After a person dies, their soul is in hold before anything else proceeds, right? In the real world, they are dead, but in the universe, they still have a chance to be ‘reincarnated’- reborn into something else. Something like that. How is this chance weighed and decided? This is where the majority of Death Parade’s story takes place: in the world of Arbiters (judges). Basically, after the death, humans are either sent to the void or reincarnated. But for some, at the instant of their death, they arrive at Quindecim, a bar attended by the mysterious white-haired Decim. He challenges them to the Death Game, wherein they wager their lives and reveal their true natures. Decim himself is the ultimate arbitrator of who wins and who loses, who will go to the void, and who will be reincarnated.
There is this stereotype classification of anime or manga that has the word “Death” in its title: Either it’s going to be really CLICHÉ, or excitingly UNIQUE. Death Parade, obviously, applies to the latter.
Death Parade has the storytelling literary techniques of a great psychological thriller and often dealing subliminally with the philosophical, religious and cosmological implications and conceptualizations of life and death.
It’s the secrets that we shelter in ourselves. The envious attitude we have. The regret we feel after doing something terrible. It’s about sacrifice and realizing your own faults in your own self. This is what Death Parade conveys.
Of course, the story follows the often morbid laws, procedures, games and creeds upheld by the arbitrators (we know little off them however they are developing back-stories and have some episodes of their linear internal politics and relationships as the story progresses), who judge the recently deceased guests by assessing their current choices, moral capacities, emotional responses and thought patterns while they regain their memories which are presented as flashbacks and carry their own weight to determine the destiny of the soul. What’s amazing in this anime series is that even though you are not a fun of psychological thrillers, you will still definitely enjoy this one!
I was really excited to see this on the list for the winter lineup. I was craving that psychological aspect. And it was well delivered in only 4 episodes. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. The only person who knows that truth are the people being judged and Decim. It’s such a thrill to watch and its movie, Death Billiards, is an evident nail-biter too!
Allow me to thank Yuzuru Tachikawa for a very unique and excellent plot-progressing anime. Should there ever be a second season? It could only be announced later this year or next year.
“Life really is a mysterious thing. Each and every life spins its own, totally separate tale, yet they become intricately entwined in each other. And no one knows how they will end up.” -Decim