「ローリング・バラード」 (Rooringu Baraado)
“Rolling Ballade”

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 Sequence

ED3: 「Last Theater」 by NoisyCell



    1. Nameless Girl: A friendly mood. Its nice to have this once in a while.

      Glad both of them got reincarnated. Nice to see the games can end on a positive note as well.

      This episode had me smiling by the end.

    2. @Silke
      Well, obviously since they can make mistakes, they would also crack jokes. Nothing to be surprised of.

      Having to send one always into the void and the other into reincarnation would not make much sense, so its only a question of time till both deceased are sent either to reincarnation or to the void. Depending on each individual.

      Bittersweet smile that is.

    3. This can only mean that (eventually) it must be “balanced” out by having a completely twisted, grimdark episode that ends with both souls being sent to the void. x_x

    4. We still don’t know which option counts as “Heaven” and which option counts as “Hell”. In Buddhist philosophy, the goal is to become free of attachment and achieve enlightenment, and you only get reincarnated if you need another lifetime to try again.

      1. I think from this episode it suggests that reincarnation is the “good” outcome.

        However, there might also be no good and bad option and maybe that people who are judged favorably are simply given what they need. Like today’s couple were young and so it makes sense to be reincarnated to get another chance to live out their lives to the fullest. Maybe we’ll see someone older who lived a good life and gets sent to the void for a well-deserved “rest”. I’d be open to that possibility.

  1. I actually started tearing up when both Shigeru and Mai had to part ways. The ending credits sequence just had to rub it in too.

    On another note…
    Will five minutes be enough [for a date]?” – Decim
    For a second I tried to imagine how that would turn out (lol)!

    Thank you for the post, Cherrie o(-^o^-)o

  2. I had to re-watch the last scene again to figure out how Cherrie knew they both get to be reincarnated. There was a frame that showed that both the masks on top of the elevators weren’t Hannya masks when they parted.

    1. I also thought the same at first because getting plastic surgery is not really that shocking to me. It’s too common nowadays. Sex change on the other hand is a little more controversial.

    2. Its not about the Plastic Surgery itself, but the fact that She gone under the knife just to look like someone else, to get closer to her unrequited love.

      In Honesty, I too didn’t thought that the secret was plastic surgery, since that’s in itself isn’t a big deal. When watching it I thought the guy whispered that she was a slut, got pregnant then aborted, or something like that.

      It didn’t crossed my mind that She’s a Trap getting Gender Reassignment…but thinking about that after reading your comment REALLY excites me for the possibility…

      1. Strangely I also thought the friends whispered the girl was a slut and pregnant but when it became clear that a controversial operation on the girl would freeze the feeling of the guy the only thing I could think of was sex change. The girl didn’t look like a trap though and I was intrigued about what might be the shock factor here. In the end the cosmetic surgery was plausible and as a guy I know a beautiful girl can change your mind very fast, surgery or not.

  3. Looking back on the second episode, I have two predictions:

    1) When Decim mentioned that he respects people who lead fulfilling lives in the previous episode, he was referring to Nameless Girl/Kurokami no Onna as an example. She could be an individual who may impact the arbiters in one way or another. In that aspect, it is a bit similar to Angel Beats! where Show Spoiler ▼

    2) From the first theory, this leads to the second of who the arbiters are. They may be people who were not able to lead fulfilling lives and are left with judging whether others may be reincarnated or sent into the void.

    This is all just speculation though.

  4. The wonders people could do in less than 30 minutes. Personally I was struck by the simplistic story. The flow was there. The bitter sweet ending was just perfect.

    On a side note and not a related topic. Now I feel disdain towards a couple of staff who worked on tear inducing drama that fell short. What pains me is that they had more time than this measly 23 min episode. Yes I’m looking at you Kishi, Maeda, Ishihara, AND SHINKAI(Especially this guy). Even with that great cinematic reel ending 5cmps had, it still managed to be a dragfest and felt empty in between. Garden of words was ok. Nothing special. I’d say it was shorter so I guess it’s spaced better?

    Going back to the topic at hand. These two were very refreshing. I really got hit by the emotion of this ep. I really liked it. AND ONCE MORE! CHILDHOOD FRIEND! But they’re…. dead.. so that was the bitter part. I was already tearing up at the reveal. The circumstances and the simple story worked to worked wonders for me especially that last scene.
    That last scene made me say screw it, and I had a good 5 min cry.

    I’m looking for the screencap of their smiles at end but it’s not here. That’s quite the injustice. 😛

    Going back, the show makes me think that it’s up to the person where they go. The place is nothing more than just to lay down the cards and lessen your burden. The final words of a dead man. Now this reminds me of that Death Billiards in 2010.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    It makes you wonder, is Heaven and Hell(when brought up here) really just something of a human’s perspective? I mean void and reincarnation. You can be reincarnated in the most hellish of circumstances. Could that not somewhat equal to hell? Also void. Is nothingness really bad? What else could you wish for when a person feels content already. It just seems to me that it’s all a matter of perspective and what a person yearns for or where they expect to end up.

    This all just assumption though. Ep 2 made it seem that Decim made a mistake. However now I think there’s something else to it. Anyway for this to be somewhat clearer, I’m hoping we see a d-bag get reincarnated for the wrong reasons.

    Anyway best ep of this season for me. Death Parade is shaping up to be my personal AOTS. Ep 3 will probably remain as my personal favorite episode in anime of 2015.

  5. Oh my God I wasn’t ready for this amount of feels. I’m glad the show isn’t all ‘humans are shitty people’ and whatnot. Good to see that not every end is going to be a tragedy. 🙂

  6. It has been confirmed in the official website that Void=Bad.


    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. But then i have a Important spiritual question about Souls..

      Well, not for me, but when or how do Souls been born onto the Human world? Is it not a cycle of Life and Death, and being born in a new Body? But will someday the World ease to exists, because there are no more souls left to reborn in a New body? Is it there when the Dark-side of Humanity tip the World into Nothingness?

      1. anyway, as you can read. I do not want to be a God to guilty about someone Soul. Being a God is not just have Power over Life, Death and Almighty. no it is more like Parents in the Human World.

        Became a Parent is easy and Fun, but being a Parent is troublesome

        The first part do not need explanation. But the 2nd, you have to take Responsibility for this little Human in your Hand and Protect him until he can life on its own. Most try to run away, just want to have Fun part. But is it not Unfair against the Parent part, that have to decide to bear it or not? You force someones Life or Death question onto some Soul, you are not any better. If you are such a Person

    2. So the woman from the first two episodes is just stuck in a kind of nothingness while conscious? That’s a rather grim fate.

      They should’ve just left the good/bad status of reincarnation/the void ambiguous.

    1. Just from these Screenshots, i think the Girl is there to Help our Shinigami to understand the Human Soul’s better, and the Girl begin to understand the Shinigami’s, too. So a Win/Win of both sides. But then, will she be a successor of one of these in the Bar, or will she sometime find herself walking the same path?

  7. I can see this Anime, be the first Stage for fresh new Seijus. They could play the “victims”. But these Fresh New Seijus should go the same training like this one in Shirobako. They are Actors after all, they must put their Heart and Soul into their Voice to outshine of the background Noise of the many, and like us Shirobako show us, there is also the Luck important

  8. A question abou billiards: Why did the old man end up in the void? From the way the young man behaved and his memories, shouldn’t he end up in the void? At least that’s how someone like Decim would have judged, right?

      1. Looking it up on the internet can’t be that hard, is it?

        Death Billiards (デス・ビリヤード Desu Biriyādo?) is a 2013 animated short produced by Madhouse for Anime Mirai 2013. The short was created, directed and written by Yuzuru Tachikawa. A television anime series titled Death Parade (デス・パレード Desu Parēdo?) began airing on January 9, 2015

        TLDR; its an episode OVA which gathered enough interest until they decided to make a series out of it.

      2. @Techim

        He was talking also about an Old men. What an Old men? I did not saw anyone that could be him.

        Until now we saw 2 Love couples and this nameless Girl, and some side chars

      3. The anime does not need Death Billiards to explain anything (at least, so far). Think of the OVA as a pilot episode pitching the idea if that will help(*). If you’re going to start assigning blame for your confusion, assign it to dean for making an off-topic comment.

        I’m not saying that Death Billiards shouldn’t be mentioned, but discussions of it within the comment section of the Death Parade should at least start with some reference to what has been revealed in the anime series thus far. This is merely my opinion, of course.

        (*) In my opinion, while watching Death Billiards can be informative of Death Parade, Death Parade is not tied down to the ideas introduced in the OVA at all. So, the reasons that were/will be given in the anime series’ outcomes can contradict the speculated reasons for the outcome in the OVA.

    1. Yes – some context in the future would be nice. I think you’re referring to the OVA so for everyone that doesn’t understand, the “old man” that dean is talking about is only in the OVA called Death Billiards. It has no relation to Death Parade other then being a side story… think of it as a complementary episode (not a must watch, just a “nice-to-watch”).

      Here are my thoughts on the old and young man:
      Show Spoiler ▼

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s episode, I was totally not expecting the outcome and the way it played out. Now this episode opens up a lot of possibilities and scenarios regarding the fate of the souls. Though I am not sure what are the requirements for two souls to end up in Decim’s bar; do they have to share a relationship when two individuals died together? Must there be some ambiguity regarding the their karma? Can 3 individuals end up in the bar? I am looking forward to see where Death Parade go on from here.

    The feels during the ending :’)

    1. I don’t think they need to have a former relationship to get sent to the bar… nor do they have to die “together” in the same incident. If you watch the original OVA (named Death Billiards), they talk about a young man and an old man arriving at the bar together but neither have a connection. They just play a game of pool… and I won’t spoil the rest =)

  10. I was kinda expecting for a mental breakdown for sure, or the girl’s secret to be something different… But wow, never expected it to keep the episode on the ‘romance’ side till the end. Nice job

    Red HeartGold ZX
    1. This episode did great (in my opinion) with playing with the viewers’ expectations based off of the first two episodes(*). Without the dread/tension brought on by the expectation that something nasty will likely happen between the two dead souls, this episode would have been a snoozefest for me.

      (*) In only two episodes (plus watching the Death Billiards OVA), Death Parade has managed to make me strongly assume an episode formula that the anime can turn on its head so soon into its run. Wow.

  11. Too bad the couple cannot leave together for eternity with their memories intact. Rather, they are tossed into the cycle of life again. I found this episode kind of tragic for that reason

    Rick Anime
  12. I assume everyone on that bus perished, and it makes me wonder where they all got sent to. Also, do the people coming to the bar always have to be in pairs that knew each other or had a specific relation in death?

  13. Plastic surgery interestingly is a huge industry in South Korea right now. It a sign of both wealth and praised. They actually look down on using make up to enhance ones natural features. To us it seem twisted, but I would mind a brow lift (but only 6mm) and a under chin tuck (I have tiny chin,so you see the skin there and I feel like it fattens my face/double chin) to be honest.


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