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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Anime Analysis: Death Parade

I’ve been asked many times to do anime reviews. I’ve declined these requests because I find reviews to be a pain. Why should I give my opinion on something when people aren’t really interested in my opinion? And not only that, I need to try to sound smart in my review because my pure enjoyment of the anime alone doesn’t count. There are tons of anime that I really like that have a lot of problems in it, but people seem to think if there are a lot of problems with it, then it’s no good. This is why I can’t do reviews. That and it feels like I’m back in my freshman English class critiquing a story for each element such as plot, character, setting, and so on.

I would rather write on a deeper level when it comes to anime because anime is more than a cartoon. Anime has the ability to each people values and lessons in life. I know many anime that has inspired me in ways reality can’t. So instead of anime reviews, you’ll be seeing anime analysis posts from me, starting with this one.

 ***No spoilers***

Death Parade is not only about Death

We’ve been taught as young children that there’s a Heaven and Hell. If we were good we’d go to Heaven, and if we were bad we’d go to Hell. But who chooses our fate? Who judges whether we’re good or bad? “Welcome to Quindecim,” the place that decides your fate. In Death Parade it is the job of an arbiter to test the kind of person you really are. Arbiters have three rules to follow:

"One: Arbiters cannot quit making judgments, for that is the reason they exist.
Two: Arbiters cannot experience death, for that would bring them being too close to human.
Three: Arbiters cannot feel emotions, for they are mere dummies."

Following these rules lets the arbiters make the most accurate decision of a person’s soul. If the person is judged as good they’ll be reincarnated, but if the person is judged bad they’ll be thrown into the void.

            Death Parade follows Decim, the bartender at Quindecim who plays death games with his visitors to determine the outcome of their souls. The games are entertaining to watch and the people who come through Quindecim are interesting to watch as their personalities change once they realize their “life” is on the line. Death Parade has a lot of great things going for it on enjoyment level, but some neglect the story behind all the death. Just because the title speaks of death doesn’t mean that’s what it’s all about.

            The series shows that there is life before and after death. Quindecim is not only a place of death, but a place of life too. The people who are playing the games are fighting to live again. The audience sees how these people have lived and how they have changed their reason for living once circumstances arise. It is also seen towards the end of the series that our main character Decim learns about the meaning to live, something that should not be able to happen due to his role as an arbiter. It is clear that Decim starts to understand what it means and takes to live as he sees this reflected through his female assistant’s situation.

            Death Parade is entertaining, thought provoking, and suspenseful. The characters that work at Quindecim aren’t just mindlessly working. These characters encounter people that make them think about a person’s life and whether they are making the right judgments.

     Tachikawa, Yuzuru. Death Parade. Directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa. Produced by
            Studio Madhouse. 2015.

I hope you enjoyed my first anime analysis series. This one was short because I’m testing this out to see if it’s going to be a thing I do. Please give me feedback on if you liked this kind of thing or not. I’m also up for suggestions on anime, so send those my way too.

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