late.

Chisato was Miura’s friend that moved away when he was little, but it was young Mai that really love Miura. So much so, that she underwent plastic surgery to look like Chisato. I think Miura figured it out all along and he was still ok with it. Seeing the credits roll by as they went on their date, enjoying their first and last time as a couple together made me melt inside. Mai had lived her whole life in pursuit of Miura’s love, and at last, only in death, was she granted it. Only those with vapid, black holes in places of your beating heart need apply here, as the rest of you will shed at least one tear.

How tragic but wonderful all the same. If you must die, this is a fine way to go. Decim made me smile when he granted their last request for their date – I wasn’t expecting him to allow it, but it seems he’s not such an uptight guy after all. He does have a heart….somewhere in there.

I wasn’t sure what the significance of bowling with the other’s heart was in this case (unless it was just to make them aware of their feelings for each other, indirectly? But why, though?) – or rather, if the bowling game was symbolic of anything itself, but that I doubt.

A pure and innocent love lost to the uncaring, equal embrace of death. May they live on in their afterlife happily.

Even if we have found a formula, as long as the stories bear as much heart and worth as this, then we have nothing to fear. As usual, a spectacular showing from Death Parade.

Death Parade – 1 & 2

This time, we have Death Parade.

Many anime over the years have lightly tangoed with the idea of death and the afterlife – where do we go when we die? While few have played directly with the departed and ideas of the afterlife (Yuyu hakusho, bleach, vaguely death note, shigufumi), none have taken the initiative to explore the next life as intimately as Death Parade.

Even if the not-starkly-original concept hasn’t hooked you, fear not – I guarantee you will be guessing all through the first and second episode, and not in a confusing way. We assume the role of Decim, who is the arbiter of the afterlife. He’ll offer you a drink, but soon after, you’ll be “forced” into playing a game that reveals the inner workings of your character and shows him really who you are.

Despite thinking I had everything figured out, the scenario drawn in the first two episodes took me by surprise.

While it was wild seeing the couple in the first episode fall apart, I have to say it really took me aback at the end when the woman revealed she was pregnant with another man’s child (Even Decim was surprised as fuck, did you see him?) Episode 2 reveals that it’s highly likely that it may have been a feint, according to the rookie, to make the man feel as though he wasn’t responsible for killing his own son.

Nona does not seem convinced and, despite paying Kurokami a compliment later rescinds it and goes into her hammock to be a tremendous bitch for some reason. Ok, so was she not impressed or is she just jealous of the newfound talent? They’re all playing for the same team, so it’d probably do some good to keep that in mind.

While I don’t think we’ve seen the inner workings of an over-arching plotline yet (and, to be quite honest, I might be fine with this episodic pace), it is too early yet to tell. I believe the Queen Decim has a few more mysteries to gently whisper to us yet and, as one could expect from only two episodes, we have seen only the tip of the iceberg with this psychological mind fuckery.