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.