「ローリング・バラード」 (Rooringu Baraado)
This week’s episode of Death Parade set a new tone for the series which I wasn’t expecting. The first couple that we were introduced to gave the impression that everyone that visited Decim had a secret to hide and they were in purgatory to determine the next steps for their “souls”. This week’s couple proves that not only is there a win/win situation, but purgatory doesn’t always have to be all sadness and angst. Two people can in fact, get reincarnated (and reversely, both go into “the void” I guess). Although this doesn’t make for an impactful ending or resolution, it shifts the mood of Death Parade and gives me hope that people are not all bad or deceitful and untrusting. Miura Shigeru (Majima Junji) and Takada Mai (M.A.O) ended on good terms and although being dead doesn’t make anyone happy, I think this opportunity gave them a chance to answer all the “what if” questions floating out there.
I can approach this episode from different angles, but I think the one that hit closest to home for me was the fact that Mai loved someone that didn’t even notice her. Similar to episode 1, I can’t speak for the entirety of their life together, but from the brief flashbacks, it’s obvious that it was an unrequited relationship between the two. In fact, it looked like Shigeru didn’t even talk or remember Mai until this moment and he was probably so preoccupied with everything else going on with his life. In no way do I blame him though… I’ve also been in his shoes where you’re just ignorant of others’ feelings towards you unless you state it out right. On the other hand, I also feel bad for Mai because I too, have been on the sidelines before. What I think is up for debate, is whether or not plastic surgery is the answer. I am someone that is pro-choice and I strongly believe that if it’s something that someone wants to do, that’s your decision. However, that doesn’t mean that I agree with it. I know that in certain cultures and backgrounds, plastic surgery is not seen as being fake and looked-down upon. In fact, if it’s for corrective features (like unbalanced eyelids or after someone experiences cancer *knock on wood*), then that’s understandable for you to want to look “normal”. Regrettably, I cannot simply agree with someone that wants to get surgery done just to enhance their physical appearance for one person.
I don’t know much about Mai’s situation… I can see that perhaps she’s someone that suffered from self-esteem issues and wants to feel better about herself. I can also see her as someone that wants to look like Chisato because that’s the person that Shigeru wants to see. If her plastic surgery was for the latter reason, I’d argue that Mai is beautiful as she is and she doesn’t need Shigeru if he can’t see her for who she is. Of course, there’s always the debate of whether or not physical appearance really means that much in a relationship if your personality is great and the couple has chemistry. I’d like to believe that Mai could’ve just as easily dated Shigeru without having the plastic surgery done. On the other hand, I can definitely empathize with her situation of being self-conscious and uncomfortable with your appearance. I think a lot of people go through that phase, and that’s why if the surgery actually helped Mai grow as a person and help her approach men, then maybe it’s not such a bad thing. Self-esteem is serious business, especially for a young adult so I would understand that.
Now for the actual events of the episode… I’m glad that Mai and Shigeru ended up together in the end even though their circumstances were not ideal. I think Mai likely forgot her own identity because she couldn’t even identify herself in the mirror after looking at her own face. However, the memory loss worked in their favor because they got to know each other without the assumptions and pretense. Although there was nothing surprising about mistaking Mai and Chisato, I thought the better revelation was seeing Shigeru accept Mai as she was. He accepted her as she was knowing that she got plastic surgery and he proved to be a bigger man than I anticipated. Even Decim expected the turn of events to turn nasty and I’m glad that he was wrong.
Speaking of Decim… his relationship with Nameless Girl is a nice mix of dynamics. While Nameless Girl represents how I would react to the situation, Decim is so cool and collected. Not to mention someone with some dry sarcasm (hilarious!). I like how they complement each other and I can’t wait to see what happens between the two of them now that the episodes focus more on the side characters. The show is much more multidimensional than I imaged it to be and I love it for that reason. It’s definitely proven to showcase different scenarios of life after death and just how human nature can be. It gives me hope that not everyone has to go into “the void” and breaths more life into the Quindecim bar as well. I can’t wait to see next week’s episode as it’ll focus on arcade games and what appears to be an elderly couple? Hmmm…
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #DeathParade does not always have to end with anger and sadness. This week proves that you can depart on a happy note <3 I asked the question before, but can 2 people get reincarnated or get sent to “the void”? Looks like I got my answer this week #DeathParade #dp_anime.
ED3: 「Last Theater」 by NoisyCell