Death Parade Episode Two Review
By: Prince Lammy
Death Parade Episode 02: Death Reverse
After seeing Death Reverse, the second episode of the Death Parade series, I can say this series has a lot more up its sleeve. But let us not jump to conclusions.
And unlike death itself, this show focuses more on the thought of death itself, human nature, and its effects on those around us. It also talks about some other thought-provoking concepts that'd spark some emotion in you, or even up to three or four different emotions simultaneously.
And yet you cannot help but feel inside you that there are some concepts or parts of this show or particular episode that speaks to you. Or maybe you can relate to some things in it, especially when it comes to analyzing and judging people and situations.
I think I'm already starting to get way too Aristotle-ish. Pardon me. Let me get on to reviewing this episode.
Story | 7/10
At this point, I figured out that the arbiters like Decim and Nona decide where a human would end up after analyzing how they've lived their lives and the degree of humanity they display during the game.
The episode opens up with Nona taking the dark-haired lady who has no memory or name upstairs and then assigning her to become Decim's assistant. After they both got in a room backstage, they sat and watched the game between Takashi and Machiko while Nona explained the nature of the games.
When the game ends and Decim sends Machiko and Takashi on their way, Nona and the woman step to the bar and grab a drink. Then they start talking about the game between the two newlywed, newly dead couple.
At this point, the arbiters got to think about the drama from another point of view. As the woman voices her opinion, she makes it known that she believes Machiko's only regret was the one time fling she had with someone asides from Takashi.
And then, she went on to state that Machiko seemed to have been lying about her child's fatherhood so that Takashi could have another chance at life. And as surprising as it all was, she had exact yet covert moments where Machiko showed that, but apparently, Decim didn't consider that.
Thinking about these new revelations and how flawed his judgment was, Decim became a bit remorseful and apologetic. Even Nona was astonished, and Decim looked rather down, thinking about how mistaken he had been in his judgment.
Art | 8/10
This episode has now confirmed that MadHouse is not just some mediocre studio. And just like the fantastic aesthetic they provided in the first series of this anime. They also made sure to extend that genius to this episode.
With the exact and adept use of shadows and other effects, MadHouse made sure you wouldn't miss one of the emotions or moments in here. Even Decim, seen as emotionless, was sometimes given away by either a slight change in his expression or a little bit of shade on his face.
The consistency of character design and the setting, background, and scenes is just an artist's extraordinaire! And you also cannot miss the use of 3D CGI and how well cel-shade has been used to great use.
In general, the art is excellent and even seems to have gotten a tad better from the first episode.
Sound | 7/10
I think now my ears have opened up to the musicals of this anime. And it is something I am starting to fall in love with. And even the cut scenes and dance moves that align with the song are a perfect mood and pacesetter to the episode itself.
Not minding that I cannot speak Japanese (I can barely even speak some words of the language), I still couldn't help but emphasize the characters and even find myself analyzing and mildly judging the characters.
I'm not sugarcoating it, but the sound quality, songs, and every musical element of this episode set you into a mood that precisely aligns with whatever is going on in the anime at that moment. At some point, I'd find myself cranking up the volume to "feel" the music better.
The closing song isn't going to appeal to everyone, that's for sure. For those who listen to the likes of Adele and co, you might like and relate to the rising and falling tempo and vibe of the song. But even if the beat doesn't get to you, you cannot escape how touching the lyrics are.
Character | 6/10
Except for Decim, this episode is like a package with three new characters: Nona, Clavis, and a nameless girl. But unlike Takashi and Machiko's case, this girl isn't here to be judged but to be recruited as an assistant arbiter.
All characters in this episode were arbiters, and I learned that even Decim has a boss like the senior arbiter in the Quindecim.
And amongst these arbiters, Clavis seems to be the one in charge of the elevators, Nona, the head arbiter, and a girl who has no name or memory of her past life and has just started her first day as assistant arbiter.
This episode showed Decim, who always seemed like a perfect judge of character, even making some misjudgments and showing remorse when made to understand his mistake.
The addition of these new characters has added to the overall excitement that's now brewing whenever I want to see any episode of Death Parade.
Enjoyment | 7/10
Of course, this episode doesn't exactly have the thrills of the first, and it almost seemed like a review of the previous episode. However, it still had its bit of enjoyment.
But I enjoyed every bit of this episode, as it was eye-opening. And it didn't just educate me on new notions but also took my knowledge of post-death trials to another level.
Death Reverse (don't forget this is the title of the second episode) is enthralling, moving, entertaining, and did put me in a "think mode." I couldn't help but see it again about two more times to get the hang of all the new info, and I got from it.
Overall | 8/10
All factors being considered, this episode has shown me new perspectives into even the lives of arbiters and made me know they also have some human-like characters. And you can't help but now think that even the arbiters aren't perfect judges.
You should be prepared to be awed and left to think and ponder over how just 23 minutes of animation has shaped your perception of human nature.