R: Death Parade

toys for the dead boys

Death Parade Ep 1
Seven Death Darts

Death Parade is an animated series adaptation of the earlier animated short, Death Billiards by the same studio, Madhouse released May 2, 2013. Directed and written by Yuzuru Tachikawa, the first episode is a doozy.

Warning: spoilers.

the couple
notice the kabuki masks on top of the door

Newlyweds Takashi and Machiko arrives on elevator in a mysterious bar. A man who introduces himself as Decim (Dequim) welcomes them to Quindecim (Queen Dequim) forces them to play a game with their lives on the line. You choose a game by pressing a button. Takashi got darts.

Death Parade - 01 - Large 03

 

Decim explains the rules:
1. Hit the target in turns using seven darts
2. Each target is linked to a body part of the other. The higher the point, the more painful it is
3. The starting point is 501 and they have to play to zero

calm down

 

Takashi finds out that they can forfeit anytime but since Machiko is winning, he keeps this to himself and tells her to miss. He later remembers a gossip he hears about “Matchy” and believes that his wife is cheating. She denies it and tells him that she is pregnant. At the end of the game, he loses and trashes about when they find out that they are actually dead and that the game is to determine who gets reincarnated or sent to the void. She then tells him that she indeed has been cheating and that the baby is not his.

In the end, Decim sends Takashi to reincarnation and Machiko to the void.

awesome powers

 

Now for our insights,
When Machiko “confessed” that she is cheating, sounds like a lie. She lied so that Takashi stops blaming himself for their deaths and turn it into anger towards her. What can he do to her? They’re dead. But then we see a scene of her with another guy so it gets confusing. As for Takashi, to harbor that kind of anger all that time but never really ask her side shows how much he distrusts her. He’d rather believe a rumor than her words.

bye bye

 

Then there’s Decim’s choice. He sends Takashi to reincarnation while Machiko to the void. Although at first, I believed that reincarnation =/= heaven and void =/= hell, I started asking why not call it heaven instead? Reincarnation is rebirth on Earth. You get reincarnated again and again until you finish the goal you were sent to do. When you do, you achieve Nirvana. I was rooting for the woman because I sincerely believe that she is innocent and that Takashi is the sick person (he lied to his wife because he did not want to lose. Meaning it’s ok if she loses) so I believe that Takashi is reincarnated because he failed to 1 love and trust his wife and 2 be a good person. He is given a second chance at life to right his wrongs while the woman is sent to a void where she can rest eternally.

To back up my claim, I read from another website that this name card reads Machida Yuuki, the Matchy that was being gossiped about. Matchiko is innocent!!Machida Yuuki

So none of us watched Death Billiards but the wiki tells a different setting and rules from this new anime. I definitely enjoyed this anime.

Madhouse outdone themselves. With an exciting story, mind-boggling plot, no moe, no yuri, no yaoi, no fanservice! Not saying that all those are wrong but there should be one anime without the overflowing hormones to break the trend (and for those who are not into it). Death Parade makes you think thoroughly about what you understood and what you think was being told simply because of the shows ambiguity. It’s exciting!

Also, no, despite the fact that I have white hair anime fetish, that is not the reason why I picked up this anime in the first place.

Review by GM Kanddy
Images from Cherrie of Random Curiosity