「デス・マーチ」 (Desu Maachi)
I should have guessed from the preview last week, but this week’s episode of Death Parade would focus more on the reoccurring characters that we see rather than the newly deceased. In fact, there’s no new visitors to Decim’s bar this week and instead, we’re introduced to more people that work in purgatory with Decim. Nona makes her reappearance, along with several new characters whom we haven’t seen anywhere but the opening sequence thus far. Amongst the new characters include: Ginti (Hosoya Yoshimasa) who is another arbiter that was sent to test Decim and Clavis (Uchiyama Kouki), whom we’ve seen before, he’s our elevator man. There’s also someone who claims to be close to “God” and another lady that acts the centre of information flow. What I found most informative about this episode though, was the background of Nameless Girl. It’s clear now that she came to Quin Decim as a deceased human, but she knew that she was dead and unsure of what to do with her – Decim and Nona kept her around. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to her in the future… but what’s more interesting is what this implies for Decim, Nona and others. Does this open up the question of how they got there and who they are?
I’m sitting on the fence of whether or not I like this new story expansion of Death Parade. Personally, I really liked the episodic approach of the first few episodes that showed a new pair of individuals that entered Decim’s bar. I like being able to analyze the characteristics of each person myself and come to my own conclusions of whether or not Decim’s judgment was right. I also like hearing what others think and trying to guess why Decim made the decisions that he did. The fact that the writers can come up with a new and even better story every week just goes to show how great they are at storytelling and keeping things fresh. On the other side of the fence, I like having continuity in my stories. I’m not someone that likes episodic anime normally. Knowing that the characters have some sort of connection means that there’s a larger picture at play and this is what intrigues me to continue watching. However, for Death Parade, I’m somehow fine with the story not focusing on the additional characters in or around Quin Decim. I feel like the anime already has so much to offer in terms of content, thrill and it doesn’t need the added stories between the recurring characters. The fact that there is another story to be told, only makes me skeptical as to how it adds value to the anime. While I like Nameless Girl and the way that they brought her into the story, what is her purpose and is her story going to be the finale? Now that we’ve gone this far, I have high expectations of Nameless Girl and what happens to her in purgatory. Will she end up staying and becoming an arbiter herself? Or will she eventually pick an elevator for herself?
The episode definitely leaves more questions than answers, but I like the added tales of Chavvot and Jimmy. A while ago, a lot of people thought that the book Nona was reading (in episode 2) would be key to unlocking… something. Turns out it’s very much linked to Nameless Girl and the dreams that she’s been having. The story is rather simple, almost too much so and I’m just waiting for the moment that the plot takes a dark turn (Chavvot’s smile also looks so creepy!). I’m hoping it’ll be used to explain Nameless Girl’s previous life or even reveal a bit more about Nona. Up until this point, it was uncertain if Nona, Decim and folks were actually living people (who never moved on) or if they were something else. After this episode, I don’t think they’re human but they were likely created by “God” or someone of higher power to do the job of arbiter and manager. Purgatory needs someone to organize the information; it needs order and it needs “people” to run the show when deceased human souls are sent there. The fact that there’s any chain of command and order already amazes me, but also makes me sad to hear that Nona’s gone through it for almost a century. No wonder they play games – boredom would really be an issue with me.
This pretty much mentions all the important points of the episode that I wanted to hit. The last thing that I wanted to talk about was how Decim actually failed this test given to him by Nona. A shame, but also a good way to show just how flawed Decim is as an arbiter. I thought episode 2 made it very clear already, but it’s perhaps Decim has such a blank demeanor that we often forget that he also has thoughts and feelings. The way he treats Nameless Girl is definitely a good indication that he feels for her and he appreciates her input while he’s judging others. Decim is not as expressive as any of the other characters, but that’s just him and some people are naturally born as unexpressive individuals. Sadly, Decim’s inability to probably judge people has also gotten him into a fair bit of trouble now. Honestly, how can you not realize that someone without memories could be dangerous or an anomaly? My attention would be all on the kid and the guy… well yes, he’s violent but it’s the kid that you don’t know anything about. Anyway, I hope next week brings us back to the evaluations of new couples and pairs but judging from the title, we’ll probably see more recurring characters brought back.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: A switch in focus on #DeathParade this week. There’s actually some background to the characters that run Quindecim and rules in purgatory.