「スーサイド•ツアー」 (Suusaido Tsuaa)
“Suicide Tour”

Coming into this episode, I honestly did not know how Madhouse would send this one off. Death Parade has probably been one of the most enjoyable and thought-provoking series I’ve had the pleasure to blog and the ending does not disappoint. As it turns out, we get a proper conclusion between Decim and Chiyuki, but the subplot between Oculus and Nona is up in the air. I don’t mind so much that the debate between Oculus and Nona is left open-ended. To me, Nona has proved her point and stated her stance on arbiters and their roles in the after-life. Now it’s Oculus’ move and he’s keeping a close eye on her, which he should. I’m still not truly sure what he thinks of Decim and his creepy smiles and head tilts remind me of a snake that’s just waiting to strike. This is probably just one of those questions we’ll have to wait (for a second season?) to see answered… or make assumptions of our own.

Despite the open-ended epilogue, I still found the episode gave us good closure between Decim and Chiyuki. This season has been littered with bittersweet separations, but I’m happy to say that this one… left me more hopeful than sad. Decim and Chiyuki were a great team and all the flashbacks show just how valuable Chiyuki was to Decim’s development. They’re a great couple in the sense that they complement one another and help each other realize what they really feel. I normally don’t cry at anime anymore, but the final moments between Decim and Chiyuki had me close to tears. Not just the final moments when he sent her on her way, but when Decim sent her images of what life is like without her at home. Family clearly means a lot to Chiyuki and I can relate so heavily to the pain she felt watching her mother. It must be so painful for the dead to watch the living mourn over them; especially since Chiyuki died young and took her own life. If it were me, I would seriously regret the decision I made to suicide. And I’m sure that’s the same thought-process which Chiyuki went through because she did want to live again. I didn’t believe that Chiyuki would push the button which Decim gave her, but seeing all the tears flood her eyes was hard to watch. To take someone else’s life over your own is a huge ultimatum and one that I actually think a lot of people would make (similar dilemma for Mayu last week), believe it or not. Luckily the fact that I knew Chiyuki was a good person led me to believe that she wouldn’t. I just never thought that my heart would go out to her as she poured out tears for her mother because she didn’t treating her life more preciously. As a daughter of a loving family myself, this scene hit me pretty hard because I could never imagine what it would be like to leave my family behind knowing how much they love me. Probably the most emotional scene for me this season.

The outbreak from Decim was a surprise but a very well-timed epiphany for him. I wasn’t expecting the whole image to shatter, but seeing him pour tears of his own was such a triumph and hopeful scene to see. It felt triumph because Decim finally got to experience true sorrow and he felt it deep down in his heart. So much so that Chiyuki left an imprint in his life and he even created a dummy of her, as well as keeping her mom’s dolls of Chavvot and Jimmy. I thought that showed huge bounds of development in Decim’s emotion-less character and to top it all off, he even smiled at the end. Not the cheesy, creepy smile but a genuine one because he knew that Chiyuki has helped him in more ways than one. I don’t know if this means that he’ll remember her for all his existence, but just knowing that he’s able to judge others after experiencing their same feelings and emotions is a step forward. I never thought that Decim would throw Chiyuki into the void either; after all they’ve been through, and just by seeing what a great person Chiyuki is. I think she does deserve a second chance at life because (similar to what I thought of Yousuke in episode 4) she regrets her mistakes and even in the after-life she still tries to do the right thing. She’s not blaming others for her mistake, she’s blaming herself and I think that takes a lot of strength to admit your own faults. Thus, I think it’s a suitable ending for both her and her departure from Decim.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Nearing started crying too when everyone else was. My heart goes out to you Chiyuki. Loved the closure between Chiyuki & Decim. I couldn’t have asked for a better parting; full of smiles. What a great ending for #DeathParade. Sorry my post has been delayed – weddings and traveling will do that to you T_T.


Final Impressions

All in all, if you’ve been following Death Parade with me, you’ll know what a controversial but enjoyable ride it has been. If you haven’t been watching Death Parade for whatever reason, then I highly suggest that you start it immediately! This is a unique type of anime series that doesn’t come up every year and I think the it really does have wide audience appeal. The story is neither scary, nor thrilling in the traditional sense, but if I had to give it a genre – it would be dramatic and thought-provoking (almost like Oscar nominated films). There are so many areas of discussion which Death Parade brings up like the idea of suicide, redemption after death and even religion. Every topic could be argued both ways. However, if that’s not your cup of tea, the plot can be made to be very simple and straightforward at the same time – you have a young girl who dies and turns up at Quindecim where she makes a big impact on Decim’s “life” as an arbiter. There’s no way for me to describe in words just how special and different Death Parade is without you watching the first episode for yourself. So I urge you to watch it and let me know your thoughts. The premiere is outstanding and it definitely caught my eye immediately.

What really makes the story stand out are the vast one-time characters and reoccurring cast members. Death Parade is a story about people and I think the staff has done a great job defining everyone that enters Quindecim as well as the Chiyuki and Decim. My favorite moments in the series were seeing all the different people enter the bar and learning the bits and pieces of their life while trying to guess their motives and past. Their reactions to some of the games and outcomes were far from ideal sometimes, but it’s not unrealistic to how some people may react given their circumstances. I always thought that everyone had an understandable background and looking at who these people are now, you really see how they’re a product of their environment growing up. The reoccurring characters are also ones to keep in mind, because even though they’re just “dummies” in purgatory, they actually learn and change as the anime goes on. They’ve been doing this process over and over again for years, but doesn’t mean that it’s right or that it should be the norm. Nona challenges the rules set for arbiters and if you’re looking for good continuity and overarching plot, then look no further than Death Parade. I can’t stress enough just how interesting each of these individuals are, so if you’re still doubtful that this series is worth a shot, please consider that you’d be watching some remarkable characterization. Plus, the animation, soundtrack and the voice-acting all adds to the high production value for this show. Seriously, what are you waiting for?


    1. Without a doubt, this is Anime of the Season. With this, Madhouse has proven they can do anime-original shows as well.

      Thanks for blogging this Cherrie. I know covering 3 shows was tough on your schedule.

      1. Thanks for reading! I tried to be timely but Death Parade is also a show that requires some thought before writing. I’m glad everyone else enjoyed the series as much as I did though =) it deserves all the hype that it gets.

  1. I really don’t like the fact that they “tried” to squeeze some Oculus and Nona drama but left in hanging in the air as you said (probably realized there wasn’t enough time to actually develop and conclude it). Nona and Oculus could have potentially fought each other, but this wasn’t the type of anime to begin with and I’m glad they had the foresight to halt that.

    The ending to Chiyuki and Decim was very tasteful. In a nutshell, I think the entire series was to send a couple of messages:

    – Treasure your life
    – Live your life to it’s fullest and you will never fear death
    – Empathy is important as it helps you to connect to others, and to do that, we need to learn to have/value emotions

    Considering Japan is one of the countries well known for it’s high suicide rate, this show has lots of life lessons to deliver.

    Also, why is nobody talking about Ginti? He may “acted” like a dick, but we had never been shown his emotions when he sent Mayu to the void, as well as that little doll he fashioned after Mayu’s image in the final scene. Someone from the MAL forums pointed out that those little wooden Japanese dolls are probably Ginti’s version of Decim’s dummies, which is why he’s very protective of them (he’s a total Tsundere).

    The only mysterious thing here in DP is probably the cat (Ginti said it never came back).

    1. Yes, I think there was a short comment about how the cat never returned (probably after Ginti threw Mayu into the void). I’m not sure what to make of that… I always thought the cat was a human (or arbiter?) spirit trapped inside a cat o_O but they never expanded on that.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Ginti’s dolls are similar to Decim’s mannequins… but I assumed that Decim is an exception to the rule of arbiters in that, he actually cared enough to want to remember everyone that passed his bar. Not sure if that would apply to Ginti because he doesn’t have human emotions embedded into him.

      1. No emotions? Doesn’t he? He fits the tsundere trope to a tee. He’s obviously upset / annoyed over his friend Decim behaving as he does, otherwise he would not care at all.

        He’s most certainly the foil to Decim, but while he may not be created specifically with emotions, he most certainly expresses them.

        All the dummies are created from the remnants of souls passed on after all. If it looks like a duck and talks like a duck… Is it the ship of theseus after all?

  2. Thanks for covering this series! I enjoyed the ride but much more hearing everyone’s thoughts regarding each episode, thanks to Cherrie and the readers who raised thought provoking questions.

    Before anyone missed it, Ginti dolls may reflect the people that came by and made an impact, Mayu added to this latest collection.

  3. Oh, i got some serious feels from this episode, i was pretty much teary eyed during the 2nd half of the episode, the scene between Decim and Chiyuki at her house is truly a wonderful climax that uses everything accumulated during the series time as any self-respecting climax should do, and of course the elevator scene which had equal doses of feels and bittersweet comedy, i simply take back most of the negative stuff i said here (https://randomc.net/2015/03/21/death-parade-11/comment-page-1/#comment-1742210), Death Parade proved to be the BEST series this season and the best most satisfying finale.

    So yeah, i will miss this series so much, probably will buy the Bluray for any extras that might come out, it’s definitely worth the money.

    Thank you Cherrie for covering this series and thanks everyone for your enriching discussions, really wish we get anime like this and Parasyte on a more regular basis, one could only wish ^_^

  4. No Game No Life, Kiseijuu and now Death Parade.
    Madhouse brand is starting to give me a good impression when looking for new anime to watch. XD

    Please don’t remind me of Mahouka & Mahou Sensou

  5. Just close to tears? You are tough one Cherrie 🙂
    I was bawling lika a child XD

    Still, closure between Chiyuki and Decim was really nice, so sweet.For me perfect in every way…And then series showed Ginti alone, Memine left, with that Mayu doll (and I presume the other dolls are also humans who left impression on him)…Final emotional stab -.-

  6. To think that I came down on Death Parade after watching the 1st ep, expecting nothing more than a weekly “See? All humans are so evil, we’ll show you the darkness in their hearts.” thing. I was thinking the show wouldn’t realize that they were bringing it out and rushed to pass judgement because of the hype surrounding it, not that I thought it to be bad but I figured shows like Jigoku Shoujo already did what Death Parade was planning on doing, only better. Ever since, Death Parade has made me eat my words more & more each week and glad I am of it. Great stuff, Madhouse’s just on a roll. Yea there’s Mahouka & Mahou Sensou but it’s okay, we’ll just -Lord Tatsuya forgive me- see those as financial support.

  7. Thanks for blogging this series, Cherrie~ It was interesting reading yours and other readers’ views every week.

    I’d fallen into a habit of waiting for shows to finish or mostly finish before starting but Death Parade was the first in a long time to really draw my eye and make me want to follow it through to the end. Production values aside, it was a smart series with interesting characters that felt more realistic compared to a lot of the usual character tropes in anime with my only regret being that the side characters weren’t as well-developed as the guests or Chiyuki and Decim. I wish they had fleshed out Nona and Occulus more beyond being mouthpieces/chessmasters on the Arbiter power struggle, especially since it would have been great to see why Nona started having the thoughts she did and Occulus surprised me by citing the worry of an Arbiter experiencing “suffering” if they had emotions/empathy and creating the fourth Arbiter rule. However, I do think what Death Parade chose to focus on highlighted its strong points and still left me satisfied.

    As much as it would have been great to see Chiyuki and Decim stick together, I’m satisfied with their ending. One of the biggest themes in the series is a) everything dies b) life is not fair c) enjoy the present because you will die. Chiyuki and Decim only had a few months together but it was definitely time well spent. I don’t know if Decim will find a way to keep onto his memories of Chiyuki (I’d like to believe Quin compiling the memories might help) but the impact they’ve left on each other is clear and there’s little doubt Decim won’t be a better Arbiter and Chiyuki won’t live her next life happily. Also, my biggest surprise, from a shallow POV: omg Decim has eyes.

    As for Ginti, I missed the shot of Ginti’s Mayu doll my first watch, but it was an interesting touch. Ginti has been both Decim’s foil and point of comparison. Ginti had his own human around for a while, had problems understanding how to judge her, and finally pushed an unfair test on her. Unlike Decim, however, he lacks the ability to understand Mayu like Decim and Chiyuki understood each other (let alone understand what he did wrong, compared to Decim who had a complete breakdown), and that I think was part of why Memine left him. However, the final shot of the Mayu doll and Castra/Nona/Quin’s discussion oddly left me with an impression of hope. I think if Mayu left absolutely no impact on Ginti, he would not bother making one of his precious dolls based on her. It doesn’t justify what he did to her but I think it leaves the possibility of hope that even an Arbiter like Ginti can change one day.

    It’s unfortunate there doesn’t seem like there’ll be a second season, since the series apparently sold below average in Japan. I’d love to see more of the Arbiter world and the changing system and cast. However, I’m also satisfied with this series in itself and will probably pick up the dvds when they come out.

  8. Thank you again Cherrie for bringing Death Parade to RC and us readers 🙂 It’s a pity that this anime hasn’t gained as big a following as some of the others! Like you said, Death Parade has definitely been one of the most enjoyable and thought-provoking series, and I’m going to miss my weekly dose very much.

    One thing that amazes me about Death Parade is that no episode is wasted. This is very rare in anime and TV series alike, and is one of the things that I enjoyed most about this series. Each episode gives you a little more information, and if you missed one, you actually do miss out on some information on understanding the whole story! While I also would have liked to see more explanation on Oculus/Nona and on Ginti’s development, I have to say Death Parade ended at the perfect point. Watching Decim’s eyes change made me think he actually became human at that point (think Pinocchio), but then they changed back again 😛 Having Chiyuki think back to all the previous Decim visitors was also a really nice touch!

    And isn’t it amazing that the little details in the ED also changed in this final episode? In the previous openings it was Chiyuki who was holding the two dolls, but in the ED here, it was the dummy that Decim had made. Ah I just love the thought the writers and animators have put into Death Parade!!!

    I wonder if they’ll produce an OVA even if there is no season 2. But then again, I’m pretty satisfied as is–I guess sometimes we just can’t have all the answers in life 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading and leaving some great theories every week. One of the things I loved about reading all the comments (even though I don’t have the time to respond to all of them) was hearing what others thought and some of the small details in the show I could’ve missed. Definitely a great show to be blogging and following along during this Winter season.

      Hope there’s another OVA! But technically Death Billiards was already an OVA so who knows >_>

  9. Definitely the best anime of the season out of a season largely consisting of mediocrity.

    I could see a potential sequel (or at least OVAs) given the pretty ominous fourth rule mentioned by Oculus in that an Arbiter with human emotions would only “lead to ruin”.

  10. I assume people who call Death Parade anime of the season haven’t watched Shirobako. That, or they believe that it belongs to the last season despite being 24 episodes long.

    Interestingly, it feels like the show’s strongest and weakest points come from the show’s episodic nature. On one hand, it felt great to see so many stories unravel in Quindecim, but on the other hand, it didn’t leave much space for the central plot, which turned out to be quite simple. Moreover, because of the whole “Arbiters are not human” premise, most of them can’t really be considered characters: they’re more like tools or plot devices. Of course, Chiyuki and Decim are the exceptions, but they can’t pull the whole show’s weight all on their own.

    Still, it’s a nice little show that will be remembered for going against the flow of the industry. It’s just that I don’t think that’s enough to consider it the best show ever.

    1. No idea why you relate Death Parade to Shirobako, they’re completely different. There’s one thing Death Parade does really well is its engagement with audiences. The entire series focuses on a few things that each of us can relate immediately, that’s Human, Emotion, Life and Death and these were explored throughout the series to allow us to think and reflect upon ourselves.

      A film could have top notch animation, effects, music, script etc. But I always think, the best creative works are the one that changes one’s life. This show is doing exactly that and that’s what makes it a valuable.

      One thing I gained from the series is now I truly understood the selfishness of suicide. I always thought those who suicide should go to hell, but now, I think those who committed suicide should get a second chance to redeem themselves like Chiyuki.

    2. I would like to think the couple from the end of episode 11 changed something in the void. Perhaps they brought hope to it and brought it out of the darkness? From how I understand it, it’s supposed to be a place devoid of hope, perhaps all it takes is a pure love between two people to change something?

      If that happened, sending her to the void to be with the guy she loves was actually a stroke of genius.

      But I think realistically they’re just two souls together falling endlessly in the dark..

  11. While I’m ok with the safe ending, It was pretty good. Not the best ending I would have hoped for but I’m not complaining.

    After all they’ve already given me that great ep 3. I gotta say this is definitely my choice for AOTS. A pretty strong show from start to finish. Madhouse is on a roll.

  12. I wish there was episode 13 where Chiyuki reborn as a arbiter and works along side Decim again >_< I have a hard time accepting that she had to separate from Decim 🙁 and they just started liking each other too

  13. Super late reply. Thank you for blogging this series. Wish I was able to keep up with the blog. Finally finished this series today and going through the reading the blogs

    Rick Anime

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