Name: Death Parade
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
Director: Yuzuru Tachikawa
Original Airtime: January 9, 2015 – March 27, 2015
After humans die, most are sent for ether reincarnation or into the void. But for some, at the instant of their deaths, they find themselves at the bar known as Quindecim, greeted by the mysterious poker faced barkeep, Decim. The guests are stripped of their memories, so Decim deceives them into playing games with their lives on the line. The true intention of Decim is to draw out the innermost dark natures by creating extreme circumstances for the purpose of judgement. Reincarnation or The Void? Such is the premise of Death Parade.
The basic premise of Death Parade being set in the after death stage was a great new idea that intrigued me while watching the very first episode. The judgements and games used were normal, usual indoor games with a twist. The main appeal of this anime was exploring the different shades of the human emotion. Though a bit slow to start, but the anime kept a steady medium pace. But there are still many questions left unanswered, many holes not filled. Perhaps there will be a second season when more will be revealed. I was also happy to find it ending in 12 episodes, cause I felt that anime like Death Parade is better in small doses.
The characters in Death Parade are all a bit vague. The arbiters, who judge, the creepy old guy with the flower like hair and beard, the elevator operator with piercings, the memory supply division people, the skull helmet woman assigning arbiters to the guests, all are of different characteristics and nature, but nothing about them is really explored enough. Rather the ones those are judged and one of the main characters (the black haired woman whose name will be revealed later on) they are rather much better explored. Most of the characters that play big parts in the story are left in the mystery and unexplored. Still, overall, the underdeveloped characters don’t really make the anime bad or anything, so don’t worry.
Here are some of the notable characters from the anime:
Death Parade sticks to a darker more eerie tone in its art styles. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are surprisingly very colorful, but the overall colors are a lot toned down. And that goes very well with the premise and the environment created in the anime. The character designs are also very well done and they all look amazing. I love the details in the expressions portrayed in the eyes of the characters. The animation in Death Parade is fantastic and there are even a few portions that will feel a lot like 3D animations. But then again this type of exceptional work is expected of Madhouse. They never disappoint!
Death Parade had by far one of the best soundtracks in the anime world in this year. The music and songs are all very emotional, soothing and heart touching. Specially, there is a piano solo that is unforgettable. The opening and ending of Death Parade, especially the ending theme, “Last Theater” by Noisycell is top class. After watching the anime, I’m sure you’d want to download the OST.
Death Parade is the type of anime which is enjoyable, but maybe not for all. If you like psychological and emotional stories, this is the anime for you. But if you are only into action and fast paced stories, you may not enjoy this that much. For the average anime lovers, this is definitely enjoyable, but you may have to keep your patience initially. If you have enjoyed anime like Mushishi, you are most likely gonna enjoy this.
Death has always been a subject much explored, but the time after death when explored makes up a great plot and an enjoyable anime as a whole. I loved how the anime explored the many different emotions of humans in a nearly perfect manner. The ending of Death parade was a satisfactory one that was done much better than most others. I would be happy if there are no other seasons to this, maybe a few OVAs for filling in some gaps should be good enough. But at the same time, if they did make a second season following the current plot, I would be curious enough to watch it.
I’d say, I definitely recommend watching Death Parade, even for the average anime viewers.