“There is a point to living. The same goes for judgment.” – Decim
Death Parade aims for a pretty interesting plot twist as it throws human emotions into the dummy system that it has created for itself. The twist happens all of a sudden for the sake of this twelve episode series so there isn’t really a reason except the sudden development of possible emotions in an arbiter. While I did enjoy the episode as a whole, I felt that at times the narrative was a bit scattered while we hopped back and forth between Mayu and Ginti’s exchange to Deicm and Chiyuki.
At the start of episode eleven, Mayu is attempting to get Harada’s soul back in his body and for some reason, Ginti is providing the know-how. In the process, we get a little run down on the Void, the graveyard of souls. “Terrors, regret, despair… it’s the sensation of falling forever while embracing all your negative feelings.” – an interesting new interpretation of the afterlife indeed. (Also for some reason, a Light Yagami-looking character has been *cough* proposed by Ginti to take Harada’s place in the void. But I digress…) And FOR SOME REASON Mayu gets to choose whether or not her favourite idol’s soul returns to the purgatory afterlife bar of dummies. It’s quite interesting how Decim’s little questions have also spurred a little doubt in Ginti’s mind leading him into this strange new experimental trial in his little part of the bar.
At the same time, Chiyuki is pondering her own memories as Decim entertains the notion of emotions in his judgment. We get a few telling scenes with Chiyuki, most importantly, the scene where she recollects the fact that she SHOULD be dead despite the fact that she’s wandered into Quindecim’s as a guest. When Chiyuki remembers her past as a figure skater, she decides to take to the ice again and in the middle of her dance we see more and more of her memories resurface, revealing a girl who’d lived a bright and full life as an athlete. She falters when she recalls her injury and her suicide.
Through her recollections, she comes to the conclusion that people cannot understand others, that it’s difficult; that as close as you are to people, they can still seem like strangers. When Chiyuki loses her optimism, Decim reminds her that sometimes emotions and people can be straightforward. The exchange between the two is quite curious as we watch the ever so simple and blunt as Decim interact with someone as emotionally sensitive and perceptive as Chiyuki. Seriously, I wonder what goes through Decim’s head sometimes. Not much I suppose.
By the end of the episode, we see Decim’s case and Ginti’s case pan out in a way that asks its audience, “What is the meaning of your life? And what has your life amounted to?” As an afterthought, it’s just a little poetic that Mayu would choose to go to the void to be with Harada even in the afterlife (despite her theatrics throughout the show).
If anything, Death Parade as a series has reminded us to be so much more sensitive to our everyday lives, what we do, how we act and how we view the larger picture in terms of our end. But now the final question remains with Decim and Chiyuki. While it seems quite harsh that Decim drugs Chiyuki, we still don’t really know what’s going to happen to Chiyuki now. Only one more episode to go with Death Parade and it seems like still quite a lot to answer in a thirty-minute episode considering the fact that we’ve barely gotten any explanations from Onna and less so from the background supporting characters. I’m curiously anticipating the finale though, and so should you.
What are you pondering today?