Death Parade, the Fatal Game

Reviewer: Ookami
Season: Winter Release 2015
Anime Genre: Mystery/Supernatural
Based on: Short movie named Death Billiards
Preview: http://bit.ly/Death_Parade_Trailer

Many anime have touched on the theme with life after death. There is Haibane Renmei, where winged people wake up from eggs and explore life after death in weird uncanny ways, then there is Bleach and one of the worlds is a place called Soul Society where the dead goes, also we have Gantz, a horror anime where life after death is a sick game of kill or be killed again. Death Parade however, is something else, a series that deals with the five stages of loss (denial, anger, bargaining, grief and acceptance) on a whole other level, as you will see…

Main Characters

Decim Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno
Decim Decim is the bartender of the Quindecim bar who oversees the Death Games. He has the strange hobby of making mannequins.

 

 

Nona Voiced by: Rumi Oukubo
Nona is Decim’s boss. She sometimes oversees the games and she works on the 90th floor.

 

 

The Black Haired Woman Voiced by: Hidenobu Kiuchi
She is a human that has no memory of her real name and is Decim’s assistant. She keeps having continuous recurring dreams about a boy named Jimmy and a girl named Chavvot

 

 

Let’s break it down a little

Fanatik Warning: This part of the review has spoilers; so do not read if you do not want to know what happens…

This anime gave me what I really like, an anime that deals with choices and consequences (a similar theme shared in the anime xxxHolic). In Death Parade, we first meet the characters: they have amnesia and look innocent at first. Then as the story progress, the darkness starts bubbling through the cracks. They play a game with Death that already has won anyway; this is just to decide their fate: Void or Reincarnation. It is not like the supernatural xxxHolic anime at all but has the same elements like dealing with choices and consequences, this time after death.

First Episode Preview

Death-Parade2

The doors of two elevators open simultaneously and a man step out of one, a woman the other.
“Machiko!’ The man calls out to the woman as he recognizes her and they clasp hands.
Honey? Where are we?” She asks confused.
Puzzled as she is, he informs her that he does not remember and she agrees, she is also suffering from memory loss about how they came to be there.

They look around. All they see is that they are in a passage with beautiful wallpaper that is dimly lit with deep red carpets. They walk down the passage, passing a beautiful indoor garden pond until they walk into a tastefully decorated barroom. Behind the bar counter the bartender bows stiffly.
“Come in. Welcome to Quindecim” he says stoically.

Then the theme song starts (and it is freaky because it looks like a Bollywood dance video.)

After the dancey intro we are at the bar again. The bartender introduces himself with a bow. “Allow me to formally introduce myself. I am your bartender Decim.”
The man from the elevator nods back and greets Decim. Then the bartender continues to talk.
“Now then, if you will indulge me, I must ask you a question. Do you remember anything from just before you came here?”
The man shakes his head. “No, I don’t remember. I think…” He pauses for a second, “we were on our honeymoon trip though.”
Machiko confirms it. “You’re right. I remember that much, as well.”
Decim bows again. “Very Good. Thank you very much.”
Still very puzzled, the man asks Decim, “Never mind us… what is this place?”
Decim gets more serious. “I am now about to explain to you what your circumstances are. I ask that you please pay close attention.”

Then he explains to them where they are, and trust me, it is freaky. But what don’t you go and watch the anime and see just how bizarre death Parade is for yourself.

Our Score:

Fanatik Overall Score: a death defying 9 out of 10

Originality/Story (9) – You get to go to a bar in the afterlife where you play a death game, which leads you to be judged whether you get to be reincarnated or erased. I’d say is brims with originality.

Animation (9) – The animation really sets the atmosphere nicely and every aspect of the anime was well designed from the characters to the look of the very trendy-modern looking bar. The art is just phenomenal and pulls you in.

Characters (8) – The victims (cough) um… dead people that appears in each episode were well thought up, as for Decim and the other regular characters, it would be nice to see more character development there, but it is not that bad.

Sound/Music (10) – The opening theme (Flyers by Bradio) is strange. Don’t get me wrong the song is not bad but the animation is well… freaky, because Death parade is a serious and dark anime dealing with death and judgment and in the opening animation everybody is dancing. It reminded me of a Bollywood Horror movie I once saw. Noisycell’s son Last Theatre was the ending theme and it is a super amazing J-rock track that might urge you to rewind and listen to it again and again.

Enjoyment value (9) – This anime works if you are one that likes anime that touches on serious matters that sometimes leaves you to question humanity. If you like your anime cute and fluffy with unicorns and rainbows… you may have a problem.

Verdict

Death Parade is a suspenseful anime that makes one think deeper about life and death but keeps you entertained by keeping you on the edge of your chair, expecting the unexpected at every turn. It is a must see if you liked anime like Death Note or even xxxHolic, and it is an anime well worth watching a second or seventh time. (Okay maybe not a seventh time, lol)

Ookami reviewed this anime at 925Rebellion as well. 925Rebellion is an ‘internet culture magazine site’. Please follow this link: http://goo.gl/6MpqEb