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Julian Nelson
Julian Nelson

Death Parade Episode 10 ((INSTALL))

After last week's emotional fireworks, Death Parade settles down and gets ready for the finale. Onna's speech following the harrowing judgment of two murders (and one outright inhuman sociopath) has finally gotten Decim to realize that the judgment system in Quindecim is wildly unfair, and he confronts Nona about his inability to continue judging people this way. Nona gives him a pretty wide berth - asking him how he intends to continue - and also lets him know that the time to judge Onna has finally come. What's an arbiter to do?The system sends him an old woman to judge alongside Onna - an illustrator named Uemura Sachiko - and Decim settles on a game of Old Maid, a card game where the cards have images associated with the past of the person playing the game. That's it - no grisly twist, no internal organs, no mechanic designed to turn everyone playing into a rage-filled homicidal animal. During the game, Onna has a breakthrough and remembers her name (!), with the old woman winning at the end. Decim sends her off to reincarnation, and then reveals that he's come to understand that human emotion is a vital part of judging souls; you can't do it accurately without the ability to feel. It seems, at least for now, like this is all part of Nona's plan. While this is all going down, she's rummaging around in the archives for Onna's complete memories, something that's rarely ever asked for, and she plans on feeding them to Decim. I assume this is all part of the new judgment system, but there's a problem: Oculus. He calls up Clavis and sucks his memories out with his beard-tentacles (!!), discovering Nona's plan.This is all setup for the finale, and it's a gentle, slow-moving episode where the big reveal is Onna's real name. Decim comes to the conclusions we knew he would, and Nona's plan is set into action; while I have a pretty good idea where this is all heading, they're taking their sweet time getting there. I suppose it was inevitable that at least one of these final episodes would eke out maybe 5 minutes worth of story over the course of 20, given Death Parade's already-shaky relationship with "having enough story to fill an entire series". It's fine - nothing to complain about, really, there just isn't much to say. This is, effectively, the first paragraph of the show's ending.Death Parade is a great show, but when they have to slow it down, you really feel it. That uneven pacing may be the show's biggest flaw; thankfully it isn't a dealbreaker. Rating: B

Death Parade Episode 10

To create an ominous atmosphere for the course of the episode, the score focuses primarily on evoking a sense of mystery, dread, and loss over the entirety of the program. When the entire narrative is considered, it makes sense to do so.

Music plays a significant and vital role in many shows and helps transmit sentiments that cannot be described with words alone. This is one of the numerous ways music contributes to the artistic process. The episode in question features high-quality music and does not disappoint in this regard.

Update: After seeing Death Billiards, I'd say it's best to watch it after episode 2 of Death Parade, but before episode 7. D.B. is pretty much like the first episode of D.P., but with different bar customers.

It's the same location and such, just billiards instead of darts or another game. It's not necessary viewing for Death Parade either as there aren't any plot points that haven't been covered by the first few episodes.

It probably makes the most sense to watch Death Billiards before Death Parade because it is a pilot episode and the TV series makes a passing reference to the bar customers from the movie. Chronologically speaking, the story of Death Billiards takes place sometime after episode 5 and before episode 10 of Death Parade.

If you take note of the roulette board in Death Billiards, it actually featured Chavvot. This roulette board was only switched in from the beginning of episode 5 of Death Parade at Nona's request. In the first four episodes of Death Parade (and in episode 6 at Ginti's bar), the roulette board only had a generic symbol on it. The old woman who died and arrived at Quindecim in episode 10 of Death Parade was revealed to be the wife of the old man in Death Billiards, as shown on her set of cards and in her flashback. Also, during a flashback of the old man in Death Billiards, it was hinted that he passed away before his wife. Therefore, Death Billiards should occur before episode 10 of Death Parade.

if we take Chiyuki's mentality into consideration. She couldn't have been as relaxed as was shown at the end of Death Billiards if she had just sat through the trial of the two killers in episodes 8 and 9.

If you want to watch Death Billiards in between the Death Parade episodes, you should watch it after episode 6 and before episode 7 (or 8, the next best choice) because the only billiards game in Death Parade is played in episode 7, which lasted only about 90 seconds and commenced without any explanation to the rules of the game, so it would be a nice continuity to finish the movie first and then jump back to watch episode 7.

I have to admit that my synopsis gives away the so-called surprise ending of the first episode, but I doubt it's the only source that might do so. If, for example, one has seen this series' predecessor, Death Billiards, one will see what is coming, and virtually every other synopsis I've come across has made no effort to hide the fact that the people brought to this bar are, in fact, dead souls undergoing judgement. And I suppose that's the case because Death Parade is more a thought experiment as to what the judging of the dead might look like from the perspective of those involved in the "arbitration," as this show calls it, as well as that of an outsider, the nameless woman (or "Onna"), who has the privilege to sit alongside the judges but is not born of their mindset. Death Parade is, unfortunately hurt somewhat by the variable quality of the one-off stories, centered around the people brought to Quindecim, and by the rushed and haphazard handling of one supposedly important side character's arc. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating exploration of what an afterlife governed by a system as flawed as those in the "living world" might look like, and it grapples with the question of what morality might be conceived of if so-called divine beings turned out to have a flawed concept of it.If one is curious as to whether they would like this series, then I suggest that one watch the first two episodes together. The opening episode, in which a couple is brought to Quindecim and in which their apparent bliss gives way to their built-up resentment exploding over the course of the "game," does effectively establish the atmosphere of the show and the nature of Decim's judgement. Indeed, even if one can predict the "twist" that approaches and even if one isn't especially interested in the fates of the two participants, it is nonetheless fascinating to see Death Parade unravel the characters' memories returning, piece by piece, and how this manifests in their, for example, "accidentally" harming each other out of anger. It is the second episode, however, that lays out the important content of the series, for it is here that we see Nona and "Onna" traveling to Quindecim through the various parts of the netherworld, showing that this system, in fact, resembles something of a company town (and not an unpleasant one, either). It is here, crucically, that Onna, devoid of memories but still possessing human emotions, catches a mistake in Decim's reasoning that was large enough to send an innocent person's soul to the void. Thus, having established our faith in this system via Decim's stoic arbitration of the couple, Death Parade immediately shatters that faith by proving that "arbiters" such as he, in fact, can make horrible errors, and suggesting via Onna's revulsion that drawing out the characters' anger in such a way is, ultimately, a flawed method of judgement. And it is the overarching questions regarding the structure of this "arbitration," as well as the development of those who carry it out, that ultimately make Death Parade compelling. While I enjoyed some of the individual backstories of the deceased brought to Quindecim, we almost never spend more than one episode with them. Death Parade lacks the storytelling finesse needed to invest the audience in characters after a mere twenty minutes that, say, Natsume Yuujinchou has, and the backstories are thus replete with terse and dramatic scenes of murder or infidelity, with the present-tense games almost invariably culminating in shouting matches. Then again, this hearkens to the show's central question of whether these "arbiters" can even make good judgements based on a handful of snapshots into a person's life, and whether this process of inducing anger in these people is ethical or even effective. If viewed in this light, the show succeeds, but the one-off characters are still rather forgettable. Thus, when we find out that Nona, who is by far my favorite character, is undertaking an experiment of her own with Decim and Onna, it provides the purpose that this show needs. Simply, the current overseer of this "company" of arbitration, Oculus, is a decadent old man who claims to be the closest thing to a god this world has. Given his self-indulgent lifestyle and his distance from the suffering human souls, it is readily apparent to both Nona and the audience that the netherworld has grown morally bankrupt. Death Parade isn't a satire in the manner of, say, Hoozuki no Reitetsu, but certain aspects of this afterlife seem sardonically funny until one is forced to think about the fact that the fates of human souls rest on this. Decim's predecessor, Quin, for example, has became so burnt-out from arbitrating that she is reassigned to the department that delivers memories to the bars, where she spends most of her time drinking alcohol illegally snuck in from the living world. An episode centered around another bar, furthermore, reveals that just as impartial justice is a near-impossible dream in our world, it is equally tantalizing here, for while one might be sent to Decim, who treats his customers with respect (if not warmth), one's fate might just as easily be placed in the hands of an embittered misanthrope. It doesn't hurt that Death Parade is one of Madhouse's strongest visual efforts in some time. Throughout this show, a low-lit, high-class bar is rendered eerie via the emphasis on violet and other cool colors, as well as through shading that makes the edges of Quindecim appear to fade into nothingness, at least until one approaches them, when they instead take on a claustrophobic air. "Claustrophobic" is, indeed, how I'd describe the lighting scheme of Death Parade overall, and just as with another Madhouse series set in a closed-off environment, Texhnolyze, the degree of this does not become apparent until the "living" world is seen in flashback. Though Death Parade is generally subdued visually, the animation is fabulously detailed when called upon, such as the whirlwind scenes in which the "game" setup appears in a dramatic, almost theatrical fashion, contrasting with the otherwise eerily mundane setting. The opening theme, "Flyers" by Bradio, can also best be described as "theatrical," with its an energetic montage of Quindecim's various denizens engaging in circus activities; it might also be described as one of the best and most addictive OPs I've yet heard. The somber rock of the ED suits the (normally) bittersweet ending tone of most of the episodes well, as does the in-show soundtrack, even if it isn't quite as memorable.Death Parade, ultimately, reminds me somewhat of Mamoru Oshii's Angel's Egg in that it postulates the absence of, or at least the moral decrepitude, of a divine being in the scheme of the afterlife. Unlike that film, however, its outlook is somewhat more humanist and hopeful; indeed, this is how I can best summarize the conflict between Oculus, who claims that he is the closest thing to a god that this universe has, and who somewhat resembles a bodhisattva in appearance, and Nona, who implements a plan centered around Onna, a human operating in a world otherwise run by morally bankrupt divine beings. Although the series is hardly conclusive in the traditional sense, I'd say it's ultimately somewhat more favorable to Nona's side, and the ending is indeed fitting. I can see that as a point at which one's mileage with this show may vary, for I'm not religious myself, and I wonder how somebody who was, in fact, quite religious would respond to this show. Death Parade isn't devoid of structural problems, but it is fascinating, and it's a far deeper show than the mere gimmick of a "bar of the afterlife" that Death Billiards hinted at.And if you'll indulge me, I'll exhort everyone to put their hands up now. 041b061a72


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