Two killers walk into a bar of party games…
Episode nine of Death Parade picks up immediately after a brief and much appreciated scenic recap of the last episode. I almost forgot all the angst and the bloody memories piling up to this point in the judgment game.
The pressure has definitely be amped up not only in the development of the actual air hockey game but also the discussions into life, death and morality that have gradually emerged as more and more memories are revealed to the players. The concept of fear is once again brought into the discourse of judgement and discussions around human nature. Surely circumstances conspire to push people negatively or positively to one extreme of the spectrum. Death Parade in this sense tends to lean for negative over positive, possibly to elicit shock value in audience and create emotional tension judging by the mood of the overall storytelling.
Props to the animation team at Madhouse for taking air hockey to a whole new level of epic action.
Shimada ends up winning but the plot immediately twists as the back stories of both players are fully revealed. The Detective, Tatsumi ends up revealing to Shimada that Tatsumi himself was murdered by Shimada while the boy was on his murder-revenge spree. Both an ironic and intriguing turn of events. While watching this episode I thought these two cases were particularly difficult to judge because of how victimized they are at the start of the game. Towards the end however, Tatsumi seems to lose all of his humanity while Shimada, most of his sanity. The Detective becomes a TOTAL CREEP by the end of the series to the point where he was revealed to watch the assaulter attack Shimada’s sister instead of helping save her. SUCH a dark turn of events that result from so much horrible revenge.
Kurokami no Onna begins to falter with her emotions and just as everyone starts to snap, Decim pulls the strings down to restrain Shimada. Decim’s completely lack of emotions in this situation makes me wonder how the puppet arbitrators are chosen. When he decides to pit Shimada against Tatsumi, Kurokami finally steps forward to intervene. She questions Decim’s abilities to pass judgment when he himself does not understand anything about human’s emotions, their grief, their experiences. I’m surprised how easily Kurokami jars Decim with her words by the end of her spiel. I feel like in this system that the series has set up, Kurokami’s character encompasses everything sensitive and sympathetic about the human condition while we see various other facets of human love and evil in the supporting characters of the games.
“People aren’t as complex as you think they are. They’re simple and they get sad or angry over simple things. That’s how they are… they live without knowing where they’ll fall.” – Kurokami no Onna
The episode ends with Shimada succumbing to his grief and revenge to “kill” what remains of Tatsumi. In this painful ending, Kurokami is thrown back from her beliefs that people perhaps can be redeemed by their love. Brilliant voice acting by Asami Seto overall.
No doubt, episode nine of Death Parade is the most emotionally charged and introspective episode to date in the series. With so much interference in this judgment process, will Nona have to step in? So much suspense in the world of Death Parade and still so many mysteries to reveal with so few episodes left.
What are you pondering today?