Death Parade Episode Four Review
By: Prince Lammy
Death Parade Episode 04: Death Arcade
I know human nature isn't a static concept, but you'd be astonished at what some people would do to have their way. And maybe my thoughts on this episode are already tainted by what I've seen from the previous ones, but I'd say what I want to say.
Death Arcade introduces us to two completely different characters who are not even related. And what's more, it shows us the ugliness of human nature, especially in extreme situations, but can I blame her?
Watching this episode with friends could spark some heated arguments during or after the show. Still, one thing is for sure; you surely don't ever want to see the ugly side of people.
Story | 7/10
Yousuke Tateishi, a teenager, and Misaki Tachibana, a TV personality, arrive at the Quindecim. The duo first attempts to open all doors and get out of the bar, to no avail. Then Misaki drags Yousuke into the ladies' room and speaks with him.
Misaki believes they are on a secret camera program and instructs Yousuke to act appropriately. The two play an arcade videogame as warriors modeled after themselves.
Yousuke won round one, but Misaki has flashbacks about abusive relationships. She requests that Yousuke allow her to win the following round, within which Decim activates a gadget that causes Yousuke's joystick to break.
Misaki takes the second round, but Yousuke has his flashback to his traumatic upbringing. They discover they weren't on a TV show, and Misaki fears she will lose her life if she loses the game.
Misaki performs a unique maneuver, but Decim causes her joystick to fail. He states that this is essential to reveal a soul's ugliness and pass judgment. Misaki, despairing to win, strikes Yousuke and knocks him unconscious.
Despite Misaki's regrets, Decim pushes her to finish playing the game. Yousuke returns to life and responds with his unique attack, resulting in a double knockdown. After that, they both realize they've perished; Yousuke committed suicide, while Misaki was murdered by her enraged assistant.
Yousuke is reborn by Decim, while Misaki is exiled to the abyss. Nona is later seen browsing a kid story titled Chavvot.
Art | 8/10
If you dig fancy animations, then you'd like this one. And the use of soft and calm atmospheric coloring has aided in providing a calm atmosphere, irrespective of whatever is going on in the anime.
The way the character designs have been treated is just impressive. Decim's pale white emotionless face, his assistant's not such a severe face, Yousoke's naïve appearance, and Misaki's cunning and foxy acts have all been wonderfully represented, and I don't think there can be anything yet better than this.
The main animation is no different; it is consistently above average regardless of what the program is doing. Everything from the characters' facial expressions to their general actions while playing the various games is always given special attention, much as in the paintings.
Sound | 7/10
The opening theme is arguably Death Parade's most powerful aspect. It is incredibly lively and entertaining, which contrasts sharply with the remainder of the anime's tone. The memorable English words, vocal scope singing, and groovy beat give it a musical composition that everyone, living or dead, will remember.
On the other hand, the concluding theme abandons not just the enjoyment but also the punch. It's an okay piece with a mishmash of instruments and smothered singing, with the only real highlight being the gloomy vibe it gives off.
Death Arcade (this episode) has great music that was well-crafted to convey the vibe of the episode and its many "moods." The introduction was original, catchy, and wonderful - a real season standout - but the somber, deeper closing tune left me dumbfounded.
After this episode, I would turn up the audio to appreciate its dark and twisting genius. I always love it when the opening and closing themes are not just fantastic - but also exceptionally well matched to the series and helpful in expressing the series contents, and this is undoubtedly the case here.
Character | 7/10
Of the four characters that got screen time in this episode, Decim and his assistant are no longer newbies to me. So, I more or less expected to learn about some other characters, which in this case were Yousuke and Misaki.
However, a point to note is the small development you can't help but notice in the case of Decim and his assistant. Now Decim comes off as an arbiter who sees the need to create extreme conditions for both players while the game is in session.
And even though his assistant disagrees with this, he still isn't bothered. He continued with it until she destroyed the tool he was using for that. But as usual, he's always maintained an expressionless face, like he isn't bothered about the events unraveling around him (I've even likened him to a robot😂.)
And his assistant is more of a sympathetic human than an arbiter. As she is the only "more" humane element among the arbiters, often attempting to impede or even check some bits of Decim's actions. But it's all in a good way, as Decim also comes across as being "too serious" or "too principled." But isn't that what the feminine touch is all about?
The two gamers in this episode come off as people having unfulfilled lives. Yousuke, having committed suicide, while Misaki was strangled to death by her assistant after vexing the latter from undue and endless maltreatment.
Yousuke is also a naïve and easy-going character and quick to adapt and understand situations. I had initially thought he would lose the game against Misaki since he agreed to her terms to make her win. But I was stunned at how he quickly won the game despite her cunning.
On the other hand, Misaki isn't the kind of person you'd want to have around you. While alive, she came off as being naïve, being used and maltreated by people, especially men. She was also cruel and pretentious.
But all in all, the two were pretty okay and educative characters to have in this episode. And maybe I could justify Misaki's cunning as a relatively natural defense against going to the void. God be with her soul😂.
Enjoyment | 8/10
Finding out that there's even an arcade fighting game among the games playable in Quindecim is quite a revelation. I think the ones I've registered now are: darts, bowling, and this arcade fighting game. I bet it would be hard to beat me at that one if I ever had to face off against anyone.
There is no doubt that I enjoyed every bit of this one episode. The thrills, suspense, burst of emotions, and adrenaline rush you'd feel at extreme moments is wow!! And I dare say this is all thanks to Decim "rigging" the game.
And one more thing I enjoyed about it is how I also started analyzing the gamers and almost felt a bit like Decim in my head. But I bet you it isn't an easy job being an arbiter.
I WILL SEE THIS EPISODE AGAIN once I drop my pen on this. I feel like reliving some of the moments again.
Overall | 8/10
Death Arcade is an exciting episode. It does lots to accentuate the already good rep that the Death Parade series already has. You should prepare to be entertained in just 20 minutes, which you could later multiply as many times as you want.
For an episode that would leave you pondering how humans react to extreme situations, it is so sad that it all ends in just 20 minutes. There won't is a continuation to this in the next episode.
But in a word, this here is a masterpiece!