「デス・リバース」 (Desu Ribaasu)
This week offers a bit more context to last week’s premiere and also provides some answers for those that were debating last week. What I like about this week’s episode (and actually, I like this method of storytelling in general) is that it takes a step back to explain what went on behind the scenes of Machiko and Takashi’s game. The show didn’t bother introducing a new pair of people to judge so there’s isn’t too much information bombarded on the audience at once and yet, there’s still plenty of new material to grasp what’s going on in purgatory. Ginta Nona (Okubo Rumi) introduces herself to “Nameless Girl” (Seto Asami) and she gives her a job as the assistant to Decim within his bar. There’s little explanation as to who she is, where she came from, or even her name, so for now – she’s called Nameless Girl (but if you look it up, she’s known as Kurokami no Onna). The bulk of the episode is spent describing the events that took place based on what Nona and Decim are trying to do. They get images and flashes of memories of Takashi’s and Machiko’s past lives, but they still have the make the call themselves as to who gets reincarnated and who goes into the void. The same scenes are played out and the results are the same… except now, we see that Decim probably made the wrong call.
I stand by what I said last week and I think it’s made clearer this week that Machiko did in fact cheat on her husband. However, I also find relief in knowing that Nameless Girl came to the same conclusion I did. In the end, Machiko loves Takashi and regardless of how or why she cheated, the baby is his and she wants them to love a happy life together. Personally, I think she regrets her actions, and she wanted to save her husband from “Hell”. Whether or not you agree with Nameless Girl’s analysis of Machiko’s feelings though, I think it’s clear that Machiko does feel bad. Whether she feels bad for cheating or for lying or all of the above, the flashbacks to me indicate that she truly loved her husband. Seeing the person you love degrade themselves to blood and tears because they’re untrusting of your relationship must have been so difficult for her to see. I can imagine that she wanted to relieve him of these internal struggles, which only manifested because he’s an untrusting person by nature.
For that, I think Machiko should’ve ended up with the better “elevator path” and if you think that’s reincarnation (or that’s what the show was eluding to), then Decim judged them wrongly. From the events of this week’s episode, it does imply that Decim made a mistake by believing that Machiko cheated on her husband and carried someone else’s baby. However, Nona also points out that Takashi is an untrusting individual by nature and he couldn’t have been saved either way so Nameless Girl’s theory of them being “happy together” could never have come into fruition anyway. What I got out of this though, wasn’t so much what the results were for the married couple, but the fact that Decim and Nona could be wrong. They judge the individuals that come into the bar based on a few memories and their actions during the games, but they don’t know the full story. Humans are unpredictable, I agree, and the reactions that you get when you’re in this type of dire situation, really invokes actions and feelings that you may not otherwise have or do. I think Nameless Girl will probably stay to help Decim evaluate the people that come into the bar and she seems to have a different interpretation of their actions. However, that still doesn’t answer of the question of which path is “preferred” and what is heaven or hell.
Death Parade provides a bit more context about the setting that we’re in this week, although it still doesn’t provide any concrete answers. I don’t know that’s the point, but I’d like to see more of this purgatory world that they live in and who the main cast is at least. Nona seems to be calling the shots and she lives on the bottom floor of this universe alone so perhaps she’s the one in charge. On the other hand, there’s also a lot of other individuals dwelling here that don’t get enough screen time for me to evaluate them. A lot of people last week were also talking about the meaning behind “heaven” and “hell” and how that may potentially be because of the heavily influence that Buddhism has. That hasn’t be confirmed, although I think it doesn’t completely lean to one religion or the other. When Nameless Girl pauses to look around, the statue that she’s looking at doesn’t exactly look like the Buddha that I’m used to, although it has similar characteristics. The hand placements are different though and reminds me more like how you would pray to a God. Anyway, another great episode from Death Parade. I like how they executed this episode with a different spin from last week and I can’t wait to see where the next two individuals are going to go. Bowling. I love bowling!
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Much needed episode to clear up some of the questions from last week. Also some good context for the setting of #DeathParade. Nameless girl is still nameless by the end of the episode… o_o I guess I can look it up. #dp_anime
ED2: 「Last Theater」 by NoisyCell