「スーサイド•ツアー」 (Suusaido Tsuaa)
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.
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?