「デス・カウンター」 (Desu Kauntaa)
Seriously. I’m convinced that there’s nothing this anime can’t do. It combines everything that I love about great storytelling and characterization with a spectacular animation company backing it all up. Death Parade is the epitome of not only what I love about anime but also what I love about crime dramas and television. It takes a lot of guts to step outside the box to produce a show that may or may not get the right appreciation but Death Parade does nothing wrong that I can’t help but praise it. Not only was it complex and unpredictable, but it had a lot more Decim and Nameless Girl involvement that develops its underlying story. Initially I thought that Shimada might have MPD or was in denial of injuring his own sister… then I thought Tatsumi was probably guilty of injuring Shimada’s sister and also murdering his wife’s killer… but it turns out that none of those theories are true. In fact, Tatsumi is actually a serial killer who reminds me a lot of Dexter.
I’m going to break up my analysis of both these men since I think they suffer from different issues. Let’s start with Shimada because to me, he was the individual that was most likely going to redeem himself. He wanted to seek revenge for his sister for good reason (although I wouldn’t say murder is the best answer) and then live happily ever after. He was doing it all for the benefit of his sister and I definitely saw an internal struggle in his character. He knew what he was doing was wrong and even vomited after he committed murder. This shows how his body was rejecting his own thoughts and actions and I think it reinforces that he does not have a murderous soul. He simply had a strong motive and the only solution he had to stop this stalker from attacking his sister, was to kill him (which I still think is wrong, by the way). However, it’s because of his “good” intent that I thought Shimada had a better chance of redeeming himself. And Decim gave him a way out; if only he had taken it. Personally, I was urging for Shimada to prove that he was better and that he was the bigger man. Move on and forgive Tatsumi. In the end, they’re both dead anyway and Nameless Girl pointed out to him that “stabbing” Tatsumi was never going to benefit him except for his own self-gratification right now. I was so hopeful… but of course, Death Parade never seizes to prove me wrong. Instead, I’m left with this excruciating pain of knowing that Shimada is just like Tatsumi. Enraged and someone that succumbs to his desires of revenge and hatred. By the way, did anyone catch how Shimada died? I don’t recall that part…
Now for Tatsumi… his story is a little different because I always thought he deserved what he got. I felt no remorse for him and where he ended up. Unlike Shimada whom I felt had a higher chance of being reincarnated, Tatsumi was a lost cause. He was too corrupted and his ideals of justice were so twisted that there was no way this kind of man should be walking the Earth again. Although I can understand his philosophy on life and why he does what he does, I don’t believe that two wrongs make a right. I believe one wrong is already bad enough and as a detective, Shimada is right – Tatsumi should be stopping the crime AS it happens rather than after the fact. If anyone’s seen Dexter, Dexter almost does the same thing where he has to be certain someone is going to attack again before he kills that person himself (and he usually targets serial killers that can’t be caught by the law). Tatsumi is somewhat like that, but instead he has to witness someone committing a crime AND he does nothing to stop them! Why not? Why does he have this hunger to try and judge people outside the law? That’s one question that I felt wasn’t answered; aside from this “voice” of approval that he heard from his wife. He could almost be considered insane in my opinion because he was no longer thinking about his duties as a detective but his own selfish motives. Definitely a quick judgment in my mind; Tatsumi did not deserve to be reincarnated. He had no redeeming features and in fact, he corrupted Shimada even further which was hard to stomach.
As for what happened between Decim and Nameless Girl this episode, I wasn’t too pleased with how that played out. Not that I didn’t agree with Nameless Girl’s arguments about Decim but I thought her character was too over exaggerated and involved. I understand that she wants to help these men… she WANTS Shimada to walk away alive and live to see his sister again but at the same time, you can’t throw yourself in the midst of this game. And on top of that, you can’t blame Decim for “doing his job”. I’m not going to get into the argument of whether or not judging people is right or wrong because that’d be defeating the whole purpose of this anime, but I don’t think Decim is wrong for trying to evoke emotions and actions out of these men. He’s trying to determine if these men’s souls deserve a second chance at life and even though Nameless Girl tried to stop it, Shimada and Tatsumi both ended up destroying themselves. So yes, I think they both went into the void… but could things have turned out differently? I don’t think so. I think Nameless Girl was a little naïve to believe that there could’ve been a different ending and she’s beating Decim up for it because he gives them too much credit or as she puts it, “humans are not that complex”. In some ways, Nameless Girl was a little harsh on Decim because he’s not human anyway and to assume that he can think like one and put himself in their shoes is a little unfair. However, as the audience we do know he has human emotions in him so that’s probably why he was so stung by Nameless Girl’s words. This is probably where the episode is going to head next week on as we hear more about Nameless Girl’s life on Earth or her connection to the Chavvot story.
So my final verdict is… they both definitely went into the void. There’s no way that Shimada would be spared after that smile and those shattering pucks. Of course, I already mentioned that Tatsumi was obviously going to the void for his mistakes as well. In the end, I still think it’s a sad loss for Shimada not to be reincarnated because he had the chance if he wasn’t so influenced by Tatsumi’s words. Nameless Girl did her best to help but it was inevitable that they would both be lost causes. Quite an interesting development and terribly upsetting at the same time because I really wanted to believe that they could be saved. I was hopeful but I should have known better because Death Parade is not such a predictable show.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: That wicked smile says it all. Just how tainted can your soul be to smile like that. The best ep of #DeathParade yet! The human psyche can be so dark yet fragile. One wrong step can lead you down the rabbit hole.