OP: 「Flyers」 by BRADIO
「デス・セブンダーツ」 (Desu Sebun Daatsu)
“Death Seven Darts”
There is nothing quite like Death Parade this season and it probably beats out all the premieres I’ve seen to date by a long shot. If you haven’t seen the original Death Billiards, the story is about a mysterious bar that acts like purgatory after death. Humans get sent here after dying and they meet the bartender, Decim (Maeno Tomoaki) who explains the rules of wagering their lives on challenges they must face. There’s no escape for the couple that shows up this week, Takashi (Nakai Kazuya) and Machiko (Kawasumi Ayako) who show up at Quindecim with no memories of how they got there. After being forced to play a game of darts with some twisted consequences, it’s revealed that the newlyweds don’t lead the perfect marriage. In fact, there’s a lot of deceit and manipulation going on and their feelings intensify after realizing that their lives are at sake. One will go to “the void” and the other is “reincarnated”.
First of all, before breaking down the episode of what actually happened – I loved this episode from beginning to end. It was gripping from the start, the mystery aspect of both the bar and the couple’s lives was interesting and it sparks a good conversation of whether or not you believe Machiko actually cheated. With Madhouse backing this up… oh boy, the production values are superb and you can see that just from their facial expressions and the amount of blood and tears that went into each of the characters’ emotions. Both figuratively and literally. I was completely blown away from not only the plot and the intricacies of the story, but how thought-provoking it is. If the audience wants an anime that makes you ponder and think, I think this is it. Each episode will probably feature a different person coming to the bar and it’ll slowly reveal the reasons that they’re there. If each individual featured can be this interesting, I’m all for it and I’d love to see how damaged each person is when their lives are put at stake – after all, I think that’s the point of the anime. Hearing more about the bar itself and the people that work in it could be a nice touch of continuity as well. There seems to be a lot of them in the OP and I’d like to see how that comes into play.
Now for the actual debate of what happened…
I thought about it for a while and I’m sitting in the camp of – Machiko cheated, but she regrets it and she does love Takashi. I also believe that she is pregnant, but whether or not it’s Takashi’s baby is a blurry line for me. She does seem to have cheated after her marriage though which means that she probably regretted it a lot on their honeymoon and thus, ignored this other man’s calls. I don’t think Machiko is blind or stupid and playing these games of darts shows just how much she valued her baby’s and husband’s life over her own. She knew that she was going to “win” from the start and even after Takashi purposely played to get ahead, she still said it’s fine as long as he doesn’t aim for her stomach (or I guess uterus region). The animation and tone of her voice convinces me that she honestly loved her husband. Her biggest weakness was seeing him rip himself to pieces knowing that he was going to die AND he probably didn’t truly believe that she loved him. I think that’s what drove her to confess and by doing so, it would give her husband some peace-of-mind by telling him what he wants to believe. It’s sad because her reaction after confessing did not look like she was proud of cheating and that’s what leads me to believe she genuinely regrets what she did. I think this case can be argued other ways though so I’d love to hear others’ thoughts.
I think a little clarify might be required for those that also believed that Machiko was right and Takashi didn’t trust his wife. I was also confused so it’s only fair that others may be as well. The idea of “hell” and “heaven” is different in this anime than it is in Christianity and other religions (which is the interpretation that I’m used to). I’ve seen others call it closer to Buddhism in which, there is no “hell” but being reincarnated would be considered worse then the alternative because to live again would be “suffering”. I think your ultimate goal would NOT to be reincarnated but to break the cycle and escape this “suffering”. Being sent into the “void” would be better off than living again and although it’s not clear what the “void” is, it’s believed that you would pass on and you’ve achieved something greater than living. Correct me if I’m wrong please. So in this situation, the fact that Takashi is getting reincarnated shows that Decim deems his life as undeserving to move on and instead, he sends Machiko to the “void”. I think he sends her because – like I said – he sees that she felt guilty for cheating and she really did want to save Takashi’s soul in the end by confessing. Did you also notice that they came in the same elevator that they left in?
For the sake of not going on and on, I think I’ve said what I can about Death Parade (for this week at least). The episode itself was an excellent way to showcase what we’re in for this season and it’s definitely an outstanding anime. I recommend it for all those looking for a psychological thriller and something that makes you stop and think about human nature and how much we value our lives. This reminds me a lot of my favorite manga, Liar Game which tests individual’s wits and motives. Death Parade is very similar because it tries to deduce where you should be sent in the afterlife based on your actions in these games. Notice that the “rules” for these games are also very broad and I want to see how someone thinks outside the box. I can’t wait to see what Death Parade delivers this season and I have my expectations sky high for this one.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Omg #DeathParade… So much psychological craziness! Reminds me so my fav manga o.o Highly recommended for all those looking for something different this season. Watch it. Now.
ED: 「Last Theater」 by NoisyCell