「アルコール・ポイズン」 (Arukooru Poizun)
“Alcohol Poison”

A lot of progression this week for the arbiters and it’s all in the subtle discussions that they have between one another. Nameless Girl discovers the Chavvot book and she quickly regains enough of her memory to realize that she’s dead. Decim’s history is revealed and it’s shown that a woman named Quin (Shiraishi Ryoko) used to run the bar and be the arbiter situated there. She moved on to be part of the Information Bureau and Decim was created to replace her. Ginti has issues of his own by being stuck with Mayu after last week’s episode; I don’t know if he’s intentionally keeping her around or not though. Finally, we meet Quin herself when she visits Nona on her floor. As good friends, they share a few drinks and discuss Nona’s recent progression with Decim. I don’t really know what Nona is intending to do, but whatever it is, Oculus seems to be one-up from her and she’s keeping secrets from him.

There’s a lot going on this episode and the focus of it seems to be on Decim and his ability to be a good arbiter. From the “rules” stated by Oculus in the beginning, arbiters are supposed to be dummies created for the sole purpose of judging human souls when they enter purgatory. However, Quin implies that Decim is “special” and that’s why Nona keeps a close eye on him. I don’t know the mechanics of how it’s done, but Nona likely “put” human emotions into Decim when she created him. Nona appears to be experimenting with him and she wants him to succeed and pass her “tests” but Decim is struggling along the way. However, there’s no doubt that Decim feels more of an attachment to those that come into his bar than other arbiters. That’s definitely why he has a “hobby” of creating mannequins that look like the previously deceased and why he keeps them around his bar. Both creepy and quite sad because I think I’ve deeply misunderstood Decim all this time. For someone that actually wants to remember all these people that visit him, he has his memories periodically removed and has to live with all these mannequins that he knew existed but can’t recall what happened. Nona calls it his “hobby” and doesn’t seem to understand that this is what makes Decim more closely connected to humans. If that’s what she’s trying to achieve (and breaking rule #2 at the same time), she shouldn’t overlook it.

Since the beginning of Death Parade, I always thought that the story would be focused more on Nameless Girl rather than Decim – which doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. They’re both equal protagonists in this story. Contrary to a lot of theories floating around about Decim being Jimmy and Nameless Girl being Chavvot, I don’t necessarily think that’s the case anymore. Since Decim is not (or ever was) human, I think the more likely use of the symbolic book is that it represents Nameless Girl’s prior life. It’s not really the plot of Chavvot that’s important, but the fact that it helps Nameless Girl remember her past and the fact that yes, she’s dead. I don’t know why she didn’t bring it up with Decim; perhaps she’s also scared of where she’d be sent? Or is her reason of being for a greater purpose? I think Nona might have purposely put Nameless Girl there to try and get a reaction from Decim. Whether that be to try and heighten his human-likeness or help his duties as an arbiter, I think Nameless Girl is meant to help Decim in his development.

That is not the same feeling that I have towards Mayu and Ginti though…
I was hoping for an explanation this week as to why she stayed behind, but there’s no such resolution. All we know is that she’s still here and kicking while Ginti is unable to get rid of her. He threatens to throw her into the void but I have a hard time distinguishing whether or not he can actually pass judgment on her. Is he stuck in a similar situation like Decim and can’t properly put her here or there? Or is he being forced to keep Mayu around (probably by Nona)? I’d like to see Ginti grow an attachment to Mayu, but I highly doubt that will happen in the next month – not with their current personality clashes anyway. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong since Ginti is listed as “main character” and if luck would have it, he’ll have his own development to go through. He has a lot of potential to grow since he appears more flawed than the rest of the cast; especially with Nona continuously bashing his dead on the table. Poor guy…

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: So Decim wasn’t the first Decim… That’s not so surprising. But it’s confirmed that they’re not humans and instead dummies!




  1. I think it’s odd that Decim is the one who has emotions “implanted” in him, when Ginti seems much more…human.

    Also, there’s a blonde arbiter that we see from behind. Shizuo, izzat you? (I know it’s not, but I don’t see too many blonde bartenders in anime.)

      1. Really? But introverts are actually more responsive and sensitive to stimuli. It’s just that they show it in micro-responses, which aren’t obvious and very visible at first look.

  2. Unless I miss something, Nameless Girl has already known for a while that she’s dead; I think it was mentionned a few episodes ago when they explained that Decim couldn’t pass judgment upon her and that’s why she stayed. She was the only one to ever come knowing she was dead.

    1. Yes, you missed something. Because of THAT her memory was temporarily whipped. When she woke up on a…tree in a pot? where Nona lives, she didn’t remember anything. Of course, Decim and Nona knew it’s only time when memories will start to come back to Onna. But it seems Nona (or somebody else?) tried to help Onna gain her memory earlier than later.

  3. Though Ginti seems more human than Decim…I think it’s because of how Decim was made more than anything else. Ginti, and presumably the other arbiters, were designed with a set persona, which, though evolving, is more from an adult’s established perspective. Jst as it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, teaching an arbiter how to be different is difficult, especially when they’re in a like-minded and established culture, especially when any interaction that could affect them is regularly wiped from their minds.

    That’s where Decim is different; from the start, he’s more akin to a child who knows the rules, but is trying to learn what responses are “right” for a situation. However, since he’s from a younger perspective, he works alone, and any interaction he has with the customers is regularly wiped from the table of his mind – he doesn’t display normal human emotions because he isn’t sure how to do so properly, which is probably hampering his ability to judg others properly. If we use the “Nona brought Onna in to help Decim grow”, however, then it makes a great deal more sense; unlike the other cast members, Onna remembers everything from episode to episode, and though she doesn’t know the rules, she’s someone Decim regularly interacts withand thus learns from. It helps Onna has no memories, and thus it’s a more human reaction she has without any strong memories to have biases towards, and thus Decim may develop the ability to display emotions properly. We’ve seen that he’s able to crack jokes, and is protective of Onna, which as far as we’ve seen wasn’t in his personality beforehand.

    On that note, I wonder, if it really was Nona’s decision that Mayu sticks around, if she’s trying the same on Ginti. Ginti and Decim came from the same batch after all, so if Decim was implanted with human emotion, Ginti may have too. Just like Decim, any interactions Ginti has are in a closed and like-minded system, but Mayu comes from outside of it, and thus his memories of her wouldn’t be removed…possibly. We’ll have to see how things go.

    I wonder how Occulus would react if he met Onna, now…

    1. That’s been my take on the Arbiters do not have emotion and yet express things like boredom/anger/etc. I think like the doll introduced in the fifth episode, which acted based on memories implanted into him, the Arbiters act based on set traits and values implanted into them. That’s why Decim’s comment about being caught up in trying to understand the guests’ emotions surprised Nona/Ginti/Quin, because it isn’t something most Arbiters would be created to think. And I think part of why Nona has problems catching the progress Decim’s made in learning, since she might be expecting something else (such as with her understanding of Decim’s “hobby”) but its not within how she’s been programmed to think.

  4. I liked that the arbiter system is further revealed to be far from perfect with Quin’s comment about how the sorting of the deceased’s memories are at times handled in a slipshod manner. Gives us viewers another level to consider when judging the judgements for ourselves.

    Maybe the couple from episode 3 could have ended up in a bad situation if the memories shown to them during the game were of a darker nature (…nah, they probably didn’t have enough interesting memories to work with anyway).

    But I do think that the difference of having even one memory skipped over (and thus unrevealed) could affect an arbiter’s decision quite a lot, especially in situations like in episodes 1&2.

    1. I assumed female but I’d seen her concept art and you can see her chest in the opening if you know what to look for. Plus, in the opening, when you see Occulus and all the ladies who pop out behind him Quin is included.

  5. Most of the arbiters do have the emotion range of a dummy, but how can you actually know and understand what boredom is without emotion? There are a few paradoxes going on in this episode aside from the very apt “who are we to judge the dead having never lived nor died?”. I did compare Decim with Kuroko (from KnB) once, they have expressions, but it’s just that their face never shows it. In the end, it seems like Decim could be a “bug in the system” but for the sake of reliving boredom, Nona is adopting the wait-and-see approach. Throw Onna into the mix, and it answers all their deep doubts about the life and existence of arbiters themselves.

    I wouldn’t say Onna isn’t allowed to know she’s dead, because Mayu on the other hand knows very well she died (only that she isn’t bothered by it). It is more apparent that they’re hiding Onna’s memories more from a higher being, namely Occulus.

    And I really think Ginti has a crush on Decim; he’s incredibly tsundere, commence the shipping! :p

  6. Actually Cherrie from what I understood Decim is not making the mannequins so much as holding onto them. The dialogue implied that those up for judgement receive a body for the duration of arbitration, once finished and souls sent off the bodies (mannequins) are then destroyed.

    Decim is not only unique because he is the only arbiter keeping and preserving the mannequins, he also fascinates Nora because he is the first arbiter to try and discern what each individual is thinking. Although still up in the air whether Decim was created by Nora or not (we don’t know how arbiters are born yet, only some basic idea of promotion), it is known that he is the only one to try and bring emotional reasoning into his decisions (both through his mental processing and the presence of the Nameless Girl).

    Where all this factors into is the talk about the inadequacy of judgements. Nora is likely looking to change the system (i.e. how judgements are made) and sees Decim as the testbed for her plan. If Decim can be “upgraded” per say to take into account the mortal trappings of humanity, then he lends support to whatever Nora is scheming.

    1. Yeah it looks like everyone is a doll of some sort. The only one that may not be a doll is Oculus, as he doesn’t appear to have ever been an arbiter due to his unique eyes. That or he is doll made special from all the rest, hence him being the person “closest to God.”

  7. Random Thoughts:
    Who knew Decim, the most stoic character in Death Parade, turns out to be the arbiter with
    Show Spoiler ▼

    If Decim’s mannequins were all
    Show Spoiler ▼

    , I wonder if the girl with long, wavy hair and green eyes in the ending sequence is significant.
    Thank you as always, Cherrie! (-^o^-)/

  8. What an awesome episode! Death Parade is getting more and more interesting, and the way it draws us to the characters is pretty well done in my opinion! The OP makes so much more sense now, and Decim is becoming more and more likeable!

    One thing that intrigued me the most was Nona saying “There wasn’t much time to begin with”. I wonder what that’s all about?

    Oh, about Ginti, I agree with @weasl that Mayu is still here because Ginti found himself unable to judge her, since he curiously asked other arbiters the question. He’s definitely hiding it from others though! I have a feeling he probably sends everyone to the void every single time because to him all humans are idiots and probably don’t deserve a second chance. Plus, right from the beginning, he creates extreme conditions to draw out people’s dark side. One reason he couldn’t judge Mayu may probably be because he couldn’t see her dark side as yet, thus the dilemma, as to him, judgement = void? Just my speculation!

    1. For Ginti to send everyone to void, would make him a pretty bad arbiter =S I can’t imagine him doing that, although I can see why he isn’t able to judge Mayu. You would think that spending all this time with her with would it easier for him to come to a conclusion as to where she should end up. Either way, people are implying that he shows more human emotions than Decim and I would say he’s definitely more… expressive. We’ll have to see where Mayu ends up later on.

      1. Fair point Cherrie! I guess I made that assumption due to Nona previously mentioning Ginti wasn’t a very good arbiter, and the fact that he keeps asking Mayu if she wants to be sent to the void 😛

        I love how the show writers mirrored Ginti’s inability to judge Mayu to Decim’s inability to judge the black haired girl though! To think Ginti was all over Decim just two episodes ago about him not being able to judge the girl and even having her working with him, to now Ginti himself not being able to judge a human girl who has realised that she is dead. Can’t wait to see how it all develops!

        Although they said arbiters are dummies with no emotions, I’m sure we can all agree that from what we’ve seen so far, all arbiters seem to express some sort of emotions (happiness, boredom, anger, satisfaction particularly with alcohol lol). So it’s quite intriguing…

        By the way Cherrie, any thoughts on why Nona meant when she said “there wasn’t much time to begin with”?

  9. Well, my theory on the Chavvot/Jimmy potentially being Onna/Decim’s out the window. I agree with Cherri’s comment that the book is most likely a symbolic thing at this point, since I think the fact so many characters seem to be interested in it and the fact little parallels feel like they’ve occurred (such as, Onna potentially being a skater and Decim seeming to focus on Onna’s smiling face in some scenes) feel significant. I still think there’s something up with Onna, though. On one hand, her remembering she’s dead may have been set up by Nona as a “test” for Decim, as well as giving him someone to learn human emotions from. On the other, that silver hair streak is still bothering me. It could be rule of anime hair but it feels odd since every other character that’s ‘human’ has realistic appearances but Onna’s had that silver streak from when she was a child.

    For the Arbiters learning emotion, as I said somewhere above, I agree that it seems like Arbiters have preset personalities like the doll created for the test in episode 5. They have certain values and traits built into them from the get go, such as the desire to draw out darkness and test people. Hence why you have Ginti hitting the switch first chance he gets while Decim’s reasoning for not hitting the switch drew such surprise from everyone else or Nona not being able to grasp why Decim does his “hobby” while Onna does. Which is also why I think Quin and Nona want to see if Decim will learn to “doubt” how judgement is handled, because not only is it about learning to judge people in another way but it’d show his emotions have developed enough he’s showing a clear break from how Arbiters should functions.

    For Ginti keeping Mayu, I’m sure they’ll go into it but a few possible reasons come to mind. First, it could be Mayu just flat out refused to enter the elevator and Ginit hasn’t been able to force her to go through (doubt it, considering how Ginti could just throw her in and be done with it). Second, he’s trying to understand both Mayu’s decision (since it’s outside how most Arbiters would think) and why Decim hasn’t been able to judge Onna/why Decim keeps Onna around. Third, he also has some emotions put into him too (doubt it, since I think Nona would be testing him as much as she is Decim).

  10. I still believe that the plot of Chavvot is going to be important, if only from the storytelling point of view. After all, the writers dedicated a large part of episode 5 to it, and I trust them not to waste our time on something that doesn’t matter in the long run. My personal interpretation on it is that Jimmy is Brunette and Chavvot is Decim: since Chavvot is deaf, she can’t perceive the world in all its beauty without Jimmy’s help, just like Decim may not be able to pass proper judgment without Brunette’s input. There are also some minor parallels that might be just me digging too deep, such as Jimmy falling into a pit before Chavvot helps him being similar to Brunette dying before meeting Decim. Lastly, all this talk about Chavvot’s smile being so charming makes me look forward to Decim actually showing some emotions around the final episode.

  11. As some RCers mentioned, I really hope Ginti also Show Spoiler ▼

    That’d be interesting not to mention, he is quickly becoming my favorite character

    Please give him a solid character arc, Madhouse! I believe in you!!! ;_;

  12. I am absolutely unsure as to whether anyone besides me notices this, but uhm, ever since the Death Billiards OVA, basically every single ‘judgement episode’ had something to do with themes of empathy and human intimacy, so to speak… Even if, at the moment of watching the episode, such themes are not immediately noticeable.

    Just something I observed though… BTW, amazing episode as always. Especially with the way this particular episode was laid out and directed. You can just tell or have a rough idea of what the characters are thinking, or at least become intrigued by what they might be thinking just based off a few spoken lines or their facial expressions. This director needs more love yo’!
    \(^ O ^)/

    Regarding the death rate, I calculated and the suggested average for human casualties per annum based off the 7,000 persons per hour figure is 61,320,000? Not tooooo many people, but it’s still equivalent to an approximate population count of the U.K. Do we seriously die THAT much?

    And one final thing, interesting how Decim makes a mannequin representation of Machiko from the first two episodes. I dunno, I’ve kinda had this feeling that the character has some kinda significance to the director, just sayin’…

    Nishizawa Mihashi
    1. Well, I didn’t realise the pattern at first, but once you pointed it out, I see what you mean. I wonder if there’s an overall message in there somewhere?
      And the death rate per year being the same as the population of the UK is scary…I come from there, and live there….O.O

      1. From what I’m able to infer, if the overall themes are connected to the ones I mentioned in my comment, I’d say that those themes, -though universal- and their underlying emotional subtext are most possibly intended for the Japanese audience, due to the circumstantial context of the individuals that were judged. I wonder what the next episode focuses on though, if the themes, subtext and context are similar to the ones I’ve hypothesized, then the hypothesis stands; if not, then it’s disproved.

        Nishizawa Mihashi
  13. Ginti looks more and more like a little brother to Decim to me^^ In public he seems to disagree but secretly he wants to be just like his cool big brother or at least understand him better. So because Decim has Onna he also wants a human, but as we were already told, humans usually don’t remember that they are dead before judgement, so no chance for him to get a human like Onna. Instead he takes the next best thing: a normal human. He could judge Mayu but keeps her around for his experiment but so far no enlightenment for him 😀


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